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School board agrees to new teacher contract

School board agrees to new teacher contract

The Ballston Spa Board of Education has reached a new five-year agreement with teachers calling f

The Ballston Spa Board of Education has reached a new five-year agreement with teachers calling for an annual cost-of-living increase of 2.6 percent.

Superintendent of Schools Ray Colucciello said the agreement was reached with three months left on the current contract between the district and teachers.

“I think it’s a fair contract for the district and the certified staff,” he said. “Both sides had to compromise, and this contract gives the district five years of knowing what costs to expect.”

Teachers will be making larger contributions to their health insurance premiums under the contract. Frank Colgan, president of the Ballston Spa Teachers’ Association, told the school board that he appreciated the work of administrators and the board in reaching the agreement.

There are about 380 teachers in Ballston Spa’s five district schools.

In another matter, members of the school board will be meeting this week with Malta officials to discuss the possibility of a new school building in the town.

School board members are planning for new construction to keep up with an expected student population increase in future years as well as creating classrooms to replace some that are being abandoned at Malta Avenue Intermediate School. The school is the oldest in the district, and renovating and repairing it to meet state education codes would cost millions of dollars, according to district architects.

The meeting in Malta is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Town Hall.

Colucciello said some board members will also be taking trips to Elmira and Albany in the coming weeks as part of the search for a new superintendent.

The two finalist superintendent candidates are Joseph Dragone, assistant superintendent with the Albany city schools, and Joseph Hochreiter, deputy superintendent with the Elmira city schools.

Both candidates have visited the Ballston Spa school district and met with various groups.

Colucciello said a final decision is expected before the end of April.

Budget preparation for the coming school year is ongoing, according to Assistant Superintendent Brian Sirianni, who said a tentative spending plan should be ready for the school board to act on in about two weeks.

District voters will decide the budget on May 20.

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