A contract for teachers in the Howell Public School district includes a pay increase for the coming year.

Negotiations with the Howell Education Association, or HEA, have been ongoing for a few months now, according to district officials. Superintendent Erin MacGregor says the negotiating sessions were collaborative and Board of Education Trustee Gregg Gilligan says he’s glad the process went as smoothly as it did. The contract was approved by the Teacher’s Association last week and ratified with a unanimous vote by the district’s Board of Education Monday.

The contract includes a one and a half percent increase for teachers for the 2017-2018 school year. MacGregor says the district’s teachers haven’t seen a compensation boost in quite some time and deserve to be rewarded for all they do. He does say there is some risk with the contract, which is the result of the state of affairs with education and the unknowns when it comes to enrollment and state funding.

He and other officials agree their teachers are worth the risk, and that it is far outweighed by the reward. MacGregor says teachers are the backbone of the district and it’s important to find ways to take care of them. Board President Michael Yenshaw agrees, and made a point to thank teachers for their dedication. He says their hard work is valued.

There will not be an increase in the 2018-2019 school year, but the HEA is pleased with the agreement, according to President Zach Kasprzak. (DK)