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MPS approves teacher pay hike

Raises do not impact administrative, support staff, officials say

By Traci Chapman
Staff Writer

Mustang Board of Education April 11 approved an agreement that granted a $2,488 pay raise for district teachers in the 2019-2020 school year.
The agreement, entered into with the teachers’ union, Mustang Educators Association, provided the pay step for all teachers across Mustang Public Schools District, regardless of education level. It also mandated a 1 percent increase for anyone holding a supplemental contract for coaching, activities, department chairs, counselors and the like. That 1 percent totaled $295 across the board, documents showed.

Administrators and support staff were not included in the pay hike, officials said.

The increase means that now all certified staff – teachers – beginning in the 2019-2020 school year will make at least $40,000 annually, records showed. This year, a new teacher with a bachelor’s degree made $37,512; a starting position for someone holding a master’s degree paid $38.989; and doctor degreed individuals started at just over $40,122.

Certified pay levels increase based on years of service.

The vote came after an executive session lasting more than 90 minutes, after which three of the four attending Board of Education members – board president Chad Schroeder, Todd Lovelace and

Dedra Stafford voted in favor of the agreement. Stacy Oldham was absent.

Vice president – and most senior BOE member – Jeff Landrith abstained from the vote, citing the short time given the board to review the matter and recent questions posed in connection with bond issue project cuts presented for consideration during recent meetings.

“I’m going to have to abstain from this,” Landrith said. “I don’t feel like we were given an appropriate amount of time to go over this and in combination with some of the bond issues we’re looking at on our bond side – I think it’s a great idea, I think it’s something the teachers deserve.

“I just wish the board would have had more time to review this and discuss it before kind of rushing to get it out before we start the hiring process,” he said. “I’m totally in support of giving the teachers a raise but I’m also in support of ensuring that we have adequate parking and adequate facilities that the voters approved.”

The vote came the same day as an MPS job fair scheduled later that day. Typically, teacher pay negotiations take place during summer break, with union members voting on a proposed contract in August. School officials said they believed moving the process forward would help in hiring for the next school year.

“The board has made it a priority to position the district to attract and retain highly qualified teachers,” Mustang Superintendent Charles Bradley said in a prepared release. “The new negotiated agreement will provide a well-deserved boost to our current teaching staff and make it easier to fill vacancies.

“The Board and the administration team have been working toward making our teacher salary schedule competitive among peer groups – for several years, Mustang Schools has been in a position where funds have been devoted to keeping up with growth by hiring staff for new schools,” the superintendent said. “We have reached a point where we can look at salaries and make needed adjustments.”

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