Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - At the close of his first year as the Superintendent of Missoula School District One, Micah Hill spent a busy hour on the KGVO Talk Back show answering questions from listeners on a variety of topics.

Hill was pleased to report that teacher salaries at MCPS schools were increased, thanks in part to the three levies that were recently passed by Missoula voters.

Superintendent Micah Hill Said Pay for Missoula Teachers Has Been Increased

“What I'm happy to report is that we successfully concluded our negotiations for this year with our teachers,” began Hill. “We were able to move our starting teacher pay from $41,000 up to almost $45,000 and so had some compression at the bottom end of the scale, and we were able to continue to give everybody an increase for this coming year. It doesn't even come close to what inflationary increases are, but we have very limited dollars to work with when it comes to that.”

Hill was also gratified to be able to increase the pay of what he called ‘backbone workers’.

Hill Said 'Backbone Workers' Also Received Pay Increases

“90 percent of our budget is in salary and benefits for the entire district, and that doesn't just include teachers,” he said. “We also were able to give significant increases to what I refer to as our ‘backbone workers’, our custodians, our maintenance engineers and food service people. We were able to give $1.10 increase to every single employee, and had some compression therein where they started their salaries as well.”

Hill said he was grateful for Missoula voters and their support.

“We're actually pretty excited about it. I think our staff appreciated the efforts of the district, and the board to kind of move the needle on where we're at,” he said. “If it were me, if I were king for the day, I'd say, I want my teachers to be the top paid in the state. We just can't get there with where things are at right now.”

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Hill Said Missoula Residents Might Pay Less in Taxes

Hill provided a more positive note about how Missoulians might actually see lower taxes.

“I think the interesting thing is, is that with the way that the state education funding formula works, Missoula property taxpayers will actually see a decrease in their school property taxes over this year going into next year,” he said. “So even though we passed those levies, we're going to be receiving more direct state aid as a result of the formula.”

Hill said the summer will be filled with frenetic activity by support staff to prepare for the next school year, which begins at the end of August.


Gallery Credit: KC

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