Average teacher pay this year in Denver Public Schools — calculated by dividing the number of teachers by the total dollar investment in teacher pay — is $58,892 for regular classroom teachers and $60,228 for those teaching children with special needs. This salary is for 187 days of work a year.
Here are examples of what the district’s latest proposal would mean in actual pay for our teachers:
- Starting salary for DPS teachers would be $45,500, higher than Cherry Creek, Aurora and Jefferson County, and second only to Boulder Valley schools.
- Increases the average DPS teacher’s base salary by 10% from 2018-19 to 2019-20.
- A DPS teacher with a bachelor’s degree and five years of experience earning one ProComp incentive (based on current data, 72% of DPS teachers would receive at least one incentive) would earn $56,750 — the highest rate for this experience and education level in the metro area.
- At the end of ten years, this same DPS teacher with a bachelor’s degree and earning at least one incentive would earn a total of $558,750 — the highest in the metro area.
See more examples of how the district’s proposal would impact teacher pay.
DPS teachers are paid differently than teachers in other districts and that’s by design. When Denver voters approved ProComp in 2005, they were approving a nationally groundbreaking plan, developed by district and union leaders, to pay teachers more based on factors such as performance and their willingness to serve in more challenging schools or positions. Read the original ballot language, which continues to be binding.
Similarly, Denver voters in 2016 approved an additional $14.5 million investment in our efforts to attract, retain and grow great teachers, particularly our teacher leadership model, which pays our strongest teachers up to $5,000 more annually to coach their peers.
While we are grateful to Denver voters for additional funding for teacher pay, it makes it more difficult to make comparisons across districts. For example, annual calculations by the Colorado Department of Education do not include ProComp funding in DPS, despite the fact that it contributes $33 million to teacher compensation each year and the average DPS teacher earns more than $4,000 each year in ProComp incentives.
Our research consistently shows teacher pay in DPS ranks among the top three in the metro area. DPS and the union signed an agreement last year that will increase DPS teacher pay by 15% over three years, or through 2019-20. And our latest proposal would add another $26.5 million, on top of the $33 million in ProComp funding approved by taxpayers.
See teacher pay schedules from other metro-area districts.