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New Contract Approved By Baltimore City Teachers

BALTIMORE (WJZ) ―A new contract approved by Baltimore city teachers puts city schools ahead of the curve.

Pat Warren reports, Baltimore teachers approved a groundbreaking contract that ties their performance to their pay.

New contract, new confidence.

"As a parent of students in the Baltimore City Public School system, I'm excited about the contract and I think other parents will be excited, too," said Tara Barnes.

Pay raises or step increases, based on their tenure and degrees will come to an end. The new contract provides a four-tier ladder that will eventually be tied to student performance evaluations.

Barnes is a parent and a teacher at Commodore John Rodgers Elementary and Middle School.

"It's a great career ladder for teachers," Barnes said. "Hopefully parents and families will see that as such."

It's a three-year agreement, which includes the start this year. It includes an automatic 2 percent pay raise and a $1500 stipend.

The contract could lure talent like Brian Rainville, the city's teacher of the year.

"It's going to attract talent, and it's going to pay the talent at the rate at which it deserves to be recognized,"said Rainville."It doesn't weaken the position of teachers by any means. It doesn't take away tenure; no one if being pushed back to any title less than they have right now."

Tying teacher evaluations to student performance is uncharted territory, which Principle Marc Martin sees as a benefit to the students.

"In order to determine what kind of job we're doing as a school and as educators, we need to see how our students are doing," Martin said. "I think that's the direction this contract is going to bring."

The city of Baltimore already boasts great kids and great schools, now by all indications it has a great teachers contract.

The state board of education still has to work out the guidelines for the performance-based evaluations.

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