When they accepted the three-year program into the contract, the union and school board understood more costs would be involved, said Fortunato, who was not head of the union at the time. “Both sides understood there was more work being asked…There was no fight.”
Schappert had just recently joined the school board at the time and voted for the three-year program after it was approved by the district superintendent. He said he would have voted differently if he knew what he does today.
Any cost difference between a three-year and one-year program would depend on the number of teachers involved being mentored, Schappert said.
First year mentors are paid a stipend of $800 per teacher mentored while second and third year mentors are paid $500 per teacher mentored.
This year, nineteen district teachers are serving as mentors. There are a total of 22 teachers being mentored, 10 in the first year of the program, four in the second year and eight in the third, for a total cost of $14,000.
It is possible the mentor program could be reduced as part of ongoing contract negotiations between the teacher’s union and the district, Fortunato said, however he did not want to go into details while those talks were still ongoing.
Schappert also said such a reduction could be possible, but “it would take two to tango.”
“Right now the discussion is focused on bigger things,” he said, namely salary and benefit rates.
The next meeting between the teacher’s union and the school district is scheduled for Sept. 17.
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