By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Lester Prairie School Board approved the district’s 2017 levy of $794,823 during its Dec. 19 meeting.
This represents a decrease of $111,989, or 12.35 percent from the 2016 levy of $906,811.
Substitute pay discussed
The board discussed compensation for substitute teachers, and whether increasing pay would make it easier for the district to find substitutes.
Superintendent Jeremy Schmidt said the district pays substitutes $100 per day for the first 10 days, and $110 per day after that.
He noted he had checked with other districts in the area, and found substitute pay ranges from about $85 per day to about $125 per day.
The district hired substitutes for 217 days during the 2015-16 school year, 279 for the 2014-15 school year, 252 for the 2013-14 school year, and 311 for the 2012-13 school year.
The board discussed options. It was noted the pool of available substitutes has decreased, and most of the people on the list are local former teachers.
“I think there are people in the community who qualify [to work as substitutes], and may not know they qualify,” high school science teacher Mike Bjork commented.
Schmidt said a four-year college degree is enough to qualify as a substitute.
Consensus of the board was that a slight increase in pay would likely not entice people from a broader area to work as substitutes in Lester Prairie.
The board approved changing the district’s substitute pay to $110 (rather than starting at $100 for the first 10 days). The board also authorized Schmidt to advertise, to let people know about the qualifications and compensation for substitute teachers.
Odds and ends
In other business, the board:
• scheduled its next meeting Monday, Jan. 9 at 5:30 p.m.
• approved contracts with Julie Olson, one-act play advisor; and Jannina Wall, Kid’s Depot worker.
• accepted school donations of $68,463 for the year.