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“Operation Endowment” underway at Aberdeen Christian

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 10:05 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - An ongoing fundraiser at Aberdeen Christian school is looking to keep staff wages competitive with salaries elsewhere in Aberdeen and the rest of the region.

Though public school salaries have begun to slightly increase the past few years, that also means the gap between private school and public school pay has as well.

“The fact is, is that we’re not competitive. Our average teacher salary is $29,000.” said Aberdeen Christian Superintendent Eric Kline.

Kline said currently the school employs 26 staff with 21 teachers. The school and it’s foundation are currently in their “Operation Endowment” fundraiser, aimed to increase that average.

“In order to be able to have a budget that is manageable, and to keep tuition costs down, we’ve got to find a way to say, ‘Teachers, we are so thankful for you.’ Because without faculty, you don’t have a school.” Kline said.

The school building itself is currently undergoing expansion, and leadership is hoping to keep that momentum going for staff as well.

“We’ve been very fortunate in strengthening the school in recent years.” said Aberdeen Christian Foundation President Bill Edwards. “With the leadership of Eric, and with the staff that we’ve assembled, and with the support that’s come from many different directions.”

Kline said the school has put forward $50,000 to match a goal by a set by an individual, reaching $100,000 already. If the school can raise an additional $50,000, the donor will match that as well. Currently the school has raised about $15,000 of that next mark.

Kline said this is just the start to a long term project of increasing teachers salaries, kicking off a goal to make this increase self-sustaining.

“We’re hoping that this endowment project is going to start get enough principal income to be able to generate interest income to be able have seed money for that annual bonus to our team.”

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