Question: It is my understanding that a new teachers' contract is being or will be negotiated. The overall costs associated with the teachers represents the largest part of our school budget and, unfortunately, the largest increases year after year. In order to help the district's financial issues, some drastic changes need to start happening here with the new contract so we can retain teachers, provide a wide array of courses, have a sports program and other beneficial clubs and programs so B-P can produce a well-rounded student ready for the next level. Considering our district's current financial problems and the likely event that more financial problems will exist in years to come, what is the Board of Education planning to do with this new contract to minimize further strains on the district's finances and, ultimately, the education of our students?
Answer: The Board of Education and administration are currently involved in negotiations with the Broadalbin-Perth Teachers' Association (BPTA). Both sides of this negotiation -- the district and the union -- are interested in preserving programs for B-P students and containing costs, both over the short-term and long-term. New York State laws governing the relationships between public employees and their employers restrict what either party can say publicly during the negotiations process, but we can tell you that the majority of our conversations are centering on salaries and insurance costs.
- answered by Ed Szumowski, Board of Education President