Goshen News, Goshen, IN

August 24, 2013

Fairfield School Board OK’s teachers’ contracts


BENTON — Fairfield school board members approved a master contract for the corporation’s teachers for the 2013-14 school year under the new merit pay system.

The Fairfield Education Association ratified the agreement Aug. 15. The terms of the contract include the return a 1 percent annuity contribution that had been suspended, and the corporation will set aside $46,600 to be used for performance pay.

Teachers will receive their base salary based on level of education and years of experience, and the $46,600 will be set aside until results from this school year are known —  including teacher evaluations and standardized test scores, which means teachers would see their merit stipend next fall.

The board also held the annual public hearing for the 2014 budget. The advertised budget is approximately $21.9 million, with an estimated tax rate of $1.4647. The estimate is high, Business Manager Phil Menzie said. Budgets are regularly advertised high because once published, the budget can only be cut, not added to.

The 2013 tax rate was estimated at $1.5130, but the final approved rate was $1.0014.

The final budget will be approved at the Sept. 12 meeting.