Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Thompson teachers to receive pay raise

April 26, 2019 | Education

By Dan Karpiel

The Surveyor

Once it is formally agreed upon by both sides next week, educators in the Thompson School District (TSD) will be receiving a nice pay raise for the next school year.

Teachers who belong to the Thompson Education Association (TEA), the local arm of the Colorado Education Association (CEA), came to the handshake agreement this week that will boost teacher pay by 7.5-percent. The TEA will cast their formal vote prior to the regularly-scheduled meeting of the TSD Board of Education on Wednesday, May, 1, where the Board is also expected to pass along their formal approval.

The raise, which will help bring TSD pay scales more closely in-line with those of the surrounding Poudre, St. Vrain and Windsor school districts, and was a central part of the Mill Levy Override (MLO) approved by voters in November. The Board is not wasting time putting the newly-generated funds to the uses they promised the voters.  

For the $13.8 MLO, the proposal is to use the funds for four distinct purposes: to maintain the current class sizes and teacher-student ratio, increasing the compensation for faculty and staff to attract and retain high-quality employees, update textbooks, curriculum, materials and technology resources and instructional programs and increasing and upgrading student security in school buildings which includes expanding the student resource officer program. The 7.5-percent raise will come directly from the funds generated by the MLO, as was promised to voters.

It was also announced that an agreement was reached to hire an additional 20 teachers district-wide who will be focused on the “emotional and social health” of students, but the funds to cover the salaries and benefits associated with those positions will not be covered by the MLO money but rather from the TSD’s general fund.

The ability to attract and retain quality educators by providing compensation levels that are close to those of surrounding districts in Northern Colorado was a primary argument that supporters of Ballot Issue 5A put forth and the pay raise will account for a sizable percentage of those funds expected to be generated by the measure’s passage.

In an interview with the Surveyor last summer, TSD Board Member, Dave Levy, outlined how compensation for teachers of the TSD is significantly below that of neighboring districts despite the fact that cost of living for teachers living in the area – from Fort Collins to Longmont – is the same. Levy explained that more than 40-percent of teachers in the TSD have four or fewer years of classroom instruction experience and, that after teachers reach a certain level of seniority, many depart to TSD for better-paying jobs in nearby school districts.

The TSD Board will make a formal decision on the agreed-upon proposal at their next regularly scheduled meeting on May, 1 at 6 p.m. in Loveland.

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