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New Denver teachers contract approved by school board and union

Elizabeth Sanchez, a math teacher at Denver's Hill Campus of Arts and Sciences, checks the homework of a student in this 2014 file photo.
Elizabeth Sanchez, a math teacher at Denver's Hill Campus of Arts and Sciences, checks the homework of a student in this 2014 file photo.
Denver Post file

An agreement on a new five-year contract for Denver Public Schools teachers has been ratified by both the Denver school board and members of the Denver teachers union.

The school district and the union reached the agreement in the early hours of Sept. 1 after months of public bargaining sessions attended by hundreds of teachers advocating for a bullish set of demands. The agreement, which does not include the union’s most aggressive proposals, was unanimously approved by the school board on Sept. 7. Union executive director Pam Shamburg reports that union members also approved it, with 89 percent voting to ratify.

Highlights of the new contract include:

— A $1,400 increase to teachers’ base salary for 2017-18.

— An additional $1,500 per year for teachers who teach in Title I schools serving a high percentage of low-income students and who don’t already get incentive pay for teaching in a school the district has identified as “hard to serve.”

— Beginning next year, an additional day for planning lessons and an agreement that the first and last 10 minutes of the school day won’t be counted as planning time.

— A committee to review and “oversee ongoing improvements” to the teacher evaluation system.

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