Updated 05/08/2012 09:09 PM
Utica school budget moves ahead, negotiations with teachers pending
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UTICA, N.Y. -- The Utica City School District presented its final budget to the public during a hearing Tuesday night, despite ongoing negotiations with the Utica Teachers Association.
The district has been in negotiations with the Teachers Association for months over the loss of 106 teacher positions, proposed wage concessions and the state's teacher evaluations program.
The two parties have failed to come to an agreement, putting the district at risk of losing $5.8 million in state funding.
Last month, the board voted to include about $4 million from those funds in the budget, as long as the union approves the current deal, which would restore 76 positions.
"I'm just very hopeful that we can do this quickly," Utica City School District Superintendent Bruce Karam said Tuesday.
"The longer it goes, the more difficult it's going to be to get everything organized and scheduled and the staff slotted for next year, and the students' schedules done accurately, on time for mailing for the middle of August," Utica City School District Superintendent Bruce Karam said Tuesday.
Utica teachers must approve the deal and agree to the evaluation program before any of this can go into effect.
The district says if the public does not pass the budget next week, even deeper cuts will be necessary, including more teaching spots and possibly scrapping all sports for next school year.