The Superior School District has a jam-packed agenda for its upcoming meeting on Monday, April 11.  One of the most-visible (and most expensive) will be the final vote on a 4% raise for all employees of the district.  Combining the additional salaries, "step"-salaries, and schedules, the total cost to the budget for the Superior School District would total nearly $1 million.

And while no one is questioning the worth of the teachers and support staff that work with students every day, the dollar amount is worthy of conversation.

Superior Middle School - Superior School District in Superior, WI
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

Speaking in general terms, the proposed salary increases would be the largest, most-significant bumps in a decade.  It would also go a long way towards easing the retention and hiring problem the district has had for some time. In an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall], Superior Senior High School teacher Lee Sims explains:

"This is a very big deal.  This is the single largest CPI (consumer price index) increase in Superior since Act 10 [a state law passed in 2011 that limited bargaining rights for state and local employees - including teachers]."

Sims continued, lending his opinion that the salary increases would ease hiring and retention:

"What you guys [referring to the Superior School Board] are doing for teachers for next year and admin and support staff sends a very clear message that we are valued, that you believe in us, and the job that we are doing and that you want to not only keep us here, but also recruit the best talent for us to work with.  This is what our district putting their best foot forward looks like."

If the vote by the school board on April 11 is affirmative in nature, it would set in motion a variety of payroll increases.  Here is a summary of some of the facts, details, and numbers tied to the vote and the salary increases:

  • Total cost to the district:  just shy of $1 million
  • Percentage of increase for the step salary schedule for administrators, professional staff, and support staff:  4%
  • Percentage increase for teachers: 4%, which includes $1,659 to each step on the salary schedule
  • Total dollars for teacher salary increases:  $595,740
  • Total dollars for support staff salary increases:  $236,572
  • Total dollars for professional staff salary increases:  $29,501
  • Total dollars for administrator staff salary increases:  $95,095

In addition to the teaching, professional, and administrative staff raises, the vote will also include a measure to get more money into the hands of activities and athletics.  "Activity and academic advisors would see a 10% increase to their stipend, for a total increase of $6,479.  Athletic coaches would make between 6.5% and 13.5% of the base teacher salary for their work, which would cost the district an additional $35,208."

Like the teacher salaries, most of these activities and athletics positions haven't seen active increases in a decade.

Superior High School sign - Superior School District in Superior, WI
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

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