Battle Ground Sch. Dist.
Emergency Messages as of 8:46 am, Sun. Sep. 23
No information currently posted. Operating as usual.
Subscribe to receive FlashAlert messages from Battle Ground Sch. Dist. Please use any browser other than Internet Explorer.
Primary email address for a new account:

Emergency Alerts News Releases  
And/or follow our FlashAlerts via Twitter

About FlashAlert on Twitter:

FlashAlert utilizes the free service Twitter to distribute emergency text messages. While you are welcome to register your cell phone text message address directly into the FlashAlert system, we recommend that you simply "follow" the FlashAlert account for Battle Ground Sch. Dist. by clicking on the link below and logging in to (or creating) your free Twitter account. Twitter sends messages out exceptionally fast thanks to arrangements they have made with the cell phone companies.

Click here to add Battle Ground Sch. Dist. to your Twitter account or create one.

Hide this Message


Manage my existing Subscription

News Releases
Battle Ground schools, teachers union reach tentative agreement - 09/15/18

Battle Ground Public Schools and the Battle Ground Education Association (BGEA) reached a tentative agreement today (Sept. 15) on a new contract for teachers and other certificated educational professionals in the district. The bargaining teams worked with the support of the state mediator until 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning and then returned to bargaining a few hours later.

BGEA members will vote to ratify the agreement on Sunday, Sept. 16. Schools are expected to open on Monday, Sept. 17. Families will receive a separate communication with school start details, and information will also be posted on the district website.

"We are pleased to reach a tentative agreement that will allow the district to recruit and retain quality teachers," said Superintendent Mark Ross. "We are looking forward to starting the school year and coming together to focus on our mission of educating students.

"While Battle Ground is not alone in its financial challenges, the district's difficulties are certainly amplified by the inequities of new state funding," Ross said. "Battle Ground will have to make some difficult budget decisions in the coming years to bring the district in closer alignment with the state prototypical school model."

Information about the tentative agreement will be released after BGEA ratification and board approval. The school board will need to approve adjustments to the school calendar prior to the district notifying families about changes. 

Battle Ground Files Fact Finding Request - 09/10/18

After nearly 12 hours of mediated bargaining on Sunday with its teachers association, Battle Ground Public Schools has filed a request with the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) for fact finding. Bargaining teams for the district and the Battle Ground Education Association (BGEA) remain $4.7 million or 8 percent apart in their offers.

Fact finding is a legal process that allows PERC, a state agency, to examine information where there is disagreement and provide a non-binding opinion that the district hopes will advance the bargaining process.

"The district has been unable to settle its dispute with the Battle Ground Education Association regarding resolution of the parties' open contract," the request states. "At this point, the district believes the parties are deadlocked on the fundamental issue of available resources for employee compensation" and the legislation implementing the McCleary decision. 

Battle Ground's proposal would add $6.6 million or an increase of 11.6 percent for teacher compensation in 2018-19 compared to 2017-18. BGEA's proposal would add $11.3 million or an increase of 19.6 percent for teacher compensation in 2018-19 compared to 2017-18. 

Battle Ground Public Schools is cancelling classes on Tuesday, Sept. 11. 

More information about bargaining is on the district website: www.battlegroundps.org/bargaining.

Battle Ground bargaining update - 09/06/18

Battle Ground Public Schools and the Battle Ground Education Association (BGEA) continued bargaining for 14 hours on Thursday with the state-appointed mediator but have not yet reached an agreement on teacher compensation. There will be no school on Friday, Sept. 7, as Battle Ground's teachers voted for a work stoppage if an agreement is not in place.

Bargaining teams are scheduled to meet again on Friday. 

Battle Ground’s board of directors and leadership team are committed to providing staff with fair compensation that is fiscally responsible and sustainable.

More information about bargaining is on the district website: www.battlegroundps.org/bargainning.

Battle Ground Public Schools updates offer to teachers - 09/06/18

Battle Ground Public Schools presented new proposals to the Battle Ground Education Association (BGEA) in mediated-bargaining that lasted until 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday; however, the teams have not yet reached an agreement. The district is cancelling classes on Friday, Sept. 7, as Battle Ground's teachers voted for a work stoppage if an agreement is not in place.

The district's latest proposal would give teachers an average increase in total compensation of 11.5 percent in 2018-19. Battle Ground would use all the McCleary funding sent for teachers' salaries and additional funding from the local levy for the increase. In addition, the district's proposal includes language around reducing Battle Ground's unfunded staff to bring district staffing into closer alignment with the number of staff funded through the prototypical school model.

"I respectfully disagree with the assertion from the union that we are not spending all of the McCleary funding that was allocated for teachers salaries," said Superintendent Mark Ross. "We received $9 million for funded teachers' salaries and benefits. When you take into account the $5.5 million associated with the levy loss, that leaves about $3.5 million that is sustainable.

"Our current offer has a cost of $6.4 million over last year for teachers' salaries, so we will need to use levy funding to make up the difference," Ross said. "If someone were to give you $10 and take back $5, you don't still have $10 to spend, you only have $5."

BGEA countered the district's offer with a proposed one-year increase of 19.5 percent to teacher compensation in 2018-19.

The district and BGEA will be back in mediated bargaining on Thursday morning. The district is committed to the bargaining process and wants to provide fair compensation to teachers that is fiscally responsible and sustainable.

Wednesday's proposal from the district includes the following salary levels for total teacher compensation:

2018-19 (excluding retirement and benefits)

  • Starting:  $50,019
  • Top of Salary Schedule (16 years):  $94,629
  • Average total compensation for teachers: $74,315

2019-20 (excluding retirement and benefits)

  • Starting:  $51,297
  • Top of Salary Schedule (16 years):  $97,047
  • Average total compensation for teachers: $77,317

2020-21 (excluding retirement and benefits)

  • Starting:  $52,735
  • Top of Salary Schedule (16 years):  $99,767
  • Average total compensation for teachers: $79,057

More information is on the district's website: www.battlegroundps.org/bargaining.

Battle Ground Public Schools offers enhanced proposal to teachers - 09/04/18

In all-day mediated bargaining on Tuesday, Battle Ground Public Schools enhanced its multi-year offer to the Battle Ground Education Association (BGEA); however, an agreement has not yet been reached. The district is cancelling classes on Thursday, Sept. 6, as Battle Ground's teachers voted for a work stoppage if an agreement is not in place. 

The district's enhanced offer would give teachers an average increase in total compensation of 11 percent in 2018-19, and an average increase in total teacher compensation of 20.3 percent over three years. Battle Ground would use all the McCleary funding sent for teachers' salaries and local levy funding for the increase. In addition, the district's proposal includes language around reducing Battle Ground's unfunded staff to bring district staffing into closer alignment with the number of staff funded through the prototypical school model.

BGEA countered with a proposed one-year increase of 19.7 percent to teacher compensation for 2018-19. 

"Today's bargaining did not go as I had hoped it would," said Battle Ground Superintendent Mark Ross. "We expressed our concern again—that we are using all of the McCleary money that was designated for teacher's salaries ($69,219 average compensation) and using additional funds from our local levy to cover the cost of our proposal. 

"We want to give fair compensation to our teachers, but we still have to be concerned about what is a sustainable amount given the deficits we will face over the next two years and the reduction in our local levy." 

The enhanced district proposal includes the following salary levels for total teacher compensation: 

2018-19 (excluding retirement and benefits) 

  • Starting:  $47,482 
  • Top of Salary Schedule (16 years):  $91,269 
  • Average total compensation for teachers: $74,043 

2019-20 (excluding retirement and benefits) 

  • Starting:  $48,716 
  • Top of Salary Schedule (16 years):  $93,641 
  • Average total compensation for teachers: $77,858 

2020-21 (excluding retirement and benefits) 

  • Starting:  $50,177 
  • Top of Salary Schedule (16 years):  $96,449 
  • Average total compensation for teachers: $80,193 

More information is on the district's website: www.battlegroundps.org/bargaining.

Battle Ground Public Schools updates multi-year offer to teachers - 09/03/18

In bargaining this weekend, Battle Ground Public Schools offered an updated multi-year contract to the Battle Ground Education Association (BGEA) that would provide a three-year increase to the average total teacher compensation of 19.3 percent over 2017-18. The district is continuing to meet with BGEA in mediated bargaining.

Details:

  • BGPS average total teacher compensation in 2017-18 was $66,685
  • The BGPS offer would increase the average total teacher compensation by 19.3 percent over three years, not including benefits
    • 2018-19 average total compensation would be $73,343, a 10 percent increase over 2017-18
    • 2019-20 average total compensation would be $76,558, a 14.8 percent increase over 2017-18
    • 2020-21 average total compensation would be $79,534, a 19.3 percent increase over 2017-18; a first-year teacher would make $49,518, while a teacher with 21+ years would make $95,102
  • BGEA continues to ask for a one-year contract that would increase the average total compensation by 24.2 percent in 2018-19

"Like the other districts that have settled around us, we believe we can give our teachers a fair and sustainable increase that utilizes all of the McCleary money in multiple years," said Battle Ground Superintendent Mark Ross.

"As it stands, with the levy reduction over the next two years, we are already looking at ways to reduce costs in years two and three," Ross said. "With our high percentage of unfunded staff, we may need to make some difficult decisions in the years to come. However, we believe our extra support staff are more than nice to have; they are critical to providing a quality learning environment for our students. Any future cuts we are looking at would come from multiple areas in the organization."

More information about bargaining is available on the district website: www.battlegroundps.org/bargaining

Battle Ground bargaining continues into the weekend - 08/30/18

Battle Ground Public Schools and the Battle Ground Education Association (BGEA) met at the bargaining table for 6 hours today to come to a place of mutual understanding about the funding available in the district's budget for staff compensation.The bargaining teams did not reach an agreement on compensation for certificated instructional staff. 

"We had a productive discussion, and both sides have a better understanding of the way the other looks at the state and local funding," said Superintendent Mark Ross. "We look forward to continuing our discussions this weekend and working toward an agreement." 

Battle Ground is committed to bargaining and will meet with BGEA again on Sunday and possibly on following days. Schools are closed on Friday, Aug. 31. The district will communicate with families by Monday about the status of school. 

While schools are closed, high school athletics will continue with scheduled practices and games. School offices will be open through the end of this week. Battle Ground's District Office will be open. More information is on the district’s website at www.battlegroundps.org. 

Battle Ground's multi-year offer is an 18.2 percent increase in total compensation over the district's 2017-18 average teacher compensation. It includes a 6.5 percent increase in total compensation for 2018-19, and commits Battle Ground to additional salary increases of at least 2 percent for each of the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years. 

With this new commitment, the average total compensation for a Battle Ground teacher in 2018-19 would be $72,760, which is more than the amount ($69,129) that the state is giving Battle Ground for each state-funded, certificated FTE in the district. The 2018-19 salary range would be $46,599 for a new teacher to $90,154 for the most experienced. The 2019-20 average compensation would be $75,975 with a range of $47,784 for a new teacher to $92,389 at the top. And the 2020-21 total average compensation would be $78,818 with a range of $48,998 for a new teacher to $94,677 for the most experienced. 

More detailed information about bargaining is available online: www.battlegroundps.org/bargaining. 

Battle Ground Public Schools has been bargaining since last spring with BGEA, which represents 860 certificated professionals (the vast majority are classroom teachers) in the district. The current contract with BGEA expires Aug. 31, 2018.

Battle Ground School Board Approves 3-Year Contract Agreement with Classified Employees - 08/30/18

The Battle Ground Public Schools Board of Directors approved at its meeting on Monday (Aug. 27) a 3-year contract with the district's Public School Employees (PSE) association, which represents more than 570 classified employees in the district.

The new contract provides salary increases of 6 percent in 2018-19, 3 percent in 2019-20 and 3 percent in 2020-21. The district has been bargaining with PSE since last spring, and the new agreement is effective from Sept. 1, 2018 through Aug. 31, 2021.

"I would like to compliment both sides in the bargaining process," said Superintendent Mark Ross. "It was a very collaborative process, with both sides working well together. I want to thank PSE for having an open discussion about the budget and considering the sustainability and stability of our budget with this three-year agreement."

Battle Ground Public Schools has not yet reached an agreement with the Battle Ground Education Association, which represents the district's certificated instructional staff, the majority of which are teachers. The district is committed to the bargaining process, and to providing fair compensation to staff that is fiscally responsible and sustainable in the district's budget.

Battle Ground announces no school for third day - Friday, Aug. 31 - 08/29/18

In addition to school being closed today and tomorrow, Battle Ground Public Schools has announced to families that there will be no school on Friday, Aug. 31.

Battle Ground Public Schools and the Battle Ground Education Association (BGEA) are scheduled to continue bargaining on Thursday, Aug. 30. The district is hopeful that progress will be made, but the district also wants to give families time to plan for the long weekend and the Labor Day holiday on Monday.

While schools are closed:
(Please note that the location of the summer meal program has been moved to Kiwanis Park in Battle Ground.)

  • Kindergarten parent-teacher conferences scheduled on closure days will be postponed.
  • High school athletics will continue as scheduled with practices and games/meets/matches as the coaches are covered under a separate contract.
  • Community education classes will continue as scheduled.
  • Enrollment and registration is available online: http://www.battlegroundps.org/k-12-enrollment/
  • School offices will be open through Aug. 31.
  • Lunch will be served to all children ages 1 to 18 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Kiwanis Park, 422 SW 2nd Ave. in Battle Ground. This is an extension of the summer meal program supported through a USDA grant. 
  • Students will still receive 180 days of instruction, which would begin once the work stoppage is over. The school year calendar will shift accordingly (i.e., the final day of the 2018-19 school year will be later in the summer—much like snow days are added to the end of the school calendar) and dates for graduation might need to be adjusted.
  • Special Services preschools will close with schools.
  • Prairie Preschool will close with schools.
  • ESD 112 preschools (Southwest Washington Child Care Consortium) will continue as scheduled: https://www.esd112.org/swccc/
  • EOCF preschools will continue as scheduled, Educational Opportunities for Children and Families: https://eocfwa.org/

Start of School Delayed for Battle Ground Public Schools - 08/28/18

Battle Ground Public Schools continued to bargain today with the Battle Ground Education Association (BGEA), but did not reach an agreement on compensation for certificated instructional staff. BGEA voted last week to strike if an agreement was not reached by a deadline of today.

Battle Ground Public Schools is committed to continue bargaining with BGEA, and would prefer to have students in class during the process; however, because the BGEA membership voted to strike, the start of the school year will be delayed, and there will be no school on Wednesday or Thursday, Aug. 29 or 30.

While schools are closed, high school athletics will continue with scheduled practices and games. School offices will be open through the end of this week. Battle Ground's District Office will be open. More information is on the district’s website at www.battlegroundps.org.

In bargaining today, the district and BGEA discussed compensation, however BGEA was not willing to discuss funding with the district's team. The two groups disagree on what is available in the district's budget for teacher compensation as a result of the McCleary decision. Battle Ground Public Schools has agreed to have a finance representative from the Washington Education Association (WEA) participate in a discussion to help resolve this issue. The district is hoping that the WEA representative will be available for the next bargaining session on Thursday. 

Battle Ground's current, multi-year offer is an 18.2 percent increase in total compensation over the district's 2017-18 average teacher compensation. It includes a 6.5 percent increase in total compensation for 2018-19, and commits Battle Ground to additional salary increases of at least 2 percent for each of the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years.

With this new commitment, the average total compensation for a Battle Ground teacher in 2018-19 would be $72,760, which is more than the amount ($69,129) that the state is giving Battle Ground for each state-funded, certificated FTE in the district. The 2018-19 salary range would be $46,599 for a new teacher to $90,154 for the most experienced.

After taking into account the reduction in local levy dollars, the district will receive about $3.6 in McCleary funding for basic education teacher salaries and benefits in 2018-19. More detailed information about bargaining is available online: www.battlegroundps.org/bargaining.

Battle Ground Public Schools has been bargaining since last spring with BGEA, which represents 860 certificated professionals (the vast majority are classroom teachers) in the district. The current contract with BGEA expires Aug. 31, 2018.

Battle Ground Public Schools extends certificated contract offer to three years - 08/27/18

In a mediated bargaining session on Sunday, Battle Ground Public Schools presented an updated offer to the Battle Ground Education Association (BGEA) that extends the contract through 2021. The multi-year offer is a 16.5 percent increase in total compensation over the district's 2017-18 average teacher compensation.

BGEA did not respond to the district's updated offer in bargaining. "We were hopeful that we could come to a mutual understanding about what funds are available to provide teachers with additional compensation," said Superintendent Mark Ross. "Unfortunately, BGEA refused to have this discussion with the mediator and the district."

The district's offer includes the 6.5 percent increase in total compensation that the district has already offered for 2018-19, and commits Battle Ground to additional salary increases of at least 2 percent for each of the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years.

With this new commitment, the average total compensation for a Battle Ground teacher in 2018-19 would be $72,760, which is higher than the amount ($69,129) that the state is giving Battle Ground for each state-funded, certificated FTE in the district. The 2018-19 salary range would be $46,599 for a new teacher to $90,154 for the most experienced.

For 2019-20, the district estimates that the average total compensation would be $74,198 with a range of $47,784 for a new teacher to $92,389 at the top. And for 2020-21, the district estimates that the average total compensation would be $77,682 with a range of $48,998 for a new teacher to $94,677 for the most experienced.

Battle Ground Public Schools has been bargaining since last spring with BGEA, which represents 860 certificated professionals (the vast majority are classroom teachers) in the district. The current contract with BGEA expires Aug. 31, 2018.

Battle Ground Public Schools is committed to continue bargaining with BGEA, and would prefer to have students in classes throughout the process.  The district and BGEA are scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

School is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, Aug. 29; however, BGEA voted to strike if an agreement is not reached the evening before. Families are encouraged to develop contingency plans in case a settlement is not reached by the first day of school and BGEA chooses to strike.

Please continue to check the Battle Ground Public Schools bargaining web page for updates.