Nyssa School Board approves three-year contract with teachers

The Nyssa School District and the teachers union recently signed a three-year contract, which will increase the salary of newly certified teachers by $15,000 a year to $55,000. 

The contract, signed late last month, will represent 13% of the school district’s budget of $36.3 million, according to Superintendent Ryan Hawkins. 

Hawkins said the contract underscores a collaborative effort between the Nyssa School District and the Nyssa Educators Association. 

“This is a celebration,” Hawkins said. “We value our schools and our teachers. We believe our teachers are hard workers and are some of the best. If we want the best for our kids, we have to start paying for it.” 

According to the district’s new pay scale, educators with a master’s degree, stand to make nearly $64,000 depending on experience. This is an increase of more than $20,00 from the current range. 

Bobby DeLeon, a district counselor and president, said the contract mirrors the Baker School Board’s unprecedented pay raise for educators last year. Baker educators saw their salaries increase by more than $21,000, a more than 50% bump. 

Hawkins said the new pay schedule takes effect July 1 of this year. That means the more than 80 teachers in the Nyssa district will see a raise in the new budget year.

According to Hawkins, the school district is looking to hire three full-time teachers and a part-time educator next year and the salary increase will make the school district more competitive in luring teachers to the area.

Hawkins said the district is covering $9.7 million in increased payroll costs by not filling an assistant superintendent job and dropping bonuses for veteran teachers. State funding for schools also is increasing.

“It’s a lot of little moves we’ve done to make it work,” he said. 

DeLeon said the Baker School District’s pay raises was a game changer for school districts. He said other districts would likely follow suit.

In Nyssa, DeLeon said, the pay bump for teachers will be instrumental in recruiting educators.

“Because of this new contract, we’re going to attract quality teachers,” Hawkins said.

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