STMA teachers ask for ‘fairness’ in negotiation

Board reviews legislative platform

A group of St. Michael-Albertville teachers attended the school board meeting and discussed their role in advanced student achievement, while asking for a fair and equitable contract settlement.

The board also reviewed an amended school district legislative platform.

 

TEACHERS

The teachers visit took place during the “Visitors” portion of the school board agenda.

The district and teachers are presently negotiating for the next teacher compensation settlement. They discussed their role in helping advance student achievement not only in athletics but in arts and athletics.

Board chairperson Doug Birk responded that the district appreciates the work from the teacher’s bargaining team and that the district equally wants a fair and equitable settlement.

As the district faces inequities in the state funding law, the board asked the teachers to work with the district in helping make legislative changes.

The contract settlement has gone through mediation, and the board is scheduled to meet in a closed session Dec. 2.

“After that review, we’ll look at where we’re at and the latest proposal, and see if we can reach an agreement,” Supt. Jim Behle later said.

 

LEGISLATIVE

PLATFORM

In other news, the school board reviewed an amended school district legislative platform.

The platform begins with the following statement:

“The 2013 legislative session prioritized education, making a significant investment in students in early childhood, K-12 and higher education.  STMA applauds the legislature for adding 1.5% to the basic formula in Fiscal Year 14 and in Fiscal Year 15, fully funding all-day kindergarten, and providing revenue to reduce the special education cross-subsidy beginning in Fiscal Year 15. However, one session cannot make up for over a decade of inadequate and inequitable school funding. With the improving economy, the 2014 legislative session can continue making progress in its investment in Minnesota’s K-12 public education system.”

The major bullet points of the platform include:

• Increase the basic formula to restore school funding lost to inflation since 2003 and extend the location equity index awarded to metro area school districts to school districts with boundaries adjacent to the metro area.

•  Continue to make voter-approved school levies more affordable in low property wealth districts by increasing equalization aid.

• Provide alternative facility revenue or a similar funding mechanism to create adequate and equitable funding for school facilities and maintenance and a healthy, safe and secure learning environment for students in all Minnesota school districts.

• Carefully craft anti-bullying legislation that utilizes policies, procedures, and programs that are not over burdensome and can be implemented by all school districts.

• Ensure that PEIP (Public Employee Insurance Plan) continues to be optional for school districts.

The board expects to take final platform action in January ahead of the February legislative session.

 

Contact Aaron Brom at aaron.brom@ecm-inc.com

 
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