Marquette Area Public School Board approves new staff incentives, hears parent concerns

It was approved in a 3 to 1 vote with Board Member James Hewitt abstaining.
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 9:00 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Marquette Area Public School (MAPS) Board approved new staff incentives and heard parents’ concerns Monday evening.

New staff incentives include: A $500 signing bonus, free lunch and breakfast for all staff, an extra paid sick day and the ability for paid training outside of normal working hours.

It was approved in a 4-0 vote with board member James Hewitt abstaining.

“I think all of our staff are valued and I there is a variety of things we are doing not just for us staff but also are students particularly those with disabilities to offer additional support,” MAPS Superintendent Zack Sedgwick said.

At the meeting, some parents expressed concerns over what they call a lack of training and pay for paraprofessional aids working with students with special needs.

The group raised a pay discrepancy between Marquette County schools with Gwinn Area Schools, paying their paraprofessionals $13.33 an hour and MAPS paying them $11.50 an hour.

“In this day and age $11.50 is not a livable wage. We really have to elevate that to $15 and figure out how to do that immediately,” concerned parent Shilpa Jhobalia said.

Parents and the school board say they hope to continue the dialogue and find a solution to address these concerns.