about teacher salaries in the Tucson area
post-Prop 123, three or four times. I was trying to figure out exactly what it meant. The thrust of the article is, TUSD is being stingy with its salary hikes after receiving the recently disbursed Prop 123 funds while many other districts in the area are being more generous. But the article lacked head-to-head, apples-to-apples, salary-to-salary comparisons of teacher compensation across the districts, so I don't know if its conclusions reflect what's happening to teachers' paychecks. I tried to look a little deeper to understand the teacher salary reality in the Tucson area. That shed a little light on the subject, but not much.
If, as the article implies, TUSD allowed its teacher salary to fall below that of neighboring districts, it made a serious mistake. Because of the current teacher shortage, it's a sellers market. Teachers, especially the top prospects, are likely to get multiple offers, so they can pick and choose between districts, and salary is likely to be a serious consideration. If Superintendent Sanchez's decision to be "fiscally conservative" when it comes to raises, as he is quoted saying in the Star
article, puts the district at a competitive disadvantage, then he made a bad decision. True, Prop 123 monies could face a court challenge, and an economic downturn could mean a loss of funding in the future, but it's better to take a long term gamble if it improves the short term situation where too many classrooms lack full-time teachers. And there's another issue, of course. TUSD teachers deserve a raise, and Sanchez is doing them a disservice if he's being less generous than other districts.
But is the TUSD salary raise as low as the Star
article states, and is it lower than neighboring districts? I honestly don't know. According to the article, TUSD teachers will "see $700 added to their base salaries." However, the information on the TUSD website
paints a different picture.