The Elmbrook School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to provide a total of $16,944 in salary increases for 11 faculty members who earned master's or other advanced degrees after the former teacher contract was wiped out in the wake of the state's Act 10, which rewrote rules governing public employee compensation.
Under the old contract, teachers would have automatically received a salary increase upon earning a master's or other advanced degree. Superintendent Mark Hansen said these 11 teachers received stipends during the past two school years.
The salary adjustments are "very similar to the stipend we have given them post-Act 10," Hansen told the board, saying the 11 "were caught (between) pre- and post-Act 10" policies. He added that the 11 teachers who will receive these increases were the only teachers affected out of 525 faculty members.
Board member Meg Wartman voiced concern "that the number of teachers going for a master's has dropped considerably" since passage of Act 10. "We're going to have to address this going forward."
Board President Tom Gehl said the adjustments were the right thing to do.
"The teachers who incurred financial obligations" to earn advanced degrees "did so (with) the full and legitimate expectation of remuneration. I felt a moral imperative to recognize that," he said.
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