Teachers in the Menlo Park City School District (MPCSD) will get a 5% raise, along with a 1% bonus following the school board's unanimous approval of a new contract on May 11.
The raise for the teachers union, called the Menlo Park Education Association, is retroactive to July 1, 2022 in an agreement reached on April 19. Base pay is now $74,374, up from $69,708 in the previous contract. Starting next school year, the maximum pay will be $151,926 (up from $140,477) in the district, which enrolls about 2,700 students at schools in Atherton and Menlo Park.
"We want to remain competitive," said Superintendent Kristen Gracia during the meeting. "We want to pay our teachers and staff well. We recognize the challenges of the Bay Area, of California, of the teaching profession, working in schools. This goes for all staff, not just teachers. I know a lot of heart went into this on both sides of the table."
The district is eliminating six steps from its teacher salary schedule, which allows teachers to move up in compensation more quickly, with a two-year wait between steps instead of four years. The negotiating teams also added one more step at the end to allow the most experienced teachers the chance for a pay increase before maxing out. The new salary schedule is 17 steps, compared to the previous salary schedule which had 22, Gracia said.
District music teacher Rachel Knight, the teachers union bargaining chair, said the agreement was a team effort to "help ease the economic strife facing teachers and other public employees in this area."
"Together we created a compensation package that will help teachers earn more over their careers, help attract new teachers and retain the amazing teachers we have in MPCSD," Knight told The Almanac on Tuesday, May 16. "This agreement was a team effort to help ease the economic strife facing teachers and other public employees in this area. As we did in 2020 with our COVID MOUs, when we (MPEA and MPCSD) work together we can do great things. We are looking forward to continuing improvement as we look at the whole contract next year."
The COVID MOUs created the protocol and terms the MPCSD and MPEA agreed upon
to govern working conditions for MPEA members in the blended learning model, with stipulations like the district helping provide childcare for unit members with children in kindergarten through fifth grade.
There's also a $500 increase to the stipend for having a master's degree, from $2,000 to $2,500. There's a $500 increase to the BCLAD (bilingual authorization) stipend from $3,000 to $3,500.
In addition to meetings that extend the 7 and 3/4-hour workday for curriculum development and related activities authorized in writing by a site or district administrator, the pay has been increased from $55 to $65 per hour.
The district passed a teacher compensation philosophy in 2019 to establish as "commitment to provide the highest quality education possible, understanding that our ability to recruit, retain, and develop gifted teachers is the single most important factor in accomplishing this goal."
In March, teachers in the Portola Valley School District recently received raises, which brought their base salaries up to $82,130, with salaries capping out at $153,886.
Watch a video of the May 11 meeting at vimeo.com/user61916753.
View the MPCSD contract at tinyurl.com/mpcsdcontract2023.