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FHSD Teacher Contract Update

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FHSD Teacher Contract Update


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On April 26, Superintendent Mary Hendricks-Harris and Rene Cope, President of the FHSD Board of Education, released a statement via email to the FHSD community in regards to staff raises in the district. This statement came after the Board of Education decided to increase teachers salaries by a two percent step. To keep up to date on this topic, community members can subscribe to the district newsletter.

 

Dear FHSD Community,

The Board of Education and District administrators spent several days in early April in contract negotiations with the Francis Howell Education Association (FHEA). After much discussion and deliberation, the Board of Education voted in a special meeting tonight to grant FHSD teachers a step (this equates to a two percent raise for the vast majority of our teachers) and allow lane changes on the salary schedule for the 2018-19 school year. The District is also increasing its allocation of funds to support our current level of medical, dental, and vision benefits for our staff.

Many different factors were taken into consideration before making this important decision, including the ability to sustain raises over time, the fact that our average teacher salaries are already the highest in St. Charles County and still above the regional average, and the reality that we recently failed in our third attempt to pass an increase in the tax levy. Given these factors, we believe a larger increase is not in the best long-term financial interests of the District.

In the past five years, the District has made significant changes to its expenditures and reduced staff in order to “right size” the budget and avoid deficit spending. FHSD finished last year with a budget surplus, and the desire of the Board is to use these funds (and not potential future funds) to provide raises to our employees after two years of salary freezes. The Board of Education and administration believe fund balances must be kept at current levels to remain fiscally responsible.

Last week, the teachers’ association representatives (FHEA) informed the District that of the teachers who voted, 80 percent rejected the contract offer. The District has been notified that FHEA has asked teachers to protest by “working to contract,” which means that teachers will not work beyond the normal school day. This action will impact student activities, events, and field trips, many of which will have to be canceled. Our teachers will continue to provide quality instruction during the school day.

Everyone involved understands our students are counting on us, and we will continue to work together to provide the best education possible for our students.

Sincerely,

Rene Cope
President, Board of Education
Dr. Mary Hendricks-Harris
Superintendent
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