North Branch teacher agreement settled

The North Branch school board approved a two-year contract agreement between the North Branch Education Association and the school district at Thursday night’s board meeting.

The agreement covers the years 2011-12 and 2012-13.

In the agreement, which the Education association approved on May 30, there are to be no step increments either year, and one lane change in the second year.

In the first year, the salary schedules are frozen, and in the second, the schedule increases by $800.

There are no increases to benefit contributions in either year.

The agreement reduces the school district’s budget proposed deficit in both years of the contract.

Taking that into consideration,  board member Trent Jensen suggested issues to talk about at upcoming work sessions including bringing back teachers – how and where – and what it would do to reduce class size.

Member Randy Westby suggested looking at ways to address a declining  enrollment.

And member John white said he would consider something if it was sustainable for years. He did not like the idea of hiring a teacher for one year and then letting him or her go the next.

He was interested in adding some technology, something that would be a one-time cost to the district.

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