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School board renews teaching contracts
MONROE - The Monroe school board approved the renewal of 188 teaching contracts for 2014-15 on Monday, but they will have to negotiate whether teachers will get a pay increase.

School districts across the state have until May 15 to give teachers a written notice of renewal or non-renewal of a teacher's contract. Until the Act 10 law that was approved by Gov. Scott Walker in 2011 and curtailed some of the teacher's collective bargaining rights, the contracts were renewed in February and March.

"It is our intent to let staff know early so they can plan accordingly," Monroe School District Superintendent Cory Hirsbrunner said. "The April/May timeline is much later than what was driven by state statute and collective bargaining language in the past. That seems a little late to let teaching staff know if they have a contract for the following year."

The board issued non-renewal notices to four special education teachers, one science teacher, four virtual school positions, one business education teacher and two elementary school teachers.

Hirsbrunner said the non-renewal notices were issued for closure of the virtual school, teachers working on a one-year non-continuing contract, teachers working with a one-year emergency license or deficiencies in performance.

Teachers started the 2013-2014 school year working under a previous contract that included a salary freeze. The board completed a four-month negotiating period with the Monroe Education Association in November and teachers received a 2.07 percent total base wage increase for 2013-14. Teachers received retroactive back pay to the start of the school year. The contract included a 1.29 percent increase in all cells on the salary schedule and allowed for step movement with a new base salary of $32,625. The contract expires June 30.

"We may look at the salary this spring because the Consumer Price Index is already out so we can get the process started sooner this year," Hirsbrunner said.