Vancouver is located in southwest Washington across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. Teachers in Vancouver's two school districts are certified according to standards established by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), which oversees 295 districts across the state. Base salary schedules in Washington are established by OSPI and local districts may supplement teacher pay through local levies. Within Vancouver's city limits, students are served by Vancouver Public Schools and Evergreen School District.
All teachers working in Washington's public schools must be certified through OSPI and hold a valid license and approved background check. Teachers initially receive a Residency Certificate, which requires a bachelor's degree or higher and completion of an accredited teacher preparation program. Requirements of teacher preparation programs typically include student teaching experience and successfully passing an examination on basic skills and content area knowledge. Following two years of teaching, educators may upgrade to a Professional Certificate, which is valid for five years with 150 hours of continuing education.
Salary Schedule Placement
Teachers in Vancouver are paid a salary according to their years of experience and level of education. The starting step for teachers with no classroom experience and a bachelor's degree is the lowest salary amount, ranging up to the maximum salary amount for those with 16 or more years of classroom experience and a master's degree plus 90 credits or a Ph.D. The base salaries allocated to school districts from OSPI range from $34,048 to $64,174 as of 2011, but some school districts provide additional stipends to supplement this base salary.
Evergreen School District
Vancouver's Evergreen School District is the fifth-largest in Washington with 25,000 students and 3,000 employees. The school district manages 21 elementary schools, six middle schools and four high schools and spends over $110 million annually on teachers' and administrators' salaries. Evergreen's published salary schedule reflects the base allocations provided by OSPI, ranging from $34,048 to $64,174 as of 2011. Supplemental salaries include the Teacher Professional Fund, which is $1,500 as of 2011, and an additional 9.34 percent of the base salary for TRI pay, which is provided as compensation for additional time spent beyond the working day. The Teacher Professional Fund is intended to reimburse teachers for expenses such as tuition or workshop fees.
Vancouver Public Schools
More than 1,200 teachers are employed in Vancouver Public Schools, where 22,307 students are enrolled, as of 2010. The school district has 21 elementary schools for grades kindergarten through fifth, seven middle schools for sixth through eighth grades and six high schools for grades nine through 12. Teachers in the Vancouver School District receive the base salary allocated by OSPI for 181 days of work and additional pay based on a TRI schedule negotiated between the teachers' union and the district. TRI pay ranges from $4,508 for beginning teachers to $5,908 for those with the most experience and education as of 2011.