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School board raises Krenz’s salary by 2 percent ; District set to receive $529 more per student from state

Published 10:49am Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Austin Public Schools board passed a salary increase for Superintendent David Krenz during its public meeting Monday night as part of a larger discussion about budgets and six new teaching positions.

Krenz
Krenz

The proposed 2 percent increase to Krenz’s salary raised his salary to $148,614 for the 2014-2015 school year. Board Member Greg Larson said the three-year contract for the superintendent only specified the salary for the first two years, with the third-year increase to be decided later.

“This is the first time that it’s been decided what his salary really would be,” Larson said.

Budget talk

The board also discussed changes in the state’s per pupil funding formulas. The district will receive $529 more per student than they used to, or about $1.5 million in additional funding.

While this seems like a large number, Director of Finances Mark Stotts said this is only a 1.9 percent increase in funding because the weighting of students has been lowered under the state formula. The district usually receives about $8,000 per student on average.

The Minnesota Legislature mandated all-day kindergarten in 2013 and the change is going into effect for the 2014-2015 school year. The mandate also increases per pupil funding for kindergarten students. Austin is set to receive $800,000 more in funding, which will go into the district’s general fund. The district had previously off-set all-day kindergarten costs through its general fund.

“It just helps reduce our deficit in the general fund budget,” Stotts said.

Stotts said this money will help fund new staffing positions for the district, which increased by 72 students to about 4,662 over the past year.

Austin has added six new positions, including two full-time classroom teachers, one English Language Learning teacher, two special education teachers, and one technology director.

“It increases our expenses, and that’s what we’re using the new revenue for,” Stotts said.

Stotts estimated the new staff positions will cost the district about $500,000.

Board members also approved the district’s annual health and safety budget for the next two years.

Director of Buildings and Grounds Mat Miller reported there were two big differences made to this budget. The state fire marshall recommended the school district consider replacing its 20-year-old fire alarm system as district officials have difficulty finding replacement parts.

The district’s HVAC systems installed in several schools over the last few years are due for a tune-up, recommended every five years.

“Those are the biggest differences between those fiscal years,” Miller said. The policy was approved last June.

In other news:

—The board approved an extension of a probationary period for Banfield Elementary School special education teacher Jeff Baier. Baier is moving to teach at Neveln Elementary School. The agreement was made between Baier and the district to help with the transition.


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