Groups representing teachers in Memphis are seeking a salary increase of up to 18%, according to a story in Chalkbeat:
Shelby County Schools teachers would be able to earn up to $86,000 annually under the highest of three proposals from the district’s two teacher associations.
That would be 18% more than the current maximum salary of $73,000.
The associations want up to a 16% boost to the district’s $43,000 minimum salary for new teachers. But Cheronda Thompson, who represented United Education Association of Shelby County, said increasing the maximum is more important.
“It’s not about how we start, it’s about how we finish,” she said during negotiations Friday afternoon. “We want to retain people. They already start good.”
The move comes as districts like Nashville struggle with teacher retention and pay significantly less than other urban districts. Additionally, suburban districts like Sumner County have moved to make meaningful improvements to teacher pay.
Teacher pay is a national crisis, but particularly problematic in Tennessee, as Chalkbeat notes:
Research shows that teachers make the most difference in a student’s academic success, but districts nationwide are struggling to recruit and retain effective educators. An often cited reason is salary, especially in states like Tennessee where the average teacher salary trails both regional and national numbers.
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