LAPS pay raises may not happen

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Education > Proposed increases were to be retroactive

By Tris DeRoma

It now seems unlikely certain employees that work for the Los Alamos Public Schools will be getting that 1.5 percent pay raise after all, at least not this school year.
In February, the Los Alamos School Board approved a 1.5-percent increase for all school employees that weren’t teachers.
The raise was to be retroactive to the beginning of the school year.
The district would have spent $60,696 this year, relying on salary savings. Next year, the district planned to spend $121,000 in raises and would have paid for it through the money the district saved through upcoming retirements.
Assistant Superintendent of Schools Gerry Washburn made the announcement at a recent board meeting.
While the school board approved the raise, it was up to the New Mexico Public Education Department to approve the raises in accordance to state law.
However, according to Washburn, the idea was shot down by the New Mexico Attorney General’s office over the retroactive aspect of the increase.
“They consider it a gift of public funds, so we can’t do that,” Washburn said at the meeting.
A statement from the State Attorney General’s office to the administration further clarified the reasoning.

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