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Lindbergh teachers receive overall salary hike of 3.89% for '05-'06 school year


June 22, 2005 - Overall salary increases for Lindbergh School District teachers for the 2005-2006 school year are 3.89 percent, according to a district news release.

Individual teacher increases for the 2005-2006 school year range from 1.59 percent to 4.74 percent, depending on educational level and years of experience. Lindbergh teachers are entering the final year of a three-year agreement with the Board of Education.

The Board of Education's goal is to re-main competitive with Lindbergh's benchmark districts — Kirkwood, Parkway, Pattonville, Mehlville and Rockwood — allowing the district to attract and retain high quality teachers. Teacher salaries currently rank third or fourth among benchmark districts depending on placement on the salary schedule.

Teacher and administrative salaries for the coming school year were approved by the board in April. As with teacher salaries, administrative salaries are keyed to benchmark districts. However, instead of being based on a set salary schedule, administrative salaries are driven by performance and determined by evaluation and position.

Regarding the contract approvals, board President Mark Rudoff stated in the release, "The board remains committed to attracting the highest quality staff, both teachers and administrators. It does not make good economic or educational sense to develop first-class programs and then hire second-rate educators to lead them. Be-ing No. 1 in salaries is not our driving goal, but we do work hard to remain competitive. The most troubling development for any district is to have its outstanding teachers or administrators be recruited away by another district. Depending on position, current administrative salaries in Lindbergh vary as much as $15,000 below those of comparable districts in the St. Louis area.

"The educational achievements of this district during the past decade reflect the soundness of this philosophy. Taxpayers are getting a good return on their investment. We have top quality teaching and administrative staff causing good things to happen for kids. Our expectations continue to increase year after year and our staff has risen to the challenge. We pay for performance in Lindbergh and our staff has been delivering."

Rudoff cited a number of Lindbergh achievements and recognitions, including:

• Two U.S. Blue Ribbon Schools.

• Three Missouri Gold Star Schools

• One National School of Character.

• Three National Character Awards for Best Practices.

• Distinction in Performance — fourth consecutive year.

• Lindbergh High School named one of America's Best — Newsweek magazine.

• 94 percent college enrollment.

• Nationally recognized Early Childhood Education Program.

• International Baccalaureate Program — internationally accredited curriculum.

The board was questioned as to freezing all salaries due to the loss of Proposition A and the corresponding need to reduce programs, services and personnel, according to the release.

Rudoff explained, "The board seriously considered that option and decided it was not the right thing to do for either the employees or the long-term welfare of the district. The expectations haven't decreased, if anything, they have gone up. State and federal mandates continue to rise. In the coming months there will be more pressure than previously on all of our staff for improved student performance.

"This is the time that the district must have not only strong and stable leadership but students must have access to the best teachers and support staff available. We don't want to be wondering whether we will be able to hire the best.

"During the coming year with all of its pending challenges, we want to assure our parents and community that we have the highest quality staff in place from the classroom to the Superintendent's Office,'' he added.

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