District 15 refuses to make new teachers contract public
The Palatine Township Elementary District 15 school board approved a 10-year contract with the teachers union Wednesday, but on Friday the school district denied the Daily Herald's Freedom of Information request for a copy.
District 15 Superintendent Scott Thompson the reason is because the contract still has to be tweaked -- and that what the teachers ratified and the board voted on is not the finished contract.
"We still have to clean up the language," Thompson said. "It's a draft of the final version."
District 15 has not denied the FOI in writing, but Thompson said on Friday that a copy of the Classroom Teachers' Council Professional Agreement 2016-2026 would not be made public for another four to eight weeks.
Don Craven, general counsel to the Illinois Press Association, said Friday that when the school board passed the contract on Wednesday it became a public document.
"The union voted, the board voted in an open meeting, they talked about it in a public meeting, it's a public document," Craven said.
District 15 Board President Peggy Babcock did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Classroom Teachers Council approved the contract Monday. The agenda item the District 15 school board voted on Wednesday referred to the "Approval of Classroom Teachers' Council Professional Agreement 2016-2026."
The board unanimously approved the contract.
District 15 sent out a news release Thursday announcing "District 15 and Classroom Teachers' Council Reach Agreement on New Contract."
The 10-year agreement is unusually long for a teachers contract and offers incentives for teachers to retire up to four years early. It also calls for an increased workload among art, music and physical education teachers, and offers a way for teachers in Tier 2 of the pay schedule to move up to Tier 1 after six years of service in the district.
The Daily Herald intends to appeal District 15's denial.