The District 15 school board will initiate contract talks with its teachers union after April 27.
The school board voted Wednesday to initiate the contract talks, despite the fact there is more than a year left on the current contract.
"In view of economic conditions, [what's happening in] neighboring states, surrounding districts. I thought it was a good time to make an overture to the CTC," said school board member Richard Bokor. "And to open the door to see which way they want to go."
Bokor made the motion to have two members of the school board act as representatives and to initiate talks with the teachers union. Board member Sue Quinn said such an effort should be deferred until April 27 – after the April 5 school board election and after the new school board is seated.
The talks could lead to the current teachers contract being reopened, however, the union would have to agree.
"[If they say no] There's no where to go until the next contract," board member Tim Millar said.
The decision by the board comes as the district faces projected budget deficits.
The district's budget deficit for the current fiscal year is projected to be $3.6 million. The deficit is expected to rise each year, reaching $13.6 million at the end of the 2015-2016 fiscal year.
Although the school district is projected to have significant budget deficits, it also has more than $51 million in reserves. Even with projected rising deficits, the district believes it still would have $5.2 million in reserves at the end of the 2015-2016 fiscal year.