“The challenge we are having is recruiting and retaining high quality staff,” said Tekshia Ward-Smith, who heads the district’s human relations department. “With the resources, we can make sure we retain high quality and become more competitive.”
Ward-Smith said information was compiled from several area school districts and used to determine a comparative salary average.
“On many positions, we were dead last,” she said.
If implemented, about 8,800 district employees will be impacted, with some teachers receiving up to 20 percent pay bumps. Principals and paraprofessionals could also get raises.
The system used $20 million already to give raises to teachers, secretaries, bus drivers, custodians and other staffers for the 2015-2016 school year. District staff received a 1 percent cost-of-living increase last year for the first time in seven years.
Under the pay plan, school faculty members with six or more years of service would get a 4 percent cost-of-living hike, teachers with up to five years would receive 3 percent, and other district staff would receive 2-percent increases.