As contract negotiations continue, some teachers at the Owens Valley School in Independence are frustrated that a cost of living adjustment from the state hasnt been passed on to the teachers.
Harold McDonald with the Owens Valley Teachers Association explained that in 2006 the state gave teachers a 6% raise to pay for higher living costs, but that so far the school wants to save the extra money as a reserve.
McDonald explained that with a downward trend in the number of students enrolling at the Owens Valley School, officials may be holding the money to make up for fewer anticipated students.
When we contacted Owens Valley School Superintendent Joel Hampton, he said that he couldnt go into details because the negotiations with the teachers were ongoing.
Superintendent Hampton did say that the Board and the Teachers Association were not seeing eye to eye and have been at an impasse for two to three months.
Despite the conflict between the teachers and the administration, both Hampton and McDonald report that the Owens Valley School in Independence has the highest student test scores in Inyo County.
McDonald says that the school has the highest test scores and the lowest paid teachers.
A mediator was scheduled to bring the two sides together for further negotiations this week.