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Kansas City, Kansas School District And Teachers At Contract Impasse

Maria Carter
KCUR 89.3

Another metro school district is at a contract impasse with its teachers.

Teachers and the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools are heading into non-binding fact finding after failing to reach a deal.

The two sides held talks with a mediator twice last month but that also failed to result in a contract.

Teachers and the district say the dispute is not over how much of a pay hike to give but rather how to distribute the two percent raise.

The union says it wants to reward veteran teachers who’ve been stuck at the same pay grade for years. But to make sure any new contract is approved it must have something for everyone. "We're trying to be fair to everyone," says Ollie Carroll from the Kansas NEA.

The district wants to target the money towards younger teachers, according to Carroll.

The KCK district says it believes it has offered a fair contract and the two percent bump is in line with what most other district employees have received. "We need to be competitive at all levels, so we can compete with all districts," says KCK Chief of Staff David Smith.

The union says it also has disagreements over planning time and due process rights for teachers.

The two sides have yet to agree on a fact finder. Once that's done, a hearing will be scheduled.

Sam Zeff is co-host of the political podcast Statehouse Blend and covers education for KCUR. Follow Sam on Twitter @SamZeff.

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