District receives significant raise

5.6 percent increase is largest raise since 1998.


Micah Streeter

Middle School Science Teacher Sheryl Townson is a member of the negotiating team that negotiated a 5.6 percent raise for the teachers in the district. It was the first substantial raise in 20 years.

Micah Streeter, Editor-In-Chief, The Rocket Press

This year, teachers in the Rose Hill School District received a raise of 5.6 percent and it is the first of its amount since 1998.

It was negotiated by a committee put together by the Rose Hill Education Association that included middle school teachers Sheryl Townson and Donna Walker, as well as high school teachers Joshua Shirley and Brandon Barger. Other members of the committee included Cindy Shavlik, Cheryl Caton, Donna Meyer, Tonya McCullough, and Don Funke.

The money used for teacher salaries in the district each year comes from an amount given by the Kansas legislature.  Each year the negotiating committee negotiates a percentage of the money to be used for teacher salary raises.

“When the state only gives your district so much money each year, that’s the money we have to negotiate with,” said seventh grade science teacher and negotiating committee member Sheryl Townson.

In recent years, the Kansas Supreme Court has interfered with Kansas legislation in regards to lack of funding for Kansas education. In April of 2018 Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer signed a bill into law that would fund state education by adding $500 million over the course of five years. This year schools across the state received more money as a result of this new bill. Rose Hill received almost $300,000, an amount that proved substantial enough for the negotiating committee to arrive at the 5.6% percent raise.

The raise had to go through the Rose Hill Education committee before being accepted.

“We submit our plan or our rationale of why we feel we need this much money to add to teachers salaries,” said Townson, commenting on the negotiating process. “And the board of education will look at our rationale or our proposal and then we kind of go back and forth as to what number that we would be able to settle on as a pay raise. Because this year we had more money, and we wanted to keep adding to our teacher salaries as best we can. This was a great year to do that.”

The raise affected teachers around the district. The hope of the Rose Hill Education Association is that the raise will attract teachers who are early in their careers to the district with the promise of a higher starting salary.

“It puts us close to all other schools in the Wichita Metro area as far as starting salary,” Shirley said. “It makes us competitive and more attractive to first year teachers as well as veteran teachers who are looking to make a move.”