OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 News) – Teachers in the Ogden School District are outraged over a change in their pay raises that will soon be based on their performances in the classroom.
They came together to rally.
“It is a disheartening time for teachers in Ogden,” says Rick Palmer, Ogden Education Association.
Teachers from multiple school districts were holding signs reading, teachers are not the problem, and there are two sides to a contract.
“We just feel collaboration is the way to go,” says Terrie Maxfield, teacher.
The teachers say they’ve been shut out of the bargaining process for their current contracts. It’s a contract with the Ogden School District that states they will be moving towards a merit base pay raise system for teachers.
“We feel this is the direction we need to go. We are calling it a bold move,” says Superintendent Noel Zabriskie.
There are 650 teachers educating more than 12,000 students in this district. They deal with a lot of poverty. Seventy five percent of the kids qualify for free or reduced price lunch.
“We have kids coming into kindergarten that don’t know shapes or colors,” says Zabriskie.
He says everyone has to step it up to get these kids on a level playing field. One way to possibly incentivize teachers is to pay according to their rates of success in the classroom.
“The landscape has changed a great deal. Taxpayers are asking for increased accountability. They want to know what is happening with the money. Performance pay is one way to answer that question,” says Zabriskie.
It’s also one way that’s troubling to educators.
“This is a state issue, not just an Ogden issue,” says Palmer.