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RAISE FOR TEACHERS SAILS THROUGH

Negotiations in the Provo School District have gone so well that they're essentially over ahead of schedule, district officials say.

Teachers will get a base salary increase of 4.4 percent, slightly less than last year's settlement figure of 4.5 percent.Overall compensation will go up 6.813 percent, an increase from last year's 6.76 percent.

Funds that pay for elementary planning time go up from $25 per student to $30 each.

Classified employees will see a base salary increase of 4.35 percent and the addition of a 10-year longevity step that pushes the total increase to 4.5 percent.

Superintendent Michael Jacobsen presented the numbers to the school board in a brief executive session Friday, and they were accepted shortly afterward by vote in a public meeting.

"We think Michael Jacobsen has done a great job," said Board President Kenneth Matheson. "We needed this, the good year part. And it's nice to have had some money to work with."

Board member Mossi White said the Legislature "seemed to have heard the concerns" in education and made it possible to offer classified employees and teachers more this year.

"It's certainly the best of times that we've seen in a few years," said Kenneth Clark, another board member.

Jacobsen said another plus for the district was in not having to deal with an increase in insurance costs.

The district is opting to stay with Educators Health Choice.

"Our usage has been under 90 percent of the premium," said the superintendent. "So while others saw an increase in premium, we did not."

The administrators receive a 4.4 percent base increase and an additional five vacation days per year.

Salaries for the four year-round and high school principals were increased 2.5 percent. The principals' supply budgets were aug-mented by $2 per student and $1,500 is provided to each elementary school that is not year-round for part-time secretarial help.

Annuities of 3 percent of salary were authorized for three district office administrators.

Jacobsen said every district essentially gets a similar amount of money to work with so the only real difference in the numbers comes from recognizing what costs the district has to face.

"Provo's a no-growth district so we have no new revenues to expect," said Jacobsen. "So for us, the reduced cost of insurance is a boon."

Jacobsen said the smooth negotiations has surprised him, "but there is a good feeling out there."

The tentative proposals were taken to the teachers and classified employees over the past few weeks for ratification. They were returned with unanimous approvals, Jacobsen said.

Contracts start coming up for renewal as early as next week, said district staff. The new terms of employment take effect July 1.