With this year’s enrollment numbers coming in higher than expected, Denair Unified School District is looking to provide salary restoration to employees who were dealt 8 percent pay cuts three years ago in the midst of a district-wide financial crisis.
“I couldn’t be more encouraged by or proud of the progress our district is making,” said Superintendent Aaron Rosander. “It appears we are approaching a threshold that will likely serve to trigger a significant step toward the closure of salary reductions of three years ago.
“Having said this, attention to fiscal detail and to the prudent stewardship of all things financial will continue to be an important operational feature of the Denair Unified School District,” continued Rosander.
Despite DUSD’s determination to provide higher pay to staff, the specifics of these pay raises — including how much employees are slated to receive and when they can expect to receive them — are unclear at this time.
“It is absolutely our desire to see salaries restored,” DUSD Board President Sandi Dirkse told teachers during Thursday’s meeting. “We understand that the district is nothing without our teachers. When we have the money, we want you to have it.”
DUSD currently has 1,306 students enrolled spanning across four campuses, a total that surpasses the 1,243 students anticipated in the district’s budget for this year. These enrollment numbers play a significant role in public school income throughout California as the state pays about $8,000 per student in average daily attendance.
Chief Business Officer Linda Covello said that the state acknowledges enrollment at school districts as of Oct. 5, a number which is then finalized by Oct. 31. Once this is completed, the district will get “the first clue as to what salary restoration looks like in 2016-17.”
“It’s very important for this District to continue to grow. The District’s employees are dedicated, hard working individuals who love Denair, love the community and want to see their schools succeed,” said Covello. “Everyone has taken salary reductions in order to help balance the budget and I cannot think of a group of individuals who deserve salary increases more than Denair employees.”