A new state program will help boost the starting pay for teachers in the Burlington School District.
The district will be one of the 39 initial participants in the state’s Teacher Leadership and Compensation program.
The participating districts must develop plans for expanding leadership opportunities for current and future teachers. One of the requirements is that the starting salary for a teacher be at least $33,500.
The current starting salary currently sits at about $32,000, but the new one-year contract between the district and the Burlington Education Association will boost it to just over $33,000.
Business Manager Chris Stensland says the state will give the district the money needed to reach that $33,500 level.
The one-year contract calls for a 4.05% increase in total compensation for the teachers. That covers pay raises for experience and education level, insurance and retirement contributions.
The contract also gives teachers more flexibility in carrying over and using personal leave and cuts preparation time at several buildings so the amount is uniform district-wide.
Meanwhile, the Burlington School Board will take its time in searching for a new superintendent.
Board President Marlis Robberts says the district will hire a search firm to identify potential candidates. She says a professional approach is needed.
“We need to have the best person possible in that role so it is not something I wish to rush just to fill the position. I want to make sure we have the right person in there.”
Robberts says the right person must possess outstanding leadership skills and the ability to build school spirit.
Four search firms have contacted the district. They will make presentations to the school board this week.
Roberts says an interim superintendent might be appointed, either from inside or outside the district.
Superintendent Jane Evans this week announced her retirement effective June 30, 2014.