Highlights of Philadelphia teachers’ contract
Cost: Approximately $192 million over three years for salary increases and benefits, not counting money for “value-added compensation” and additional pay for teachers in low-performing schools for extended day and year.
Salary and benefits: Members will get a 3 percent raise in September and another 3 percent raise in January 2012. Medical benefits were not curtailed. The District is moving towards self-insurance and will institute a health management program.
Site selection: Site selection will be mandatory at schools designated as “high needs.” The committees making teacher selection decisions will operate by consensus. The District says nearly 90 percent of vacancies will now be filled through site selection rather than seniority – all those at 58 schools that voted for it and at an overlapping group of 107 high-needs schools, as well as half the positions at other schools. The union said the number is likely to be lower in practice.
Value-added compensation: The District has budgeted $20 million – and will spend more if funding is available – to reward teachers and other staff members as a group at some schools, both high-needs and those already doing well, that make significant progress. The formula will be worked out by a joint committee. Plus, the annual bonus for teachers certified through the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards will increase to $7,500, and the District will develop a master’s degree in urban education with local universities and subsidize its tuition for teachers in low-performing schools.
Teacher support and evaluation: The contract establishes Peer Assistance and Review (PAR), a jointly developed evaluation system for all new teachers and others who are struggling. Consulting teachers will work with those enrolled in PAR and recommend evaluation ratings. All new teachers will also have school-based mentors. The program, drawn from Montgomery County, Md., and Toledo, Ohio, will start with 45 schools next year and by 2012-13 include the entire District.
Racial balance: The contract does away with a longstanding provision designed to maintain racially balanced faculties at all schools. Both parties said this stemmed from recent legal decisions and the settlement of the desegregation case brought by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in 1970.