October 28, 2021

IPS teachers are getting a 3% pay raise this year

The new collective bargaining agreement covers around 2,000 certified staff in the Indianapolis Public Schools district. - (WFYI)

The new collective bargaining agreement covers around 2,000 certified staff in the Indianapolis Public Schools district.

(WFYI)

The Indianapolis Public Schools Board of Commissioners approved a raise for teachers Thursday evening. The new two-year collective bargaining agreement includes a roughly 3 percent increase in pay for the current year and a 3 percent increase next academic year.

Increasing teacher compensation has been a focus of district leaders since voters approved a property tax referendum in 2018. Educators received their largest pay increases in years following the ballot initiative as part of the previous collective bargaining agreement.

The new teacher contract aims to make IPS a competitive district in the ongoing race to attract new teachers across Indiana. Superintendent Aleesia Johnson said she believes IPS will have one of the top three teacher salaries out of other school districts in Indianapolis.

The new contract covers around 2,000 certified staff. Educators who work at the district's innovation schools, which are managed by outside partners or charter operators, are not covered under the contract. About 41 percent of the district's 31,800 students are enrolled at an innovation partner school.

Salaries for first-year IPS teachers will now increase from $47,800 to $49,100. In their second year, the salary will increase to $50,400.

That is far above the average starting salary for teachers in Indiana of $36,498, according to a report released by Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Teacher Compensation Commission last year.

The maximum a teacher can make will increase from $90,000 to $91,300, not including contributions to teacher’s retirement funds.

The salary range for full-time classroom teachers during the 2022-2023 school year will be $50,400 to $92,600, not including retirement contributions.

IPS Board of Commissioners President Evan Hawkins said he’s grateful the district will continue to sustain educator’s raises.

“We recognize the importance of being incredibly competitive in the marketplace," Hawkins said. "We want to attract educators, we want to retain educators—absolutely high quality educators—so we’re very intentional and we’re grateful for the support of our community.”

These raises also come as the district continues to reevaluate its budget after announcing it could potentially go into the red by 2028. But Johnson said the educator salary increases shouldn’t negatively impact the budget.

“There are still operational structures we need to consider and continue to maximize to become more efficient so we can push more dollars to classrooms and to teachers,” Johnson said. “But when we think about the funding that we got from the state in this last budget session, it was right about that 3three percent mark. So essentially, one way you could think about this is we are passing that increase directly into the hands of our teachers.”

Teachers will also receive an increase in their wellness credit, enhancements to dental and vision coverage, a new health insurance plan administrator and increased retirement match.

Previously, commissioners also unanimously approved a 2 percent step increase for non-teacher staff, which includes custodians, mechanical maintenance workers and food service employees.

The salary increase is retroactive to this past July. The 2022-2023 pay scales goes into effect in July 2022.

Contact WFYI education reporter Elizabeth Gabriel at egabriel@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @_elizabethgabs.

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