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Teacher Contracts: Good News and Bad News

After a three year wait, District of Columbia teachers approved their new contract today. The new five-year agreement grants 21.6% raises to teachers, raising the average salary from $67,000 to $81,000. The contract, which is said to be the first of its kind in the country, is being supported by $60 million in foundation money. It will give Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee the ability to award performance pay and fire underperforming teachers, reports Education Week staff writer Dakarai Aarons.

At the same time, the New York Times is reporting that New York City's Mayor Bloomberg is freezing teacher and principal salaries for two years in order to "save the jobs of some 4,400 teachers."

One concession that Mayor Bloomberg offered was that he and Michael Mulgrew, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, will "go together to Albany and Washington to press our case to restore more education funding."

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