A clause in the Three Village school district's most recent contract with its teachers union has yielded a savings of $300,000 – which the district will be reinvesting in some staff and programs that initially fell victim to budget cuts, administrators announced Monday.
According to the Three Village Teachers Association contract, which was renegotiated in 2010 and again in 2011, the teachers were to receive a raise between 1.75 percent and 2.25 percent, based on the consumer price index (CPI), which is a measure of average change in prices consumers pay over time.
Jeff Carlson, assistant superintendent for business services, said Monday the CPI will dictate a raise of 1.8 percent. Since the school district had to budget for the largest possible salary increase, it winds up with a savings of $300,000.
Superintendent Cheryl Pedisich broke down some of the positions that would be restored:
- A partial theater arts position at both Gelinas and Murphy, which would affect approximately 100 kids in each building who would then take a class instead of a study hall;
- Half a guidance counselor position at the secondary level;
- Half a social worker position at the elementary level;
- One to one-and-a-half elementary health instructors.
The health instructor position in particular struck a chord with some of the families in attendance, who attended the meeting intending to speak on the matter of cuts in elementary health instruction.
"Our kids really need this program that teaches physical and mental health," said Sallie Culloton, whose son John, an Arrowhead second-grader, told the school board that taking away health class would "destroy safety."
While the two assistant principal positions that were eliminated won't be restored, the administration is recommending the creation of three positions that would provide support to the principals.
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