A two-year contract approved for 370 classified employees by the Carson City School Board includes a salary-grade increase for interpreters working with deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
State law requires such staff to reach a higher competency level on a proficiency test than in the past, and teachers reaching that level will be paid more by the Carson City School District.
The largest jump possible is five grades with an increase in pay up to $3.12 an hour once the interpreter meets the new standard.
"That is a significant increase," said Richard Stokes, associate superintendent of human resources for the Carson City School District, "but it also represents a high level of competency."
Also in the contract is a 2 percent raise for classified employees in the 2005-06 school year and 4 percent in the 2006-07 year.
Under the new contract, retroactive to July 1 and continuing through July 2007, the school district will also re-classify some of its instructional assistants as para-professionals.
This change, which will occur in the 2006-07 year, is happening because a high level of proficiency is needed by instructional aides. They need to have an associate's degree in education or 48 hours of credit from a community college or university.
An instructional aide at the starting level will jump two pay grades and make 91 cents more per hour.
Stokes said the district agreed with union bargainers that "it was a reasonable request."
Stokes called many of the changes to the contract a "modernizing" and "upgrading" of pay grades "to try to stay somewhat competitive with our neighboring school districts."
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