Denver Public Schools Committed to Reaching Agreement on a Long-Term Strategy for Higher Teacher Compensation

Feb. 4, 2019
 

Denver – Denver Public Schools (DPS) remains committed to launching a competitive new salary schedule for teachers and specialized service providers (SSPs) in the 2019-20 school year.

Today the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) released a letter regarding the negotiations between DPS and the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA). DPS appreciates the state’s work and looks forward to meeting with Governor Polis. DPS agrees that it is in the best interest of our teachers, our students, and our community to get to an agreement before a strike.

“DPS welcomes the opportunity to engage in the difficult and thoughtful conversations that are needed to overhaul our teacher compensation system,” said Superintendent Susana Cordova. “We are open to a substantive discussion between the parties in an authentic and productive manner that moves us closer to agreement rather than closer to a strike.”

In its newest proposal to teachers shared on January 31, DPS offered a competitive salary schedule that uses targeted incentives to attract and retain teachers in the district’s highest-poverty schools that serve some of the district’s most vulnerable students.  DPS remains willing to work on the terms of the new system and believes that an agreement can be reached that maintains our commitment to higher salaries for all teachers along with additional investments for the teachers working in our highest poverty schools.

Along with the commitment to higher incentives in high-poverty schools, the DPS proposal provides significant base-pay increases for teachers over a five-year period. The following are real DPS teachers and SSPs and describes what they have earned and will earn based on the district’s Jan. 31 proposal:

  • “Saundra” is an early career educator who started teaching in the 2016-17 school year with a base salary of $40,878. Between 2016-17 and today, she has seen a $5,940, or 14.5% increase in her base salary.  Under the district’s current proposal, in 2021-22, she would be making an estimated $59,031, which is an additional increase of $12,212.  This would be an estimated 44.4% increase over 5 years.
  • “Cedric” is a mid-career educator who will finish his 7th year of teaching this year and has a Master’s degree. In the 2016-17 school year, his base salary was $47,951.  Between 2016-17 and today, he has seen a $9,849, or 20.5% increase.  Under the current district proposal, in the 2021-22 school year, he would be making an estimated $66,206, an additional increase of $8,407. This would be an estimated 38.1% increase over 5 years.
  • “Allison” is a late career educator who will finish her 20th year of teaching this year and has a Master’s degree. In the 2016-17 school year, her base salary was $62,319.  Since 2016-17, she has seen a $3,940, or 6.3% increase.  Under the current district proposal, and assuming she earns 30 additional credits by 2021-22, she would be making an estimated $93,362 — an additional increase of $27,103.  This would be an estimated 49.8% increase over 5 years.
  • “Julia” is a nurse in her 14th year and has a Master’s degree and advanced license. In the 2016-17 school year, her base salary was $62,221. Since 2016-17, she has seen a $6,504, or 10.5% increase.  Under the district’s current proposal, in 2021-22, she would be making an estimated $87,474 — an additional increase of $18,749. This would be an estimated 40.6% increase over 5 years.
  • “Keisha” is a psychologist in her 9th year and has an Education Specialist degree and advanced license. In the 2016-17 school year, her base salary was $51,460.  Since starting she has seen a $5,365, or 10.4% increase.  Under the district’s current proposal, in 2021-22, she would be making an estimated $82,350 — an additional increase of $25,526. This would be an estimated 60% increase over 5 years.

See here for the detailed breakdown on how these actual teachers and specialized service providers would benefit from the district’s latest proposal.

“I know how important it is to focus on both building competitive base salaries as well as on recruiting and keeping teachers in our high-poverty schools,” said Superintendent Cordova. “We clearly heard from the DCTA that more money for base salaries was a top priority. In response, we’ve offered an average 10% increase in 2019-20 for our teachers and SSPs through an investment of $20.5 million. Our newest proposal adds $3 million new dollars into teacher compensation for 2020-21 and guarantees raises for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years.”

Superintendent Cordova added: “We are committed to a multi-year strategy to increase our investment in teacher compensation. In addition to the strong investments we are making through significant cuts to our central administration, we want to work with DCTA and our teachers to address years of state underfunding so that we can put even more into compensation and supports.”

To see the district’s latest proposal, please visit greatteachers.dpsk12.org.