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Teachers Question Contract Funding

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By Peter Granitz

Some teachers in the District are showing concern about the feasibility of a new contract brokered between Chancellor Michelle Rhee and the Washington Teachers Union.

Christopher Bergfalk teaches science at John Eaton Elementary school and does not understand why people continue to say teachers could land more than $140,000 a year because of the new contract. He says the contract is short on details.

The contract is not guaranteed yet because Rhee is banking on a newly discovered $29 million surplus to pay for the contract. The District's financial leaders question Rhee’s accounting error, going from tens of millions of dollars in the hole to having tens of millions of dollars in cash on hand.

Bergfalk says that makes teachers worry about the contract's merit.

"Availability of funds may be something that can change very rapidly, that's very fluid," he says.

The council is expected to meet Thursday to further debate public school funding for next year.

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