Chesterton Tribune



School Board hears from public on teacher pay

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After the Duneland School Board’s regular meeting Monday night, the Board reconvened for a public hearing to gather input on teacher salaries and fringe benefits.

Per State law, both the local teacher’s association and the local school board are required to hold such a hearing prior to starting contract negotiations.

Bob DeRuntz, CHS History teacher and Chair of Negotiations for the Duneland Teacher’s Association, said the DTA is looking forward to working with the administration on a new contract. The DTA agreement currently in place expired June 30, but remains in effect until a new agreement is reached.

DeRuntz said the Duneland community, by supporting the continuation of the supplemental property tax referendum in May, has paved the way for Duneland to pay its teachers competitively. “I think we all are in agreement that in the face of the overall teacher shortage and the increased demand for teachers, the solution is to pay Duneland teachers the best salaries in the region,” DeRuntz said.

One member of the public spoke in the public hearing. Chesterton resident Jim Jeselnick reported he researched the highest salary paid to teachers in the Valparaiso Community Schools, and in the Crown Point Community School district, which new Duneland Schools Superintendent Chip Pettit was hired from.

Jeselnick said both are paying more than Duneland at the top range, since each pays their highest paid teacher more than $78,000 per year while Duneland lags at $72,235. “I would like to recommend that we achieve the same level as two of our close schools,” Jeselnick said.

For the record, Jeselnick is right that both Valpo and Crown Point outpace Duneland in top-range teacher pay. The Chesterton Tribune checked the current teacher contracts at Duneland, Valparaiso, and Crown Point.

Per the current DTA agreement, Duneland’ salary range for teachers is $40,000 to $72,235 per year, before performance-based raises. Valparaiso teachers are paid between $40,000 and $78,455, and Crown Point teachers are paid between $43,000 and $80,153, both before performance-based raises.



Posted 8/7/2019




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