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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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A tentative agreement that authorizes step increases in pay for teachers in the Genoa Area Local School District has been approved by the board of education and the union representing teachers.

Before voting on the agreement, however, board members Monday approved a resolution that says even with the passage of an operating levy, the district’s 5-year forecast can’t support the agreement over the long term.

The resolution notes the school board in recent years has “…made a conscientious effort to make budget reductions in other operational areas to spare any teacher reductions; the school district does not have the funding resources available to maintain a positive year-end cash flow balance and will, most likely, be required to make cuts in personnel and programs in order to do so.”

The Genoa Area Education Association, which represents about 79 teachers, ratified the agreement on April 30 after a fact-finder report was completed.

Under the agreement, step increases, which are based on teachers’ years of experience and their level of the educational degrees, will be “un-frozen.”

Teachers will receive one step increase retro-active to July 1, 2013 in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, and then advance two steps on the salary schedule in the next fiscal year that starts July 1.

Bill Nye, district treasurer, said the increases will cost the district about $400,000 over two years.

The current 3-year contract was set to expire on June 30.

The agreement also calls for the union to end on May 1 its “work to rule” stance in which teachers only do what is explicitly required of them in the contract.

In addition, the agreement calls for the two sides to continue negotiating on state-mandated systems for evaluating teachers and calculating the change from the minimum number of days of instruction to a minimum number of hours each year.

Board members unanimously approved the resolution but Laura Meinke, board president, cast the only no vote on a motion to accept a report compiled by a fact-finder from the Ohio State Employment Relations Board.

Dennis Mock, school superintendent, said the board and union had been negotiating for about a year before seeking mediation.


Levy falls
Voters in the district Tuesday rejected a 4.99-mill, 5-year levy that would have been used to fund operating expenses.

According to unofficial results, 383 voters supported the levy and 752 were against it.

Data compiled by the administration indicate the school system faces a deficit of about $100,000 by the end of the 2016 fiscal year on June 30, 2016 without additional spending cuts or revenues.

Bill Nye, district treasurer, said the school system’s five-year financial forecast shows a negative cash balance by then largely due to a drop in state revenues and stagnant property taxes even though the district has reduced expenditures. The projected deficit climbs to about $1.2 million by the end of the 2017 fiscal year.

The school board and administration have indicated they would place an issue on the November ballot if it failed Tuesday.

Ebola outbreak

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