Divide at Vineland School District

Posted at 11:31 AM, Apr 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-30 00:11:15-04

The Vineland School District held a board meeting this week. The meeting highlighted the divide between the district and its teachers.

In a press release, Kara Ranney, who serves as President for the Vineland Teachers Association said, "Teachers are fed up with teachers making sacrifices for a district that does not respect our dedication, professionalism, or expertise. What's even more frustrating is they don't seem to care. There are plenty of resources and they refuse to settle the contract."

The district currently employs 40 teachers, and according to Ranney, a handful plan to leave. Two major reasons include a lack of respect from the district, as well as the district refusing to give its teacher's an 8% raise.

Dr. Matthew Ross, Superintendent for the district says not only do many of its teachers have poor attendance, but he's witnessed teachers not attending to their students on multiple occasions.

"We got into classrooms where teachers are breaking out cans of play dough and having kids play with play dough," said Dr. Ross.

Although he said this doesn't apply to all, it's happened enough times that even the good teachers are left suffering due to the actions of their colleagues.

"It's happening enough in some of the classrooms often enough for us to say, you've not earned an 11.5% pay raise."

Vineland School District teachers were given a 3.5% raise last year, and want an additional 8% raise.

"It's a collective bargaining agreement. The least effective teacher gets the same pay raise as the most effective," said Dr. Ross.

The district and its teachers will continue to work on a compromise.