Rapid City School Board makes statement concerning teacher negotiations

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The teachers' union in the Rapid City School District announced Wednesday night, that they had reached an impasse in their contract negotiations with the district.
Friday, the school board gave their side of the situation.
School Board President Jim Hansen says board members were surprised by the decision to move to impasse.

Hansen says the two parties were able to reach tentative agreements on a number of issues, but he says the Rapid City Education Association decided to end discussions after rejecting the district's salary proposal.
He says over the last several years the district has not been able to fully compensate all staff in accordance to salary schedules due to a shortage of funds from the state.

Hansen says, "Hopefully the community and the majority of the hard working educators and employees of the district will see and understand that the actions of a small handful of individuals will not derail the efforts of the community to attract, recruit and retain teachers and give them a reason to stay, thereby enhancing the education of students in the Rapid City Area Schools."

Hansen says the Board's final proposal would have allowed all teachers in the district to be placed on the correct step of the salary schedule.
He says the opt-out, on the ballot June 2nd, would give them the additional funding source they need.
RCEA President Sue Podoll says they are hoping that they can come back to the table and reach an agreement with the school board.
She says they want to continue to provide the best teaching and learning conditions for area kids.