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LR schools

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The Little Rock Classroom Teachers Association and the School District apparently do have a deal. Little Rock Superintendent Roy Brooks is announcing it as I write, complete with warm words for the CTA. I have no details on pay or other details. But I'd heard earlier that the main concesssion from teachers was a 50 percent-plus-one vote, rather than the current 75 percent, on special pay ("merit pay") proposals. I think I heard Brooks say the contract is good for three years, but can be reopened on pay issues.

At this point, a settlement is better than a strike or a noisy fight. The coming school elections could be more important than tonight's agreement about the years ahead.

Teachers must vote to ratify, of course, before it's final. The School Board, too. They had little to say Thursday night. Feelings are mighty raw there.

PS -- The pay agreement calls this year for a 3 percent across-the-board pay raise plus a 2.6 percent step increase for current teachers. The agreement also gives the district principals more flexibility in calling meetings with teachers and asking them to perform non-teaching duties.


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