The Douglas School Board increased its budget for the upcoming fiscal year by 1.78 million at the July 2 board meeting.

The total aggregate budget this fiscal year, which began July 1, is $30,341,235, an increase of $1,782,808 from last year’s budget. The new budget includes a five percent increase for certified staff and teachers; three percent to administrators and a $1 per hour increase for all classified employees.

The average teacher salary for DUSD educators increased from $34,705 last year to $37,721 this fiscal year and will increase to $39,393 in fiscal year 2020. Beginning teacher’s salaries jumped from $31,000 last year to $32,000 this year.

“We want to do something every year to move us up on that beginning salary to make it attractive for teachers,” Cesar Soto, chief financial and operations director for the DUSD, said.

Soto told the board its important the community understand the property tax is not being adopted just yet.

“That won’t happen until Aug. 15 when the board of supervisors approves the tax rate,” he said. “I also want to remind you that we’re frozen so there is no way we’re going to go up on the property taxes. If it changes it might be the secondary tax, but that will be because of the bonds and the interest we have to pay.”

In other action at the meeting, the board accepted the 2020 Capital Plan that will be submitted to the Arizona State of School Facilities Board.

Soto said what is being submitted at the moment in this report is based off projected enrollment.

“We still don’t know how many kids we are going to have at every level,” he said.

Projected numbers show 1,803 preschool through fifth grade students, 913 sixth through eighth grade students, and 1,527 ninth through 12th grade students.

Denise Cox, Fernando Nunez, Katie Walker and Gail Zamar were appointed as hearing officers for the upcoming school year. If needed, they will conduct hearings for students facing suspension of over 10-days.

Two new teachers were hired: Jose Vasquez at Stevenson Elementary and Rosey Kofron, a science teacher at Ray Borane Middle School.

At the June 21 special board meeting, Dr. Rodney Egan was hired to be the new principal at Stevenson Elementary; Mark Lucero was hired to be the CTE Business and Finance teacher at DHS; Dean S. Ibanez was hired to be the new science teacher at Paul Huber Middle School and Maria Ruiz was approved as a new teacher at RBMS.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 6 in the DUSD board room.

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