Alpena Public Schools Board of Education approves new teacher contract
ALPENA — The Alpena Public Schools Board of Education on Monday approved a new three-year contract for the district teachers as well as a proposed school budget for the 2023-2024 school year.
In a press release Tuesday, the district said a large focus of the new contract was retention and recruitment as a way to combat teacher shortages across the state and nation.
To accomplish this goal, the new contract provides teachers with a 4% salary increase for the first year, a 3% salary increase for the second year, 2% salary increase for the third year with the possibility of an additional 1% increase depending on the state’s funding level, which as of Tuesday, has not been released.
The starting salary for APS teachers will be $43,044, an increase from the previous starting salary of $40,514.
Additionally, to address the shortage of special education staff, the new contract also has incentives for those who have or in the process of attaining their special education credentials.
These incentives include an annual recruitment/retention of $7,000 for self-contained behavior classroom special education teachers or $5,000 for all other special education teachers as well as additional release time for reporting Medicaid billable activities, individualized education program team planning, coordination, parent meetings, management of caseloads, and receiving additional paid time to complete required paperwork on top of their overall teaching responsibilities, according to the news release.
Despite the increases to teaching wages, the district’s proposed budget is largely conservative with minor decreases across the board in comparison to last year.
An overview of the budget was presented to the Board by Associate Superintendent for Business and Operations Mary Lyon, who went over the proposed budget as well as the budget from the 2022-2023 school year.
The 2023-2024 budget has a proposed revenue of $51,856,240 which is reduced from the $55,068,821 from the 2022-2023 school year.
The 2023-2024 budget expects $51,737,762 in expenditures, which is also less than the $55,000,436 from the previous school year.
This leaves the projected ending fund equity at $11,737,637.
“If you look at the Ending Fund Equity in the proposed budget, we are still having a safe end budget,” APS Board President Anna Meinhardt said. “We’re able to provide increases across the board to our teachers and yet have a healthy fund equity.”
The Board was unanimous in its approval of the proposed budget.
IN OTHER BUSINESS
The Alpena Public Schools Board of Education on Monday also:
*approved the school calendar for the 2023-24 school year. The first day for students will be Aug. 28 and the tentative last day for students will be June 7, 2024.
*approved revisions to district policy regarding the use of tobacco by administrators, professional staff, support staff and students.
The revisions prohibit the use of tobacco products, which includes e-cigarettes and vape pens, on district premises, in district vehicles and in all school buildings owned and operated by the district and eliminate exceptions that were allowed under older policies.
*accepted a bid from Metal Arts Construction in the amount of $49,482 for Sanborn Elementary’s ceiling replacement
*approved a motion to pay no more than $13,326.11 to Northern Valley Electrical services for Besser Elementary School fire alarm control panel work.
*approved a motion to pay no more than $16,796 to spence brothers for Thunder Bay Junior High School media center floor infill work