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Platteville school board increases staff benefits
Pay up in the air
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Platteville Public Schools teachers and staff will be getting less expensive health insurance and increased dental coverage starting next year.

What is not known yet is how much they’ll be paid.

The Platteville School Board approved changes to the district Employee Handbook — which takes the place of contracts between school districts and teacher or staff unions — Monday night.

The full-time benefits package includes health insurance coverage that decreased 1.2 percent in price, which superintendent Connie Valenza called an “unheard of rate of change.”

The benefits package also includes more dental insurance coverage, increasing the maximum annual benefit from $1,000 to $1,200, increasing orthodontic coverage from $1,500 to $2,000, and adding sealant coverage — all without a premium increase.

The handbook also includes a change in allowable days off. School-year employees can take up to 10 days of sick/emergency days, and 12-month staff can take up to 12 days of sick/emergency days, per year. The change allows staff to take up to four days in personal days, up from two, out of the 10- or 12-day sick/emergency day allotment if approved by their supervisor.

The issue not dealt with Monday night was pay for teachers under the old or new salary structure, non-contracted staff, and co-curricular coaches and advisors. That awaits the results of the 2015–17 state budget deliberations, which so far include one-year categorical aid cuts, and no increases in the revenue cap. The state budget is supposed to be passed by the Legislature by June 30.

Teachers operate under one of two salary schedules — one built on the old model of increases in service time and education level, the other based on what Valenza called a “teacher demonstrating of effectiveness and also demonstrating professional growth.”