Mohonasen teachers approve salary freeze

Proposed $42.9M budget holds 2.5 percent tax levy increase

Mohonasen Superintendent Kathleen Spring proposed cutting 25.7 teaching positions, but the teacher's union approved a salary freeze, adding around $450,000 to save six positions.

Mohonasen Central School District's proposed 2011-12 budget totals $42.9 million and includes a budget increase around $183,000 or 0.43 percent.

The Mohonasen Teachers Association on Tuesday, April 12, approved a salary freeze with 75 percent of its members voting in support, said MTA President Maria Pacheco. Spring presented on Monday, April 11, that 35.2 full-time equivalent positions were slated for elimination, but the teachers wage freeze will go towards saving 6 to possibly 7 instructional positions. Proposed teaching cuts had totaled 25.7 FTE positions. If the three remaining unions took a salary freeze, an additional two instructional positions could be saved, said Spring.

Even though this is not the best case scenario we've ever been in, I think that we have worked together to do what we could to put as many positions back in place as possible, said Spring. "All along we have talked about keeping structures in place, so that hopefully a year from now when the people at the state realize they have made some mistakes hopefully things will change back and will be able to add back onto that foundation."

After the budget presentation, Pacheco spoke during privilege of the floor and rallied for the salary freeze as union members stood during her speech.

"As a teacher and parent, I know first-hand the value of a quality public education. Mohonasen provides students with a first-rate education," said Pacheco. "The time has come for we, the Mohonasen community, to stand together we must all work together for a common good. I ask the Mohonasen community to join us in demonstrating to the governor and legislature that we here at Mohonasen value education."

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