Investing in our #SpringdaleFamily

Springdale's beginning teacher salary is highest in State

Investing in our #SpringdaleFamily

The Springdale School Board voted to raise the minimum teacher salary to $50,282 for the upcoming school year, the highest in the state as reported by the Northwest Arkansas

Democrat -Gazette.

The School Board on Tuesday approved adding $1,500 to the certified salary schedule for a beginning teacher with a bachelor's degree. Certified salary schedules are based on experience and education. The increase will raise the average teacher pay about 2.5%, according to Kelly Hayes, deputy superintendent of finance.

Board members also approved a 2.5% increase in pay for classified staff, which include office staff, food service employees, maintenance workers and nurses. The board made several other adjustments to classified staff salary schedule. The adjustments include adding an extra experience step, for a total of 19 steps, salary schedules for maintenance, custodial and child nutrition staff will also be simplified so they make more sense for people coming in from the outside.

Deaf education interpreters will get a significant increase in pay and the director of nursing will be moved to index pay rather than a stipend to attract more people to apply for the position.

"We believe the money that comes into the district should be used to support student achievement and learning, and that student achievement and learning really is facilitated by the teachers and principals and classified staff in those buildings," said Superintendent Jared Cleveland. "We believe in order to recruit teachers and keep teachers, we need to pay them really, really well."

Randy Hutchinson, incoming board president voted in favor of the pay increase.

The board tries to pay employees as much as possible while still running the district efficiently, Hutchinson said. Being the top-paying district in the area also helps the schools hire the best employees, he said.

Springdale -- the largest district in the state with about 21,800 students as of last fall -- has approximately 1,800 certified staff and 1,000 classified employees, Cleveland said. The increase in certified staff pay will cost approximately $2.75 million and the increase in classified salary schedules will cost an estimated $975,000, Hayes said.

Springdale Public Schools | June School Board Meeting