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Detroit Academy of Arts & Sciences to pay qualified teachers $100,000

Detroit Academy of Arts & Sciences to pay qualified teachers $100,000
Detroit Academy of Arts & Sciences to pay qualified teachers $100,000 02:40

(CBS DETROIT) - The Detroit Academy of Arts & Sciences (DAAS) has its eyes set on an ambitious goal. The goal is to hire 18 teachers at a higher pay rate for the next school year. This is a part of the charter school's Best-in-Class program.

With less than 35% of teachers certified at the Detroit Academy of Arts & Sciences, the charter school aims to beef up its experienced teachers by hiring 18 at $100,000 salaries.

"I had some teachers show me today hey look at my bank account it's on negative they're worried about that negative bank account and not what's going on in the classroom and that's hard," said Lawrence Hood, chief academic officer.

Seven years ago, 95% of DAAS teachers were certified. Now, only 34.9% are, according to DAAS.

"We believe people nationally will apply so this is going to be opened up nationally. We are hoping to draw talent back to the city," said Maurice Morton, CEO of the district.

Right now, Hood says the median salary for teachers within the district is around $60,000. Although the plan is to hire 18 teachers at the rate, the goal is to eventually make it equal across the board.

"We're starting with 18 or so this year, we have 63 teachers on staff, in four years we are hoping every single one of them is making $100,000 thousand dollars," Morton said.

The district says programs are in place to put current staff on the path to certification. The district says allocating funding directly for the classroom is how they've been able to crunch the numbers into reality. 

"We got the increase from the state, there's the per-people allocation we got an increase from the governor. Instead of saying hey we're going to create new positions, we said all of these dollars will go to this best-in-class program," Hood said.

The 18 teachers will start off making nearly double as current teachers in the charter school do. District leaders say it'll take around $900,000 for the initial investment.

Leaders for the charter school are aware of the precedence this may set for surrounding districts, especially public schools.

"People are just going to have to school district officials unions, charters schools everyone is just going to have to meet the need and this is just where it is. It is our market right now, said Lakia Wilson-Lumpkin, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers.

Below are the qualifications for those who seek to apply:

"Criteria for a model teacher is 5 or more years of experience in the classroom as a lead teacher/teacher of record. At least 2 years of a highly effective rating in the Michigan Online Education Certification System in the educator's most recent 3-year period, possession of valid Michigan Teacher Certification, and demonstration of an impact on scholar outcomes, professionalism, commitment to equity, and family and community engagement."

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