Recruiting, Retaining & Investing in Our Teachers

Recruiting, Retaining & Investing in Our Teachers
Posted on 03/01/2019

At the February 25 Board of Education meeting, Pelham City Schools board members approved a local pay raise for teachers to be implemented in the 2019-2020 school year. This new pay increase represents the second local salary increase for teachers since the school system was founded in 2014.

Dr. Scott Coefield, superintendent of Pelham City Schools said, “Recruiting and retaining great educators has been an ongoing focus of our efforts since we began our school system in 2014. We’ve taken a methodical, multifaceted approach to positively impact teacher compensation.”

Other initiatives implemented by the board of education have included:

  • Employer Paid Life Insurance Policy (implemented in 2014) = amount equal to employee’s annual salary
  • Extraordinary Compensation (implemented in 2015) = $500 for certified staff, $250 for support staff
  • Academic Supplements for Teacher Leaders (implemented in 2018): for teachers who fill Instructional support and other academic leadership roles within the schools
  • First Locally Funded Pay Raise (implemented in 2018): revised salary schedules included pay raises for all teachers

The newly approved pay raise was developed as another strategy to remain highly competitive in Shelby County and implement pay scales that are more closely comparable to high performing systems in Jefferson County. Rather than an “across the board” increase, the new pay raise includes a flat rate increase of $250 for teachers in years 0-14. In years 15-23 the increases range from 2%-6%. Teachers in years 24+ may also see slight increases in pay, but the salary schedules are closer to competitors in those years so the change is not significant.

Coefield said, “While we value every teacher equally, this strategic, methodical approach to raising teacher pay will help target the largest gaps in the salaries of our mid-career teachers compared to those in high performing systems in Jefferson County. As we close the gap on the largest pay differences, our whole salary schedule will become more competitive.”

Another new initiative that was approved by the Board of Education is a scholarship program for teachers who are interested in the National Board Certification (NBCT) process. Scholarships are valued at $2000 each. The scholarships will be awarded to up to 20 qualified teachers per school year. Once the NBCT process is successfully completed and teachers have obtained certification, they are eligible for a $5000 increase in annual pay (state funded).

The second locally funded pay raise and NBCT scholarships are the fifth and sixth initiatives implemented by the Pelham Board of Education to increase teacher compensation since 2014. Pelham City Schools teachers with a bachelors and masters degree have received an average annual salary increase of $1,981 compared to the salary schedule that was inherited from Shelby County in 2014.

“Our teachers are the heart of the success of our students and our school system. Since our employees are among our greatest assets, our board of education is intent and focused on recruiting, retaining, and investing in our teachers,” Coefield said.  Including all six initiatives, Pelham City Schools’ locally funded investment to retain and recruit great educators is over $654,000 per year.