Make all AACPS teachers whole

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Uju Inya-Agha
Uju Inya-Agha signed this petition

When you start as a teacher at Anne Arundel County Public Schools you are given a chart that shows you your “steps” (yearly salary) over your entire career. This allows many teachers to plan life events such as when to have a baby or when to buy housing. During the Great Recession in 2009, the District was unable to pay steps, and teachers understood.

But between 2010 and 2016, some teachers were repeatedly denied their step payment. Additionally, between 2010 and 2019, new teachers were hired at 1-3 steps below their experience level.
 In 2014, the District and the teachers agreed to throw out the old pay scale and start to use a different one. Teachers were assured that no salaries would go down, but this is where it gets confusing. No one’s salary went down, but some unlucky teachers were moved to two steps lower than their years of experience, luckier teachers stayed on the same, and even luckier teachers were moved to a higher step number than their years of experience!
 
Adding to the mess, fast forward to this school year and it turns out that for AACPS to stay competitive with nearby counties, new teachers are now being hired at the step level that corresponds to their years of teaching experience. In contrast, those unlucky AACPS teachers from 2014 who never left the district are making up to 8 steps less than colleagues and new hires of the same experience (see Facebook.com/PAAGEdu).
 
AACPS is now trying to make their teachers whole (restore all missing steps), but in a very fragmented way. Last year 1,016 teachers were made whole while 3,499 were left up to 8 steps behind. This matters because a teacher's retirement is calculated based on salary while employed - not only are the teachers who are left behind suffering an unearned penalty now with lower salaries, they will continue to pay this penalty into the future.

The good news is that the money exists in this year’s budget to correct this problem once and for all. Our teachers deserve better, our students deserve better, and our community deserves better. Please sign this petition to support our teachers and our students. We will send our signed request to County Executive Steuart Pittman, Superintendent George Arlotto and the AACPS Board of Education.