Some Fayetteville, Ark., teachers are not happy with a proposal that would increase the pay for beginning teachers from $34,420 to $38,000 a year.
District patrons are scheduled to vote on a tax increase designed to allow Fayetteville to compete with other Arkansas school districts in attracting teachers, as reported in March in The Turner Report.
Veteran teachers are claiming they are left out of the equation, according to the April 28 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "It's a slap in the face," said Rita Carver, who has taught history for 10 years at Fayetteville High School. Ms. Carver said the proposal encourages veterans to retire because all of the money is set aside for new teachers.
Teachers in Missouri would be happy to have those kinds of problems. The salaries for many veteran teachers, especially in smaller schools are lower than the beginning salary Fayetteville has in place now. Unless teachers are coaching or have put themselves deep into debt to get higher degrees, they make nowhere near the proposed beginning salary in Fayetteville.
But Ms. Carver does have a point. Proposals always seem to favor beginning teachers rather than making sure that valued teachers are given an incentive to remain and continue to make positive contributions to the students and to the schools.