Massive IPS raise brings salary relief to teachers

IPS Teacher Nathan Blevins. (WTHR Photo/Allen Carter)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — It was a good day returning to work for hundreds of Indianapolis Public Schools teachers, who learned they will soon be receiving a raise.

“It makes you feel appreciated. it makes me feel like administration has been listening to us,” said 8th Grade Teacher Nathan Blevins.

Blevins has been a teacher for eight years and said it hasn’t always been easy making ends meet.

“There was a time there especially in my early years there I was dependent on a food pantry to make sure we had food on the table," he said. "I work two jobs. Sometimes three actually."

He currently works at U-Haul on weekends to supplement his income.

“Tired is an understatement. I definitely get exhausted, but we do what we have to do,” said Blevins.

On Tuesday, the school board approved $31.2 million in spending for pay increases as they renewed two-year contracts with the Indianapolis Education Association and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

All teachers with performance reviews of satisfactory or better will receive the increase, which will be at least $2,600 a year. The maximum raise in the first year of the teachers' contract will be $9,400 and $4,200 in the second year.

The new pay ranges under the approved contract for teachers will be $45,200 to $82,800 in the first year and $47,800 to $90,000 in the second year.

“IPS is committed to ensuring our employees receive the best compensation possible to bring employees in line with the market rate,” said IPS Superintendent Aleesia Johnson. “While we’re not where we want to be, we are moving in the right direction and will continue the push to reward our employees for the remarkable work they do to support the students and families of the district.”

Blevins expects to see a raise of about $7,000 a year.

“I could potentially quit my side job at U-Haul. That would more than makeup what I make up what I make at my extra job, which means I can focus more on finishing my master’s degree and focus more on doing what I need to do for the kids,” Blevins said.

Teachers can expect to see bigger checks by the end of the year.