For whom the bell tolls? It tolls for thee Marysville, thanks to 14 percent raises for teachers

MARYSVILLE – For whom the school bell tolls? It tolls for thee Marysville.

The teachers union voted Thursday in favor of the two-year tentative agreement made earlier in the week, which boosted their pay 14 percent.

Therefore, school will start on time Wednesday. The school board will vote tonight to make it official, but that’s usually just a formality by the time it reaches this stage.

“We look forward to welcoming back our students and their families on the first day of school,” which is Sept. 5, said Emily Wicks, communications director for the district.

The Marysville School District and the Marysville Education Association reached an agreement on contract negotiations early last week. The ratified contract includes an average 14 percent increase in compensation. Percentage increases vary depending on education, credits, years of service and educational degrees.

“We trusted the process and worked together to find a solution in the midst of challenges that are out of our control, given the complexities of the new state funding system,” interim superintendent, Jason Thompson said.

“The district went to extraordinary lengths to listen and respond to our concerns,” MEA president Randy Davis said. “As one example, new teachers will now be supported by full-time mentor teachers with a model developed in collaboration between the association and district.”

Thompson said negotiations went well with the teachers understanding why the district couldn’t give as big of raises as some others, but that work will be done in the state legislature to try to even out the playing field in the future. Some districts gave raises as high as 20 percent.

“We share the Marysville School District’s concern with how this new system will affect Marysville in the long run,” said Davis. “Equality and equity are not the same, and our legislators must address inequities created by the new funding system during the upcoming legislative session.”

“I’m excited school is going to start on time. We can put this behind us and focus on kids,” Thompson said.

He said the union and district were collaborative – to the point sometimes you couldn’t tell which side was which.

Thompson said he is glad McCleary came about to give more state money to instructors. “I feel good for our teachers,” he said.

The district has been busy this summer, most notably flopping Pinewood Elementary School. In moves to improve safety, parents will now drop off and pick up their kids only on the north end where the office in a portable now is. Buses will only be in the south end. The playground is now in one area only, with some new equipment in place. Cameras have been placed all over campus. And some portables have been added so class sizes can be reduced. Advancement Via Individual Determination coordinator Amy Price said that program is being expanded into all 10 elementary schools for fourth- and fifth-graders. AVID focuses on sills such as organization and note-taking to help students prepare for their futures, whether it be college or a job. “It provides the skills they need to succeed,” she said.

•6,500 new Chromebooks are available that are more durable and have touch screen.

•Mountain View and Arts and Tech high schools are combined and will be working ona new name and mascot.

•Trees have been removed at Marshall Elementary as a safety measure.

•127 teachers were hired and provided new training to help them navigate the system.

•Many fees can now be paid online.

•Teachers underwent robust professional development.

•A new developmental preschool for kids with special needs will be combined with the low-income ECAEP program.

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