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'Slap in the face,' performance-based pay raises for Woodland Park teachers

Posted at 5:40 PM, Jul 03, 2024

WOODLAND PARK — Every Woodland Park School District (WPSD) teacher gets a 2% pay raise this coming school year.

Newer teachers could get the highest pay raise of 3.49% based on performance and student achievement.

"Do they think we're going to work harder because we're getting a bigger raise," asked WPSD teacher, Michelle Studwell. "Teachers as it is work so hard, we put in 120% every day of our lives, this just feels like a slap in the face."

Studwell has been in WPSD for 16 years. She feels it's unfair that newer teachers could get a higher raise than her.

"There are lot of teachers that have been there a long time, are saying that the first-year teachers are approaching what they're making and that doesn't feel right at all."

Studwell explained teachers are scored by how much they accomplish their teaching goals.

"You kind of get a cohort of kids at times that are really going to struggle and it's not the teacher's fault, you can't base everything about the teacher on where those kids get to because of where they start.'

School board member, David Rusterholtz, told me he wants to make sure that does not happen, by setting up teacher and principal focus groups this coming school year.

This increase adds up to a 16 percent pay raise for WPSD teachers over the last three years. The starting salary for a first-year woodland park teacher is $43,000.

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