Teachers in the Huntsville City School District will start seeing more money in their paychecks starting next year thanks to a vote by the board of education tonight.
The move will dedicate over ten million dollars in increases over the next three years for teachers, which is on top of the 2.5% state mandated pay increases.
"It's well deserved. We ask a lot of our teachers these days and anything we can do to let them know that we appreciate it is, I think, a good thing," said Preeti Francis.
Francis is a parent of two students in the district.
She wants the raises to help turn around the trend of teachers leaving the district for higher pay elsewhere.
"I'm also glad that the focus is on retaining teachers and not necessarily trying to attract new people, but to keep the teachers that we already have," said Francis.
The Alabama Education Association told WAAY 31 this is a big win for teachers in the district, but there is still a bigger picture to keep in mind.
"This can't be the only thing that happens. We have to keep improving working conditions. We have to keep giving teachers more support in the classroom and quite frankly we have to make up for years of lost wages," said Alabama Teachers Association Uniserv Director Adam Keller.
The nearly $10.2 million in raises will be split up over three years, to start.
The district told WAAY 31 the first two years are almost already paid for, because of decreases in spending elsewhere in the budget.
"I like the way they're kind of doing it in a graduated way, so that we can do this in a sustainable way. We all remember when we were in dire financial straights and that wasn't too long ago and nobody wants to go back there," said Francis.
Once the three year phase in is over it will then become a solid $10.2 million in raises per year for teachers, which the district said could be covered through increased revenue from increased property values and decreasing spending elsewhere in the budget.