Lawrence school board to receive budget update, discuss pending wage increases for teachers and staff

photo by: Journal-World

Lawrence Public Schools district offices pictured in April 2021.

The Lawrence school board will soon receive a budget update and meet in executive session to discuss pending wage increases for the district’s teachers and staff.

As part of its meeting Monday, Cynde Frick, the district’s executive director of finance, will provide a budget update to the school board. A memo to the board states that the update will include the 2022-2023 Kansas State Department of Education audit, legislative changes and timelines for the 2023-2024 budget, and an update on the district’s cash balances.

As of Saturday at 5 p.m., there were no reports yet attached to the agenda item, meaning the only information publicly available was the one-sentence overview of what would be discussed. However, Frick has recently shared some budget information with the Lawrence Education Association, the union representing the district’s teachers and other certified staff.

At a contract negotiations meeting with LEA representatives on June 1, Frick said that the district would see an additional $4 million in state aid for the upcoming school year. She said the district could also decide to levy another $1.2 million to $1.3 million for cost-of-living increases, but the decision whether to levy those additional taxes would ultimately be made by the school board. She said the cost-of-living figure was based on preliminary calculations the state gave the district a few months ago. The Journal-World asked Frick on Friday if there were any updates to those figures, but has not yet received a response.

Following the budget update, the board will recess in executive session to discuss contract negotiations with the LEA and the Personnel Association of Lawrence-Communication Workers of America, the union representing the district’s staff. As the Journal-World reported, district and PAL-CWA representatives agreed on Thursday to a proposal that would provide $2.58 million toward wage increases for district staff. In addition, on June 1, district and LEA representatives agreed to a proposal that would provide at least $3 million to increase teacher pay; however, that amount could potentially increase, as the teachers union has proposed another $500,000 be added to that amount.

The school board will convene at 6 p.m. on Monday at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive.


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