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Buhler USD 313 Board Ratifies 2024-25 Negotiated Agreement, $4K Base Salary Increase for Eligible Staff

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By Lucky Kidd

 

BUHLER, Kan. — Employees of Buhler USD 313 are in line for substantial raises following actions by the Board of Education Monday which included ratification of the 2024-25 Negotiated Agreement with their teachers.

That agreement calls for an overall compensation increase of 9%, including a $4,000 increase in the base salary, and a $500 increase in step movement on the salary schedule. Eligible certified staff will also get column movement, and $1,200 was added to the base on the supplementary schedule.

Following ratification of the teacher contract, the board approved a 10.7% raise for classified staff, and a 7.4% raise for administrators and directors. The board also approved an $18 dollar per day increase in substitute teacher pay to $130.

The Board adopted a new policy that will limit student use of cell phones including headphones and earbuds, cameras, and non-school computers at Buhler High School. BHS principal Michael Ellegood said the aim of the policy is to “gain back time that cell phones and other electronic devices take away from the education of their kids.”

Use of those devices will only be allowed during passing periods and at lunch. For educational purposes students will be required to use their school issued laptop or other monitoring devices. Exceptions will be provided on a case by case basis, and sound reducing headphones will be permitted with prior approval for student needs.

Smart watches will still be permitted at BHS. Ellegood said while it might still be possible for a student to access social media through it, it is rather difficult. Also factoring in is often parents will text their students during the day, and expect a quick answer in response.

The new policy will be included in the Buhler High School handbook. Prairie Hills Middle School already has requirements that are more stringent and they are not allowed at all for elementary students.

The board heard a presentation from Business Manager Shane Hecox on the 2024-25 budget, which as it currently stands will call for a very slight increase in the district’s property tax levy. Outside of the statewide 20 mill levy on which the exemption for residential property is being increased to $75,000, this involves the supplemental general or local option, capital outlay and bond and interest funds. The levy for those three funds would exceed the revenue neutral rate by not quite 1.5 mills.

In addition to a lengthy list of annual designations and appointments made at the start of each School year and a number of personnel items, the board approved updated staff handbooks for the 2024-25 school year, membership in the Kansas Association of School Boards and their legal assistance fund, accepted a bid for student accident insurance, a contract with Lackey and Nielsen Chiropractic for athletic training services, increase in the district mileage reimbursement rate to 67 cents a mile, and authorized disposal of four items of surplus property. 

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