Support continues for Fostoria teachers

FOSTORIA — Support continued Monday evening for Fostoria City Schools teachers during the Fostoria Board of Education meeting.

Parents, community members and other area teachers attended in support of teachers as the board and Fostoria Education Association come to terms on a new contract.

Contract negotiations started in May without the board and FEA reaching an agreement. On Aug. 28, the FEA issued a 10-day strike notice to the board and the Ohio State Employment Relations Board that the bargaining team has a legal and contractual authority to schedule a strike date should the board continue its unwillingness to reach a fair and reasonable contract settlement with its teaching staff, in the FEA’s opinion.

Parent Vicki Kent addressed the board during public comment, stating she attended in support of the teachers.

“I hope you do what is best for your teachers,” Kent said.

Kent said teachers are not in it for the fame or money, but because they have a passion and real calling.

Other parents and surrounding school teachers stood up in support for Fostoria’s teachers during the meeting.

Board Vice President Sharon Stannard addressed those in attendance. Stannard said the board, “offered a fair package,” and the union “left after 10 minutes” due to improper language in the proposed contract and without addressing any financial information.

Thomas Guernsey, board president, said the union has not returned a response since Aug. 30.

On another matter, Treasurer Sue Lehmann presented a five-year financial forecast that is due to be submitted by the end of this month.

Lehmann broke down the forecast, further explaining district revenue and expenditures. Lehmann said district revenue is at about $24 million and will remain throughout 2023. After expenditures, she projected a deficit of $469,000 in 2021.

In other news, the board:

* Approved retirements, resignations and employment of personnel.

* Approved unpaid leave of absence for Amanda Biggert, effective March 1 through April 13, 2020.

* Approved to employ Gayle Guernsey as a speech/language pathologist services.

* Approved to pay $2,500 stipend to Pam Berrier and Lisa Rutter as building homeless/family liaisons.

* Approved the junior/senior high school DECA students to attend the Central Leadership Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

* Approved a cooperative agreement between FCS and Vanguard-Sentinel Career and Technology Center for educational and remedial support services.