DETROIT – The Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) is offering a recurring bonus of $15,000 for certified teachers to teach students with special needs.
“As we jump one hurdle, there’s often another hurdle, and you know you just got to keep on jumping the hurdles until you cross the finish line and I think this is one of our last hurdles,” Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti said.
Vitti spoke on the progress being made to get DPSCD full staffed across the board. The goal has almost been achieved, but the main teachers needed now are those that instruct with extra care.
“The last hurdle is special education, especially in some very specialized areas like teachers that work with students with autism, those that are cognitively impaired or emotionally impaired,” he said.
That’s why this new incentive is being introduced, which offers new “certified” teachers in the special needs department thousands in a recurring bonus to come aboard. The hope is the extra cash will be enough to get those who qualify off of the fence.
“By offering $15,000 In addition to the regular salary we’ll now be more competitive than some of our suburban school district counterparts,” Dr. Vitti said.
With financial incentives like this, the superintendent has been able to decrease over number of teacher vacancies from 400 to just about 40.
“Our most veteran teachers have gone from 68,000 to now 76,000 Our beginning teacher salaries at 51,000 which is the highest really in Michigan and certainly in the area. I can’t think of something more important than making sure that all of our students have a certified teacher in each of their classrooms,” Dr. Vitti said.
Dr. Vitti said the pandemic hasn’t had any bearing on the number of vacancies.