In the Springdale Public School System, the priority is always the students.
“You don’t get into teaching for the money, you get into it because you like working with kids and you want them to be successful,” said Pete Joenks the principal at Springdale High School.
But that doesn’t mean teachers don’t have bills to pay and mouths to feed.
“They’ve got to pay the bills, they have families, they have to raise their families, they got to have it. It’s not something that you can ignore,” Joenks said.
That’s why each year, the school district examines the budget to see if they can show their educators some extra love.
Last night, months of discussion and number-crunching resulted in a nearly 2% pay increase for their teachers.
Springdale Public Schools values their teachers, and an annual salary increase is one way that they show their appreciation. With this new pay bump increase, salaries begin at $47,266. That’s nearly $2,500 more than what the average Arkansas elementary school teacher makes.
Along with an increase of $250 for all salaries, teachers get an additional $688 for each year of experience under their belt.
That equates to roughly $80 extra per month in the pocket, which can go a long way in the world of education.
“Teachers themselves contribute frequently out of their own pocket. There are teachers that I’ve known that have spent well more than 1000 dollars on supplies for kids in the classroom,” said Rick Schaeffer, the communications director for Springdale Public Schools.
“We want to be able to be fair and compensate them and pay them for what they are worth, which is an incredible amount,” Joenks said.