Strongsville Board of Education makes new offer based on new funds, teachers counter

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio - The Strongsville City Schools Board of Education has made a new offer to the teachers' union following hours of talks Sunday that broke off with no deal early Monday morning.

Board President David Frazee said the enhanced offer is a result of $3.2 million in new funds and released the following statement:

 "The Strongsville City Schools Board of Education (BOE) has stood behind its last best offer made on March 2 for the past seven weeks. It was an offer based upon the financial information we had at the time. Based upon the actual tax receipts, the revenue projections have changed. We plan to use some of these new funds to reduce the general education and pay-to-participate fees. In an effort to bring the teachers back to the classroom, we have updated the proposal to the teachers union as well. The bottom line is that this is a proposal that our school district can afford and sustain."

The new proposal provides the teachers with a half-step increase for each of two years or a one-time cash payment of $1,200 depending on their position, Frazee said.

Sources tell NewsChannel5 that the difference between the school board's new proposal and a counter offered by the teachers' union is less than a million dollars.

The Strongsville City Schools received unanticipated funds from delinquent tax collections ($1.5 million), tax increment financing (TIF) ($1.2 million) and $500,000 more than the county fiscal office estimated for the first half 2013 tax collection to add $3.2 million to the school district's budget.

Earlier Monday morning, after 13-hour talks that ended in no resolution, SEA president Tracy Linscott said:

 "Tonight, the board finally admitted what the SEA has known for months. They have $3.2 million more than they had claimed.  When you add that to the $1.6 million since the strike began, the total savings that they have available is $4.8 million. The board could have ended this strike tonight… and the teachers could have gone right back into their classrooms immediately.  Unfortunately, the $4.8 million that they have is not enough to convince the board to put the students ahead of their personal agendas and the strike continues."

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