It's official – Fort Wayne Community Schools is investing almost $21 million to give most employees 4% raises this year and next.
Of that, $13.8 million will go to teachers – $6.8 million in year one and $7 million in year two –while $3.4 million will go toward non-teaching staff each year, Kathy Friend told the board Monday. She is the district's chief financial officer.
Board members – who discussed the teachers contract in September – again thanked lawmakers for approving a state budget that allows the almost 30,000-student district to increase salaries and wages.
"I think that that's an important point to make, that we couldn't do it without them," member Jennifer Matthias said. "Hopefully, we'll continue to see those increases."
Maria Norman, board vice president, agreed.
"It's very well deserved," she said, referencing the challenges and extra work the pandemic created. "It has been pivoting and then pivoting again and then doing a 360, turning on your head, hopping around backwards, dancing a jig."
With one member absent, the board unanimously passed the teachers' collective bargaining agreement. Similarly, the Fort Wayne Education Association ratified the contract Sept. 24 with approval of all teachers who voted.
"I don't know when I've ever seen a 100% vote, but it happened," Superintendent Mark Daniel said. "I think that tells you how much we're trying to collaborate and work together."