DPS has offered teachers an average 10% raise in base pay starting next year. Gov. Polis’ Office of State Planning and Budgeting analyzed the teachers’ union proposal and, on Jan. 29, shared their estimate that the DCTA proposal would require an additional $11.3 million in funding.
However, the difference between the district and union proposals is actually more than that because of how the proposals are structured.
DPS’ proposal includes $2,500 annual incentives for teachers serving in high-poverty or Title 1 schools and another $2,500 annual incentive for those working in 30 schools identified jointly by DPS and the union as the district’s highest-priority schools. Providing additional resources to support higher-poverty schools is aligned to our values and a key strategy for improving outcomes for students.
The union’s proposal drops those amounts to $1,750 annual incentives for high-poverty schools, and eliminates the highest-priority schools altogether. This means that teachers in the 30 highest priority schools would lose their $2,500 incentive so that all teachers, regardless of the poverty level in their school, could receive about $450 more in base pay. As we are committed to maintaining these poverty incentives, we are $17.8 million apart from the union’s proposal.
Altogether, DPS would spend $450 million per year on teacher compensation or just over 50% of the total district-managed operating budget, under its proposal.
About that 1% ….
The vast majority of DPS’ budget is spent on compensation for 15,500 employees, operating costs for 160 district-run schools, facility maintenance, student transportation and expenses required by federal or state law, such as serving students with special needs and students learning English.
This leaves just under $150 million for central office expenses; of this, DPS has proposed cutting $10.5 million to put more money into teacher pay. In addition, DPS will be making further cuts to central office expenses to support raises for other employees, including hourly school support staff such as classroom assistants, and to better fund key priorities such as serving kids with special needs.
DPS does not want to shrink school budgets to put more money into teacher pay.