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▶️ DPS Committed to Finding Common Ground with Teachers’ Union

Dec. 13, 2018
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Denver – In negotiations between the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) and Denver Public Schools (DPS) that took place on Dec. 12, the district presented a proposal to add millions of new dollars to base pay and move millions of dollars from bonuses to base pay.

To learn more, watch a video message from Dr. Cabrera, review this one-pager (available in English and Spanish) featuring highlights of bargaining progress and read Dr. Cabrera’s letter to teachers on Dec. 13.

The district’s latest proposal to DCTA:

  • Adds $11 million to educator pay on top of the $45 million that DPS committed last year toward increasing teacher compensation.
  • Invests more money in predictable annual salaries and less in one-time bonuses.
  • Commits incentives for educators serving in our highest-poverty schools and our hardest-to-fill jobs, such as teaching secondary math or in Spanish-language classrooms. About 75% of teachers would earn one of these bonuses.

DPS is also offering better support for every stage of an educator’s career. For early-career teachers, DPS proposes increases a new teacher’s starting salary to $45,000, which is higher than Cherry Creek, Aurora, Jefferson County, Adams Five-Star and Littleton. Additionally, DPS will grow the tuition reimbursement and/or loan forgiveness by 25%, so that educators are eligible for up to $1,000 per year, for a maximum of $5,000.

For mid-career teachers, DPS will promote retention by providing a large salary bump after an educator has provided 15 years of service in DPS classrooms. DPS is also committed to adding more options to increase annual pay so educators can build their base salaries without costly advanced degrees.

For teachers who are late in their careers, the district will remove salary caps, which are common in other school districts. That way, DPS educators can receive continuous growth in pay over 30 years. For example, a DPS teacher with a bachelor’s degree and 20 years of experience in DPS schools would earn a salary of $71,750. In Boulder, that teacher would earn $49,665 because the system requires teachers to start working toward an advanced degree in order to grow their compensation.

Denver Public Schools is also committed to retention. Teacher retention in DPS has increased over the past three years to 86%. For teachers of color and top-performing teachers, retention was even greater. Eighty-seven percent of teachers of color and 91% of top-performing teachers returned to DPS this year. Retaining teachers means thriving schools and better outcomes for our kids, and DPS is committed to prioritizing keeping great educators in every classroom. Fair compensation is an important component of retention and we are hopeful that the DPS proposals will push these retention numbers even higher.

“We are working hard together to have some constructive dialogue and I’m pleased that we are making forward progress,” said Interim Superintendent Dr. Ron Cabrera. “Our end game is to provide a really substantial compensation package for our teachers.”

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