Teachers contract, budget up for vote

MONT VERNON – A new three-year teacher contract, a new tuition agreement with Amherst, and a nearly flat operating budget are the main issues that voters will address at the annual School District Meeting today.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Village School.

The total operating budget is $4,592,061, an increase of $8,909 over this year, or 0.19 percent.

The estimated cost of the first year of the three-year contract with the teaching staff is $26,325. The second- and third-year estimates are $45,800 and $46,900. The contract includes a new teacher for grade 6, expanded English as a Second Language services, and a literary specialist to help with the district’s five-year initiative in literacy.

The average increase in salary is 3.1 percent, and the teachers have accepted reduced prescription coverage.

The new 10-year tuition agreement with Amherst for middle school students is “essentially the same formula as the current one,” according to School Board Chairman Jayson Darula. “The costs will vary” from year to year, he said, “with changes in the operating costs and the number of students” from town attending the school.

“We are pleased with it and hope voters agree with us,” he said. “We explored many options, including use of portables, and this seems the best and most viable option for us” to continue to obtain a “high-caliber education for our students.”

Voters have asked that the warrant articles include the recorded votes of the budget committee for and against each article.

To include those numbers requires a vote of the school district and is therefore included on the warrant.