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Board approves new pay rate for support staff subs

The Perham-Dent School Board voted to establish a new rate of pay for support staff substitutes Wednesday at its October meeting in the Senior High Studio Room.

After Deb Nornes, a substitute paraprofessional, rose to thank the board for considering the raise in pay for subs, Board Chair Sue Von Ruden brought up the item for board action. Nornes told the board she started subbing in 2004 at a rate of $9.91 an hour. Her current hourly rate of pay is $10 an hour — a raise of nine cents over 14 years.

"Obviously this is one that has been neglected and left behind for quite a while," Perham-Dent Superintendent Mitch Anderson said. "Our proposal here is to establish that rate of pay for subs based off the classification. Our support staff, our secretaries, our kitchen assistants, our custodians all are at different rates of pay and are on a three-step schedule, so this would be establishing that sub rate at whatever that first step is."

The board also approved the Village EAP Renewal Contract, a Reading/Math Native American Education Tutor position for Heart of the Lakes Elementary, a Native Education Family and Cultural Enrichment Facilitator position and a Strength Training Coaching position, which will be handled by different coaches in each season of the school year.

Anderson informed the board the school district will receive $450,000 from the Minnesota Department of Education to improve safety concerns at the elementary and senior high schools. The MDE had $25 million earmarked for the school safety grant. Ninety districts and 150 school buildings were selected to receive the grant funds. Anderson added that MDE received grant requests of $260 million from Minnesota schools.

"That gives you an idea of the need out there," Anderson said.

The most recent enrollment figures of the Perham-Dent school district place the number students at 1,505 according to Anderson.

The next meeting of the Perham-Dent school board is set for 5 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 15 in the PHS Studio.