PHILADELPHIA — Teachers in the 17 Archdiocese of Philadelphia high schools have ratified a new one-year contract following months of negotiations.

Members of the teachers union approved the new contract on Tuesday. The last contract expired Aug. 31. Archdiocese spokesman Ken Gavin says the agreement will benefit educators, parents and students.

The new contract provides more education time and professional development opportunities along with a salary increase for the 600 full-time teachers. Multiple teacher development days have been added to the 2018-2019 academic calendar. There are also new mentoring opportunities for educators under the contract.

The starting salary has been raised from $38,000 to $39,000.

Gavin says the primary goal of the negotiation centered on school quality as opposed to financial matters.

High school students return to class this week.