A recently completed agreement between the Benton-Carroll-Salem school board and the union representing the district’s teachers will save the district about $300,000, according to Rick Bast, board president.
The new contract includes a roll-back of 2.5 percent on the teachers’ base salary and increases the teachers’ insurance contribution to 15 percent.
Bast said the union agreed to re-open contract talks early. The current contract had been scheduled to expire next June.
“The board appreciates the teaching staff for opening their contract and shouldering some of the burden of cost reductions,” he said, adding more than $1.2 million in cost savings were enacted by the start of the 2011-12 school year.
The savings include staff reductions, elimination of some bus routes, and the closing of Rocky Ridge Elementary School.
The board last month approved an austerity plan that includes closing Graytown and Carroll elementary schools if an operating levy on the Nov. 8 ballot fails.
The schools would be closed starting with the 2012-13 school year, reducing personnel by six teaching and 10 non-teaching positions.
Cuts to begin January, 2012 if the levy fails include implementing a pay-to-participate fee for athletics as well as a fee for using school facilities, a fee for “Biddy “ programs, and a transportation fee for field trips.
Voters in the B-C-S district rejected a 3.9-mill levy in August - the same millage amount that will be on the November ballot.
If passed, it would generate about $1.32 million annually.
Bast noted the school system hasn’t received new voted tax millage for 11 years.
The district ended the fiscal year on June 30 about $35,178 under budget but expenses exceeded revenues by about $1.7 million, with the deficit being made up from a carry-over from the previous year.