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First year Yakima School District teachers could earn $2,800 more with increase proposal


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A new proposal will be sent to the state legislator looking to increase teacher compensation.

Superintendent Chris Reykdal saying the state needs to do more to support and maintain educators.

"This proposal today makes an explicit attempt to tell the legislature now is the time to invest more in educators, not less. Even as we face difficult economic times," Reykdal said.

Talking with ESD-105 superintendent Kevin Chase, he says this proposal would help in being able to pay teachers a fairer rate, but he says it may not make a big difference in getting teachers to stay in the valley.

He says the way to keep quality teachers here is by investing in local education programs so that more people that grow up here go into teaching and are willing to stay here.

"I have no problem with recruitment bonuses, try to get people to sign in. But I don't want them to sign up just for $10k, I want them to sign up and also commit to the district for five years or some number of years that they're willing to stay in that profession and stay in that district," Chase said.

This proposal would help increase pay for all school employees by six percent, which for first year teachers in the Yakima school district, would see a baseline salary rise by nearly $2,800.

It would also greatly benefit education districts like ESD-105, who would see a pay increase for all employees.

"A lot of our funds are from federal funding or grants, so we always have to make sure whatever we do is within our own budget, but literally we go out and look for comparatives in our region and also across the state," Chase said.

Chase says teachers would appreciate the pay raise but would like to see more resources coming to help them out.

"Teachers are underpaid and they need more support in terms of not just salary, but also in terms of the school district get to help support them as teachers. Whether it's professional development, or equipment or supplies, always we're gonna ask for more," Chase said.

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If approved, the increase in salary would be implemented at the start of the 2023-24 school year.

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