Nampa School District continues negotiations with teachers

Nampa School District continues negotiations with teachers

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on August 1, 2013 at 11:21 PM

NAMPA -- Negotiations between the Nampa School District and the Nampa Education Association (NEA) continued Thursday.

The NEA and the district talked about grievance policies, class sizes and students transferring if a school were to shut down. While both parties said they are making progress, there is a still a possibility that classes start without a ratified agreement between the association and the district.

"My team and I met briefly afterwords and talked about how good we feel about the movement that we are seeing and that we are experiencing," said Nampa Education Association President, Mandy Simpson.

"Our recent sessions, we've been making a lot of progress," said Nampa District spokesperson, Allison Westfall.

The Nampa School District is not filling all of the vacated positions, but there are 33 openings they need to fill.

Still, Simpson told KTVB teachers are concerned that NEA and the district will not have a ratified contract before classes start.

"It very much could be that we're negotiating into the school year, which is not a best case scenario by any means," Simpson said.

When Nampa teachers come back to the classroom on August 19, Simpson won't be among them.

On Thursday, Simpson packed up her classroom. She is leaving Columbia High school to teach at Capital High School in the Boise School District.

Simpson said It was a tough decision that came down to the 14 furlough days. "For me, it's a like a month and a half's worth of salary that's cut, which is pretty tough to take."

Simpson is not the only teacher leaving the Nampa School District, as the district is reporting a high turnover rate this year.

"We noted that it would probably be double what it's been in the past," said Westfall.

Simpson said the cuts would have forced her to take a second job.

"I couldn't be a great teacher and a Nampa EA president, and work another job, and do those three things successfully. That was the choice, and I don't think kids in Nampa would have deserved that, to get an inadequate teacher because I'm having to worry about other things," said Simpson.

NEA will run elections for a new president this month. Simpson will stay until they find her replacement, and she says she plans to stay involved with the Nampa School District through community groups.

The NEA and the district will continue negotiations Friday, August 9.

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