School safety remains our number one
priority. Superintendents across our
state continue to ensure the safety of their students and staff.
Superintendents are thankful that the Legislature addressed many of
our recommendations regarding safe schools during the last legislative session,
- Increasing total funds for the
Safe Schools allocation
- Clarifying that the Safe Schools allocation could be used for all
- Authorizing school districts to contract with security
- Reappropriating the guardian funds to continue and expand training
for school guardians
- Maintaining funding for school hardening; and
- Increasing funding for the Mental Health Assistance allocation.
As districts are providing more mental health assessment and
intervention services, the need for intensive, daily, services for some
students has become apparent. The
Legislature should fund services that will help these students and families.
Overall, superintendents recommend that the Legislature continue to
support funding for safe schools and mental health by increasing each of these
categorical programs by 25 percent.
Funding for school hardening should be at $100 million; the initial
allocation provided for school hardening.
and retaining qualified teachers is critical to the academic success of our
students. A five percent increase would cost just under $575 million. The gross salary for each teacher would
increase by just under $2,440. The total
cost of salary and benefits is $2,832. (The baseline figures are calculated on
202,419 instructional staff with an average salary of $48,784)
increase cannot be a one-time event. In
order to retain our teachers and recruit quality individuals into the teaching
profession, this effort must be maintained and sustained for at least five
years to bring our teachers into alignment with, and even surpass, other
states. Our teachers deserve no less.