Alma School District Board of Education approved a base salary pay raise for 2016 for all employees during its monthly meeting Tuesday night.

Board members approved a permanent $600 base pay increase for teachers and 1.3 percent increase for classified and other employees.

Alma Superintendent David Woolly recommended the pay raise, which will be applied to employees’ 2016 salary.

“This is the second year that has started without an adjustment to the base salary,” Woolly said. “I’m so glad that now, here in the middle of the year, that we’re able to do that.”

Alma School District has a long history of providing base pay raises to its employees each year, on top of incremental step raises built in to their contracts. But because of the need to reduce spending, the district chose not to increase base salaries the past two years.

Woolly gave credit for the raises to employees who have worked the past two years to cut costs at the district “without cutting education programs for our students.”

A separate check for the additional pay will be given out on the last day of school before Christmas break, Woolly said.

“I’m hopeful that going into the new contracts next summer we can do this again,” Woolly said. “I’m not going to promise you or them that we can do that, but that’s what we’re striving for.”

Woolly also went over the school district’s financial audit from certified public accountants Przybysz and Associates and a letter from the Arkansas Department of Education regarding the district’s standards review.

There were no significant findings in the financial audit, and the letter states that Alma is in compliance with all items reviewed by the ADE.