Lincoln School Board OKs teacher raises

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LINCOLN — For the second year in a row, the Lincoln School Board has approved a $2,000 base salary increase for certified employees.

The board, at its April 18 meeting, also approved a 3% increase for classified employees, compared to a 2% increase approved last year. The new pay scale will come into effect for the 2022-23 school year.

The base salary for a new teacher with a bachelor’s degree and no experience will be $40,000, according to Superintendent Mary Ann Spears.

The cost of salary increases will be $220,000 for certified personnel and $30,000 for classified personnel.

“It will make us a little more competitive as we recruit teachers,” Spears told board members in April.

After the vote, board member Kenneth Albright immediately offered to add a $2,000 stipend to Spears’ contract in recognition of her doctorate.

“Thanks, guys,” Spears replied in surprise. “That’s very nice.”

Spears has been with Lincoln since July 2006 and served as superintendent since July 2013. She received her doctorate in instructional leadership from Arkansas Tech.

At the board meeting in May, Spears said the district would purchase its two leased buses for $80,000 each, versus purchasing new buses for about $130,000 each, and lease two more buses for $19. $500 a year with a three-year contract.

The district’s April financial report shows the district used 73 percent of its budget with two months remaining in the fiscal year. Spears said she hopes the district will be able to carry over enough balance to allow the district to deposit money into its building fund.

The food services budget has a balance of approximately $300,000, and this money will be used to upgrade kitchen equipment and make other improvements. Spears said the district has many restrictions on how that money can be used.

The school‘s celebrations at the May meeting included recognizing the track team, women’s softball team, and men’s soccer team for their outstanding seasons.

Gina McClellan, district ESL coordinator, recognized students who have earned the Arkansas Bi-Literacy Seal for studying and achieving fluency in two or more languages.

McClellan said one student earned the seal in 2021, with 10 students receiving the seal this year, and seven of them also being recognized by the World Bi-Literacy Seal.

Students recognized at the seal meeting: Aleah Alonzo, Chelsea Cardenas, Ashanti Pena, Sarahi Hernandez, Luis Calvillo, Brianna Avellaneda, Dianna Avellaneda, Jobany Madera, Federico Madera and Gonzalo Perez.

Of the 780 Arkansas students who met the goal for the 2021-22 school year, 10 of them were from Lincoln, McClellan said.

“The students chose to do this. It’s a lot of work,” McClellan said.

Spears said she was waiting to receive the final costs for building a baseball/softball complex on the high school campus. It looks like the cost will be around $1.8-2 million to build.

“We’ll get the final numbers and make a decision,” Spears said.

The neighborhood is also waiting to receive city approval for a greenhouse for the high school.

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