Teacher Pay Raise Information

Teacher Pay Raise Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions 

OSSBA and CCOSA have received a number of questions from our members regarding the implementation of the teacher pay raise approved by the Legislature. We have prepared the following FAQ to assist with questions.  

We are pleased and grateful for this additional investment into public education and believe it’s important to honor the legislative agreement and intent that led to this additional investment in both teacher pay and local needs. 

You may download a copy of the guidance here and a copy of a sample teacher salary schedule here.

What legislation authorizes pay raises? 

HB 2765 is the general appropriations bill. SB 1048 is the budget limits bill for the state Education Department.  

How much money will school districts receive that can be used for pay raises? 

HB 2765 and SB 1048 appropriated $133.6 million through the state aid formula to school districts for teacher pay raises and local needs. Our estimate is that school districts will receive an increase in state aid over the current school year of approximately $115 per weighted ADM. This should be more than enough to cover the cost of the raises. 

Will the state minimum salary schedule be adjusted to reflect the raise? 

No. Neither bill calls for a new state minimum salary schedule. School districts will need to prepare a new local salary schedule to reflect the amount of raises enacted by your district. 

Is this a stipend/bonus or a raise? 

The law mandates a raise – meaning a permanent increase in the base salary that the employee receives as part of each paycheck. It can not be given as a stipend or bonus. Reminder: This raise is permanent and recurring. State law does not allow for a teacher’s salary to be reduced from one year to the next. 

How much of a raise should each teacher receive?  

We believe it’s important to honor the intent of state leaders that teachers in each district would collectively receive an average raise of $1,220. SB 1048 specifies the raise must be in addition to the step increase in the state minimum salary schedule. That leaves each school district with two options: 

  • Award each teacher a $1,220 raise (adjusting each step of the local salary schedule). 
  • Differentiate the raise, awarding smaller amounts to some and larger amounts to others while still meeting an average $1,220 raise (adjusting each step of the local salary schedule accordingly). If your district opts to pursue a differentiated approach, it’s important to have an open dialogue with teachers about the rationale for the decision. 

It does not matter if your district is above the minimum salary schedule. The average raise amount in addition to the step increase should still average $1,220. 

Who should receive the raise?  

SB 1048 authorizes the raise for certified personnel as defined in state law, which includes certified employees working full time as a teacher, principal, supervisor, administrator, counselor, librarian, or certified or registered nurse. It does not include the superintendent. 

Do district costs like the employer share of retirement and FICA come out of the $1,220 or is that cost in addition to the $1,220 raise?  

The raise is intended to be applied to the base salary for teachers. All employer costs should be paid above and beyond that amount. 

My district receives no state aid through the funding formula. Must my district give the raise and how much? 

State leaders expressed a desire that even though “off-the-formula” districts wouldn’t receive state aid to cover the cost of the raise, such districts would still honor the intent of the law. We think it would be wise for districts that receive no state aid through the funding formula to award the raise if at all possible.  

State leaders mentioned the raise would go into effect Sept. 1. What’s the practical effect of that date? 

There’s no statutory language that creates a special effective date.  The pay raise and the rest of the appropriations bill is effective July 1 for the entire 2019-2020 school year.  

Are there any reporting requirements? 

The law requires school districts to report to the SDE the amount of salary increase each teacher received. We anticipate this reporting requirement will be met through the existing school personnel records reporting process.