Wichita teachers union to vote today on calendar year

Classroom (Media General photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s a big day for the Wichita Public Schools’ teachers union.

Members of the union vote today on a teacher contract change.

It’s a story KSN has been following for a few weeks now.

The contract change that members are voting on today would shorten the district’s calendar year and make school days longer.

This change would also save the district about $3 million.

It would be a major step towards filling that $22.7 million budget hole that USD 259 faces.

The exact changes would add about 30 minutes to the school day and cut the year by about three weeks.

The district says this change wouldn’t affect teacher salaries, but it’s up to the teachers union to agree on the plan in order to move forward.

If this proposed change isn’t approved, the district says its other option would be to cut librarians, data leaders and to outsource custodial services.

The district also says negotiations for next year’s contract can begin after a decision is reached on the length of the school year.

While members prepare to vote today, according to the Wichita teachers union website, the official position of the Wichita teachers union is stated as “no position.”

Although KSN was unable to reach a representative of the teachers union for comment, in the discussion details, it’s stated that the teachers union believes the positions of librarians, custodians and data leaders are being held above teachers’ heads as they vote.

They made clear that this teacher vote would only be for the calendar change proposal and would not be a decision to keep or cut positions.

In a statement the teachers union said, “Both teams agree these decisions are not in the best interests of students. The budget problems, and the debate over how to cut, are caused by the unconstitutional actions of the governor and legislative leaders.”

We can expect results from this vote later this week.

Check back with KSN for the latest updates.

 

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