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Bayfield educators getting pay raise entering 2024-25

Certified staff members, including teachers, will get $8,000 salary increase
The Bayfield School District administration Building. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

Bayfield educators are set to receive a pay raise entering the 2024-25 school year.

The Bayfield School District Board of Education unanimously approved a $8,000 jump in base pay for certified staff members, which includes teachers, counselors and administrators, according to a news release on the district’s website.

The starting base salary for a first-year Bayfield teacher will now be $48,000, up nearly 25% from the $36,200 starting pay when Superintendent Leon Hanhardt started his duties two years ago.

“A goal of this administration since we started was to right the wages and continue to look at that. I know it is the right thing to do,” Hanhardt said in the release. “This is significant in a short amount of time, and we are doing what we should be doing, and that is, reward the staff.”

District officials initially pondered a $3,000 salary increase for certified staff’s base pay back in February. As talks continued, however, that sum was renegotiated to $8,000, the release said.

“I feel like teachers across the whole U.S. are underpaid, not only here but everywhere. These individuals are creating our doctors, our lawyers, our superintendents, our everybody, and we are paying them a minute wage, which is just ridiculous to me,” board member Justin Talbot said in the release. “I’m for giving them as much as we can, with a comfort level of making sure that we can afford that and stay within our budget parameters.”

Hanhardt said in the release that he’s confident the district can sustain that $8,000 raise as part of the district’s budget.

He noted the district still needs to wait for final legislative approval of the state budget before the final contract details are submitted. However, he’s confident the district will be able to cover the cost of said salary bumps based on projected state funding entering 2024-25, the release said.


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