News From Terre Haute, Indiana

News

August 26, 2013

School Board to consider budget, union agreement

Salaries, health benefits, retirement adjustments up for consideration

TERRE HAUTE — At a meeting tonight, the Vigo County School Board will be asked to approve a new, one-year collective bargaining agreement with the Vigo County Teachers Association.

It also will conduct a hearing on the proposed 2014 budget. The hearing begins at 6 p.m. in the administration building, 686 Wabash Ave. The regular meeting follows.

Under the tentative agreement, VCSC teachers who were rated as effective or highly effective under a new, state-required evaluation system will receive a 2.2-percent raise to their base salary for the 2013-14 school year.

A new state law prohibits a teacher ranked in the lower two categories — “ineffective” or “needs improvement” —from receiving any increase in compensation the next year.

Mark Lee, VCTA president, said recently that 98 percent of VCSC teachers evaluated this past year will fall into the upper two categories.

Other aspects of the proposed contract:

n It increases the board’s annual contribution from 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent to the 401(a) qualified retirement plan.

n Effective with the Jan. 1, 2014, health insurance premium renewal, the school board will assume up to 1 percent of any premium increase.

n Because of changes in the state collective bargaining law in 2011, all prohibited subjects of bargaining were removed from the collective bargaining agreement. The majority of this removed language has been placed in VCSC administrative guidelines, which are nonbinding.

Teachers ratified the contract Aug. 16.

At that time, Lee told teachers about what he called the devastating impact of 2011 legislation, Senate Enrolled Act 1, which has crippled collective bargaining and ended seniority, salary steps and the protection of tenure.

These and other legislative changes “have and will negatively affect our opportunities for increasing salaries, benefits and teacher protection,” Lee stated at that time.

The legislative changes will especially hurt newer teachers’ ability to improve their salaries, he said in an interview. Changes under the 2011 law “are taking us back 40 years.”

The school district and VCTA have worked collaboratively to place into the administrative guidelines the language that had to be removed from the contract, Lee has said. “These guidelines are a positive for us, and it would be difficult to fathom how much worse things could have become without such collaboration.”

The proposed financial package for the one-year contract will be close to $2 million, he told teachers. “It is a very fair settlement in very difficult times where the state legislature has crippled public education,” he said in an Aug. 16 interview.

It’s estimated the district will receive only about $99,000 in new state funding for 2013-14, he told teachers. As a result, the district must use part of its cash balance to help pay for the raise. Funding also became available through teacher retirements, he said.

During the hearing, the public will be able to comment on the proposed 2014 budget, which has been advertised at $148.8 million.

The budget consists of the general fund (funded by the state, not local property taxes), $108.7 million; debt service, $8.5 million; capital projects, $22.7 million; transportation, $6.8 million; and bus replacement, $2.1 million.

The $148.8 million is 5 percent higher than the 2013 approved budget of $141.7 million, but officials expect that overall figure to come down several million dollars by the time the budget is finalized by the state’s Department of Local Government Finance.

The state will refigure all tax rates based on actual assessed value when those are available “and will limit the levy growth and approved rates to those allowed by statute,” Donna Wilson, chief financial officer, has stated. The state agency “strictly enforces statutes that limit levy growth or rate growth.”

She anticipates a tax rate consistent with those of recent years.

The board is expected to adopt the budget on Sept. 9.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Judge OKs Record-setting $2B Sale of Clipper Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating Mother of 2 Makes NFL Cheerleading Squad at 40 UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Trial Begins Over OKC Bombing Video The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Fish Oil Plant Blast Kills One Suspect Dead, Marshals and Cop Wounded in NYC Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Today in History for July 29th Two Huge Fires Burning in Northern California Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now!
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News