In a continued effort to keep you updated on regional progress, I hope this communication will provide helpful insight regarding the connection between teacher pay, tuition and tuition assistance in the new regional model.
A primary goal of regionalization is to increase compensation so we can retain and attract the best teachers. On average, our first-year teacher salaries at K-8 schools are 35% lower than the starting pay in public schools and vary by more than $13,000 across Catholic schools in Des Moines. Over the last several years we have been able to match the public school pay scale at Dowling Catholic and have set a five-year goal to do the same for teachers in all of our schools.
This month pastors, principals and business managers from each school are meeting with regional staff to develop a multi-year plan for teacher salaries, tuition and tuition assistance. In the Des Moines region tuition has always been lower than the cost to educate each student. Support from parishes and donors makes this possible. Keeping tuition affordable for all families remains a top priority as we look at teacher compensation and the sustainability of our current model.
Last year approximately 37% of families received some form of tuition assistance. This year we anticipate up to 15% more families may qualify based on expanded guidelines and additional funding from the Catholic Tuition Organization (CTO), the diocesan Ignite Campaign and other sources. New guidelines will be available late January.
The tuition assistance application process opens February 1. The application deadline is April 17, 2023. Families are encouraged to apply earlier this year given the additional funding available. Early applications will provide information to better understand and meet the needs of more families. If you would like to receive additional updates and reminders regarding the tuition assistance process, please click here
We appreciate your support as we work together to sustain a strong future for our Catholic schools. We could not fulfill our mission without our caring and dedicated teachers.
Dr. Dan Ryan
Regional Planning Update 11-10-22 - Spanish
President, Des Moines Region and Dowling Catholic High School