The Decorah School Board is proposing a 3.25 percent salary/benefits package for Decorah teachers.

The total cost of the increase would be $281,809. The Decorah School Board made its initial offer during a special meeting Friday afternoon. The base salary for teachers would increase $215 to $30,910 under the Board's proposal.

The Decorah Education Association (DEA) previously requested a 5.25 percent increase in the salary/benefits package for teachers.

The DEA proposal includes an $895 increase in teachers' base pay, and the package increase includes non-salary increases in health insurance costs and the Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System. The total cost of the DEA's proposal is $455,687.

According to Superintendent Mike Haluska, the Board's opening salary offer was "intentionally low" because school officials have no knowledge of what the state Legislature will set for allowable growth for schools.

"There is a substantial difference in 0, 2 percent or 4 percent allowable growth - all of which have been discussed at one time or another in this current session," Haluska said.