After months of negotiation and tension, officials from the Howard County Public School System announced early Friday morning that they have reached a tentative agreement with the Howard County Education Association, the union that represents Howard teachers and some other employees. .
According to the school system, the agreement would award teachers and support staff a three-percent, across-the-board salary increase and a half-step increment, both retroactive to the beginning of last month, as well as a stipend for a half-step increase to start July 1 of next year.
The agreement, which was made with the help of a mediator, still needs to be ratified by the union's membership and approved by the Board of Education during its board meeting scheduled for Sept. 11.
School board chair Ellen Flynn Giles called the package "among the best in the state.
"Howard County schools have long been synonymous with excellence; maintaining that stellar reputation depends upon attracting and retaining the very best staff," she said in a statement.
“Our employees are the backbone of this school system, and our ranking among the finest in the nation reflects their vital work,” Superintendent Renee A. Foose said in a statement. “I am committed to compensating all employees for their top-level skills and commitment to our students. I could not be more pleased that we have reached an agreement that recognizes our outstanding staff.”
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