DRIGGS, Idaho - The Teton Education Association is one step closer to reaching an agreement with Teton School District 401 for the first time.
A negotiation team made up of teachers reached a Master Agreement, but the contract has yet to be ratified by the teachers association and approved by the school board.
The Master Agreement in place would give teachers a 1.5 percent raise, as well as equitable lunch and prep time. Susan Pence and Juli Gottler, teachers on the negotiation team, said the Idaho Education Association was instrumental in the process.
"They provided a tremendous amount of support with us from the beginning, and they came to any meetings we asked them to," said Gottler. "They provided support throughout the process."
Pence said the teachers hope a master agreement will help keep good teachers around longer.
"We really believe that keeping a young, motivated teaching staff is best for our students," said Pence.
District Superintendent Monte Woolstenhulme said the district is only looking for six teachers and a couple of administrators this year, but turnover has been an issue in the past.
"There's a high range and a low range, some years it might be 10 to 15," said Woolstenhulme. "I don't think we've had as many as 20."
Woolstenhulme said the district just can't compete with the big draw east of the mountains.
"The challenge we have is we're neighbors with Wyoming, so someone who's looking for a much better financial move will go to any district in Wyoming and make a significantly higher salary than they can make in our school district."