Sunday, September 9, 2012
Former West Chester School Board member, teacher and coach Jim Smith passes away at the age of 74.
Former West Chester School Board member, teacher and Coach Jim Smith passed away unexpectedly early Sunday morning at the age of 74. “It’s a big loss for the community,” said former school board member Jim Davison who served with Smith from Dec. 2003-2011. “He didn’t hold back. Whenever he talked about something he was very serious, but he was a puppy dog underneath.” Smith taught history in the West Chester School District for more than 30 years, and he also served several years as the head football coach at Marple-Newtown High School as well as the quarterback coach at Henderson high school. “He was a very dear friend,” Davison said. “We used to talk everyday.” Davison added, "It came as a real shock to all of us," Davison said. "We …
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
A new statement from the West Chester School Board says $6.2 million divides the two sides.
The following is a press release from the West Chester Area School Board. Optimism turned to disappointment this week when the West Chester Area School Board Negotiating Team evaluated the newest proposal submitted by the West Chester Area Education Association and saw that it represented a $6.2 million gap between what the District and the union were seeking in the next contract. The union’s newest two-year proposal – the first formal proposal it has submitted since March – includes the following: Salary Increases Benefit Changes Additionally, the proposal calls for the District to seek no penalties against the Union if they decide to go out on strike. According to District calculations, the union’s newest proposal will cost the …
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Residents at the West Chester School District Board meeting speak out against the district's requirement that all teachers pay union dues.
Several residents of the West Chester Area School District spoke out against the district’s current requirement that forces all nonunion teachers to pay union dues in order to keep their jobs at Monday’s school board meeting. Several residents argued that the practice should be eliminated from the next teachers’ contract in the on-going negotiations, and that teachers shouldn’t be forced to contribute money to political groups they do not support. In a letter to the Daily Local, school board vice president Hedi Adsett wrote: “I contend that teachers should be free to choose whether or not they wish to financially support the union. Compulsory dues should not be forced upon any public employee by contractual agreement between elected …
Friday, July 20, 2012
A letter from the West Chester Area Education Association expresses disappointment in the negotiating process to this point.
Friday, July 20, 2012
The West Chester Area Education Association (WCAEA) wants to continue to work with the negotiators selected by the school board in hopes of reaching a fair and equitable agreement. We are disappointed that the school board has decided to negotiate in public through press releases and other communications, especially when members have not attended even one bargaining session. In fact, while WCAEA is ready to work all summer long to resolve the issues, not one bargaining session is being held between June 28 and August 9. While the school board has characterized its proposal as fair and fiscally responsible, the details and an analysis present a different picture. The school board proposal of deferred raises, less comprehensive medical …
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Residents speak out at the West Chester Area School Board meeting.
Last week, the West Chester Area School Board released its proposals in the continuing negotiations with the teachers’ union, and during Monday’s meeting residents of the district responded. “For the last four or five years the economy has been terrible,” said district resident Helen Webber. “But still the teachers, except for last year, have received raises. The other people in this district have not been immune to the recession and neither should the teachers.” Many of the residents that spoke at Monday’s meeting said that the teachers asking for an 18 percent raise over the next three years was “appalling.” “The assertion that the association is seeking an 18 percent salary increase over the next three years proves that the board is …
Friday, June 22, 2012
The current teacher contract is set to expire on June 29.
Both the teachers and the school board of the West Chester Area School District are in the midst of a new contract negotiation, and while both sides continue to talk, the current teacher's contract is set to expire on June 29. Earlier this week the school board released its set of proposals that included an almost four percent raise in the first two years of the contract followed by a $1,500 performance bonus in the third year. The proposal from the school board also included shared health insurance costs that would reduce the district's cost burden from 90 percent in the first year to 8 percent by the third year. When the school board released their proposals they also released a summary of the teachers' union proposal. That proposal …
Monday, May 7, 2012
The West Chester School Board passes a resolution asking Harrisburg for pension reform.
The West Chester Area School Board passed a resolution at April’s monthly meeting asking legislators in Harrisburg to reform the state’s pension system for teachers. According to the school board, the employer contribution rate is projected to increase sharply in the next four years, jumping to 16.75% in 2013-14, to 21.25% in 2014-15, and reaching a peak of 28.04% in 2019-20. According to the school district’s business office, these jumps will lead to enormous budget deficits in the following years forcing the district to cut spending beyond the millions already cut in the last several years. By the 2015-16 school year the district will face a $19 million deficit, and required contributions to the pension fund by the state will reach $21 …
Monday, April 30, 2012
The West Chester School Board will vote on a 1.7 percent property tax increase Monday night.
The West Chester Area School Board will vote on the final budget for the 2012-13 school year Monday night. If passed, the final budget would include a 1.7 percent tax increase. If the budget passes, the district will have an operating budget of around $202 million with 63 percent of that money going towards staff salary and benefits. Residents of the district will also see the millage rate increase to 18.67 if the budget is adopted. The average tax bill is expected to increase by $58, while the average commercial tax bill will increase by $271. On average a West Chester School District homeowner will pay a yearly tax bill of $3,544, while a commercial landowner will pay $16,196. The school board will vote on the budget at the monthly …
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
The West Chester Property and Finance Committee moves passes the final budget resolution. The full board will vote on it on Monday, April 30.
The West Chester School Board Property and Finance Committee approved the final budget resolution for the 2012-13 school year Monday night sending it before the full board next week for a final vote. The $202 million budget will include a 1.7 percent tax increase with a millage rate of 18.67. “That number of $202 million represents a $10 million reduction compared to where the budget projection had us at this time last year,” said committee chairman Sean Carpenter. “However, no amount of reform can solve these pension issues.” Despite this year’s balanced budget and the tax increase, the district still faces a dire financial future with a projected potential deficit of $3.2 million next year that could balloon to $12 million by 2015-16. …
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
The West Chester School Board voted to approve goals for the upcoming teacher contract negotiations.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
The following is a press release from the West Chester Area School District School Board The West Chester Area School Board last night approved a series of goals which will guide it through the negotiation process with the West Chester Area Education Association, the union which represents the District’s teachers. Recognizing the importance of developing a contract which balances the need for affordability with its commitment to sustaining the delivery of a high quality academic program, the School Board has started to refer to the contract it is negotiating as “A Blueprint for Balancing Achievement and Affordability.” The School Board’s negotiation goals for developing this blueprint, approved in a 9-0 vote, are as follows: • Maintain …