Explain the teacher salary issue.
There is a huge shortage of new teachers entering the educational field. Superintendent Ann-Marie Circle explained, “When I entered the educational field 32 years ago, it was very difficult to find a position. Currently, the abundance of teachers that entered education 30 to 40 years ago are retiring and there is no one to replace them. Public schools across the United States are at a critical shortage of educators; therefore, schools are competing for teachers.”
This year, the state mandated an increase in minimum teacher pay. Delphi Community School Corporation was staying competitive with their starting salary until this year. All school corporations were forced to raise their starting teacher pay. The larger school corporations with a greater revenue source were able to increase their starting pay significantly more than the minimum of $40,000. This has caused inequity across school corporations, and thus we are losing teachers to school corporations that are paying teachers more. We also have a shortage of housing in the Delphi community. Thus, new teachers are finding housing in neighboring counties, especially Tippecanoe County, which is booming with affordable housing. DCSC teachers are driving from another county which has a starting salary that is over $43,000 and the DCSC starting salary is $40,600. Superintendent Circle added, “Additionally, we have had some excellent teachers from TSC apply for our positions, yet we cannot afford to pay them what they are making at TSC. Thus, we must be competitive with our salary for teachers if we are going to compete with other school districts. We recently lost two more elementary teachers the week before school started who took positions with a greater salary at TSC and Lafayette School Corporation. Our students deserve the best education possible; thus, we must ensure our teachers are compensated!”