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Minimal Comments on PCSC Public Hearing on Teacher Compensation

August 13, 2019

Plymouth Community SchoolsMonday afternoon the Plymouth Community School Corporation conducted a public hearing on teacher compensation and collective bargaining. At the table was Superintendent Andy Hartley, School Board members Allie Shook and Melissa Christenson and PEA members Laura Kruyer a Social Studies teacher at the high school and Lori McClellan a Science teacher at the high school.

This was the first time the corporation has had to conduct this type of public hearing due to a new law passed earlier this year.
Senate Enrolled Act 390 which became law when the governor signed it in May of this year provides that, before a school employer and school employees may privately negotiate during the time period for formal collective bargaining, the parties must hold at least one public hearing and take public testimony.

Superintendent Andy Hartley explained that the public hearing is now required prior to formal bargaining beginning on teacher compensation.

Only three people attended the public hearing.

Jodi Eveland, a Case Conference Chairperson at Menominee Elementary asked if the public hearing was about the two percent taken away from the teacher retirement pension and allocated toward the local school districts and how it would be allocated in the Plymouth Community School Corporation.

Superintendent Hartley said the school board would have to pass a resolution indentifying how they will spend those funds. He anticipated that happening at the September meeting.

With no other comments, Mrs. Eveland asked the superintendent if there was something else as to teacher compensation they should be asking or talking about. Mr. Hartley said, “We are affording the public an opportunity to provide comments to the employer and school representatives on teacher compensation before entering into negotiations.”

Mrs. Eveland then commented, “I was around when we had the ‘steps’ as far as experience and education.” She said some other schools still have it in effect and continued, “I think education is difficult when you see raises in the business world.” Jodi said “I have a lot of nieces that are starting out and it doesn’t look very promising for them. It’s disheartening, we’re all educators and come from families of educators and it’s important for us to want to continue that. But I struggling saying yea lets go into teaching.”

Derek Eveland, the Gifted and Talented/Art teacher at Jefferson Elementary asked if the school board was looking at recommendations on the two percent would be used?

Superintendent Hartley said that the public hearing wasn’t a question and answer time but did comment, “based on conversations I’ve had everyone fully understands the recent history of school funding as it relates to compensation.”

With no other comments the meeting was closed in less than 10 minutes.

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