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Teachers, Parents At Odds With School Board

Teachers say school hired four teachers to lower their raises.
BELLWOOD, BLAIR COUNTY - On Tuesday evening parents and teachers from the Bellwood Antis School District spoke out against four teachers they say were hired strictly out of spite.
 
 “These teachers were hired to eat into our salary scale. They were hired so that we would have to spread the money around thinner,” Bellwood Antis Educators’ Association Vice President Kerry Naylor says.
 
The union says a deal was reached in April that would give district teachers their first raise in three years.
 
After dividing up the allotted money, the teachers say the school board hired four more teachers, just to lower the amount each teacher would get.
 
 “We're looking out at the best interest of kids and what happens is that those students who need the most help and need that support need those teachers,” Bellwood Antis Superintendent Dr. Brian Toth says.
 
Dr. Toth says the extra teachers were necessary.
 
The union has filed a grievance against the board, and the two sides are negotiating the deal.
 
Parents at Tuesday night's meeting say they're frustrated, and the board isn't giving them any answers.
 
 “Don't treat us like we're stupid. How are we supposed to sit here and ask questions and not get any answers? If you have nothing to hide and you're not ashamed of anything you've done then answer questions in front of everyone,” Melissa Cuevas says.
 
“You try to teach your kids honor and value and respect and how can they learn that if they're not learning that from their community and their leaders,” Judy Neyman says.
 
And the teachers say they just want what they feel they've earned. Especially after years of nothing but what they call a great relationship with the current school board.
 
For this to happen, it is very frustrating because we feel it's a personal attack,” Naylor says.
 
Dr. Toth wasn't able to say much about the situation because of the ongoing arbitration talks.
 
The district did recently send a letter out to parents in the district explaining their side of the controversy. They also posted the message on their website.

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