FWCS, FWEA agree to start the school year with status quo contract - August 21, 2009

Record Number: 5266
Displayed from: Aug 21, 2009 , until: Sep 21, 2009

Fort Wayne Community Schools and the Fort Wayne Education Association have agreed to maintain a status quo contract for the next school year, which means there will be no major language changes in the contract and no changes in the salary schedule. Under state law, when a new contract is not established the existing contract remains in effect. FWCS and FWEA agreed to move forward without bargaining a new contract for the 2009-10 school year. In June, the two sides suspended bargaining as the state budget was still unclear. Leaders had hope that a clearer financial picture would emerge prior to the beginning of the school year, and they could return to negotiations. While more financial information is now available, FWCS officials plan a full analysis of the district's finances over the next few months. Until that is complete, both sides agreed there was little that could be accomplished in formal bargaining sessions. FWCS and FWEA will continue meeting regularly to discuss issues that arise throughout the year, including setting calendars for future school years. "We will continue to use our discussion process to have dialogue open so as issues arise there is a way to communicate with teachers," Superintendent Wendy Robinson said. "With so much remaining uncertain financially, this was the best decision we could reach at this point." FWEA President Al Jacquay said it makes sense to forgo negotiating this year and resume bargaining next spring. "We're going to table this for right now and focus on the job of educating students," he said.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.