Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 5:57 PM
Students all around the state are grabbing their books and heading back to school. But some teachers are returning to class without new contracts. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow says this has become the norm in Ohio as budgets and education policies continue to change.
You may be hearing that teachers in your community are starting the year without a renewed contract or labor agreement. Teacher and School Board groups want you to know that this should not be a major cause for concern.
In fact, this is becoming the trend for schools around Ohio for a number of reasons. The Ohio Education Association, also known as the OEA, which represents teacher groups, says there are more contract agreements reaching the three-year limit. This causes all parties to come back to the table more often.
OEA Researcher Andy Jewell says there may be more teachers going into the school year without a contract this year than in previous years.
“When the economy started to sour you know when budgets got tighter it became more common for folks to bargain more shorter term collective agreements,” he says.
And he adds that it’s a perfect storm with the state budget and new policies going into effect such as procedures from the national standards known as Common Core and the state’s Third-Grade Reading Guarantee.
In the meantime, teachers working on an expired contract will operate under the same terms of their previous agreement.
The groups say that salaries and teacher evaluations seem to be the main sticking points in the contract negotiations happening around the state.
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