DVUSD budget committee recommends raises for teachers, school staff

The entrance to Deer Valley High School in Glendale. [File photo]

By Jennifer Jimenez
Independent Newsmedia

The Deer Valley Unified School District budget committee recommended a 2 to 4 percent salary increase for all employees after teacher pay was the top priority of survey respondents.

DVUSD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jim Migliorino called the suggested raise a “meaningful” increase, during the Feb. 28 governing board meeting, where he presented the survey results to the governing board. He added, “And due to the minimum wage requirement, classified or differentiated salary increase when it comes to classified groups need to be addressed.”

The committee also recommended providing additional instruction time for students in need of academic help and that the district continue to explore efficiencies. Mr. Migliorino said maintaining student- teacher ratios will be a priority and the district will look into employee training schedule and related expenses and consider magnet schools for under-utilized campuses. Others included exploring additional capital revenue opportunities and support extracurricular activities.

The governing board planned to talk about next year’s budget during its March 6 meeting and get more feedback as they work towards developing a budget.

“The legislative committee is close to supporting a recommendation and meets in March and we are waiting on legislative action to know how much we have in terms of resources and we hope to propose a budget by June and formal adopt one in July,” he explained.

Fifteen various parents, district employees and community members make up the budget committee. This committee met on six different occasions starting back in Novemberof 2017 to discuss school finance 101, the district’s financial overview, selection of budget priorities,community-wide electronic feedback and to develop a budget priority recommendation. During the Feb. 28 governing board meeting, Mr. Migliorino presented the information to the board.

He said part of the input from the governing board when this committee first formed was to include a narrative for the survey, so the district can glean more complete feedback information rather than just a forced ranking on item surveys.

“We had good participation, and I was shooting for 2,700 responses, and we ended up with 3,225 and had good representation from employee groups a little underrepresentation in the community members area, but this was self-reported and some serve in dual roles,” Mr. Migliorino said.

The budget committee came up with priorities for the electronic survey, which included, in no particular order: provide more time for teacher professional development, provide additional instructional time for students, especially for those in need of academic help, formally evaluate under-utilized schools to find ways for efficiencies, differentiated pay for teachers based on student achievement results, change school administrators where student achievement is consistently below district expectations, provide a salary increase that is uniform for all employees, implement a participation fee for programs that are not required but cost more than general instruction.

The data shows there was overwhelming support to provide a salary increase that is uniform for all employees, with 1,683 votes and was the number one response.

Mr. Migliorino said close behind in second place was additional instruction time for students who need support with 744 votes. Also noted, differentiated pay based on student achievements had the lowest forced ranking. The data in terms of narrative key word results showed the word teacher was used the most and teacher and pay the second most.

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