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Newly approved Wahpeton teacher contracts causes controversy

WAHPETON—Newly approved contracts for teachers in Wahpeton are acting as a double-edged sword.

Approved contracts in the Wahpeton School District have some seeing green and others, red.

An employee with the district reached out wanting to remain anonymous, but says the changes aren't positive for everyone.

The 2018-19 school year will give returning employees an extra $1,500 dollars over the year.

Yet changes to the health insurance policy could counter this, leaving anyone on a family plan to pay in $2,400 dollars.

"The current funding formula makes it really difficult for the school board to provide us anything else," said Megan Brejcha, Wahpeton Teacher Association Co-President.

It's a fee previously covered in full by the district, and one school administrators wouldn't have to pay.

The employee's concerned about staff morale, saying the changes could be especially negative for employees like custodians who make less than teachers.

"They also are taking on the burden of a significant pay in for health care that kind of negates our raise," said Brejcha.

We reached out to Superintendent Rick Jacobson who says the previous health insurance plan was unsustainable and declined to comment further.

Members with the Wahpeton Education Association say this isn't a case of one group against another, but instead represents a problem outside of the district.

"Negotiators did the best they could, and there's no hard feelings, it's just a product of a state problem," said Brejcha.

The WEA says the school board will go back to the tabe next year and could re-negotiate then.

School Administrators will also get a bigger raise, up to few thousand more than teachers.