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District 93 board, teachers reach contract agreement

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - With the first day of school for Bonneville District 93 nearly two weeks away, teachers will return to their classrooms with contracts. 

Educators and the school board found common ground after a nearly 10-hour long mediation at the Hampton Inn in Idaho Falls on Wednesday.

District 93 was one of the last in the region to hold out on contracts.

A federal, out-of-state mediator got both sides to shake hands.

The education reform laws put in place from 2009-2012 only allowed teachers to negotiate salaries and benefits. But before that, teachers had input on everything from classroom sizes to tenure. Since voters struck down the reform, teachers basically had to start all over.

"It certainly dragged out and took a while,"said Keith Leppert of the Bonneville Education Association.      "At least we had some comfortable chairs to sit in." 

"It was a good process and I think there was a lot of give and take from both sides and we came up with something that will be ratified on both sides," said Charles Shackett, district superintendent.

The master agreement is pending ratification early next week. 

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