"Blank" contracts in Conway? | Arkansas Blog

Friday, February 29, 2008

"Blank" contracts in Conway?

Posted By on Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 3:18 PM

The latest cost-cutting move in the financially strapped Conway School District has sparked a protest from the Arkansas Education Association, which says the district has essentially asked 136 teachers and administrators to sign blank contracts for the 2008-09 school year and waive their right to appeal any changes to the school board.

All the details on the jump.

The district has already cut a number of classroom and administrative positions in an effort to shore up a dwindling bank balance and stay out of fiscal distress.
The 136 employees — all in the district that work longer than the standard 195-day contract for classroom teachers — were asked earlier this week to sign one of two documents: Either accepting a contract that “represents a substantial change in the responsibilities, assignments, and/or contracted days,” plus a decrease in salary, and waiving their rights under the Teacher Fair Dismissal Act, or acknowledging that their existing contracts would not be renewed for next year, that new contracts would be reduced by five days, and they could appeal the change to the school board.
It’s the open-ended language, not the five-day cut, that has AEA official Karen Carter protesting.
“Not only have they waived their five days, they’ve agreed to whatever with salary, involuntary transfers,” and other changes, Carter said. “In essence they signed a blank contract that they have never seen and I don’t think they realize that.”
School Superintendent Greg Murry said he has no plans to make substantial changes — anything beyond what he’d be allowed to do anyway under the employees’ current contract.
“I’m only using the language that our lawyer suggested we needed to in this particular situation,” he said. “I have absolutely no intention of reassigning these folks in a significant manner.” 132 employees have agreed to the new contract, and the other four haven’t signed either document yet, he said.
Murry is trying to cut $4 million from the district’s budget, which has whittled reserve funds down from $20 million two years ago to an estimated $2.5 million at the end of this school year. Cutting the length of extended contracts by five days would save almost half a million dollars.


Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Jennifer Barnett Reed

  • Learning to love North Little Rock in Park Hill

    Any description of North Little Rock's Park Hill neighborhood will eventually, inevitably, include a comparison to Hillcrest, its better-known cousin south of the river.
    • Dec 28, 2011
  • A reason to splash

    Fun rain gear and more at InJoy.
    • Mar 12, 2009
  • Pick up some spice

    And we ain’t talking about tarragon.
    • Feb 26, 2009
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Arkansas legislature rejects bipartisan effort to study race relations

    On Friday, the Arkansas Legislative Council soundly rejected a bipartisan effort by two senators to to create a temporary legislative subcommittee to study race relations in the state.
    • Sep 15, 2017
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017


Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation