East Valley school districts are hoping the financial picture brightens enough to boost money for teachers and staff next school year.
Most teachers and staff have seen salaries frozen for several years. But their paychecks have shrunk with rising health care and retirement costs.
Many are hoping for a change. One school district — Higley Unified — has already announced it plans to increase salaries for teachers to stay competitive with surrounding districts.
The governor and state Legislature are working toward a budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. But districts are awaiting news so final decisions can be made about salaries and budgets.
“Over the past several years, the district has experienced significant budget cuts. Staff salaries have been frozen in response to the state’s continued fiscal crisis,” said Mesa Unified Superintendent Mike Cowan. “While we do not have a clear picture of the financial landscape for the next school year, the governing board is committed to working toward additional staff compensation if possible.”