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Phoenix school district boosts salaries to hire new teachers

Posted at 6:04 PM, Apr 05, 2018

One northwest Phoenix school district has found a way to boost teacher pay, as administrators try to fill 65 teacher vacancies for the fall.

The Washington Elementary School District is offering an average teacher raise of 6.5 percent for the 2018-2019 school year. This is twice what many other districts are offering, in the absence of a big state budget change to benefit education.

WESD is also boosting starting teacher pay to $38,000, but to increase some pay, the district had to eliminate some jobs.

"The intent and why it was a district priority, despite having to make staffing adjustments, was to be competitive with other school districts for the purpose of retention and recruitment of teachers," WESD Human Resources director Justin Wing said.
  
There can be a wide pay disparity between districts, depending on student population, school services provided, special funding sources, and administrative costs. 

"Our school district has lots of needs," Wing said. "We have 59 languages in our district. We have 32 schools, 30 of which are Title 1. We have a 15 percent special ed population."

Even as the State of Arizona has given districts new options to hire non-traditional applicants, Wing says there are more jobs than teachers. Some schools will come up short, and he hopes none are in his district.
WESD will hold a job fair to fill 65 teacher and 75 other staff positions on Saturday, April 28.  

The fair runs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the WESD Administrative Center, 4650 West Sweetwater Avenue, Glendale, 85304. 

Contracts for the 2018-2019 school year will be offered to qualified candidates. Student teachers, soon-to-be college graduates, seasoned teachers and alternative pathways are encouraged to attend. For more information email teach@wesdschools.org.