Teachers at Libertyville and Vernon Hills high schools will receive modest raises in each of the next five years under the terms of a newly approved contract extension.
The Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 board on Monday approved the deal for the sister schools. An estimated 264 teachers are affected, district spokeswoman Mary Todoric said.
The contract, already ratified by the teachers union, was effective immediately. The deal expires in June 2018.
The teachers had been in the second year of a three-year contract that was set to expire in June 2015.
"The board, administration and union began talks in late winter to possibly extend the contract," Todoric told the Daily Herald in an email. "Both the board and administration and (the) union believed that the previous agreement was fair to teachers and responsible to taxpayers."
Under the terms of the deal, the teachers will receive 3.5 percent salary increases in each of the next five years.
Under the terms of the deal, the starting salary for a new teacher will be $50,647 -- the same figure in the previous contract.
The average salary will remain unchanged, too, staying at $70,000.
The new contract includes bonuses for teachers who hit significant student achievement targets, as did the previous deal.
Such bonuses for teachers are rare, state education officials have said. In Lake County, Lincolnshire-Prairie View Elementary District 103 teachers can qualify for similar payouts.
Partial college tuition reimbursements for approved graduate coursework also is included in the deal.
The contract "allows us to attract, hire and retain a world-class teaching staff," Superintendent Prentiss Lea said in a news release.