The Los Altos School District Board of Trustees last week unanimously approved $1,000 lump-sum payments for teachers and staff, plus a 5% raise for next school year, on top of a previously approved 2% increase.
The additional 5% increase and $1,000 payment come as the district sees good budget conditions and double-digit reserve levels, Associate Superintendent Randy Kenyon said in an interview.
“We could afford it and we wanted to,” he said. “We are concerned about losing teachers, because our staff salary schedule (was) falling behind.”
The 5% raise is an attempt to bring LASD’s salaries up to the median level of elementary school districts in Santa Clara County, Kenyon said.
As the board reviewed and approved the pay increases at a June 21 meeting, trustees expressed their enthusiasm for increasing employee salaries.
“It’s with great pleasure that I will vote ‘yes,’” trustee Vladimir Ivanovic said, to which board president Vaishali Sirkay said she “couldn’t agree more.”
The 5% raise isn’t yet incorporated into the budget for next school year, because the board passed the pay increase after the budget was approved earlier this month. It will be added to the budget during the first interim financial report in the fall, Kenyon said.
Even with the pay increase, the district expects to keep its reserves above 10%, according to Kenyon, in line with the board’s policy of maintaining an 8-10% reserve level. Before the 5% salary increase, the district was budgeting for reserves of 14.61%.
It’s only recently that the district hit the 8-10% target, after years of trying to beef up its reserves.
Read more about the district's budget for the 2021-2022 school year.