Should salaries of IAs be more highly prioritized in the school operating budget?

The School Committee understands that every individual constituent group will advocate for budget spending that aligns with their highest priorities, including the focused support IAs are putting toward higher pay for their important roles.

There are numerous funding requests for School Committee consideration as they weigh which areas of investment which will provide the best possible educational opportunities for 5,600 Andover Public School students.  Significant community input from a wide range of stakeholders informs the school budget, and the School Committee and superintendent develop a package of spending that is ultimately recommended to Andover voters for their consideration at Annual Town Meeting.

As of early February 2022, operating budget has been discussed at more than a half-dozen public meetings, and the School Committee voted to recommend a FY2023 operating budget increase of 3.68% higher than FY2022. The proposed budget allows for the fair and competitive IA pay increases proposed by the School Committee, and also provides investment in other critical areas including social-emotional learning, core math curriculum, instructional technology, staff professional development, and reduction of student fees. It also supports a plan to address long-standing facility needs at Doherty Middle School and Andover High School.  More detail on the FY2023 school operating budget is on the APS website.

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1. What is an Instructional Assistant?
2. How many Instructional Assistants work in Andover Public Schools?
3. What is the work year for an Instructional Assistant in Andover?
4. What is the process and timeline of bargaining between IAs and the School Committee?
5. What are the hourly rates paid to Andover Instructional Assistants?
6. How do the hourly rates offered by the School Committee compare to the hourly rates proposed by the Instructional Assistant union?
7. What percentage increases have been offered to Andover Instructional Assistants?
8. How does the salary increase offered to Andover IAs compare to salary increases for other Andover unions?
9. Does Andover Public Schools use a consistent set of districts when comparing educator, staff and administrative compensation rates?
10. How does the hourly rate offered to Andover IAs compare to hourly rates in demographically comparable districts?
11. How does the hourly rate offered to Andover IAs compare to hourly rates in geographically competitive districts?
12. Could the school department provide pay increases to IAs without a settled contract?
13. Do members of the IA union receive compensation other than hourly pay as part of their employment?
14. Do Instructional Assistants have access to health insurance benefits?
15. Do Instructional Assistants have access to pension benefits?
16. Is the IA union working without a contract?
17. Should salaries of IAs be more highly prioritized in the school operating budget?
18. Does the School Committee’s wage proposal meet or exceed a “living wage”?