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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 31, 2011

Teachers’ contract extended, no raises

By Saranac Hale Spencer

VOORHEESVILLE — The 2007 teachers’ contract has been extended for a year with some changes to parental-leave guidelines, the salary schedule, and longevity payments.

The school board voted 6 to 0, at its meeting on Monday, with Kristine Gravino abstaining, to extend the contract.

The amount of money paid to teachers will stay the same in the 2011-12 school year as the current year, said Sarita Winchell, the district’s assistant superintendent for business, but the distribution on the contract’s 26-step scale is different.

The same as the current scale, a teacher starting on the first step with only a bachelor’s degree will make $43,100.  A teaching starting with a master’s degree will make $45,000.  At the other end of the scale, a teacher who has a bachelor’s degree on step 26 will make $84,600 and a teacher on the same step with a mater’s degree will make $86,500.

Changes along the new scale include differences of hundreds dollars, making the pay on some steps more than on the current scale and some less.  “This makes it much more even,” Winchell said of teachers’ progression up the scale.

At the Monday meeting, Winchell also presented the most recent figures for the coming year’s budget, which includes restoring the elementary-school librarian.  The district did not have figures on potential increases in state aid.

The district is still planning to reduce its teaching staff by a total of two full-time positions, due to lower enrollment in the middle school, Winchell said.  The middle school will go from five sections to four sections, like the high school and elementary schools.

Two full-time math and science teachers will become six-tenths FTE, or full-time equivalent; one full-time social studies teacher will become eight-tenths FTE; one part-time, four-tenths FTE, foreign language teacher won’t be teaching; and a part-time, one-half FTE, music teacher won’t be teaching.

The school board has opted to take tuition for its Tech Valley High student out of the budget, Superintendent Theresa Snyder said this week, because it is too expensive.  The district had two students attending the new school — one will graduate this year and the other had gotten free tuition, which won’t carry over next year.  The tuition is about $12,000 per student, Snyder said, about half of which is reimbursed through the Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

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