The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

November 21, 2013

Geneva teachers concerned about work contracts

GENEVA — Well over a hundred teachers, parents, students and school employees packed the high school auditorium at the Geneva Area City Schools Board of Education’s meeting last night. They were all wearing school colors — red shirts or jackets — to show their support for ending the impasse in contract negotiations between the board and teachers.

It was silent demonstration of support and the issue was not addressed at the meeting, but it was clear many Geneva area schoolteachers are concerned about their work contracts.

According to Geneva Area Teachers Association (GATA) President Zack Mansky, the issue has to do primarily with new class size mandates.

“It has to do with our contract and how the board wants to increase class sizes to the point where it will be difficult to teach,” Mansky said. “It’s all about the safety of the students and the quality of their education.”

Mansky, a high school guidance counselor, said negotiations have bogged down over this issue.

“Our contract expired on June 30th and we’re still working under the old contract,” he said. “We’re currently under negotiations but we’re still at an impasse.”

The Board of Education approved increasing class sizes during previous monthly meetings. Their reasons for doing so have to do with dwindling financial resources to accommodate more students.

Geneva Area City Schools is recognized by many sources as one of the highest educational quality school districts in Ohio. Some district parents and residents feel the district’s quality of education could be compromised by larger class sizes.

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