Montgomery County public school employees can look forward to their first raise in three years under a tentative budget deal announced Monday.
The settlement between the school district’s employee unions and the Board of Education would provide an average increase of about 3.4 percent — after a three-year freeze in cost-of-living increases and a two-year freeze in step increases.
“Our employees have given up a lot in the last three years,” Superintendent Joshua P. Starr said during a news conference Monday morning. “We believe it is time to ensure that their compensation meets the increased demands of the future.”
The deal signals a slightly more optimistic fiscal forecast after a period of austerity. Other school districts, including Fairfax and Prince George’s counties, also are trying to negotiate some form of compensation increase in the coming year, although rising health-care and pension costs continue to strain local budgets.
The salary increases are part of the Montgomery school system’s $2.1 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The spending plan for the 146,000-student system represents a 2 percent increase over current annual spending and meets the maintenance-of-effort requirement, a newly clarified Maryland law that requires at least a constant level of per-student funding year-to-year.