I am excited to share a big milestone with you about our collaborative work with our teacher’s association (AEA) to develop a new licensed salary schedule. As you know, in 2018, APS went to voters for a mill levy increase. A key promise to voters was that a significant part of the mill levy would be used to create a new salary schedule in partnership between APS and AEA. Moreover, the district committed to meeting AEA’s position that any salary stipends be part of the negotiation process.
Last night, after a year of Joint Workgroup meetings, APS and AEA presented recommendations for a new licensed salary schedule to our Board of Education. Please review the presentation on our website. I want to thank the teachers, association representatives and administrators who spent countless hours reviewing data, designing and working through difficult conversations together.
We are proud of the unique and collaborative approach that we took to redesigning the licensed salary schedule. Utilizing nearly $10 million from the 2018 mill levy override, the Joint Workgroup recommended that the majority of mill levy dollars (nearly $7 million) be spent to boost base pay. This is in addition to the average 13.61% increase that has gone to our licensed staff over the last 3 years. The Joint Workgroup was also able to redesign the base pay structure so that the shape of the salary curve addresses some of our key human capital challenges. With this new schedule, base teacher compensation will progress most steeply in earlier years and the number of steps will be reduced in later years. This aligns to the steepest growth when we observe the most acute attrition issues and when research indicates teachers grow most in effectiveness for our students.
The Joint Workgroup recommends reserving the remaining portion of funds (between $2.6 to $3 million) for more targeted hard-to-fill stipends that support students through key human capital priorities. These stipends will provide additional compensation for our hardest-to-fill teaching and special service provider roles. Both areas are critical in providing students with the academic content expertise and whole-child supports needed to shape successful futures.
Lastly, the Joint Workgroup recognized that any teacher with lower projected earnings on the new curve over ten years needed to have the opportunity to opt into “grandfathering”. This means veteran APS teachers will have the option to remain on the old schedule indefinitely. The bottom line is that every APS teacher benefits.
At last night’s Board meeting, the Board of Education enthusiastically endorsed the Joint Workgroup’s recommendations. At the Board’s direction, we will now enter into the negotiation process with the intent to finalize details. We look forward to creating a final schedule in partnership with AEA. This new salary schedule will also create a foundation for APS to review the salary structures for Classified and Admin/PT groups.
APS is proud to be a district that works collaboratively to problem solve. I thank you for your commitment to this work. It is not always easy, but it is what is right for our students and community.
Aurora Public Schools
“My job is to accelerate learning for every APS student, every day. I do my job by making sure we have the right people, doing the right work, with the right resources in the right way. My community needs me to do my job.”