The passed referendum states that the school system can only levy what cannot be supported by the general fund and the corporation has to outline everything that will be paid for out of the referendum fund. Some teacher salaries are being paid with money from the referendum.
Members of the board said that not only is the referendum paying some of the teachers, without it, some of the teachers may not have their jobs.
Many patrons also voiced concern over the cost of insurance. Teachers on a family insurance plan pay more than $500 per pay period for the benefits and board members do not.
Several teachers felt that the overall morale was down at the school and that it would stay that way until negotiations are complete.
One teacher described the situation as disheartening. “I’m going to go and do my job and put 100 percent into it, but wouldn’t it dishearten you to know that someone else, with less experience, got to that point (top of the pay scale) and you didn’t?,” said JayR Perkins, who is both a teacher and a coach.
“We appreciate every one of you in this room,” said Galen Graber, board member. “We really do.”
Barr-Reeve is not the only school corporation in the state struggling with teacher contracts. Teachers at Carmel Clay Schools, near Indianapolis, had been working without a contract for more than a year and were assigned a fact-finder in September, and as of Thursday still had not come to agreement. The contracts for the 2013-2014 school year at Carmel Clay are also currently being negotiated.
In other business, Alisha Wade was recommended by Superintendent Travis Madison to be the elementary cheer sponsor and Camilla Graber was recommended to replace Karen Graber as a cook. Karen Graber retired Sept. 30.