For the first time in six years, South Bend teachers are getting a raise.
The school board voted unanimously Monday night to approve a two-year collective bargain agreement that’s been accepted by the National Education Association.
Superintendent Carole Schmidt says the agreement raises the starting salary for certified teachers from about $32,000 to $34,000.
It also includes a 2-percent raise for all teachers.
“We know that six years without any kind of a raise is certainly not the way you want to operate,” said Superintendent Carole Schmidt.” On the other hand, we've had to be prudent, we've had to stay within our means, which we've done.”
Under the new terms, all teachers will also receive a one-time $800 stipend. Schmidt says that payment will likely be handed out in December. The raises will take effect in August of 2014.
The school board also voted 5-2 to purchase four new, propane-fueled school buses Monday.
They’ll cost more than $400,000; one of the buses will be paid for with a grant.
“We're starting with four because of the added cost and we want to make sure that we see the return on investment,” Schmidt says. “And, all of the data points to we will see that return on investment. And, we'll clearly see what it does for the environment.”
While the propane-fueled buses are more expensive than diesel-fueled models, the corporation estimates each new bus will save them about $38,735 over the typical 12-year lifespan.