For the second time in recent months, the Laurel School Board and the local teachers union have disagreed on contract agreements, each side saying the information received was misleading.

In trying to curb expenses for this fiscal year amid  a huge projected deficit the Laurel School Board proposed a memo of understanding to the teachers union asking them to allow the district to defer tuition payments to teachers currently enrolled in classes for required certification until the next fiscal year.

The teachers union responded with a 60-12 vote against the boards proposal.

The teachers said they were informed they would not receive further payments at anytime.  One teacher told me, “They never told us we would be paid.

Administration claims  Superintendent Dorothy Nave requested to the districts union representative to attend their meeting to answer questions and was told not to attend by the union rep.

Teachers said some had to enroll in classes to get certified for positions they school district promoted them to and if they didn’t get certified they were in jeopardy of losing their positions. They felt it unfair to pay for courses the school encouraged them to take and promised to pay for.

Administration responded the intention was to pay those who are required to attend classes for certification but wanted to hold back on those going for Master/Doctorate degrees until later.

The teachers debated long and hard according to my source because the community had been so supported they didn’t want parents to think they were not appreciative of that support.

The school district states they pay between $20,000 to $50,000  in tuition costs to teachers who pursue their education yearly.  Teachers say they are upset the district switched school principals and the increase in pay to the new principal cost the district another teacher. This change was done in August.

The union wanted to know what the district was going to do with the money they were not paying out; the districts answer; “There is no money left, that’s why we are asking for the temporary waiver.”

The district is not sure if they will have enough money to pay staff after April 2012.

Although soap operas are losing popularity and audience participation, the soap opera at Laurel continues with great interest.



  1. Wow, I thought with all the new leadership on the Board all this controversy would be behind Laurel. Sorry to hear that all those changes happened and the issue remains. Wonder what that means?

  2. Jack you remember your friend Obama who inherited a huge debt, and when he got elected he found out it was a larger debt than he even thought? Well Mr. Vanderslice was in the same boat; he knew the district was in a financial mess, he just wasn’t told how much of a mess until he was sworn in office. The board has obligations to fullfill that were agreed to from administrations passed, and when you don’t have the money it kinda makes it tough to fullfill those obligations.

  3. The money problems that Laurel School has, I belive are the sins of the past catching with them now. In talking with some people that have worked and are still working for the district, they all have said one thing intresting. Its seams that there are about 3 postions in the schools (well paying pistions) that are funding just by local moneys. If the pistions are funding by the state, it has to be approved by the state first. Apperantly these postions are funding with local moneys only, so if you are making $60,000 a years local pays all as well as benfits, Laurel School has 3 or more of these pistions thats alot of money coming out of local no wonder they are broke. Its nothing the teachers has done to get them in this mess, so give them what the union contract has it.

  4. If the Dept. of Education REQUIRES teachers or administrators to continue their education, to retain their current position and/or pay rate, then the state or school districts should pay for their classes. However, I have never understood why the taxpayers are footing the entire bill for employee education. I agree that continuing education for teachers and administrators benefit our district and students, but I feel that they should have a financial stake in their own job security, employability and future pay increases. At the bare minimum, the district should not have to pay more than 50% of an employees’ education cost.

    I don’t mean to offend any of the great teachers in our school district, but employee education costs have put a tremendous financial burden on this district. We need to pay to educate our KIDS!

    • Donna just so you have a heads up. They don’t pay for all of our education. They will pay for 3 classes a year and not for doctorate classes they only pay th amount for a master’s class. I paid over 12,000 dollars for my education, in 17 months, to become a teacher in this district, where I wanted my kids to be. I normally agree with you but not this time. We give a lot more than we are given. Everyday. The teachers pay everyday to educate OUR kids! I have the receipts to prove it.

  5. the first grade social studies program has a unit on distinguishing between wants and needs. it seems as though the line has grown a little fuzzy. i think what some people don’t understand is just why the needs of a teacher to have the materials needed to do an adequate job, and the certification needed to maintain the job fall into the ‘want’ category. if someone is going to evaluate and determine what is more important, why does this evaluation stop before it cuts into the truly big expenses?

  6. “Teachers say they are upset the district switched school principals and the increase in pay to the new principal cost the district another teacher. This change was done in August.”

    Does this comment mean that Mr. Swain, in his first year as a principal, is earning more – by as much as a teacher’s salary – than *DR.* Greaves did after …at least 6 years in that same position? (He’s the only new principal in the district that I’m aware of.)

    Please correct me if I’m wrong. Please enlighten me if I’m misunderstanding.

    • It is my understanding it is about the change at the middle school where the former principal was moved to an admindistration position at the same pay level and someome from administration was moved into the principals position and given an increase in salary, not the principal position at the North Laurel School.
      Thkat’s the problem with government and school positions; if you aren’t doing your job they just shift you to a lesser responsible job but they never adjust the pay down.

      • i’m led to believe the person at the administration office that was moved was doing a job that was funded as a teaching position, and now will be paid as an administrator. at any rate, the whole shift is ending up costing more money.

  7. I am not a cpa, but after glancing over the Board’s posting of Laurel District Expenditures as of 10/31/2011…how can a broken district allow $11,330 for cell phones? Cann’t they afford an unlimited minute plan with their salaries?…why does the district have to pay a cell phone?….But only spend $5,216 on special education….just don’t understand…..

    • I know I can’t say for all the cell phone usage but every school bus has to have a cell phone for the clear reason of safety. And I know thats where most of the money for the cell phones go.

      • there is are three seperate expenses for phones; school phones, cell phones and bus phones….i will be going to board meeting to ask, then post it here..if frank doesn’t

  8. A very good question for you to bring up at the next school board meeting. The schools need to know the public’s concernsd and the schools should be held accountable. If there is a good reason for this procedure, then defend it! If you don’t ask we won’t know why.

  9. I encourage everyone to go to board meetings and ask questions. The hard thing is that most questions do not get answers. Please attend and keep asking.

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