Small Schools, Big Benefits

1 decade 5 months 4 weeks ago Thursday, June 14 2007 Jun 14, 2007 Thursday, June 14, 2007 9:26:47 AM CDT June 14, 2007 in News
loading

Becky Ross has been teaching first grade at New Bloomfield Elementary in Callaway County for nine years.

"The small school setting makes it a little more family like. I've gotten to know a lot of students and a lot of families," Ross said.

Though her heart is in New Bloomfield, her home is in Columbia. Ross's daughter starts kindergarten in the fall, and Ross has made the decision to transfer to Columbia Public Schools too. A 30-minute commute no longer makes sense. One thing that will make the transition easier is Columbia's pay rate, a starting base salary of $33,000. In New Bloomfield that base pay is $7,000 less.

"We don't have as many resources as larger districts, but that doesn't stop us," said Ross.

It's not just salaries in rural schools that might scare away some teachers like MU education major Travis Rice.

"People want to go to a school that has a lot of resources available, that has money available for their own classroom," Rice said. "Because as teachers were not paid the high salary, and to spend money on your own classroom gets very costly."

Rice taught in Harlem as part of Teach for America, a group that puts teachers in struggling urban environments. Rice thinks education already lacks funding, and rural schools are usually the last to get resources. That's somewhat true in New Bloomfield where the district provides the basics like textbooks, but Ross has spent her own money on extras. Over the past nine years, Ross says she's paid for more than 500 additional books for kids to read in the classroom, which adds up to a lot of money, even when shopping for bargains.

"A lot of us have scavenged at garage sales or scholastic book sales and we have to put that together ourselves," Ross said. "We borrow from other co-teachers. We share a lot of resources to get the things we need to teach."

That's part of the family atmosphere that Ross has always loved about New Bloomfield, where teachers are resourceful. Josh Lancaster teaches history at Hallsville High School. He also enjoys the benefits of a smaller district.

"I don't have any family around here, and they brought me in and really made me feel like I belong, like I've got a home, a place where I've got family," Lancaster said.

Hallsville works to stay competitive in other ways. Superintendent Tom Baugh said next year his district is sweetening its base pay for starting teachers.

"Recognizing that we have limited revenues, smaller budgets, we still know we need to be competitive with surrounding schools," Baugh said. "We have a wonderful insurance program, board paid health insurance and dental program."

Yet Baugh says that the family feel and the smaller class sizes make smaller school districts an attractive opportunity for teachers. The district superintendent says the average class size in Hallsville less than 18 students. In Columbia, the average class size is 20.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA -It's a topic that many people shy away from, but one man came to Columbia to talk about suicide.... More >>
36 minutes ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 8:25:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Terron Wings says he considers himself blessed he can now call himself an “American taxpayer.” Wings, 37,... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:27:27 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education will vote on a $30 million bond issue Monday night at its meeting.... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:01:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – High winds and dry conditions warranted additional safety precautions for fire safety Monday in central Missouri. The... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 6:04:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
RENICK – The Beamer family was on the porch of their Randolph County home at the beginning of the storm... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 5:21:35 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
ROCHEPORT - Consolidated Water issued a boil order advisory for parts of Howard County Monday due to a water main... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 4:29:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
ORONOGO (AP) — Homeowners living near a gun range in southwest Missouri are concerned about stray bullets that have been... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 3:32:30 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - When someone goes to the doctor for a checkup, they might expect the regular look at their eyes,... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 3:15:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's attorney general is weighing whether to appoint a special investigator to check into use of... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 2:45:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - One MU Nursing School program has reduced the number of nursing home patients from hospitalization by nearly 50... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 2:24:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- The Missouri Attorney General's office is forming an advisory board to develop the first statewide program in Missouri that... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 12:22:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The city plans to begin repairing base failures in the Thornbrook Subdivision beginning Dec. 11 at 8 a.m.... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 11:34:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri state representative has filed more legislation which would redefine "marriage" as a "contract of domestic... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 11:22:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Monday is the final day to donate to Columbia Parks and Recreation’s Almeta Crayton Memorial Toy Drive. ... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 10:58:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says he wants his five new appointees to the state veterans... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 10:50:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - UPDATE: 1:44 P.M. A police officer confirmed white paint footprints are related to Monday's investigation. The police officer... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:34:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Nearly four years ago to the day, local business owner Linda Bonebrake was diagnosed with severe sepsis at... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 6:47:00 PM CST December 10, 2017 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Bird lovers got an up close look at birds typically seen in their backyards Sunday. It... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 5:36:00 PM CST December 10, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 45°
10pm 41°
11pm 37°
12am 34°
1am 33°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
Better Late Than Never
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld
10:00p
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
Better Late Than Never
7:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
8:00p
Valor
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld