East St. Louis School District Approves New Teaching Contract

title=wpil_keyword_linkSchool District 189 Superintendent Arthur Culver, left, addresses members of the Illinois State Board of Education Tuesday afternoon. Culver and other administrators from District 189 of East St. Louis reported to the Illinois State Board of Education on the district’s progress and goals.” title=”East St. Louis School District 189 Superintendent Arthur Culver, left, addresses members of the Illinois State Board of Education Tuesday afternoon. Culver and other administrators from District 189 of East St. Louis reported to the Illinois State Board of Education on the district’s progress and goals.” loading=”lazy”/>

East St. Louis School District 189 Superintendent Arthur Culver, left, addresses members of the Illinois State Board of Education Tuesday afternoon. Culver and other administrators from District 189 of East St. Louis reported to the Illinois State Board of Education on the district’s progress and goals.

dholtmann@bnd.com

Teachers at East St. Louis School District 189 have a new contract to attract and retain staff during an ongoing teacher shortage.

On Monday, the Financial Control Group unanimously approved the three-year contract that will begin next school year. The contract had already been ratified by the union and approved by the school board. As of 2012, the Financial Oversight Panel has had five state-appointed volunteers who work with the school board to help the district achieve financial stability.

The biggest change from the last contract is that the district will start paying the employee’s share to the teachers’ pension system. Superintendent Arthur Culver said District 189 was the only district in the area – and one of the few in the state – not to pay the employee share, which is 9% of their salary.

“It really hurts us to attract and retain staff,” Culver said at the Financial Watch Group meeting.

Teachers in East St. Louis had an average salary of $ 63,619 last year, according to data from the Illinois State Board of Education. Adjusted for the 9% that goes into the teachers’ retirement system and is typically paid by the district, that average salary was $ 57,893, compared to the state average of $ 70,705.

Schools in East St. Louis will make up the difference over the next three years, paying 3% next year, 6% the next year, and finally paying the full 9% starting in the school year. 2023-2024.

The district and the union also negotiated the removal of a provision regarding experienced teachers who were new to the district. Previously, incoming teachers were capped at potentially much lower pay than their experience warranted.

For example, in the 2018-2019 school year, a teacher with a bachelor’s degree transferred from another district would have been capped at $ 52,006, regardless of the number of years of experience they had. , while teachers who had been in District 189 longer could have been up to $ 74,866.

Due to budget issues in 2013 and 2014, the district suffered a salary freeze. Teachers who have worked during these years and who are still in the district will see their salary scale increased. The new wages will mean a pay rise, until it should have been had the pay freeze never happened.

The new contract also includes:

  • A 1% increase in the cost of living compared to the basic salary

  • A single bonus of $ 3,000 for new recruits teaching “difficult to fill” positions at the intermediate and secondary level: mathematics, science, bilingual and foreign languages

  • Increased annual district allocation for reimbursement of staff tuition fees from $ 55,000 to $ 75,000 per year

  • Grant of contract teachers with National Board certification of $ 1,000 per year

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