Teacher contract approved by Beatrice School Board

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BEATRICE, Neb. -- The Beatrice School Board has approved a teacher contract for 2019-2020, which is pending approval by the teacher’s bargaining unit.

The board voted 7-0 Monday night to approve the package, which contains an overall compensation increase of 3.29%.

Superintendent Jason Alexander says the proposal increases the health insurance deductible from $900, to $1,050. There’s also an adjustment on allowed personal leave time.

Alexander described the agreement as a fair, good faith negotiations offer on the part of the district’s board. President Jon Zimmerman says negotiations started last November.

The Beatrice Board of Education held a twenty-minute closed session on the agreement, prior to approving it unanimously.

The Beatrice Education Association, representing teachers, plans to act on the contract proposal, on Wednesday.

Alexander reported to the board Monday night that the most recent budget outlook is a positive one, largely because of state reimbursement of about $400,000 for programs such as special education and spending restraint.

Total revenue for the past month came to about $2.83 million, while expenses came to about $2.12 million.

Alexander credited staff of the district for responding to a request to hold down spending.

Personnel costs make up a large percentage of district expenses. District 15 has also seen a cut in state aid, with flat or slightly declining enrollment. Alexander says the board will focus on budget and personnel as part of the next committee level meeting.