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Parties mum on Lake Forest High teacher pact

Updated: November 21, 2012 2:02AM

Terms of the Lake Forest High School teachers contract likely won’t be made public until the next school board meeting scheduled for Oct. 9.

“We anticipate the board will be reviewing it then,” District 115 spokeswoman Anne Whipple said. “At that meeting, the terms of the agreement would be made public.”

Lake Forest Education Association members heard the highlights of the four-year contract after school Thursday from their negotiating team, LFEA spokesman Chuck Gress said.

“It is a very fair agreement and compromise on both sides,” Gress said.

He would not give details of the contract that negotiators hammered out in a 12-hour session that ended about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday to put an end to the teachers strike which began Sept. 12. It was the first in district history.

The school board’s attorney will finalize the draft of the language, which the union’s negotiating team will review before presenting it to the teachers, he said.

“Then it’s given to the membership for a five-day period of review,” prior to a vote, Gress said.

From start to finish, Gress said the process will take roughly two weeks.

“That’s not unusual,” he said.

The 150 teachers represented by the union need to ratify the contract before the school board reviews it.

Gress said he has “every reason to believe it will be ratified.”

Whether the Illinois State Board of Education will allow the two days of school — Monday and Tuesday — held without the teachers to be counted as actual school days has not yet been determined. About 1,400 of the school’s 1,718 students attended school on both days.

Illinois State Board of Education spokeswoman Mary Fergus said Friday a ruling by State Superintendent of Schools Chris Koch had not yet been made.

Fergus said Koch “will be talking with the district and giving them the official determination within the next week.”

Should the two days not be counted, it will be up to the district to decide how those days would be made up, she said.

“That’s something that’s determined at a local level,” she said.

By law, school must be in session 180 calendar days.

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