Pasco County Schools and the United School Employees of Pasco have reached an agreement on how funds from a voter-backed tax increase will be used to raise salaries for non-administrative district employees.
Payment of the salary supplements is expected to begin with the start of the eligible employees’ 2023-2024 work calendars on or after July 1, according to information in the Pasco County School Board’s June 20 agenda packet.
The approved plans outline how to distribute these funds to eligible teachers and school-related personnel (SRPs) for the 2023-2024 school year.
The school district also developed a plan for the distribution of a proportional share of these funds to eligible district employees who are not represented by the union.
For the 2023-2024 school year, approximately $53,470,000 of referendum revenue will be generated based on a 1 mil levy of the projected 2023 Pasco County tax roll, according to district calculations, according to the agenda packet materials.
Assuming a maximum collection rate of 96%, establishing 5% reserve for fund balance and providing eligible charter schools with their proportional share of funds, the district estimates that $43,880,000 will be available to provide non-recurring salary supplements, including mandatory employer deductions for the district’s non-administrative employees.
By providing a proportional share of funds to each of the eligible employee groups, an estimated $28,860,000 will be provided for instructional employees, $10,410,000 for SRP employees, $3,730,000 for non-instructional, non-bargaining employees and $880,000 for professional-technical employees, the background materials say.
On another salary-related matter, the board and the union are expected to soon begin the traditional annual negotiations process for the 2023-2024 school year.
In other action, the board discussed two new tools the district intends to use to help improve communications with parents and bus safety.
The first tool — called “Where’s the bus?” — is an app allowing parents to see where their student’s bus is located. The board also expects to eventually have cards students can use to check onto and off of the bus.
“We know with our driver shortage we do have a lot of late buses in our system. We’ve worked hard on making sure that we’re connecting our routing system with our communication. This would then ramp that up and provide additional communication,” said Betsy Kuhn, assistant superintendent for support services.
The district also wants to improve its use of data to make its bus routing more efficient. By having daily counts, the district will have better information to use when making routing decisions, Kuhn said.
The district also plans to install a more sophisticated video system on its buses, which also will have additional features, Kuhn said. The system will provide reliable video and additional capabilities that are intended to enhance the district’s safety efforts.
Published on June 28, 2023.