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D.C. Teachers Consider Contract

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By Kavitha Cardoza

More than 100 educators from D.C. Public Schools attended an informational meeting about the proposed teacher union contract last night. Several say the agreement seems favorable, but they want to read the fine print before they make up their minds.

Kanika Dalton teaches at Burville Elementary School. She says her attitude changed during the meeting.

“My initial thoughts were it was going to be a lot of mumbo jumbo. I’m not feeling exactly great about it but there are stipulations in there I think we can work through,” says Dalton.

Dalton says the 20 percent pay increase over five years would be great.

"I’m a new mom and I need the money,” she says.

Yanna Brazey who teaches at Whittier Education Campus is worried about private foundations granting $65 million to DCPS.

“There probably will be some other stipulations attached to more expectations from teachers,” says Brazey.

Joyce who declined to give her last name works at Seaton Elementary School. She says it was very difficult last year when colleagues were laid off in a process she believes was unfair. Joyce believes this agreement offers teachers like her more protections.

“The language in the new contract I think there’s a little bit more security,” she says.

And teachers like Noah Steinberg say they want more time to make up their minds.

“The contract is 103 pages long and it’ll be important to get our hands on it and see how it really affects us,” says Steinberg.

But he says that’s not indicative of mistrust, rather a teacher’s personality.

“We need details! We’re detail oriented people!” he says.

Teachers are expected to vote on the deal within the next month.

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