School district, local teachers’ negotiation team postpone contract negotiations until state finalizes budget
By ROBERT PIERCE
• Daily Leader
With a final state budget still hanging in the balance, officials for both USD No. 480 and the LiberalNational Education Association postponed a scheduled negotiating session Thursday.
At a meeting earlier this month, district lead negotiator Wayne Tate said there is currently no authority from the board of education regarding salaries for teachers.
At that time, business and finance director Jerry Clay estimated the latest proposed legislation would cut state aid to schools by about $132 per student, equating to a loss of about $1 million for Liberal’s district.
This had some at that meeting, including Tate, taking a wait and see attitude about negotiating salaries for teachers as well as other financial items.
“The board doesn’t feel comfortable making any decision on that,” he said.
The Associated Press reported Thursday the House Appropriations Committee has endorsed a budget that would not increase taxes, but it would cut aid to schools by $86 million.
Some legislators, according to AP, believe schools can offset this by raising local property taxes or by tapping reserve funds. The plan also assumes the state will receive new federal money.
The next negotiation for the district and LNEA is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on May 18.