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The York City school board on Wednesday approved a new teacher's contract that will come with a 3.5 percent raise each year of the three-year deal.

The board voted on the new collective-bargaining agreement with the York City Educational Association, which represents teachers and other staff in the school district. The board, missing president Margie Orr and member Jose Santiago, vote unanimously to approve the new deal. Superintendent Eric Holmes said before voting that the education association had approved the tentative agreement Nov. 9.

The contract, which will begin July 1, 2017, and continue through June 30, 2020, needed to be recommended by the school district and supported by state-appointed Chief Recovery Officer Carol Saylor because of the district's recovery plan. Before the vote, Saylor recommended that the new contract be approved.

"I think it is a good plan for teachers and district," she said. "It will allow us to keep the momentum that we’ve had with the recovery plan so far."

After voting, Holmes thanked the York City Educational Association for its help in working toward the state-mandated recovery plan and the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports system that has been implemented in the school district to encourage better behavior among students.

Business Manager Richard Snodgrass confirmed the teachers will see 3.5 percent annual salary increases for the life of the contract. Holmes said after the meeting that there were no other major changes to the teacher contract.

Among the other votes Wednesday, the board approved new lighting for Small's Field, a security measure that comes after a shooting that occurred outside of a York City football game in September.

Also regarding security, the school will be undergoing mandatory training through a contract with SafeSchools, an online staff-training system. The board also approved a fence to be erected at Hannah Penn K-8 to separate students from traffic near the school.

The board approved a contract with the Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12 for consultation, planning and development services related to a STEAM program. The program is an expansion of the current STEAM program which is housed in Ferguson K-8 only. Holmes has been hoping to expand the program for quite some time.

In September, Gov. Tom Wolf visited the Ferguson K-8 STEAM classes, at which point Holmes expressed interest in expanding the program district-wide.

A group of 30 teachers and administrators is meeting with LIU 12 to discuss the possible expansion, and a full plan will be presented to the school board in the spring. In the coming months, Holmes and other administrators plan to visit STEAM programs in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh for ideas.

The next York City School Board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 21 in the administration building at 31 N. Pershing Ave.

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