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Education

State panel close to finishing up plan to boost teacher pay

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Delaware Public Media
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A state committee is on the verge of offering plans for a new teacher salary system.

The group has been working since July to boost starting salaries and establish “teacher leader” positions, which gives educators ways to make more money and have more responsibility without moving into management roles.

Delaware State Education Association president Frederika Jenner notes that the group has made progress over the past few months.

“The plan is getting educators closer to where they may end up being comfortable with this," said Jenner. "This is a huge lift for folks, and I don’t mean the folks at the table. I mean the folks out in the schools.”

The union has won significant concessions, including boosting pay for teachers getting national certifications – something the administration was opposed to - and on other issues involving teacher credentials.

“When we first sat down at this table, there was no recognition of masters degree work. There was no recognition of the value of some of these other things, so we’ve moved there, but we’ve also moved to make this secondary system more fair, more equitable.”

Unresolved issues left to decide are how teachers in the current system can opt in and requirements for educators to become “senior teacher leaders”.

The draft proposal is expected over the coming weeks and then will be dissected by two other groups that will include classroom teachers.

Gov. Markell originally gave the group a deadline last November and extended the reporting period to the end of January.

Even if a final recommendation come from the group before state lawmakers gavel out at the end of June, the new system won’t affect the fiscal year 2016 budget.

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