Nazareth School Board Meeting – March 14, 2016
Despite the fact that the teacher’s contract did not appear on the agenda, the community was out in force tonight. So many teachers, parents and students attended the meeting was held in the LGI room in the High School.
Seven residents made comments about the failure of the district to negotiate a contract. Almost every comment bemoaned the lack of respect that district officials have shown towards the teachers. Some notable quotes:
“Nazareth students are the best because the teachers are the best.”
“Education is a human right and it is the school district’s duty to keep that right intact.”
In regards to rumors of a possible strike, one resident said,
“You do what you feel is necessary. This taxpayer has your back.”
The board did respond to a few of the comments. President Lorin Bradly made a statement before the comment period saying the district, “Can no longer expect the taxpayers to fund the budget gap.”
After listening to several residents chastise the board for their lack of transparency in the negotiation process, Bradly said that it wasn’t appropriate of the board to talk to the public during negotiations because things can change during the process. He pledged to release a statement to the public soon.
Vice President Treon also made a statement prior to the open comment period, pointing out that Nazareth’s top pay of $90,004 is higher than any other district. Easton’s pay tops out at ~$85,014.
Editor’s Note: In all the district budget presentations, school officials list the top salary allowed by the contract. They never mention the AVERAGE salary of the teachers. One commentator chided the district for their misuse of statistics.
Mr. Riker addressed the fact that the budget approval process has been delayed due to Harrisburg’s inability to get its act together. In January, the district proposed a 5.4% increase to cover costs, they will only be allowed a 2.4% increase. Cuts in personnel are a possibility.
Items V, VI, VII (C1 excluded) & VIII passed.
- Links to the meeting agenda can be found here: http://www.nazarethasd.k12.pa.us/Page/893
Becky Bartlett is an Upper Nazareth resident and covers these meetings because residents have a right to be informed about what their government is doing.