Champaign school board, teachers union both ratify new contract

Champaign school board, teachers union both ratify new contract

CHAMPAIGN — Unit 4 kindergarten class sizes will be capped at 24 next year and teachers will have twice as much time on their own during institute days according to the terms of a three-year contract that was formally approved Tuesday night.

Champaign Federation of Teachers President Jen White said 98% of voting members ratified the deal, agreed to in principle last week after six months of talks between the two sides. The Unit 4 school board also signed off on the deal Tuesday in a 6-0 vote.

In an interview Tuesday, White shared highlights of the deal:

— Kindergarten class sizes are capped at 25 this school year, 24 next year and 23 in Year 3. If those limits are exceeded, Unit 4 must provide an aide or sub.

— Teachers will have time during four of seven institute (professional development) days to work among themselves. That's up from two now, White said.

— Teachers on the salary scale who make home or community visits can earn up to 21 hours' pay a year at an hourly rate of $32.50. Teachers off-schedule can earn compensation in the form of up to three personal days.

— Teachers on the salary schedule will be due a 2.5 percent raise in each contract year. Off-schedule teachers will get a 3 percent bump each year.

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