FWCS Raises, Incentive Stipends Agreed Upon

By Emma Koch - 21Alive

Fort Wayne Community Schools

August 29, 2013 Updated Aug 29, 2013 at 10:26 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- Fort Wayne Community Schools and the Fort Wayne Education Association have agreed on a two-year contract that incorporates new state laws regarding teacher contracts and salary increases, as well as the Teacher Incentive Fund grant the District received from the U.S. Department of Education to improve pay structures and provide greater professional opportunities to teachers.

A tentative agreement was reached Thursday, Aug. 22. Teachers ratified the agreement at a meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 27, and the FWCS Board of School Trustees approved the agreement Wednesday.

The new contract covers only wages and wage-related benefits as stipulated by state law. The law also limits wage increases to teachers evaluated as effective or highly effective. FWCS is still in the process of finalizing teacher evaluations for 2012-13 as state data is not yet available for teachers at all levels.

Under the contract, the base salary for eligible teachers will increase by $1,100 for 2013-14. For the 2013-14 school year, the starting salary for new teachers with a bachelors degrees will be $35,500, and the starting salary for new teachers with a masters degree will be $39,500. In 2014-15, the starting salary increases to $37,000 and $41,000, respectively. All eligible teachers currently below the starting salary will see their salary increase to the new starting pay plus the base increase of $1,100.

In addition, because of the TIF grant, effective and highly effective teachers are also eligible for stipends beyond their base pay as follows:

-2012-13: Effective - $2,000; Highly Effective - $2,500
-2013-14: Effective - $2,100; Highly Effective - $2,600
-2014-15: Effective - $2,300; Highly Effective - $3,000 (subject to grant renewal)

With the TIF grant, the contract also allows the District to provide wage flexibility for hard-to-fill positions. For teachers not rated effective or highly effective, additional professional learning opportunities have been offered and will continue to be offered to those who want to improve.

“We are happy to reach this agreement with our teachers, who day after day provide high quality instruction to our students,” Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said. “While this is a different way of paying teachers, we want to make sure teachers are rewarded for the hard work they do.”




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