Teachers in the St. Louis Public Schools district are celebrating a new contract that will provide the second highest pay for new teachers in the metropolitan area.
New teachers will start at a salary of $45,136, lower only than Clayton at $45,630.
The district and the teachers union (Local 420) agreed on a deal that SLPS says will combat inflation, wipe out the pay gap compared with suburban districts, and draw teachers to the schools that need them most.
Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Adams described a year-long negotiation process over pay and benefits across the board, with a result of an “unprecedented” 8% raise effective July 1, with 3% raises in each of the next two years. Also, teachers who decide to stay with the district may be rewarded with retention bonuses adding up to $10 thousand.
Together, the moves will make SLPS the second-highest paying district in the area for new teachers, and competitive in the current tight job market for other district positions.
The increases will apply to all of the district’s full-time employees except nurses and janitors, who are still in negotiations.
A new program called the Pilot Equity Placement and Pay Fund will offer extra pay to teachers in the district’s most impoverished schools. SLPS is allocating $3 million a year for the program from the 2023-2024 school year through the 2025-2026 year.
“We want to pair our best teachers with the children who need the most help and we intend to ensure that our most underserved schools the best paying ones for our educators,” Adams said. “This is what equity looks like; seeing that children with the greatest needs are given the means to catch up with the rest.”