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.