Higher Pay for Charlotte Teachers: What Opportunity Culture Provides

by | May 23, 2016

A great article in Saturday’s Charlotte Observer highlighted what some Opportunity Culture multi-classroom leaders (MCLs) make. As noted, 26  MCLs in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools receive supplements of $16,000 to $23,000–within school budgets, not from temporary grants, done by reallocating budgets. But did you know that many others working in Opportunity Culture roles in CMS make more, too?

In fact, Charlotte’s Opportunity Culture schools this year have a total of 56 MCLs–the 30 not mentioned in the article make supplements of $13,000 (the MCL pay range depends on how big of a teaching team the MCL leads; also, the Project L.I.F.T. zone starts MCLs at $16,000 versus $13,000 in the rest of CMS).

And 35 others also get significant supplements: Those on MCL teams who are designated as “senior reach” or “master reach” teachers, or those who extend their reach to more students without leading a teaching team–using Time Swaps, for example–make supplements of $6,000 to $9,800.

And 30 teachers who are not yet at that level, but who work on an MCL’s team, earn $1,500 supplements (outside of the L.I.F.T. zone). The higher pay extends to the district’s 29 current “reach associates” as well–paraprofessionals who support the teaching teams–because they start at a slightly higher pay grade than teaching assistants.

All told, that means 150 teachers and paraprofessionals are earning more this year by working in Opportunity Culture roles–and Opportunity Culture continues to expand in the district; 35-plus more schools will be creating their own Opportunity Cultures next year.

So the headline news is certainly that some teachers are making nearly $90,000–but the even better news is that CMS is a national leader in its efforts to create multiple career paths for its teachers that allow them to make much more without having to leave the classroom for administration–and to reach more students in doing so with great teaching.

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