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The Journal Gazette

  • FILE: Julie Houser, kneeling, and Barb Boggs, right, lead new teachers in a learning exercise at a regular session of FWCS's New Teacher Academy at Ivy Tech. The program is among school districts' efforts to retain teachers.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 1:00 am

Raises in line for FWCS teachers

At least $1,000, up to $5,000 with contract

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Teachers in Fort Wayne Community Schools will earn at least $1,000 more this year under a two-year contract approved Monday.

For some educators, the increase could be as high as $5,000.

The school board's unanimous vote happened nearly four weeks after the Fort Wayne Education Association, which represents classroom teachers, ratified the agreement.

A tentative agreement was reached Oct. 5.

The contract includes a new salary schedule. The base salary ranges are $39,100 to $60,000 for teachers with a bachelor's degree and $41,650 to $68,050 for those with a master's degree.

Teachers evaluated as “effective” or “highly effective” will have an opportunity to earn raises annually.

“I'm very happy to see an actual salary advancement schedule for teachers,” board President Julie Hollingsworth said.

Knowing their salary's potential growth should be helpful to educators, particularly young teachers who might be facing such life decisions as buying a house, she said.

Rewarding teachers with a bigger paycheck for earning a master's degree is incentive for educators to pursue that degree, Hollingsworth said. She noted it is needed to teach dual-credit courses.

This year is considered a transition year. Teachers will be placed on the salary row closest to and greater than their current salary. They will get a minimum $1,000 increase, but the increase could be as much as $5,000 for those moving from the bachelor's schedule to the master's schedule.

If their initial placement on the salary schedule creates a raise of less than $1,000, teachers will receive the difference as a stipend. For example, a teacher making $41,500 – an amount that falls between rows on the bachelor's salary schedule – would be placed on the row with a $42,400 salary and would get a one-time $100 stipend.

In 2018-19, eligible teachers will advance by one row, an increase of $1,100.

Julie Hyndman, the education association's president, thanked those who worked on the contract. For some, she said, it required “a lot of volunteer time” over the summer.

In other news, the board approved about $800,000 in equipment purchases for renovations at Northrop High School, Lane Middle School and Washington Center Elementary School to be ready for summer construction.

It also approved the appointment of project architects and engineers for a variety of 2018 projects, including masonry restoration at Arlington and Forest Park elementary schools, the kitchen renovation at Blackhawk Middle School and improvements to South Side High School's auxiliary gym.