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HCCSC discusses teacher contracts

The Huntington County Community School Corporation (HCCSC) Board of Trustees met in a regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 18, to approve the 2021-22 Teacher Contract with the Huntington County Teacher’s Association (HCTA).

“It has been our privilege to work for our members to negotiate the contract proposal that is coming before you this evening. We appreciate having worked alongside the administration of HCCSC and are pleased that we were able to negotiate a favorable contract,” said HCTA Co-President Mandy Stephenson. “Our number one goal is to serve the students and families of Huntington County and to offer an exceptional education for all students.”

“To meet this goal, we believe that we must retain excellent teachers and have competitive salaries and benefits that entice the best to Huntington County and to remain in our community,” Stephenson continued. “We want to thank you for your consideration of this contract and it’s our sincerest hope that you will vote in favor of our tentative agreement.”

Before the board voted on the proposal, HCCSC Superintendent Chad Daugherty went through some of the details of the tentative contract.

First, Daugherty said that teachers could expect a pay increase based on “evaluation data” HCCSC conducted. He also mentioned that the starting teacher pay for the corporation would be $37,500.

“Our goal is to be at $40,000 for our starting salary next year and that will be in accordance with the Indiana code that we’ve been held accountable for our state legislators giving more money,” Daugherty said.

He went on to explain that there are three reasons they were able to give these raises:

• An extra $1 million in tuition support was given to HCCSC from the state.

• HCCSC made some cuts and absorbed some positions in the last few years.

• The school corporation’s Average Daily Membership (ADM) count remained solid with five more students than they had last year.

The contract also included increases for extra-curricular activity (ECA) stipends for both the elementary and middle schools and pay raises for special services employees.

After some discussion, the board approved the contract.

Daugherty also presented recommendations to raise compensation for classified employees, administrative employees and substitute teachers and staff members.

“Almost $800,000 will be poured into our classified staff this year, so we’re really excited about that,” Daugherty said.

Along with the raise for the administrative employees, Daugherty said there would also be some days added to the contract based on the position, which would be explained in the revised handbook.

The substitute teacher pay will increase from $75 to $90 per day. Daugherty also said that if a substitute must cover more than one classroom due to being short-staffed, the substitute will receive an extra $50 for that day.

All of the pay raise recommendations presented by Daugherty were approved by the board.

In unrelated business, HCCSC Business Manager Scott Bumgardner presented several proposals for board approval. The first was the 2022 Bus Replacement Plan.

“We have made some ground in our bus replacement. We have bought five buses this past year. The problem is getting them,” Bumgardner said. “It’s been delayed… It’s not that we don’t have money to buy buses. It’s that we’ve put in our order and haven’t received buses.”

Bumgardner says that it could take four or five years to get caught up, but they are working towards that goal. He then asked for board approval of the current plan, which the board granted.

Bumgardner also presented the 2022 CPF Plan and 2022 Budget, which were approved by the board.

In other business:

• An anonymous gift of $50,000 was given to HCCSC to use for Huntington North High School baseball field improvements. The board members present expressed their thanks for the “generous anonymous gift.”