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Education

Teachers' union president weighs in on effort to boost pay for educators

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As a state committee begins trying to morph the pay structure for educators, the head of Delaware’s teachers’ union says there are issues that must be addressed to gain her support.

The Markell Administration has emphasized creation of optional teacher leadership positions. They would include a boost in pay to give educators a way to increase their salary without leaving the classroom to become an administrator.

Frederika Jenner, president of the Delaware State Education Association sits on committee. She says those opportunities should also be extended to those working outside classrooms -- like guidance counselors and librarians.

“There certainly is not going to be a guidance counselor leadership role in every school, but within a district there could be a leadership role for guidance counselors so that everybody, whatever their job assignment, has some kind of access to a leadership role of one kind or another,” said Jenner.

Jenner adds she isn’t opposed to accountability, but notes there are other ways of measuring someone’s ability aside from student test scores.

“It can be qualitative as well as quantitative and I think the district administrators would fully back me on that," said Jenner. "You don’t have to have a number to judge my effectiveness as a teacher.”

Jenner also noted she also doesn’t want any proposal to devalue advanced degrees when calculating total pay.

The committee met for the second time Wednesday, briefly outlining a proposed career path for teachers that could require positive performance evaluations to unlock higher salaries.

Recommendations are due to the General Assembly in November.