Teacher pay is a sensitive topic, and quite frankly, it’s often a depressing one. While there’s plenty of research out there that shows the benefits of increasing teacher pay, times are challenging right now. This means many states and districts keep saying no to substantial raises and finding reasons to put them off.
However, there are some districts out there that are giving pay increases and showing that it is possible. Even though many people will claim it’s not enough and more needs to be done, it does show that there are people out there figuring out ways to make it work.
1. Baker School District in Oregon raises pay to $60,000 minimum.
Beginning next school year, all teachers in this district will earn a minimum of $60,000/year, which is up quite a bit from $38,000/year. Teachers in this rural area say this will make a big impact in their lives, helping them to afford things like daycare for their kids. The district was able to make it happen in part by simplifying their pay system overall. Then long-term, they’re hoping legislation in the state will make additional growth possible. Check out the details here.
2. San Antonio ISD in Texas gives the largest raise in 25 years.
It took a lot of time and effort, but this school district is giving most staff raises anywhere from 3% to 9%, starting next year. This amounts to more than $20 million total. This district has had a decline in enrollment for the pass several years, so they plan to pay for this through central office cuts and other downsizing.
3. Los Angeles school district in California makes the average pay for a teacher $106,000.
It’s not yet a done deal, but it’s well on its way with union reps coming to a tentative agreement with the district. Yes, it took a teacher strike to make this happen, but it could mean a big and meaningful bump for many teachers. New salaries are expected to range from $69,000/year to about $122,000/year. Read the story in the Los Angeles Times.
4. Camden school district in New Jersey is giving up to $10,000 bonuses.
Like many districts who are currently going through tough times to attract educators, this one is getting creative for those hard-to-fill positions. They are offering up to $10,000, paid out over a two-year period. The highest areas of need include special education, math, science, and ESL. Here’s a recent story about it.
5. Austin Independent School District improves pay by 7%.
This marks the biggest raise ever for this district, and it comes after years of work from an advocacy group. Not only will faculty see a 7% increase, but many others (like bus drivers, IT staff, and non-instructional staff) will also see a $4/hour raise. You can read more about it here.
There are many other states and districts who have proposals in place. Many are fairly small monetarily, but they are long overdue for educators. Some districts are even getting creative, like one in Holland, Michigan, that’s offering teachers down payments for houses to live in the district.
There’s no doubt there needs to be overhaul when it comes to teacher pay. It might take some time to get there, but it’s good to keep encouraging those who are working on it.