06/01/14 — Senate's plan offers teachers two options

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Senate's plan offers teachers two options

By Melinda Harrell
Published in News on June 1, 2014 1:50 AM

The Senate budget recommendations establish two basic teacher pay scales.

* The Professional Status Teacher Schedule is for teachers who voluntarily surrender their tenure status and claims to longevity pay for continuing services.

With the acceptance of this pay scale. they also relinquish any rights they ever had for career status.

It is a 20-step pay scale that reaches its peak after a teacher has served 20 plus years of service.

The raise for these teachers is substantial. A first-year teacher would begin with a monthly salary of $3,300. Beginning teachers in the 2013 pay scale began at $3,080 a month. The maximum pay for a teacher with 20-plus years of experience would be a monthly salary of $5,000. The veteran teachers show a salary increase of more than 10 percent compared to the 2013 pay scale as well.

However, after a teacher has accumulated more than 20 years of experience, his or her salary would stagnate, under this recommendation.

The Senate proposal also reinvigorates the 25 percent, four-year contract initiative, with some changes.

Contracts will be offered to classroom teachers only. The $500 bonus is not guaranteed after the initial year of the contract offer, and the provision establishes eligibility standards for inclusion in the elite 25 percent.

Those included in the top 25 percent will be offered four-year contracts. The remaining 75 percent will be offered one-year contracts.

Tenure for new teachers will remain unattainable.

* Teachers who choose to maintain their tenure will not receive any increase in salary and remain on the 2013 pay scale. They will be classified under the Career Status Salary Schedule.

The nuance of this payment schedule is that teachers opting to maintain their career status will be in the lowest pay scale for six years, compared to five years in the 2013 budget. Through that particular clause, teachers will be one year behind as compared to the 2013 pay scale.