The Mountain View Whisman School District unanimously approved a 5 percent salary increase for its teaching staff and its top administrators, following signs that the district's budget picture is expected to remain rosy for the next three years.
The multiple salary-related votes at the Sept. 6 meeting included a 5 percent raise for all of the district's roughly 290 teachers for the 2018-19 school year, along with a commensurate pay increase for Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph and associate superintendents Cathy Baur, Robert Clark and Carmen Ghysels.
Teacher salaries in the district now range from $63,980 to $114,705, based on years in the district and college education, with one new addition -- teachers are now eligible for up to two $2,000 stipends for having a doctorate or master's degree, or National Board Certification. Similar stipends have been available in nearly every other district in Santa Clara County, and Mountain View Whisman teachers had criticized the district for failing to provide the same incentive.
The district's negotiators reached a tentative agreement with the Mountain View Educators Association on the salaries in early June, but delayed final approval by the board until it had been ratified by the teachers' association. The raises are expected to add about $1.7 million in annual costs to the budget.
In February, two studies commissioned by the district found that Mountain View Whisman's pay increases have far outpaced other Santa Clara County districts over the last five years, and that teachers are paid well, relative to comparable elementary school districts. Rudolph at the time said that the pace of salary increases -- averaging 5.13 percent annually -- might be unsustainable.
The tentative agreement with the teachers' union was reached right around the time district officials revealed they had made several "miscalculations" in the budget that undercounted revenue and overestimated costs, radically changing grim projections of future deficit spending.
The board also approved near-identical contracts for Ghysels, Clark and Baur, which state that all three will receive $205,810 for the 2018-19 school year. All three are also eligible for the $2,000 teacher stipends.
Trustees extended Rudolph's contract by one year to cover July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2021, along with a 5 percent salary increase for a total of $246,477 in annual compensation.