No salary increase for Brandywine teachersPublished 3:39pm Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Brandywine Community Schools teachers won’t be getting a bump in salary this year, but they will have the opportunity to earn more money if their students perform well.
The Brandywine school board ratified a new teachers’ contract during Monday’s regular meeting. The board also ratified a contract for the district’s paraprofessionals, who get a 2 percent raise in exchange for two fewer paid holidays and one less snow day.
Both are one-year contracts. The teachers’ contract expired at the end of June.
“It is very helpful for the staff to have a contract in place at the start of the school year,” Supt. John Jarpe said. “They don’t have that worry hanging over their heads… that is always good for general staff morale.”
Teachers will have access to their scheduled salary steps, but no increase in salary. The contract also allows teachers to earn a stipend if their students meet certain academic performance requirements. It is a stipulation many members of the teachers’ union aren’t thrilled about.
“Tests taken one or two times a year may not accurately reflect what a student can or may be able to do,” said Debbie Carew, president of the Brandywine teachers’ union. “To hold teachers livelihoods based on those snapshots of students isn’t necessarily something I think is fair.
“We were hesitant to include it, but the board was unmoving about it so we felt at least to get our teachers something that would reflect their efforts is better than nothing,” Carew said.
Jarpe said he is pleased with the union’s willingness to include in the contract stipends tied to academic performance.
“It is very important for students that there is some emphasis on student achievement and improvement, which is what we all want,” Jarpe said. “In that respect, the students will come out winners.”
The contract also offers teachers $50 for each unused sick day.