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Teachers pay increases

by Annette Beard | May 17, 2023 at 3:00 a.m.

Teachers at Pea Ridge schools will receive at least a $2,000 raise as School Board members approved the recommendation of superintendent Keith Martin.

The minimum teacher salary for a bachelor's degree with no experience will be increased to $50,000 with staggered step increases ranging from $200 to $550.

"All this started with the LEARNS Act," Martin said, explaining that every teacher is guaranteed a $2,000 raise and the principals will receive a $2,500 raise.

"It's a very good thing that the minimum teacher salary in Arkansas will be $50,000."

"This is the funding we received from LEARNS -- $751,592 to help implement LEARNS," he said.

He explained that to bring the beginning teachers to the minimum salary of $50,000, it requires a $7,700 raise. The school district could not afford to give a $7,700 raise across the board and the administrators worked on increasing the pay as best possible. Administrators, licensed and classified staff met in six or seven meetings, Martin said, going over the funding breakdown.

Saying that not all increases are the same, he said, "This is a hard one for me. I have to realize this isn't perfect."

"We need to value our teachers with experience," Martin said.

Along with the raises, number of days per contract were changed for administrators allowing principals to take time off during athletic dead weeks and take off Fridays during the summer.

Other beginning salaries (with no experience) are $51,500 for master's degree; $58,735 for specialist's degree; and $53,000 for a therapist.

"Mrs. Brunell has worked so hard on this," Martin said, praising district treasurer Nathalie Brunell. He said it is very difficult for him to see that raises are not equal across the board, but they have worked hard to provide increases on stipends and step increases.

Principals' salaries are increased by $2,500 and number of days on their contract are decreased from 240 to 220. Assistant principals' salaries are increased by $2,500 and their contract days are decreased from 225 to 215. The athletic salary is increased by $2,500 and number of days of contract remain at 240. The assistant superintendents' salaries as well as those of the SPED LEA, 504/dyslexia supervisor, curriculum supervisor district treasurer and technology director were increased by $3,500 and days remain at either 240 or 225 based on position.

The number of steps for assistant superintendent were increased to 15.

There were changes in stipends and in the classified salary schedule as well. Martin said a 3% raise was included across the board and that the district did not receive direct funding for that.

"We want to make sure we're valuing our employees," Martin said.

A new nurse salary schedule was created to reflect degrees and current rates.

"We looked at other districts to see what the going rates are to be sure we're competitive," Martin said.

Print Headline: Teachers pay increases


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