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Board of Education Rejects Teachers Contract Offer with Lack of Majority

The USD 480 Board of Education met Monday night for a special meeting. The teachers packed the house for the meeting with a room full of teachers that were on the sides, in the hallway, and with some even outside due to so many showing up.

The only action item on the agenda was to accept or reject the LNEA's contract offer which included $500 to the health insurance base, $200 to the salary base, and no additional days to the contract. LNEA Chief Negotiator Brent Goodwin had USD 480 teacher Pat Knott proxy for him giving one last plead to the board to consider their offer.

Board President Reid Petty and Vice-President Tammy Sutherland-Abbott also pleaded with their fellow board members to accept the offer and said how important it is to just strike a deal so teachers can go back to giving 100% to teaching without the worry of losing money to health insurance.

Petty made the motion to accept the LNEA offer, with Sutherland-Abbott seconding. The vote failed despite a 3-2 vote in favor of it due to a lack of a majority on the seven member board. Petty, Sutherland-Abbott, and Jim Jury voted in favor of it, with Dan Diepenbrock and Cheryl Louderback opposing the offer. Stacy Johnson and Nick Hatcher were absent.

Contract negotiations are now likely headed to mediation, which will take place later next month.

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