To the editor:
After reading the article about the school board's meeting in last week's Blackduck American, we feel we need to clarify several statements that were made.
By state law, the board and the Blackduck Education Association must complete negotiations by Jan. 15 or face a penalty. Although it may not be necessary, the BEA requested mediation so that, should it become necessary, there will be time to meet the deadline. Both parties understand that this step is proactive and meant to avoid the approximately $18,000 penalty the district would incur if the deadline is missed.
Both the board and the BEA understand the concerns and responsibilities of the other and are working toward an agreement that takes these into consideration. To date negotiations have been productive and positive. We anticipate that they will continue in the same manner.
In meeting their fiscal responsibility, the board opted for a four day school week this year. Teachers are working the same amount of time this year, down to the minute, as they have in previous years. Under this schedule, the teachers actually have more contact with students and less preparation time each week.
We would again like to stress the excellence of Blackduck Schools. Test scores have never been higher and the students have positive attitudes toward education. By working together, we can continue the high quality of education students receive in our schools.
Blackduck Education Association