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Why some Missouri school districts will not receive money to raise teacher pay

More than 21 million dollars has been allocated for public education in Missouri...and a...
More than 21 million dollars has been allocated for public education in Missouri...and a portion of that will boost teacher pay for those teachers working less than 9 years in the business. Not all school districts will get to see that boost.(kytv)
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 7:43 PM CDT
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LACLEDE COUNTY, Mo. (KY3) - Missouri lawmakers allocated more than $21 million for teacher salary increases. Some schools say they will never see a penny of it.

“I’m pretty certain that Nixa nor Ozark, Republic, Willard, Springfield are not going to see any dollars,” said Mark McGehee, who works in the human resources department for Nixa Public Schools.

While it is great to see the legislature thinking about education, larger school districts don’t stand to benefit.

“My understanding of the proposed budget, unfortunately, what they’re proposing in this budget or may have passed in this budget is, is not anything on teacher pay that’s going to help some of our larger districts,” said McGehee.

Staff at Joel E. Barber could see some of that money.

”We are really excited that the governor has really made the recommendation to increase teacher salary. We know in our state, we have to pay teachers more,” said Rachelle Jennings, Superintendent of Joel E Barber.

The increase in money will not happen immediately.

“It is a matching grant process as a program that we will have to apply for. So every school district is going to be given the opportunity if you are not at a $38,000 for your base teacher salary, every district is going to be provided the opportunity to apply for the grant program, and then upon acceptance, then we will get those funds, the state is looking at a 70-30 match,” said Jennings.

The state will pay 70%, and the districts will pay the remaining 30%.

“School districts do not have to participate in this grant opportunity. We’re excited to do so,” said Jennings.

Educators making more than $38,000 will not see a boost.

”I don’t believe they’re getting any money for any teachers that are above that mark. So teachers with experience or teachers who have extra education will not. They won’t receive any extra money for those teachers. So it’s only the ones making less than $38,000 in a smaller district,” said McGehee.

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