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Charter School bargaining continues

 

June 13, 2017



The Sweet Home School Board Monday agreed to extend the negotiation period between the district and People Involved in Education for a contract renewal for the Sweet Home Charter School.

The contract expires June 30. The two sides had 90 days to complete negotiations. Both sides agreed to extend the negotiation period until the board’s next meeting July 10.

Supt. Tom Yahraes said the two sides have reached agreement on most of the contract but still had three sticking points.

First was the enrollment cap, he said. PIE wants to increase it from 270, with 36 reserved for seventh and eighth grades, to 280.

Enrollment has decreased to 132, he said. The district has proposed decreasing the cap and tying future increases in the Charter School enrollment cap to growth in the district’s elementary schools to help protect against the financial and staffing effects caused by swings in enrollment between the Charter School and district schools.

PIE would like class size requirements left to its discretion, Yahraes said. The district would like them to remain at 25 students per classroom with a target of 18.

The district would prefer a five-year contract, and PIE prefers a 10-year contract, Yahraes said.

“I think five years is a good idea instead of 10 years,” Keeney said. “The Charter School has changed just in the last five years.”

Board members also supported a smaller enrollment cap with incremental growth as well as maintaining class size requirements.

The class size of 18 “is the justification for this Charter School,” Redick said.

“That was one of their whole selling points,” Reynolds said.

Keeney said he would like to hear PIE explain why it wants to change the requirement.

Moving forward, Yahraes told the board that he has faith that PIE and the district will continue to be good neighbors and “be able to strike a deal.”

Present at the meeting were board members Mike E. Adams, Daniels, Keeney, Jason Redick, Reynolds, Clegg, Babcock and Debra Brown. Jason Van Eck was absent.

 
 
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