Still, Stewart said he couldn`t wait for more promised money on the street if he took on more debt for a master`s degree and still worked for many years in the district. Teachers` unions, including the AEA, have opposed the idea of paying teachers more to fill certain positions rather than putting more money in the pockets of all district school teachers. As part of the district`s efforts to address the high turnover of teachers, APS launched a pilot program last year that offers scholarships to employees who often occupy the owner, but also to language pathologists, therapists, school psychologists and nurses who work in the district and its schools. These employees were entitled to grants of BETWEEN US$2,500 and US$3,000. Without the new payroll plan, Simpleman would earn $47,500 next year. With the changes, her salary would be increased to 49,180 $US and up to 61,280 $US if she obtained her master`s degree in three years. The union will vote on the entire proposal, as will the school board, and the district and union bargaining teams must draw up an agreement before the end of the year. For example, a fifth-year teacher with a master`s degree would earn about $3,400 more per year. Young and moderately experienced teachers would earn more for a few years than other school districts in metropolitan areas, including schools near Cherry Creek. “This is a phenomenal step forward,” said Marques Ivey, a member of the school board.
Ivey supports the plan and thinks other members are doing it as well. “We just realize that if I spend 30 years here, I won`t be able to retire to Colorado,” he said of his family. Wilcox said Tuesday teachers have access to an online tool to calculate whether the proposal would be useful to them. He used to drive Lyft to make ends meet, but he recently started at Hinkley during his lunch breaks from replacement classes for a little more money. “Most of the time, it`s these changes in the state of the local economy that drive people out of education and/or look for opportunities outside of Aurora or Metro Denver,” said Damon Smith, District Chief of Staff. But Stewart, a new teacher, could soon see significant pay overruns as part of a comprehensive overhaul of the GSP`s proposed teacher and staff compensation system. “The increase in salaries is good, but we also know that the increase in salaries is far from sufficient,” he said, calling for more teachers` salaries in the regional parliament. The salary review project was born out of the understanding that GSP teachers – especially young teachers – have difficulty living and working in Aurora because of the high cost of living. Under the plan, the district would invest about $7 million more per year in teachers` salaries. The increase in wage funds could be a benefit to the teachers` union, whose members have long complained of low teacher salaries amid rising housing costs in Aurora and the Denver subway.