BUDGET TALK: Here's what we want to do to improve teacher pay

A major part of the budget we're asking for next school year improves pay for teachers and staff. What needs improving?

While our starting pay of $42,000 is very competitive with cities regionally and districts that are similar to our size nationwide, but the pay for teachers who are five-to-ten years into their career isn't as competitive.

Improving teacher pay is part of a major focus to retain great teachers.

"We want to remove barriers that would encourage people to leave us. It's a great place to put funding to make sure the salary scale meets the needs of teachers," said Katie Cour, executive director of talent strategy for Metro Schools.

This year's budget request calls for $10.25 million for teacher pay raises and $3 million for support staff.

Read more about the proposal by clicking here or reading below:

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Another part of our budget improves how we support new teachers.

Over the summer, we'll have our first New Teacher Academy that will welcome all new teachers to Metro Schools.

Developed and facilitated by teachers, the New Teacher Academy will focus on how strategies that will help teachers be successful on day one, and introduce new teachers to the unique and diverse aspects of our student population, with an emphasis the focus on setting high expectations for all students in our district.

"The purpose is to inspire our new teachers, share resources that are essential for the first week of school and give them opportunities to network and meet other teachers," Cour said.

The other part of the New Teacher Academy delves into how Metro Schools defines great teaching and best practices for planning, communications and managing student behaviors. Cour says teacher support is critical for new teachers.

"You're nervous already just being a new teacher. You don't know how to navigate the systems and the culture and you need the tools and network to do well," Cour said.

Part of supporting new teachers is giving them mentors, which is part of the district's budget request.

Extra money will allow schools to create more opportunities for teachers to collaborate and take on more leadership roles.

"Dovetailing the support to new teachers is continuing the commitment for leadership opportunities for experienced teachers," Cour said.

The budget includes $1.42 million for teacher leadership pay as part of a strategic way to recognize the role of teachers who take on mentoring, completing special projects, participating in leadership teams and other roles in the district.

"We recognize that most people go into teaching because they want to work directly with students and teach in the classroom. Some teachers want the desire to grow and we want to provide them with reinforcements in areas that can help their career but allow them to stay in the classroom," Cour said.

Read more about our proposal for leadership stipends here or below:

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