Scottsdale Unified School District board approves 'across the board' salary increases

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Scottsdale Unified School District. Scottsdale Unified School District.
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Scottsdale Unified School District governing board voted Tuesday to include salary increases for district employees 'across the board' in the 2018-2019 proposed budget.

Erin Helm, a spokeswoman for the district said the salary increases would be included in the district's maintenance and operations budget for 2018-2019. 

The proposed increases include a 10 percent pay raise for teachers and an $8 a day increase for substitute teachers.

[RELATED: Arizona schools reopen after education funding deal reached]

Hourly employees including bus drivers, health assistants and other select, classified staff would receive a four percent raise and administrators would get a one percent pay raise, Helm said in a press release.

The proposed budget would also increase the annual pay of first-year teachers from $36,593 to $41,320 as well as provide funding to hire four additional security officers and create longevity stipends for bus drivers. 

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Schools in Crisis

"Our staff is at the heart of everything we do, and as our most important resource, we need to invest in them," said acting superintendent Dr. John Kriekard.

The pay increases come after teachers across the state held walk-outs to protest teacher pay and school funding.

[READ MORE: Teacher walkout officially over after Gov. Ducey signed education bills]

SUSD's proposed increases were made available after the state's budget provided additional funding to schools. 

The education funding bill signed by Gov. Ducey earlier in May also add new criminal penalties on school officials and outside vendors in response to recent scandals at the Scottsdale Unified School District, House Speaker J.D. Mesnard said.

[RELATED: Fourth Scottsdale Unified administrator placed on paid leave]

The new law makes school officials personally liable for violations of state procurement regulations. The purpose of the law is to "ensure maximum practicable competition" when districts seek bids for goods, services, and construction projects.

[READ MORE: Scottsdale Unified scandals prompt changes to state law, new criminal penalties]

Under the new law, school districts will be required to post their budgets and audit information on their websites, but an amendment exempts charter schools from those rules along with the new procurement penalties.

A final vote on SUSD's maintenance and operations budget will be held next month.

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