Highlight higher pay for Boston teachers — then watch what happens

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The contours of the new Boston Teachers Union contract are clear, with a 5 percent raise over two years exchanged for modest contract revisions (“A bad deal for Boston students,”Editorial, Aug. 31; “Teachers, city reach tentative contract,” Page A1, Aug. 25). But the percentage increase masks what should be the big story — the next contract will push the average teacher’s salary to more than $100,000.

That is good in two ways, as it both compensates the workers most vital to our future and, if well publicized, can serve to recruit talent that may be happily surprised to learn about a six-figure salary in the classroom.

That figure should also wake Boston voters up to just how necessary it is to eliminate the so-called excess pool of teachers without classrooms. It may also reverberate around the state. As voters throughout the state weigh significant revenue decisions at the 2018 ballot box — an increase through an income surtax on millionaires or a decrease through a reduction in the sales tax — news of six-figure workers on the sidelines could spell doom for the state budget.

Liam Kerr

Needham

The writer is state director of Democrats for Education Reform.

Rebecca Rutenberg