Behind closed doors: Pasco School Board to talk about talks
Teacher contract negotiations restart in Pasco County on Thursday. So this afternoon, the district team heads into executive session with the School Board to talk strategy.
The big issues remain money. Still unresolved is how much the district will put into health insurance benefits and exactly what kind of early retirement buyout the district will offer, among other things.
A new factor coming up is the new federal stimulus money for teachers. Pasco schools stand to receive $11 million or so, and you can bet at least some teachers will be pressing for their first raise in three years. But state lawmakers have not yet decided when that money will be released, or set any other guidance for districts.
Early signals are that the Legislature might hold the cash for fiscal 2012, which is permitted, in order to bridge the "funding cliff" that otherwise is coming when the first round of the stimulus disappears.
All the while, Pasco teachers are back at work under last year's contract.