EACSD Board of Directors holds public hearings on proposed levy and budget, discusses moving forward in the absence of Superintendent

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

The Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) Board of Directors conducted business as usual at its business meeting in March, but after the district’s business meetings were concluded, the board informally discussed the plans moving forward as EACSD Superintendent Dr. Sarah Murray continues to recover from her recent accident. Superintendent Murray sustained severe injuries in a fall at home Friday, March 15. She remains hospitalized in La Crosse, WI but eventually will be moved to Chicago, IL for further rehabilitation, according to recent updates.

During this time, New Albin Elementary School Principal Donna Thomas will be in charge of overseeing the district, with assistance from Chad Winters, high school dean of students. The board will reach out to previous superintendent Dr. Dale Crozier to ask for assistance with upcoming financial deadlines and State reports. A Caring Bridge site has been set up for information about Superintendent Murray’s condition at www.caringbridge.org.

Earlier in March, two special open meetings were held March 6 regarding negotiations  between the Eastern Allamakee Community District and the Eastern Allamakee Education Association (EAEA). Present for the board were Bobbie Goetzinger, Arla Wagner, Tony Becker, Joe Manning, and Dr. Sarah Murray. Present for the Association were Donna Thomas and Allison Fitzwater. Superintendent Secretary Kris Darling was also present. Members were present for both meetings.

The EAEA’s initial proposal requested a 4.2% salary increase, additional compensation of $800 added per level of education up to $3,600, a clarification of extra duty pay to only include those activities still in practice, and a change requesting that all leave be called paid time off. Additional requests included making the  grievance form electronic, and changing the duration of the plan to five years to accommodate long term plans of the district.

In the second special meeting, Dr. Sarah Murray presented the District’s counter proposal for the 2024-2025 school year. The district offered an $850 increase to current salaries. The district is offering a 2% increase for 2025-2026 with a two-year contract.

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