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Brawley unanimously approves teachers' contract

May 23, 2001|By LAURA MACKENZIE, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — The Brawley Elementary School District board voted unanimously to approve a tentative contract agreement with the Brawley Elementary Teachers' Association.

"We have a great staff of teachers in our district and they are very deserving of a raise," said Trustee Kathy Prior.

Liz Huff, president of the Brawley Elementary Teachers' Association, said she is "very satisfied and very happy that we've reached an agreement."

"We think it's fair," added Huff.

The contract, which goes into effect immediately, includes a 10 percent across-the-board salary increase and an increase in summer school pay to $24 per hour for this summer and $26 per hour for next summer.

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An increase in lottery money to be used for classroom supplies is included.

The contract provides for work days for underperforming schools and revamps teacher evaluations to include state standards.

Prior to the board's vote, District Superintendent Howard Sullivan submitted copies of a letter to the trustees from Brent Watson, director of fiscal advisory serves for the Imperial County Office of Education.

Watson cautioned that with a 10 percent increase in the salary schedule, the district's ending balance would be "reduced by $1.5 million, or approximately half of the projected beginning balance for the year."

The letter continued, "While your district's projections still meet the state's requirements, it's still an extremely large decrease and the district will need to have a solid plan to negate the effects of this settlement for future years."

Said Prior, "We felt it was a fair raise, but it comes with caution to the board and the administration with regard to spending in the future."

Sullivan also warned, "This board has been very generous and because of that we will have to be very conservative."

Huff has confidence in the board's decision.

"This district has always been aware of funds and has always spent in a prudent manner," said Huff.

"I think they'll always put children and their safety first. But I don't think the district will be suffering in any way," she said.

She said the raise will attract teachers to the district.

"I think this will benefit the district. All of the teachers just love this district … and it's just an added bonus. It gives us verification that, yes, we are appreciated and we are doing our job," said Huff.

Staff Writer Laura MacKenzie can be reached at 337-3442.

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