Lawrence School Board Proposes to Freeze Teacher Salaries

Lawrence, Kansas — The district's school board is going through difficulties with their budget, as do most school districts in the country, hence they opted to offer a freeze on pay for teachers. The board feels that this is the best way to go about the situation in order to save as much jobs as they possibly could. "It's not to say anything about how we feel about teachers. It only has to do with the budget times that we have," said the board's chief representative, Frank Harwood. He also made it clear that increasing wages is out of the question considering the current situation.

In the 2009-2010 school year, the board granted the educators an additional $523,000 to the district's salary budget. This school year, the teachers are forced to do away with such increases. No response has been given yet by the Lawrence Education Association, but they plan to put forward an alternative option. The organization chair Lois Orth-Lopes had this to say: "We recognize that times are really tight financially, but we still need to get the best that we can for staff, especially movement on the salary schedule. We have teachers that have taken classes to move across the schedule horizontally, and we’re obviously going to propose that they get their movement."

In March, the district's budget had been already cut by $4.6 million by the board; with as many as 30 teachers already laid off. The two sides be continuing their negotiations.