Tentative IPS teacher contract includes average 3% pay raises, more time off

A woman with glasses stands before four students seated at desks doing class work.
A teacher interacts with students during a lesson at James Garfield School 31 in Indianapolis on Oct. 28, 2022. (Amelia Pak-Harvey / Chalkbeat)

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Teachers in Indianapolis Public Schools could see average raises of 3% and more days off under a tentative contract agreement between the district and the Indianapolis Education Association. 

The new contract, which would cover the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years, would raise starting salaries from $50,400 to $51,900 for 2023-24. The contract’s maximum salary for teachers would also increase to an estimated $94,000. 

The estimated salary range for the 2024-25 school year would be $53,460 to $94,000. 

No teacher would make below the minimum salary for each school year unless given an evaluation of “ineffective” or “needs improvement.” 

The tentative contract would offer special increases to base pay for special education teachers, English-as-a-new-language teachers, school psychologists, and social workers.

As required by state law, only teachers rated “highly effective” or “effective” will receive increases to their base salary. But recent data indicates the vast majority of teachers would receive those raises under the proposed contract. 

In 2022-23, nearly 35% of teachers were rated highly effective and roughly 64% were rated effective, according to district data obtained through a public records request. Only 15 out of the 1,586 teachers who were evaluated were given ratings of “improvement necessary” or “ineffective.”

Increases in base pay for qualifying teachers would range from $1,850 to $2,790 for 2023-24 and $1,900 to $2,870 for 2024-25. Salary increases for the current school year would be retroactively paid dating back to July 23 of this year. Raises for the 2024-25 school year would take effect during the first contract day of that year. 

The school board will vote on the contract next week. 

Here are some major changes in the proposed contract. 

Base pay increases by teacher evaluations

Teachers who receive a rating of “highly effective” for the prior school year would receive:

  • $1,290 in year one (reflecting their 2022-23 rating).
  • $1,310 in year two (reflecting their 2023-24 rating).

Teachers who receive a rating of “effective” for the prior school year would receive:

  • $1,050 in year one (reflecting their 2022-23 rating).
  • $1,070 in year two (reflecting their 2023-24 rating).

Base pay increases for in-demand positions

Employees who served as certified school psychologists, social workers, special education teachers, teachers of English-as-a-new-language, core content teachers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), STEM career and technical education teachers, or credentialed dual-credit course teachers in the prior school year would receive:

  • $530 in year one (if employed for 2022-23).
  • $550 for year two (if employed for 2023-24).

This provision would exclude teachers working in these areas on emergency permits. 

Base pay increase by years of service

Teachers who were employed by IPS for at least 120 contract days in the prior school year would receive:

  • $530 in year one (if employed for 2022-23).
  • $550 in year two (if employed for 2023-24).

Teachers who completed one to seven years of effective IPS teaching as of the effective date of salary increase would receive:

  • $440 in year one (if teacher completed one to seven years by July 23, 2023).
  • $460 in year two (if teacher completed one to seven years by the first contract day of 2024-25).

Teachers who completed eight or more years of effective IPS teaching as of the effective date of salary increase would receive:

  • $270 in year one (if teacher completed eight or more years by July 23, 2023).
  • $280 in year two (if teacher completed eight or more years by the first contract day of 2024-25).

Pilot program to pay teachers for class coverage

The district would launch a pilot program for 2023-24 and 2024-25 to pay teachers for class coverage when another teacher is absent. 

Teachers would receive $25 per hour when they give up their designated preparation periods to cover a class with an absent teacher. 

Academic coaches, interventionists, and International Baccalaureate coordinators would only receive this compensation if they cover for at least three hours and lose their prep period. Job-sharing teachers would not receive this compensation when their co-teachers are absent, unless the coverage also requires them to give up their prep period. 

Teachers would also receive an extra $25 per hour if principals place additional students in their class that increases their total class size by at least 30% due to the absence of another teacher. 

More days off during the school year

Teachers will receive two floating holidays for each academic year that can be used for any reason. Unlike sick or personal time off, these days do not roll over from year to year and cannot be cashed out upon retirement.

The tentative contract would provide for two additional bereavement days for extended family, bringing the total to three full paid days off to attend the funeral of an extended family member. Such family members are defined as aunts, uncles, nieces, or nephews. 

The contract would give more flexibility for bereavement days for immediate family, a term that would extend to an unborn child. 

Employees would have five bereavement days for immediate family as in the old contract, but could take three within 14 days of the death and reserve the other two for up to a year after the death to attend to affairs of the deceased. 

Compensation to serve as a long-term substitute

The new contract allows licensed teachers to accept a role as a long-term substitute to cover vacancies outside the classroom instruction hours of their current teaching position. 

This scenario could cover teachers who, for example, finish their school day sooner than other schools and may have the ability to travel to another school still in session to cover a class there.  

Teachers would be paid at their standard hourly rate for this long-term assignment, which would end either at the end of the semester or until the vacancy is filled. Priority for vacant positions would be given to teachers whose schedule, licensure, and endorsement matches the needs of the vacant position. 

Amelia Pak-Harvey covers Indianapolis and Lawrence Township schools for Chalkbeat Indiana. Contact Amelia at apak-harvey@chalkbeat.org

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