Tue07292014

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Los Altos School District teachers to receive raises


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Baier

After four years without raises, Los Altos School District teachers are getting a bump in pay.

Los Altos School District Superintendent Jeff Baier, who presented specifics of the tentative bargaining agreement with the Los Altos Teachers Association at last week’s board meeting, said this is an appropriate time to reward the teachers. He noted that the district is in better financial standing than it was the last four years.

“They have given up some health benefits and absorbed some cuts during that time,” Baier said of the teachers.

There are three parts to the salary increase. The first is a 1.75 percent raise, which adds approximately $350,000 to district expenses annually. The second is a one-time 1.25 percent bonus for the 2012-2013 school year, adding approximately $250,000. The third portion is based on property tax collection. If the collection of property taxes for the 2012-2013 school year, finalized in August, is more than 5 percent, the teachers will receive more than half of that overage as a one-time bonus. As of last week, property tax growth was estimated at 6.12 percent.

Randy Kenyon, assistant superintendent for business services, said the raises would be paid out of property tax collections and reserve funds. The agreement is retroactive and begins with the teacher’s salary at the start of the 2012-2013 school year. The contract runs through the 2014-2015 school year.

The district and the teacher’s association have been through an interest-based bargaining process for the duration of the school year, hammering out the specifics of an offer that includes new language limiting salary advancement for teachers who do not receive a satisfactory performance evaluation.

“The idea that we agree on new language limiting salary advancement – that is really a nod from our teachers that they want excellence in our classrooms,” Baier said. “Our teachers would agree, if a teacher isn’t performing satisfactorily, they shouldn’t get an increase in pay.”

The district board is scheduled to vote on the contract at Monday’s board meeting. isn’t performing satisfactorily they shouldn’t get an increase in pay.”

The district board is scheduled to vote on the contract at Monday’s board meeting.

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