Despite One-Year Contracts, Many Fargo Teachers Optimistic About School Year

Although many faculty members are not happy with the decisions outlined in the contract, they aren't letting that stop them

FARGO, ND — Kids in Fargo are getting ready for school to start on Thursday, but teachers still have time to sign their contracts.

After months of failed negotiations, the Fargo School Board voted on a one–year contract and a $500 raise.

Although many faculty members are not happy with the decisions outlined in the contract, they aren’t letting that stop them.

“When the raises don’t happen, when the negotiations break down like that, it’s really hard to keep that going. But, bottom line, we’re all here for the kids,” said Jolyn Krabbenhoft, a special education teacher in the district.

Teachers were given the new contract on Monday and have 14 days to sign.

If they don’t, they will be out of a job.

The superintendent is already moving forward.

“That process has ended and so we’re going to start school on a positive note,” said Fargo Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Jeffrey Schatz.

The superintendent’s office is anticipating that all teachers are going to sign the contract.

Some Fargo teachers said that although they were hoping for a pay raise, educating students is their first priority.

“Regardless of some of those more difficult and complex times that we’ve had in the recent past with salary and raises, we can maybe not put it directly behind us, but know that we’re going to continue to excel in our job for students,” said Patty Cummings, who is the director of Special Education.

Thousands of faculty members in the district met at Scheels Arena for their annual Professional Development Day.

The Fargo faculty is prepared to renegotiate next year’s contract this spring but, for now, they are looking out for the students.

“Despite feeling maybe a little disrespected in some ways, I know that this is where I need to be because this is my mission,” said Krabbenhoft.

The first day of school for students in Fargo public schools is Thursday.

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