Teachers overwhelmingly ratified Wednesday a negotiated contract with the Bozeman School District that would give each teacher nearly a 1 percent pay raise next year.

Tami Phillippi, president of the Bozeman Education Association union, said that 94 percent of teachers voted in favor of the agreement. With many teachers moving up the pay scale as they gain experience and education credits, the entire agreement would cost the district 2.1 percent more, or $511,000, next year.

It will now go to the School Board for trustees' approval at a special meeting scheduled noon Monday, May 16.

Phillippi said teachers were excited about negotiated changes in the schedule for professional development, which will have a few more teacher training days held throughout the school year. Teachers also like the consensus negotiation process.

"They're glad to be teaching in Bozeman," she said.

Kirk Miller, Bozeman school superintendent, said he's appreciative that teachers honored the work of the negotiating team. He added it's appropriate for the district to make investing in teachers, "our team that serves children," the first priority, and he will be pleased to take the agreement to the School Board.

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