Alder superintendent gets a raise

Gary Chapman, superintendent of Jonathan Alder Local Schools, will see a 3 percent increase in his paycheck, following action by the board of education on Wednesday.

Chapman’s current $110,823 annual salary will go to $114,148, beginning with the 2015-16 school year.

Other Alder administrators received similar increases earlier this year.

Wednesday’s vote was further indication of the district’s improving financial situation, following severe budget cuts and pay freezes in 2013-14.

Treasurer Aaron Johnson said he “feels good” about next year’s budget.

Although he expects no additional state subsidies next year, Johnson anticipates a $200,000 increase in state funding in 2016-17.

“I hope for continued growth from the state side,” he said.

Also on Wednesday, board members accepted a total of $732,790 in federal grants to support four district-wide programs. Of the money, $274,157 is earmarked for free or reduced lunches; $48,269 for professional development for teachers; $401,471 for kindergarten through 12th grade special education programs; and $8,892 for preschool special education programs.

Chapman said federal funding for free and reduced lunches remained stable, while professional development money decreased. He noted significant increases in funding for special education — an area where Alder has performed poorly in the past.

In other routine meeting action on Wednesday, school board members:

• Renewed an agreement with Modern Office Methods for printer maintenance.

• Renewed a five-year contract with Frontier Communications for internet service.

• Renewed a contract with the Madison County/London City Health District for a school nurse.

• Signed an agreement with Madison-Champaign Educational Services Center to supply tutors for the district’s non-English speaking students.

Chapman estimated 40 students who do not speak English attend Alder schools. He said that number is growing.

Most are at Monroe Elementary in Plumwood.

Jane Beathard is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.