Board to Pass Budget Without Teacher Contract - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Board to Pass Budget Without Teacher Contract

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At its regular meeting, the school board of Erie's Public Schools is expected to approve a new budget for the coming year. It's a 149 million dollar spending plan, balanced without a tax increase. Superintendent, Dr. Jay Badams says a one time, one million dollar insurance payment and over 70 retirements, 52 of them teachers, helped to balance the budget.

Erie's Public Schools will enter the budget year without a new contract for the district's 900 union teachers. That keeps labor costs steady for now. "We have essentially a year unless agreement is reached between now and the start of the new year," said Dr. Badams, "so we know what our labor costs will be, salaries will stay the same as they are right now without any increase."

Greg Henderson, President of the the Erie Education Association, the union representing teachers said, "We could go several years without it, a lot of other school districts are in the same shape."  The teacher's contract expires June 30th.   The union president says they'd rather have an extension than face possible pay hikes for health benefits.  Teachers say they are also keeping an eye on the governor's race in Harrisburg.  They are concerned about pension reforms and education funding in general.

According to Dr. Badams, one bright spot through these difficult budget years is that teacher development has not suffered.  "We haven't missed a beat in terms of professional development for teachers and administrators and that's because we had the GE Developing Futures grant, so we've had the cutting edge of professional development a lot of it," said Badams.

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