The Refugio school board was in agreement that raises for teachers were in order this year to try and be more competitive with neighboring school districts. The discussion was Thursday evening, June 27.
Superintendent Jack Gaskins said teachers in the district have not had salary increases in a long time.
He provided four options to board members to study. The board will address the options at its July 29 meeting.
Gaskins said the district is second to the bottom of school districts for pay.
“We will have to be more competitive on pay,” Gaskins said.
The district has 135 teachers.
In other business, the board unanimously approved a contract for a school resource officer, who would have an office on one of the campuses.
The contract is an interlocal deal between the town of Refugio’s police department and the school district.
The town of Refugio already approved its part of the bargain at its meeting Tuesday, June 25.
The school district will pay the officer’s salary of $41,800. The city will provide equipment, uniforms and pay benefits and overtime.
The full-time position will match the time teachers put in each semester of 187 days.
The officer will be involved with all extracurricular activities, including football and band out-of-town trips.
Also the SRO will train district staff and students about safety pertaining to online and to lock-downs.
Officer Peter Silvas, who currently is with the Refugio Police Department, was chosen for the job. He will begin his duties on Monday, Aug. 19.
The board also hired three teachers: one teacher for the visually impaired, a high school English teacher and an elementary school physical ed teacher, who also will be a girls coach.
The board also discussed its GKD local policy that deals with the public’s use of school district facilities.
Plans are to restrict the public and students from walking on or using the new artificial turf on the football field. However, the track would be available for use by the public when it was not used for school functions.
However, the board agreed to review the fee structure for use of school facilities.
Gaskins said an example of fees not enforced was the cafeteria rental. The district’s policy calls for $35 an hour for the rental, but people have been paying a flat $35 for a whole day.
He added that the $800 rental for the football field was never implemented.
The board also adopted all of the recommended policies from the Texas Association of School Boards except Can, relating to transportation management.
Gaskins said students need to be transported within the two-mile limit because of U.S. Highway 77 and the railroad tracks presenting a great danger.
In addition, the board approved a resolution to provide transportation to students within the two-mile radius because of the traffic hazards so the Texas Education Agency will have the measure on file.