The six-figure salary of Tucumcari Schools Superintendent Aaron McKinney inched up a little higher Monday night.
The majority of Tucumcari School Board members approved a $4,000 increase, raising McKinney's salary to $104,000 and extending his contract through the 2009-2010 school year.
School board members have said in the past they wanted to increase McKinney's salary and they wanted him to oversee the new construction and renovation of the high school since he has been responsible for securing much of the project's funding.
School board member Doug Powers abstained from the vote and board member Marty Garcia voted no. Voting in favor of McKinney's raise were A.J. Mitchell, Carlos Romero and Joe Barnett.
Powers said he would have liked to have seen a proposed contract in advance information that board members routinely receive prior to each meeting.
The item came up for a vote following a discussion in a closed executive session.
In other matters before the board:
l A proposed $9.4 million budget for the 2008-2009 school year to be submitted to the state's Public Education Department was approved. Following approval by the PED, the final budget will be up for approval in May by the board.
l Tucumcari Middle School teacher Patricia Bell asked the board not to cut any staff members for the upcoming school year at the middle school citing low test scores in reading and other subjects.
“Currently, an overwhelming majority of our students are not reading at grade level. Intervention is crucial,” Bell said.
Staff at the middle school was reduced this school year by three and a half members compared to 2006-2007 school year and it could possibly be reduced by another one and a half staff members for the 2008-2009 school year, Bell said.
“Reducing staff would only hinder and certainly not be conducive to progress,” Bell said. “The bar for meeting AYP is being raised every year. To be effective educators, we need to have resources and more importantly, support of our administrators, school boards, parents and the community. Teachers should not be only ones who are held accountable.”
The board did not discuss or take any action on Bell's comments to stave off any staff cuts.
• Students from several groups, including the FFA, DECA, Science Club, wrestling team and FCCLA, were recognized with awards for their achievements in the groups and accomplishments at state competitions.
• A bid proposal to demolish the Granger School on Hines between South Third and South Fourth streets was approved.
• A resolution seeking greater funding for education from the state Legislature was approved.