The Ketchikan School District and Ketchikan Education Association are continuing contract negotiations for teachers. Both sides put out information this week related to teacher salaries locally, and how they compare statewide.

In the school board meeting packet for Wednesday, Superintendent Robert Boyle included the Association of Alaska School Boards annual report on teacher salaries. Boyle doesn’t address contract negotiations directly, but in his accompanying memo he notes that the average annual salary for teachers in Ketchikan is about $71,000.

He writes that Ketchikan public schools rank 11th-highest in the state for teacher pay.

KEA Vice President Sarah Campbell emailed a response to Boyle’s memo. She writes that reporting average salaries doesn’t fully explain how Ketchikan ranks with other districts. Campbell writes that Ketchikan’s base salary for teachers, for example, ranks 29th out of 46.

Campbell writes that a low base salary is not conducive to attracting new teachers. She adds that the AASB report doesn’t factor in the cost of health insurance. She writes that Ketchikan teachers have the most expensive insurance among Alaska public school teachers.

The school board is not scheduled to take action on KEA contract negotiations on Wednesday, although an executive session is on the agenda for members to talk about that issue.

Also Wednesday, the board will discuss the district’s 2018-2019 draft budget. Business Manager Adam Thompson writes in a memo that there will be an increase to the district’s share of state-mandated pensions for teachers and public employees. That increase totals about $360,000.

Wednesday’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. in Borough Assembly chambers at the White Cliff building. Public comment will be heard at the start and end of the meeting.