On Tuesday afternoon, January 19th, CHEA provided the Board's negotiating committee with a revised set of proposed salary guides for the certificated staff members (teachers, counselors, child study team members, therapists). The Board committee quickly reviewed the updated guides and then met with the full Board in a special executive session, last evening, to discuss the new salary guides.
Following a great deal of discussion, the Board agreed to accept the updated salary guides. While CHEA met the shared goal of improving the starting salary by the final year of the contract, the guides do not address all of the outstanding issues that were identified. The Board appreciates CHEA's efforts to meet this goal.
Funding of public education continues to remain an issue in New Jersey. Creating a budget that is fiscally responsible to the community and which meets the needs of individual students in the district will continue to be a challenge, especially in communities like Cherry Hill. The negotiated, and soon to be ratified, contract – with the revised salary guides – will continue to attract and retain top quality talent to maintain the level of instruction that our community expects. There will certainly be challenges moving forward, especially when the time comes for the Board and CHEA to negotiate a successor agreement to begin the 2018-2019 academic year.
The Board looks forward to working with CHEA as we address, together, the financial implications of the value of each increment step that is included in the new salary guides and the impact on the annual budget. Cherry Hill is one of the finest school districts in the state of New Jersey. We have all chosen to raise our children in this district so that they would benefit from the quality of the instruction and the breadth of the opportunities that are provided. We are eager to move forward with CHEA in meeting the needs of our students in the classroom and in all activities that occur after the end of the academic day – our sports, our clubs, our service organizations, our special events.