Wichita teachers have ratified a new contract with the district for the 2012-2013 school year. The United Teachers of Wichita reports 88 percent of the teachers who cast ballots accepted the offer.
The contract includes a one percent raise for Wichita teachers, their first in four years. The union had originally asked for a 3 percent raise, step increases and back pay.
It's part of the $628 million budget the Wichita School Board agreed to publish and have a final vote within two weeks. It's $22 million more than last year, but will not require any property tax increase.
The extra money comes from an increase in state funding and reductions the district has made in capital spending. Superintendent John Allison says this budget far from makes up for the cuts in recent years but says it's a positive step.
According to a post on USD 259's website, the new teacher's contract includes:
- 1 percent increase to the salary schedule;
- One step on the salary schedule for years of experience (“Steps”);
- Adjustment on the salary schedule based on additional education (“Tracks”);
- Teachers will move to the appropriate place on the longevity schedule, but will not receive back pay;
- Professional dress code;
- No changes to the employee health plan;
- Converting a teacher in-service day to a classroom work day during teacher report week in August;
- Early dismissal for teachers on end-of-semester and end-of-year grading dates if grades are submitted by noon on those days; and
- Two separate study committees comprised of administrators and teachers, one to focus on professional development, and one to focus on evaluations in light of the recently-announced NCLB waiver for Kansas.