The Brookfield Board of Education met June 19 to approve the 2018-2019 proposed budget.

The board also discussed a recent tech camp for teachers and staff, the acquisition of an SUV for school use and early out schedule for the coming school year.

The Brookfield Board of Education unanimously approved the 2018-2019 proposed budget June 19. The proposed budget includes an increased base salary for new teachers and staff, purchases of new technology for the school district and the acquisition of an SUV for school use.

As previously reported, the new base salary for teachers and staff will increase to $29,000. According to Brookfield School District Superintendent Dr. Kyle Collins, this is a step in the right direction to be more competitive with other area schools.

Collins says he wants to give more to teachers and staff.

“One of the things we’ve been wanting to do is put more money into salaries,” Collins said.

The district recently made purchases for new chromebooks and technology carts. Now the budget is passed the district will also be purchasing 81 iPads for school use. The chromebooks are on a four-year lease for $34,315 each year. After 2022, the district will be allowed to purchase the leased chromebooks for $1 a-piece. The district is leasing 528 chromebooks. The district also made a one-time payment for technology carts. The total for the technology carts, iPads and the first year lease for the chromebooks is a little more than $50,000.

Collins says the technology will provide greater learning district-wide.

“This is part of a process to make the district more tech accessible,” Collins said. “Students typically do most of their research on computers.”

A remodel is planned for school libraries this summer to make them more tech accessible. According to Collins, they will not be getting rid of any books, but will make them more tech-friendly.

The district is in talks with local dealerships in the acquisition of an SUV for school use. The SUV will be available for small clubs, classes and sports teams. The move to buy the SUV is part of a plan to save the district money overtime.

If smaller school organizations, or classes, want to take a trip, they must reserve a bus and bus driver, which can get pricey for trips. The SUV won’t require a bus driver and will cost less to re-fuel. Teachers and staff planning to use the SUV will need to get a new endorsement on their driver’s license. Collins hopes to have the SUV ready by Aug. 1. The proposed budget for the SUV is $50,000.

Due to the amount of spending on technology, new teacher and staff salaries and the SUV, the estimated surplus will be less than last year’s. The estimated surplus from this past school year, is a little more than $500,000, the estimated surplus at the end of 2019 will be about $189,000.

According to Collins, the June tech camp and professional development camp went over well. About 70 teachers and staff were present at the camp to learn about new technology, metal health and bullying prevention. The mental health seminar was given by North Central Missouri Health Center.

Fellow teachers were available to give many of the seminars. Collins says this is a good way for the other teachers and staff to learn.

“It really helps teachers to see how other teachers are using the technology,” Collins said. “We wanted to get our teachers ready for the additional technology.”

As previously reported, the tech camp and professional development camp were made available to teachers by Title II funds. The money was given to the school district from the federal government to keep teachers and staff progressing. Teachers and staff received $175 each day for attending.

In other business, an early out schedule was approved during the June board meeting. The schedule outlines Fridays throughout the school year for early release days.