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DPS proposal would invest millions more in teacher base pay

Posted at 1:15 PM, Dec 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-05 15:15:43-05

DENVER — Denver Public School members shared a proposal Tuesday that would invest millions more in base pay for teachers and specialized service providers.

DPS and Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) continued negotiations Tuesday on how to simplify and improve the compensation system for those staff members.

In a press release, DPS outlined frequently asked questions about this proposal.

Is DPS investing more in teacher compensation?

Absolutely! Last year, DPS signed an agreement to invest $45.3 million in teacher compensation to guarantee raises for three straight years. Last night, DPS committed to increase that commitment by $11 million.

How will DPS finance this $11 million of new money?

DPS will finance $4 million of the investment through Governor Hickenlooper’s proposed 2019 budget increase in K-12 funding through a reduction in the “budget stabilization factor” or “negative factor.” The remaining $7 million will be funded by budget cuts and efficiencies.

How does DPS propose using this new money?

The $11 million will be spent to increase base pay for teachers and to pay for the transition of teachers to the new salary schedule. This means that all current teachers and SSPs who are currently making a salary below the final salary table that DCTA and DPS agree on will receive compensation increases that ensures their pay matches the new salary table.

How does this proposal improve predictability and transparency?

DPS agrees with teachers’ requests for greater predictability and transparency in their salary. For this reason, DPS has shared with DCTA some examples of what the salary table could look like and have asked for their input in where exactly we invest the additional money. See one example here, but please note that numbers will likely change as negotiations continue.

How is DPS working to invest more in base pay and less in variable bonuses?

In the last month, DPS has proposed moving $3.5 million from bonuses into base pay. This is in addition to the $11 million investment of new money.

How does this proposal value teachers’ ongoing education?

The latest proposal has five lanes for educators to increase their base salary by earning any of the following:

  • Advanced license
  • Masters degree
  • National board certification
  • Four years of Distinguished evaluation ratings (not consecutive)
  • PhD degree

How does this proposal prioritize retention?

The proposal has fewer lanes because DPS would prefer to invest in “steps,” which honor teacher retention. Additionally, DPS does not want teachers to have to invest in additional degrees in order to have a fair salary. Since the implementation of ProComp, employees have been able to increase their salary through getting an advanced degree and DPS is not proposing any changes to that practice.

Discussions will continue at the next meeting, which is scheduled for Dec. 12.