Denver school board ratifies deal that will give teachers an average 11.7% pay hike

Without discussion, the Denver school board on Thursday approved a new pay deal that will award educators an average 11.7% raise next year. The deal, which was tentatively agreed upon in February, is what persuaded Denver educators to end a three-day strike earlier this year.

Union members ratified the agreement two months ago, leaving the school board vote the last step to making it official. The reason it took so long was because the district needed to integrate the terms of the deal into the master contract between the Denver Classroom Teachers Association and Denver Public Schools, district spokeswoman Anna Alejo said.

The new educator pay structure goes into effect for the 2019-20 school year. All teachers and “specialized service providers,” which include school counselors, nurses, and others, will get raises. The size of the raises will vary, but the average will be 11.7%.

The agreement moves Denver educators back to a traditional “steps-and-lanes” salary schedule from the heavily incentive-based system that existed for more than a decade. Incentive pay isn’t going away, but the number and size of the incentives will be smaller, making teachers’ pay more predictable. The starting salary for a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree will also increase significantly from less than $43,000 this year to more than $45,000 next year.

Read more about the details of the agreement here and the history of the incentive-based pay system here. Plus, check out the answers to some frequently asked questions about how teacher pay will work here.