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Mesa Public Schools vote to spend $36M on salary raises, stipends

A proposed 2022-2023 budget has the average salary for Mesa's teachers increasing from $56,943 to $62,221.

MESA, Ariz. — The Mesa Public Schools Governing Board voted Tuesday to potentially spend $36 million on salary raises and stipends for employees during the next school year. 

Arizona's largest school district is planning to possibly allocate more money during the next budget cycle which could result in a 4% salary raise to its personnel. 

According to a breakdown of the district's proposed 2022-2023 budget, Mesa would spend almost $12 million on salary increases and $24 million on stipends and classroom site fund increases by utilizing dollars from COVID-19 federal relief.

The average salary for teachers in Mesa is currently $56,943, according to the district's website. Mesa's proposed budget would elevate the average salary up to $62,221. Just a few years ago, the district's average salary was $46,436.  

"2023 salary increase consisted of a 4% base pay increase plus $3,000 of performance pay being added to the base pay amount," district records state. "Does not include an additional, one-time-only 1% increase and $2,000 stipend."  

Credit: Mesa Public Schools

MPS board member Marcie Hutchinson said it breaks her heart to hear stories that some teachers in Mesa can't afford to live in the city they work in. 

"Teachers will tell you this has been the hardest year...So much on their plate," Hutchinson said during a recent school board meeting. "If we want to keep experienced, qualified educators in front of our students every day, we have to invest in them."   

The school board will officially adopt the 2022-2023 budget at a meeting next month after holding a public hearing on the matter. 

More information and documents on the district's budget can be found here.

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