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E. Helena teachers, staff get pay hikes

2011-06-14T00:01:00Z E. Helena teachers, staff get pay hikesBy ALANA LISTOE Independent Record Helena Independent Record
June 14, 2011 12:01 am  • 

EAST HELENA — School employees in East Helena will see a pay increase for the next two years.

School trustees approved a salary increase for all employees at the board meeting Monday night at East Valley Middle School.

Teachers, para-educators and administrators ratified their agreement extending their contracts another two years and receiving a slight pay increase.

“Negotiations went well — everyone worked hard to come to an agreement,” Superintendent of East Helena Schools Ron Whitmoyer said.

Educators, or members of the East Helena Education Association, will receive a 1.5 percent increase or $750, whichever is greater, to their salaries next year and a 0.5 percent or $250, whichever is greater, for the second year.

Administrators, including the superintendent, will receive the same increases.

Para-educators, secretaries and custodians, or members of the East Helena Education Support Association, will receive 32-cent-per-hour pay increase the first year and 25-cent-per-hour increase the second.

Mark Diehl, board member who worked with the collective bargaining committee of EHEA, admitted he was surprised it came together so quickly.

In other district news, 100 percent of third-graders in East Helena scored above proficient on the state’s reading test.

Whitmoyer said he never thought 100 percent proficiency was possible, but admitted he was wrong.

The Montana Comprehensive Assessment System (MontCAS) includes a Criterion-Referenced Test, a

Criterion-Referenced Test-Alternate, and an English Language Proficiency Test every spring to third- through eighth-graders to all Montana students.

The district’s math proficiency rate overall increased less than three percent from 2010 to 2011, 76.5 to 79.3, respectively.

The same third graders that scored perfectly in reading improved their math score from 79 to 86 percent. The state’s math average for the same grade level is 70 percent and 85 perfect in reading.

“This is thanks to a dedicated group of teachers who push themselves to the limits, support behind them from administration, and students working their tails,” Whitmoyer said. “Apparently, anything is possible.”

Whitmoyer said it’s a testament to the ladder of quality teaching through the years.

Students in East Helena also beat the state average in reading and math at every grade level.

“We’d be short-sighted to say it depends on one test,” EVMS Principal Dan Rispens said. “We have to be there to provide emotional support, mentoring contact and build relationships with kids so they’ll work to their greatest potential.”

Rispens was a little disappointed with the improvements at the middle school level, particularly in math.

Rispens said he expects to see more growth in math next year as all the training and supplies are more ingrained in the school day.

Reporter Alana Listoe: 447-4081 or alana.listoe@helenair.com

Copyright 2015 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(9) Comments

  1. thedude12
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    thedude12 - June 14, 2011 4:19 pm
    Shortie-
    So when the economy turns around, and people in the private sector are making 10-20% more per year, or even much more than that, can state workers, teachers, etc., expect the same? No, they can't. They are stuck in the negotiated contracts with already negotiated pay raises...if any pay raises. The insurance salesman who has a big year or the farmer who produces record yield on his crop has the opportunity to double what he/she makes in a year. Funny how no one mentions that when the economy is doing well.
  2. steeline
    Report Abuse
    steeline - June 14, 2011 3:44 pm
    Some get it and some don't. The United States and the States,counties and cities there in are in finacial trouble of some kind. Where do Unions fit in this picture, as a solution to the economy? The big manufacturing companies----, well just go to Wal Mart and look at the lables on everything. That is where your jobs are. Why? Big Government and Big greedy/political Unions. We are now in debt that soon will be equal to the Gross National Product. Every individual American has a $120,000 bill to get us out. Now that 47% of the people don't pay income taxes that means the the rest of us have to double our share to around $250,000 to get America out of debt. What a state of mind huh? We need to get the American dream back, and soon, very soon.
  3. skysthelimit
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    skysthelimit - June 14, 2011 3:02 pm

    Awesome work East Helena teachers, students, and parents! Outstanding!!!

  4. InterestingToSayTheLeast
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    InterestingToSayTheLeast - June 14, 2011 2:52 pm
    Shortie..... so you would pass a pay raise until the economy goes up? Highly doubt that. I completely agree with fantumm. Well said.
  5. fantumm
    Report Abuse
    fantumm - June 14, 2011 1:16 pm
    The problem with people saying "gotta wait for the economy to turn around", blah blah blah, is that a great part of the economy is a state of mind. If everyone thinks it is in the dumps and doesn't spend their dough, then it is in the dumps... All you people sitting on your piles of cash (no matter the size) need to get out and buy something to kick start it. Try to make sure it has MADE IN THE USA!
  6. shortie
    Report Abuse
    shortie - June 14, 2011 10:52 am
    As as tax payer in this day of age with the trust of the unions do we beleive this 100%. Well kids if you did we are happy for you but you teachers have to follow the rest of us Americans, no pay raise till the economy is going up. Stand-up teachers do whats right for ALL. Look at your neighbors, friends that work in the private section, no pay raise for them. No pay raise for social security, all compensations.
  7. InterestingToSayTheLeast
    Report Abuse
    InterestingToSayTheLeast - June 14, 2011 9:38 am
    My son attending East Helena schools and now is entering high school. As judgemental you are about the tests, I suggest you actually check out the schools in East Helena. The teachers and staff are there 100% for the kids and the kids are exellent. Being critical of something you really dont have knowledge about is not a strong suite. I would hope someone wouldnt be as critical of a pay increase for you. Congrats to East Helena Public Schools and thanks for being so wonderful and working so hard to make sucessful kids!
  8. Barest
    Report Abuse
    Barest - June 14, 2011 8:06 am
    Well I guess we know where the Mill Levy money went!
  9. mtbanana
    Report Abuse
    mtbanana - June 14, 2011 7:47 am
    "...100 percent of third-graders in East Helena scored above proficient on the state’s reading test."

    Really? Who are you kidding? There are around 120 students in a grade in East Helena. The mathematical probability of every single one of those students passing the same test is VERY small, unless the standard defined as "proficient" is ridiculously low.

    Even assuming a 90% probability that any individual student will pass the test - which is 5% above the state average pass rate - the chance that ALL of them pass is 0.000322%.

    That's less than a 1 in 300,000 chance. I think a 100% pass rate is suspicious, not laudatory.

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