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Pierce City teachers to receive a 4.9% pay raise for the 2021-2022 school year

Published: Jul. 18, 2021 at 6:01 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 18, 2021 at 9:52 PM CDT
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PIERCE CITY, Mo. (KY3) - School will be starting soon, and teachers all around the Ozarks are preparing for the upcoming school year.

Pierce City Teachers will be getting a little extra money for all of their work. The school board recently approved a 4.9% pay raise for educators.

“This year, and last year, with everything going on with COVID-19 and our financial situation overall, allowed us to give a little more of an increase that was sustainable,” said Pierce City School Board President Bryan Stellwagen.

In prior years the school board approved 2-3% pay raises. But after school employees faced the challenges of the pandemic, the school board wanted to offer a little more.

The pay increase will cost the district a little less than $4 million. School board members say it is worth the investment.

“We try to do everything we can to support our teachers and staff. They have a very difficult job in the best of times, and the last couple of years has not been the best of times for certain,” said Stellwagen.

Teachers say they are happy to have the support of the school board and the community.

“Obviously, teachers don’t go into teaching for the pay, but when you get something like a pay increase or a reward for your hard work, it feels good to be supported appreciated by your community,” said science teacher Kristin Frey.

“The discussion wasn’t, do we do it, but is it enough for our teachers? And money’s not everything. We can go other places and make more mone,y but the atmosphere and that family atmosphere know that the community actually cares about their school. They want the best for their kids. They want the best for their teachers, it makes you enjoy working in a district like this,” said agriculture teacher Isaac Melin.

But teachers aren’t the only ones in the district who will have a boost at the bank. School secretaries, custodians, maintenance workers, and anyone else who serves in a non-certified role within the school will also receive the pay raise.

Teachers will earn a base pay of $32,500 to $40,000 annually, which is competitive for schools of similar size. School board members say they hope to offer another pay raise next year.

“It’s nice to be in a community and a school board that they truly appreciate what you do,” said Melin.

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