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Nashua school district’s principals, assistant principals form union

Union Leader Correspondent

January 26. 2014 8:35PM

NASHUA — The Board of Education has been working for months on a salary schedule for the district’s principals and assistant principals, and they may soon have some help hashing out the details.

At tonight’s BOE meeting, the Nashua Association of School Principals is scheduled to present its petition for certification for a new collective bargaining unit. The new union will represent 40 principals and assistant principals throughout the school district.

“I believe this is a formal notification of them telling us this is what they are intending to do,” said BOE member Robert Hallowell.

The New Hampshire Public Employee Labor Relations Board does require public employers, in this case the school district, to formally agree to the membership, or composition, of the new union.

Any objections to the Nashua principals’ union must be sent to the PELRB within 15 days of the date the new union filed its request for certification. The Nashua Association of School Principals filed its petition with the PELRB on Jan 17.

A collective bargaining unit for Nashua school administrators isn’t new. In 1977, the PELRB certified the Nashua Association of School Principals, which represented the school administrators until several years ago when members agreed to disband and become unaffiliated employees.

Also on the board’s agenda tonight is the question of how the district should move forward with school choice. Under the federal No Child Left Behind law, families with children in schools that were determined to be “In Need of Improvement” because of lagging test scores had the option to transfer students to other schools within the district.

NCLB also required school districts to pick up the transportation costs for students whose families chose to send them to other schools. Nashua spent about $168,000 last year for transportation for students who opted out of their neighborhood schools.

However, New Hampshire now has a waiver from NCLB, and districts are no longer required to provide school choice and transportation. Nashua’s BOE will begin the process of hammering out a policy that addresses the needs of students who have chosen to attend other schools and maps out how school choice might be carried on for future students.

The board will also hear a presentation on Nashua Youth Career Connect, a three-year, $3.1 million program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and local industries that will provide career counseling, training and internships for students in Southern New Hampshire’s in-demand industries, such as manufacturing and hospitality.

Also on the board’s agenda is a review of a sixth-grade program that uses iPads to enrich science classes. Board members will also vote on several recommendations from the Finance and Operations Committee, including a $40,750 contract with Gale Associates to test the gym floor at Nashua High School South and $50,250 expenditure for boiler equipment.

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