File photo (Dave Copeland/Andover News)

Andover Public Schools are on pace to pay 83.3 percent more this year than last to contract instructional assistants from an Acton-based company that specializes in autism care, according to the Town’s open finance Website.

The district is paying The Autism Community Therapists LLC $62 to $65 per hour to fill open positions at the same time the Andover School Committee and the Andover Education Association are locked in negotiations for a new contract for the district’s instructional assistants. One of the key sticking points, according to the union, is raising the instructional assistant’s pay from the current starting rate of $19.26 per hour.

Andover has paid TACT $74,358 just 51 days into the 180-day school year. At that rate, the district would spend $332,248 by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, up from $181,197 is FY 2023.

Andover News asked APS and School Committee Chair Tracey Spruce for comment and will update this story if we hear back.

The district’s teachers and instructional assistants have been working without a contract since the start of the school year. If the district does end up paying TACT $332,248 in the fiscal year ending June 30, it would represent 30.1 percent of the total paid over the past five years.

Town of Andover payments to TACT by fiscal year

FY 24 *$332,248
FY 23$181,197
FY 22$243,127
FY 21$167,865
FY 20$159,440
Total FY 2020-23$1,083,877
* Projected. APS had paid TACT $74,358 in FY 2024 as of of Nov. 7. The current fiscal year ends June 30, 2024.
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One thought on “Union: APS Pays Premium To Outsource IA Work”
  1. If Andover values a high quality education, why are Andover’s educators still working without a contract?
    Why aren’t instructional aides paid a living wage?
    $30 an hour for Andover IAs is a bargain compared to $62+ for outside contractors.

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