Most District 65 teachers will get pay raises totaling 27 percent over four years under a contract ratified unanimously by the school board this week.

The deal gives all teachers annual increases of 3.5 percent, except for a 3.25 percent increase in the second year.

The nearly 80 percent of teachers who are not already at the top of the salary scale will also receive step, or seniority-based, increases of about 2.73 percent each year.

The school board won part of its goal of increasing the length of the school day by 20 minutes.

The pact calls for a 10 minute increase in instructional time for elementary schools and a 20 minute increase for middle schools.

But the time teachers are required to report for work before students arrive will be cut by 10 minutes.

The changes in the school day won’t take effect until next fall.

A district news release says the compensation package is the richest the board has agreed to since the inception of tax caps in 1994.

Annual pay for an experienced teacher at the top of the salary scale would rise to nearly $102,000 over the course of the agreement.

The agreement also includes a tuition reimbursement program, coverage for domestic partners in benefits packages and compensation for military service.

It also includes a bonus for teachers who improve their attendance levels and reduce the need for the district to hire substitutes.

Teachers approved the agreement last week. They had overwhelmingly rejected a previous contract offer in September.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. 27% increase in teacher salary
    If the schools were excellent instead of just a tad better than mediocre, I could maybe buy an increase like this; but the majority of people I know on my block either use private schools or home school because our schools are not so great. And with the economy’s deflation, this kind of pandering to the union is just typical Evanston stupidity. It’s not as if Evanston teachers weren’t some of the higher paid teachers already.

    1. Default
      The Schools are funded through property taxes. Property values are falling. Shouldn’t expenditures on those activities funded by property taxes be decreasing instead of increasing? I didn’t see any mention of massive scalebacks in health care benefits or other fringe benefits. I didn’t see any talk of reduction in DB pension benefits.

      Who exactly does the school board work for- the taxpayers or the teacher unions?

      Oh well, I guess in the long run it doesn’t matter. We are careening our way towards the inevitable outcome- state and local governments defaulting on their bloated pension obligations. Enjoy the ride!!!

    2. Insulting
      I surely don’t know where you live or who your neighbors are but *most* of us here in Evanston choose – and value – public schools and feel that they are educating our children quite well. Frankly, if someone were going to pay for private school or home school I don’t know why they wouldn’t move north (wilmette) or south (chicago) where the property taxes are lower.

      1. Just accurate
        I don’t know about “most” parents in Evanston, but I don’t know very many people who are very satisfied with the education their kids are getting in D65. It is not necessarily the fault of the teachers – I’d be more inclined to put the blame on the administration. But I certainly don’t think that the teachers needed to get this kind of boost in these economic conditions. It seems as if, the more we pay them, the more time off the teachers demand (for “professional development.”) If they are worth so much money, why do they need so much additional training? And why don’t they do any of it on their own time?

        1. Teachers don’t demand
          Teachers don’t demand professional is administration that requested the early dismissal days and such. And from what I have heard on those days, teachers were allowed to work in their rooms or do whatever they pleased in the school building but no professional development was offered. And teacher’s are not at fault here but administration is. Or at least at my daughter’s school.

  2. 27% increase in teacher salary
    I think it is incredibly important tht Evanston has a top notch school system. In order for that to occur, it has to be paid for.

    It would be far more productive to assure the public that we are getting what we are paying for.

    1. Comparables

      In addition, I heard from one teacher that they are the lowest-paid suburban teachers in the area (I can't verify this, but if someone can find a source for teacher comparables, please post it!)

      However, I am very distressed by the pile of never-used, now-obsolete computers at our school. Find out more about Brummel Park Neighbors and Michele Hays

  3. D65 are the LOWEST paid!
    Actually I have interviewed at almost every school on the north shore, skokie, niles, lincolnwood, des plaines, and CPS and District 65 had by far THE WORST teacher contract all around…salary, health insurance, work hours, salary movement, etc. Even with this new contract, they are still the LOWEST paid despite the board contribution to pension plans. For example, Bachelor’s, no experience is only $38,000 (D65)where Lincolnwood is $49,000 and 95% coverage of health care!!!! HUGE difference people! In terms of professional development, do your research…EVERY school district has PD days and most have a weekly shortened day to accomodate it and parents must learn to deal with it. It’s crucial to your children’s education. Please let up on D65 teachers.

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