District 11 announces pay raises for employees, including $50K starting salary for teachers

The increases come following weeks of intense negotiations between one of the Pikes Peak region’s largest school districts and three employee groups.
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 10:14 AM MDT|Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 5:01 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Teachers and other District 11 employees will be receiving a pay bump, effective in July!

This comes following weeks of intense negotiations between one of the Pikes Peak region’s largest school districts and three employee groups.

Last week, the district announced a tentative agreement had been reached. Thursday, it said that agreement had been finalized.

“All D-11 employee groups will see across-the-board pay raises starting July 1. Through these collaborative discussions, the Board of Education and employee groups committed to prioritizing investing in all staff through competitive compensation packages, high-quality professional development, and supportive work environments.

“The D-11 starting teacher salary will be $50,000, representing a 20 percent pay bump from the previous starting teacher salary, demonstrating dedication to supporting the invaluable work of educators. Alongside this landmark salary increase, there will be across-the-board pay raises for all employees within the school district in the heart of the city,” the district said in a statement.

The D-11 starting salary is one of the highest in the region, the district added.

“The board is collectively committed to student success and staff investment priorities. These historic raises not only serve as a testament to the appreciation for the hard work and dedication demonstrated by our exceptional employees but also serve to attract talented staff to our district,” said school board President Dr. Parth Melpakam.

Below are the pay increase averages for each employee group:

  • Teachers: 15.99%
  • Education Support Professionals (ESP): 23.04%*
  • Executive Professionals: 13.58%

D11 Chief Communications Officer Devra Ashby told 11 News that boost to ESP pay stood out the most to her, as those employees are “the backbone of the district.” The employee group is made up of people like bus drivers, food nutrition service employees, custodians, teacher’s aides and other support staff.

Those folks are the behind-the-scenes to student achievement,” Ashby told 11 News. “They support the teachers, they support the administration, they support the students, and we need those folks in our district to be able to operate a functioning school district.”

One ESP at Coronado High School, Christine Bauers, said she was grateful for those who went to bat during negotiations for her and others in these positions and that the increase was a nice step in recognizing their work.

“We’re hoping that this is just the first step in getting to where our level of expertise equals the level of pay that we are seeing,” Bauers said. “It’s just showing that, you know, we are a valued employee just like anybody else in the district, so we are now thankful that we are, you know, being seen and heard.”