how do they decide which step do you qualify in public schools?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by megan, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. megan

    megan Rookie

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    how do they decide which step do you qualify in public schools? For example, some new teachers are hired as level 5, some teachers are hired as level 1.
     
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  3. megan

    megan Rookie

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    Is that related to the time you work? So, if you work in public school for 5 years, then you will have step 5?
     
  4. megan

    megan Rookie

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    Sorry, there is a mistake in my previous post. It should be "How do they decide which step do you qualify in public schools? For example, some new teachers are hired as Step 5, some teachers are hired as Step 1.
     
  5. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    It's typically based on your level of education and years of experience. That said, I've heard lore of folks and even know a real person who negotiated what step they were on.
     
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  6. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    This.

    megan, you can negotiate before you are hired, but not after. To demonstrate, if you teach a high-needs subject (math, SPED, ESL, foreign language, and/or science), then you have more negotiating power. I personally know a physics teacher who works at the public school just down the road from mine and he started at step 7 even though he was just entering the teaching profession. This is because he said he could make a lot more money elsewhere and that he could not justify working for so little pay. And seeing as the school was desperate for a qualified physics teacher they agreed almost immediately, lol! This proved to be substantial as he started out with a salary almost $20,000 higher than teacher starting at step 1 would (he had a Masters in Physics).
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
  7. megan

    megan Rookie

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    will it only apply to the years you work as teachers, not for paraprofessional years you work, right?
     
  8. megan

    megan Rookie

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    if they hire you as step 5 teacher, so it means you work for 5 years now, does that mean you will get tenured when the school year ends? Or you need to actually work at this district for actual 5 years?
     
  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    No, if they hire you at step 5, then that means you have 4 years of full-time teaching experience, so you’re a 5th-year teacher.
     
  10. megan

    megan Rookie

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    thanks for your quick reply. So that means by the end of school year, you will be tenured?
     
  11. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    It depends on the district. Some districts give tenure in two years, others give it in four. Some even give tenure in less than a year, though this is rare.
     
  12. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Typically, districts only accept teaching experience when determining step placement. I doubt paraprofessional experience would count.
     
  13. megan

    megan Rookie

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    so, you will be tenured after the end of the school year?
     
  14. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Pretty sure my district uses how long you've been paying into state teachers. So years I taught in a stem magnet school counted but years at a Christian School didn't.
     
  15. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    My understanding in NJ is that it isn't the step you are on, but your number of years teaching within a specific district. If I taught 6 years in district A, but then quit and got a job in district C, the prior years of experience would definitely affect the step C started at (years of experience), but it would do nothing to shorten that district's rules on tenure acquisition. So if district A offered tenure on your year 4, and if district C likewise offers tenure on your year 4, you had tenure when you left district A, and now you will have to work at district C until at least your fourth year to acquire tenure in district C.

    I only posted this here because there are two threads running that deal with steps and tenure. They are not the same. Steps are calculated based on number of years and amount of additional education above undergrad degrees, which is pretty much the baseline.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
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  16. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    No. Let’s say the district hires you at step 5 and you are renewed and put on a 2-year tenure track. Assuming you are renewed at the end of year 6, then and only then do you get tenure. You start at “year 1” of a tenure track from the date of your hiring.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  17. megan

    megan Rookie

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    so, even you are hired as step 5, but it is your first year at this district, so you will have to work for actual 5 years at this district to get tenured, right?
     
  18. nklauste

    nklauste Comrade

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    It depends on the tenure requirements for each district/state. In MN, you would get tenured after the first year (other than a couple of large districts that have their own requirements). It is all dependent on so many variables.
     
  19. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    In NJ you have to work in the district by law for 4 years before you get tenure on your first day of your fifth year in that district. Where they start you on the pay scale is irrelevant to getting tenure. You also have to start over on the tenure track if you leave districts, even if you have 12 years of experience and you’re placed at step 12. It varies state by state, with some states having no tenure at all and some with only two years of probation at status.
    I started at step 3 in my current district but I had to wait four full years to get tenure. I was on my 8th year teaching before acquiring tenure (I had taught previously in other districts that I left before getting tenure).
     
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  20. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    No. In my example, you only have to work at the school for two years (years 5 and 6 in this case) to be tenured since you were put on the two-year track.
     
  21. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    The key terminology is "the tenure track." That can be very consistent in some states (NJ), or is very different in other states. Just remember that you need to find out what the rulings are for your prospective state, and also your district, as written in Teacher handbooks, which tend to spell out these things in great detail. Once again, remember that steps on the pay scale doesn't indicate the number of years you will be required to teach to acquire tenure.when you take a new job in a new district. Tenure is earned in each district and the countdown begins when you accept employment in the new district.
     
  22. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Oh, I know that the number of certain steps on the payscale don’t correspond to the number of years to acquire teacher tenure. I was just using an example since megan asked about starting at step 5. Hopefully, that makes sense.
     
  23. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Not knocking your answer at all! OP has three threads going about steps, how the amount of education one holds affects placement on the step schedule, and then the tenure question. They are all related to each other, in theory. Steps are based on: 1. How desperate a school may be for a certain type of teacher. I think you may have been the one to point out that if you are the only physics teacher available in the whole state, you may be able to negotiate a better "initial step placement at the time of hire." 2. Once hired, the two things that affect your placement on the steps are years worked and amount of education that you acquire after being hired. 3. With years of employment, some states offer tenure, but not all. Obviously if you are somewhere long enough to acquire tenure, on the "tenure track", you have added years worked, so you would expect to be hired at a new job at a higher step. If you also acquired more advanced education that syncs with how their steps are set up, that may favorably put you on a higher step. This one is trickier, because not every school rewards all levels of education. However, if being hired at a new job, you have the chance, once more, to negotiate, to some extent, what step you start on in your new job.

    Keep in mind that where you are on the step may not be the same from one school district to another. Here, each district negotiates their own terms for contracts, and that includes how steps are defined, including both years served and added education I personally know one teacher who has been working at the same school for 8 years and barely moved up the steps due to the terms of the contract that the union negotiated. This teacher hadn't added additional education, so her movement was based on years served, and the union finally settled the contract by being able to keep people at steps longer without a pay raise, choosing to focus more on added education. Her only raises for four years were the "cost of living raises" that everyone received, but no rise in steps.

    Most of this is dependent on the contract terms of the new district, which affects how steps are defined, at least in NJ. I freely admit that I don't know if all states act like my state. I do know that when contract negotiations are long and drawn out, a teacher may end up a pauper or a prince when a new contract is ratified.

    Then in this thread, OP brings up the tenure question in this thread on steps. Your answer was the most definitive because it will depend on how long the "tenure track" is by district or by state. The one constant is that if you leave a job, you leave you tenure when you walk out the door, so you enter "tenure track" when you go to the new job. Once again, the definition of tenure track varies by state, but when you leave a job, you left that tenured position, and that starts all over in the new job.

    Here's the part where tenure and steps affect a new job - number of years worked. That will almost always be a factor. So we have returned to a prospective teacher's ability to somewhat negotiate the step they will be on when hired for a new job, considering all of the previous factors! :cool:
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
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  24. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Wow! What an incredibly detailed answer. This is sure to help the OP, haha!
     
  25. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    As I've been told more than once in my life, don't ask her if you don't want the WHOLE answer! It is both a character curse and a virtue, and I have long since given up worrying about it. That's why I was so happy to see your "tenure track". Short and sweet.
     
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  26. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Why does the OP have so many different threads about the same issue? :confused:
     
  27. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    My guess would be that OP doesn't see how advanced education, number of years on the job, pay based on where you are on the step schedule all intersect and affect each other, especially in states that offer tenure - I see tenure as the wild card, because that answer really depends on the state.. :cool:
     
  28. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    No. What step you are hired on has nothing to do with tenure (in most cases). You will still have to “do the time” to get tenure
     
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