D49 Chief Business Officer Presents Salary Disparities and Comparisons Based On MLO

  • D49 Chief Business Officer, Brett Ridgway, presents to the Board of Education (June 23, 2021) the current salary financing for district teachers and staff and shows the disparities compared to other similar school districts based on current mill levy override funding in order to start a discussion with the community about possible actions to address the disparities.

    * This video was edited for time, to see the full presentation with some questions and discussion with the board of education, you can watch it on the BOE Youtube channel here... https://youtu.be/QNxSzOcDKCU?t=6318

    PDF Presentation: CBO Salary Presentation to the BOE, June 23

    PDF Document: Cause-Effect One-Pager D49 Look at Salary

More Competitive Teacher Salaries

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    Through the years, the District 49 community of families and stakeholders has overwhelmingly supported our teachers. We’ve listened to you and our workforce, making it a strategic priority to invest in our teachers and improve their pay year-to-year. As our community continues to grow and welcome more families and students to D49 we’ve taken a fresh look at how neighboring districts recruit prospective teachers and compensate their educators. The research reinforces what we already know: D49 teachers, despite filling top priority roles in the rapidly growing D49 family, are still underpaid.

    Promises Made: In 2014, ballot measure 3A, a Mill Levy Override, was passed with a purpose of "attracting and retaining highly effective teachers..."Those funds were used to reposition teachers who lost compensation steps on the District 49 pay scale during the economic downturn. The plan was approved in 2015 to help retain our highly effective instructors. 

    Promises Kept: After this reposition plan was complete, 2014 3A funds were shifted to focus on attracting new teachers.

    Promises Made: In 2016, 3B was passed by a two-to-one margin. The first priority of the BOFC House Building Our Future Community plan included dedicated funding for our most important resource, our educators. 

    Promises Kept: Per the 3B Priority 1 criteria, an additional $1 million annually has gone to teachers’ salaries in order to attract and retain highly effective teachers.

    In 2018, voters passed 4C, which combined 3A and 3B into our current MLO structure, keeping all priorities while allowing some district funds to grow in step with our expanding community. 

    Despite all of this, D49 still struggles in three areas when it comes to teachers.

    1. D49 teachers make about 17% less than teachers in Academy School District 20 and Colorado Springs School District 11.  On average, D49 teachers earn about $49,000 a year, while D11/D20 teachers earn about $55,000.
    2. When it comes to staffing, D49 is once again behind D11/D20 in the classroom. Having nearly the same number of students in each district, D49 has fewer teachers. D49 averages about 14.2 students per teacher, while D11/D20 averages about 12.4.  The cause of the compensation and staffing issues is a revenue disparity with D11 and D20 of 15-40%, even with the support derived from past MLO's.
    3. The lack of funding also hampers D49’s ability to keep experienced teachers in our schools. As teachers earn advanced degrees, receive certifications and gain experience, those milestones typically result in pay raises, but the D49 pay schedule does not compete and we therefore lose teachers to other districts that compensate better. In order to keep our classrooms staffed, D49 must constantly replenish our turnover, usually replacing experienced teachers with relatively inexperienced teachers.