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LIBERTY — Including increases to the step and base pay scale for the coming year, Liberty Public Schools Chief Budget Officer Cindy Sullivant said fiscal 2020’s budget includes raises for teachers.

“Salary and benefits constitute about 79% of our total operating budget,” Sullivant said. “Every step on the salary schedule had a 2% increase, meaning teachers got a salary increase by taking the next step in addition to the added 2%.”

For the coming school year, Sullivant also estimates a 2.5% increase in property tax revenues.

“Currently, a 2.5 percent increase in operating revenue is included in the 2019-20 operating budget. The tax rate hearing will be held at the August 2019 Board of Education Meeting and necessary changes will be applied to local revenue projections through a budget amendment,” states the district budget summary.

The 2019-20 total budget includes expenditures of $214,624,949 and revenue of $170,858,374.

“The capital budget includes $5,961,896 for lease payments, and $7,278,905 to fund projects and equipment purchases throughout the district. The debt service expenditure budget is $12,199,473. Estimated expenditures for bond projects are $40 million,” states the district budget summary.

Budget documents can be viewed online at go.boarddocs.com/mo/lpsdmo/Board.nsf/vpublic?open by viewing the June meeting agenda and selecting the attached budget.

On the academic side, Sullivant said the budget includes two exciting new programs, Grow Your Own Teachers and an early college program.

Grow Your Own Teachers provides a four-year scholarship to four graduating students of racial minorities to help continue their education in the field of education, ultimately with the commitment to return to LPS for a reserved teaching position after graduating college.

The early college program will give students an opportunity to take college courses for credit through Metropolitan Community College — Maple Woods.

Northwest Editor Sean Roberts can be reached at sean.roberts@mycouriertribune.com

or 389-6606.

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