Arkadelphia News

Arkadelphia school board formalizes teacher raises

By JOEL PHELPS | The Arkadelphian

In keeping with state-mandated teacher salary raises, the Arkadelphia Board of Education on Tuesday adopted a salary schedule for the 2023-24 school year.

Teachers at Arkadelphia Public Schools will receive at least a $2,000 increase in their salaries beginning next school year. The newly approved Arkansas LEARNS Act requires that all teacher salaries be at least $50,000.

The move abolishes the current minimum teacher salary of $36,000. Teachers making less than $48,000 will get an increase to $50,000, while teachers making more than $48,000 will get an increase of $2,000.

With the exception of the superintendent, administrators will also receive the raise.

The raises are expected to be paid for with state funding; however, there are still many unknown factors determining how state funding will be dispersed to school districts throughout the state.

School board member Kenneth Harris Jr. asked how much the salary increase would cost the district if no state funding comes to the district. Superintendent Nikki Thomas replied that a working draft of the figures puts the district at receiving $933,900 from the state, but after figuring in benefits the total comes to $1 million.

The measure was unanimously approved after a motion from Jeff Root and second from Clark Tennyson.

Another highlight of the meeting included the approval to authorize Thomas to sign easements with the state Department of Transportation on three district-owned properties on Pine Street. The easements — located at the old Central Primary School campus, Peake Elementary School and the former Goza Middle School parking lot — total $18,000 in the school district’s favor.

The board renewed a $64,550 contract with Capturing Kids’ Hearts. Asked by Tennyson if campuses had expressed a desire to continue the service, Thomas reported the program has led to a decline in discipline referrals.

Board members also approved the $24,863 purchase of Edmentum Courseware, an online curriculum software package. The board also agreed to purchase 233 Google Chromebooks for a total cost of $62,910. Federal programs are to fund both purchases.

Finally, the school board renewed its annual contract with Chartwells, the company that provides the district with food services.


After returning from a nearly 50-minute executive session, the school board approved the following recommendations:

Employment: Paige Purifoy, girls athletic assistant, Goza; Beth Hasley, AHS cheer coach.

Resignations: Kedriel Johnson, marketing education teacher, AHS; Sandi Tuttle, kindergarten teacher, Perritt; Hillary Brown, gifted and talented teacher, Peake; Misty Ward, building secretary, AHS.

Transfers: Lori Hanlon, from choir director to assistant band director.

Re-employment: Jason Jones, part-time athletic director, AHS.

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