Washougal School Board, teachers ratify new contract

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The Washougal School Board on Wednesday approved a new three-year contract with the Washougal Association of Educators.

Under the agreement, Washougal schools will pay the 1.9 percent state reduction in teacher base salary to prevent teachers from getting pay cuts.

Teacher professional growth stipends were also modified. In the past teachers received a $1025 to use to support professional growth goals. Now teachers will get $730. The remaining $295 will go to the district to support professional growth for all staff.

Teachers will also get $8 a day to teach classes with more students than established targets. In the past the compensation was $7 a day.

In the Washougal School District, a first-year teacher is paid $33,401. A teacher in his 25th year is paid about $59,000, depending on how many college credits the teacher has earned.

"These are difficult financial times for our families and for our staff. I believe that the School Board and association have reached a very reasonable agreement that balances the respect that we have for our staff while weighing the reality of tight operating resources," Superintendent Dawn Tarzian said in a release. "I appreciate the dedication of our staff to commit to a contact that considers what is best for students while also recognizing the value of our quality teaching staff."

The agreement was reached at a meeting Wednesday.