The Mukilteo School Board approved a three-year teacher contract Monday night, reducing class sizes and making the district’s educators some of the best paid in the state.

“Moving forward it keeps us competitive at attracting and retaining the educators that the students and our community deserve,” said Mukilteo Education Association President Dana Wiebe.

Under the agreement, first-year teacher salaries begin at $60,000, and could stretch up to $120,776 for a teacher with 12 years of experience in the district. Teachers also secured a 2.5% annual cost of living adjustment.

The salary schedule puts Mukilteo in the top five districts statewide, according to Wiebe.

Kindergarten class sizes will be capped at 25 students, and first- through third-grade classes will be limited to 27 students, which is three fewer students that the previous maximum in early elementary.

Caps on special education class sizes were also reduced, and supports were added to help special ed students who are in general education classes.

“Contractual reductions in class sizes for general and special education teachers gives students the opportunity to thrive in an uncrowded classroom, and enables teachers to meet the individual academic, social, and emotional needs of our students,” Wiebe said.

It’s the earliest agreement that the Mukilteo Education Association has reached with the district in at least 20 years, according to Wiebe. Typically contract negotiations can stretch into August or even September.

Back in June 98.2% of educators represented by the union voted to approve the contract, which the association says is a higher threshold than previous contracts.