Elgin U-46 approves four-year teacher contract

Teachers in Elgin Area School District U-46 will be getting more pay and more planning time in a four-year deal approved by school board members Monday.

The contract raises starting teacher pay by 6% in the first year, 5% in the second year, 3% in the third year and 2% in the final year. Currently, starting teacher pay is $51,901. By the end of the contract, the starting pay will be $60,600.

The contract, which covers 2,500 members of the Elgin Teachers Association, also allows for more time for teacher planning at all grade levels. Planning and collaboration time allows teachers to review curriculum, write lesson plans, review student work, communicate with families or work with other teachers.

“This collaborative agreement ensures that School District U-46 will remain competitive in attracting, and retaining, highly qualified and dedicated educators who play such an important role in the lives of our students and their success,” Lela Majstorovic, deputy superintendent of instruction, said in a news release. “It also demonstrates our commitment to providing teachers with the time and tools they need to provide high-quality instruction.”

School board members approved the contract with a 6-0 vote. Board member Veronica Nolan was not at Monday’s meeting. Roughly 88% of the Elgin Teachers Association also voted on the contract before it was presented to the school board for approval.

“This contract will have far-reaching positive effects for our educators, boosting the dedicated time they have to plan lessons, collaborate with colleagues, and reflect on their practice,” Barb Bettis, president of the Elgin Teachers Association, said in a news release. “As a result, learning will be enhanced for the more than 34,000 students served by School District U-46.”

Under the contract, general classroom teachers at the elementary school level will no longer have to teach science or social studies. Rather, each elementary school will have dedicated teachers who teach those subject areas, similar to other “specials” such as art and music. The elementary school day, which is currently 6 hours long, will be extended by 20 minutes starting in the 2025-26 school year to allow for additional planning time and specials.

Teachers at the high school level will have collaborative team time on early release days.

The new contract replaces one that expired in August of 2023. The new contract will expire in August of 2027.

U-46 is the second largest school district in the state and serves all or part of 11 communities, including Bartlett, Elgin, Hanover Park, South Elgin, Streamwood, Wayne, Carol Stream, Hoffman Estates, St. Charles, Schaumburg and West Chicago.

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