Indianapolis Public Schools teachers and outgoing Superintendent Lewis Ferebee will receive retroactive raises for the 2018-19 school year.
IPS teachers will receive an average 5 percent raise from a $5.2 million collective bargaining agreement approved during an IPS school board meeting, Thursday night. Teachers rated either “effective” or “highly effective” will be eligible to receive a minimum salary increase of $2,586.
Raising teacher pay has been a priority for outgoing IPS Superintendent Lewis Ferebee. This is the fourth time teachers have seen an increase since Ferebee became superintendent in 2013.
The raises will be applied retroactively to the 2018-19 school year, meaning eligible employees will receive back-pay.
This newly approved one-year contract will not use funds from November's $220 million referenda passed to improve teacher pay. The district cannot bargain beyond this school year until referenda money is released in spring. Then, it can bargain a new two-year teacher contract.
Indianapolis Education Association bargaining chair and longtime IPS teacher Tina Ahlgren says she hopes the new contracts will keep teachers in the IPS district.
“We all have seen a lot of our colleagues make the tough decision to leave IPS because of the pay gap between IPS and the surrounding districts,” Ahlgren says. “This contract makes an enormous effort to close that gap.”
Now, new teacher hires will start at $42,586, up from $40,000. The raises will also include school social workers, counselors and other IPS employees.
The board also voted to increase Ferebee’s salary by 5 percent -- that bumps his base pay to $225,310 from $214,581. Ferebee’s base pay when he was hired in 2013 was $198,000.
The board also approved a $26,999 performance-based compensation for the previous school year. Ferebee’s contract allows district trustees to approve a potential $35,000 performance-based pay annually for meeting predetermined goals. These pay changes are retroactively applied for his work during 2018.
It’s unclear why Ferebee’s is being awarded 77.14 percent of the maximum amount of performance pay. In past years, the district released Ferebee’s performance goals but declined to publically release the documents this year.
Ferebee will leave Indianapolis to lead Washington, D.C. public schools in January. Ferebee has overseen a broad range of reforms since becoming the IPS leader in 2013. The overall rating of the district increased from F to D on the state’s accountability scale.
The current IPS Deputy Superintendent for Academics Aleesia Johnson will serve as interim superintendent. The IPS school board will determine the hiring process for a future superintendent early next year.