South Whidbey schools, teacher contract talks go on hiatus

Negotiations for the next teachers contract are on a summer break.

After the talks stalled in July, the school district and teachers union chose to take a break and resume discussions in August.

Valerie Brown, the co-president of South Whidbey Education Association, said the major issues for teachers are the impending teacher evaluations, how work hours are structured, professional development and compensation.

The South Whidbey School District has participated in a state-funded trial for the teacher principal evaluation program. Evaluations of teachers and principals are mandated by the state by 2014.

Superintendent Jo Moccia said no teachers were laid off this year, as a decade-long enrollment decline was cut, according to enrollment estimates by the district. In February, the district won voter approval for its maintenance and operations levy and an increase to its capital/technology levy, which the district said would go toward major building repairs and upgrades in every building.

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