LITTLE ROCK, AR -- We've seen this before: Union leaders representing the Pulaski County Special School District's teachers and support staff walking in to meet with district leaders. We've heard this too: No agreement yet.
"We're making one other attempt to find a consensus between PACT, PASS, and the administration, and we're working hard to achieve that," said Dr. Jerry Guess, the district's superintendent.
Guess says time is against them. If there's no agreement on salaries and benefits by May 1, everyone's contract will be renewed with no changes. But he said they can't do business as usual. District leaders originally looked for $7 million in cuts from teacher salaries and benefits, but Guess says it's now down to around $4 million. A less of a blow because of more money in property taxes than he expected.
Guess proposes cutting close to 80 teaching positions to meet state-recommended teacher-student ratio.
"What I'm hopeful of is that we will not have to take anyone's job and that those positions will be vacated as a result of resignations and retirement," said Guess.
Union leaders would only tell us they're talking, and have agreed to a 0% pay raise.