DANVILLE — The longest contract negotiations ever in the Danville school district could come to an end Wednesday when the school board considers a tentative agreement that was already overwhelmingly approved by a majority of the teachers and staff who voted on it Thursday.
If the school board also approves the proposed three-year contract with the Danville Education Association at a special meeting Wednesday night, it will mean a slight increase to the school day for staff and some students.
The contract also includes an average 2.5 percent salary increase over three years for teachers and staff and other changes to contract language and health insurance. The association represents more than 600 teachers, teaching assistants, secretaries and learning resource clerks in the district. Members have been working under the terms of a previous two-year contract, which expired June 30, 2012. The new agreement, if approved, will be in effect through June 30, 2015. The two sides began negotiating more than a year ago.
The school board meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the board room at the Jackson School Building, 516 N. Jackson St., Danville.
All teachers and teaching assistants in the district will work an additional 15 minutes a day, according to the proposed contract. But how that translates to the school day of each teacher, staff member and student will vary depending on several factors.
Superintendent Mark Denman said Monday that district officials were working on the adjustments to the student and staff day but didn't have the details finalized yet. He said they are not going to be tremendous adjustments in time, but more minor modifications to the student and staff day that will reflect the tentative agreement. The extra time will be applied differently at the various schools, partly depending on the level — elementary, middle or high school — and other factors.
At Danville High School, for example, the recent award of a $6 million federal School Improvement Grant for the next three years already included changes and funding for increases in the school day. The grant will fund several changes in a plan that's designed to significantly increase student achievement.
Also during Wednesday's special meeting, the board will consider a recommendation from Denman to buy a vacant home at 310 Sidell St. across the street from Danville High's outdoor track athletic facility.
The property owner, Reca Limited Partnership, is asking $1,000 for the property plus $260 in administrative fees, with the district paying to record the deed and doing the title work. According to district documents, its attorney, Jerry Davis, found a $102 sanitary-district lien on the property in addition to 2012 taxes totaling $291.62 that are due later this summer, and the original mortgage of $8,000 has an unknown balance. No other liens are shown, but they could be recorded before a closing on the property.
Denman is recommending the board buy the property to improve the area near the track for a total price not to exceed $2,000, excluding attorney and recording fees.