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updated: 5/30/2014 1:02 PM

Dist. 220, teachers extend contract through 2018

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A deal extending the contract for teachers in the Barrington Unit School District 220 through 2018 was approved by the district board of education Thursday, one day after its ratification by the teachers union.

Under the new deal, most teachers will receive an average annual raise of 2.4 percent. The new contract also caps the annual increase in money that the district will pay in medical and dental insurance for teachers at 3 percent.

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School board President Brian Battle said both sides came together to negotiate the deal over the last eight to 10 weeks. The talks were productive and the result is a deal that benefits both the teachers and the district, he said.

Joe Rupsch, the president of the Barrington Education Association, released a statement praising the deal.

"The BEA appreciates the board's willingness to recognize the needs of our members in agreeing to extend our current contract," he said. "Positive, collaborative discussions with the board and its administration benefit our students and their families, teachers and the entire Barrington 220 community."

Battle said the salary increase that teachers will receive fits into the budget going forward because of several teacher retirements in the coming years.

There is a clause in the contract that would allow the district to back out of the deal depending on how the state budget shakes out in Springfield by the deadline Saturday. Battle said the contingency protects the district from financial problems should the school funding legislation give the district significantly less money than they expect.

"The board appreciates the BEA and its teacher-members for acknowledging the continued economic instability in our state and local economies," Battle said in a statement. "This extension is both fair and flexible given those uncertainties."

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