April 27, 2022

Muncie schools gives ‘largest’ teacher raises five years after being ‘financially distressed’

MCS students pose with Ball State's Charlie Cardinal outside North View Elementary School. - File Photo: Muncie Community Schools on Facebook

MCS students pose with Ball State's Charlie Cardinal outside North View Elementary School.

File Photo: Muncie Community Schools on Facebook

Muncie Community Schools is giving teachers what it calls the largest raise in the district’s history.  The large pay bumps come from a district that was once considered financially distressed by state lawmakers.

Next year, existing teachers will see an increase of between $6,800 and $8,200, depending on teaching experience both in- and out-of-district.  Starting pay for new teachers was also bumped up by several thousand dollars to $48,000 a year.  MCS officials say the district will now become one of the top-paying school districts in the state.

Here’s the pay raise metric from MCS:

  • 1 – 4 years of teaching experience:  $6,800
  • 5 – 10 years of teaching experience:  $7,200
  • 5 – 10 years of teaching experience with 5+ years at MCS:  $7,700
  • 11 – 19 years of teaching experience:  $7,700
  • 11 – 19 years of teaching experience with 5+ years at MCS:  $8,200
  • 20+ years of teaching experience: $6,800
  • 20+ years of teaching experience with 5+ years at MCS:  $7,300

In a release, the district says it will also “automatically bump up any teacher with 20+ years of experience to $60,000 annually if the raise does not push them over that threshold.”

The move comes five years after MCS was branded a “distressed political subdivision” for being millions of dollars in debt and misusing bond money, and was taken over by state emergency managers.

After receiving a state loan that the district will now pay back earlier than planned, it’s been run by neighboring Ball State University in a one-of-a-kind state-approved partnership.

That partnership removed collective bargaining rights from Muncie teachers and exchanged an elected school board for an appointed one.  Its last contract with teachers in 2017 before collective bargaining ended  included no raises, but lowered health insurance premiums.  MCS has given raises during its Ball State partnership.

The General Assembly didn’t give the partnership an end date, and at least one candidate for Muncie’s state representative seat wants to repeal the agreement.

The raises will cost the district $2.4 million.  But, its teacher retention rate has gone up 16 percentage points since 2016, landing at 83 percent last year.

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