TUSD headquarters

TUSD, with main offices at 1010 E. 10th St., might not immediately lose special funding related to the six schools.

First-year teachers in TUSD will now have the opportunity to make nearly $40,000 after the Governing Board approved pay increases for teachers and other district employees Tuesday night.

The initiative will cost TUSD $2.9 million.

The Governing Board voted to raise the base salary for first-year teachers from $34,200 to $35,000 and also approved a $500 increase for all teachers, bringing starting pay to $35,500.

When you factor in $3,000 in performance pay, that brings the total to $38,500, said TUSD Superintendent H.T. Sanchez.

“It’s extremely important for us to prioritize the most important employees who work in the district, which are our teachers who without them there is no education that occurs,” Sanchez said, adding the investment will go a long way in aiding the district’s recruitment and retention efforts.

“If you make the salary attractive and appealing, people will consider the profession and that’s our goal – to get to $40,000 and each year we continue to make strides towards that,” he said.

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The board also approved 1 percent raises for other employees throughout the Tucson Unified School District.

The majority of the expense — $2.1 million — will be paid for from the maintenance and operation fund with the balance being covered by savings from department-level reductions.