Lawrence teachers want negotiations after years without contract

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LAWRENCE -

Teachers in the Lawrence School District are going on their seventh year without a contract and claim they have been left in the dark about contract negotiations.

There are nearly 300 teachers in the district, where the teachers association has been trying to negotiate a new contract with the school board since 2010.

Lori Skonberg, the teachers association president, says the school board has refused to have a face-to-face meeting for more than two years, during which time a number of good teachers have left the district for higher-paying teaching jobs.

As Skonberg points out, all but one member of the Lawrence School Board are Orthodox Jewish with children who go to yeshivas, not public schools.

"I believe they do not want to settle a contract because they don't believe in public education," Skonberg says.

Jose Serrano is a graduate of Lawrence High School and currently has two children in the Lawrence school system. He's also a leader of the Five Towns Hispanic Association. Serrano says it is long past the time to give raises to teachers in the district, for their sake, and for the sake of the students.

"If (we're) losing good teachers, I'm a huge believer that it will cause big problems for the kids," he says.

News 12's efforts to reach members of the school board Wednesday were unsuccessful.

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