Utica Superintendent: tentative agreements could restore 100 jobs, full day kindergarten

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Utica School Superintendent is ending his spring break with a smile, saying there is a chance that 108 of the proposed 217 job cuts to the district could be restored.

Early next week, the teachers' union and the administrators' union will vote on tentative agreements that could include wage freezes.

On March 27, the Board of Education proposed massive cuts that included jobs, some sports teams, and reducing kindergarten to a half day.

Since then, the unions have been negotiating vigorously.

School Superintendent Bruce Karam says that if the district can meet its APPR requirements - in other words, put a teacher evaluation plan in place - an additional $3.8 million will be awarded to the school system.

That, along with wage freezes would give the school district nearly $6 million to play with, Karam said, adding that job restorations will be based on seniority.

"We will bring back teachers first - English, Math and Science," Superintendent Karam said. "We will bring back elementary teachers and keep class sizes low for grades one through 12, and one of my big priorities is bringing back full day kindergarten, because it's so important to the developmental process of educating children."

The Utica Teacher's Association will vote to ratify the agreement on Monday and The Utica Administrator's Association will vote Tuesday.

If a teacher evaluation plan can not be agreed upon, the money goes back to the state.

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