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      Bad news for Marquette teachers

      The Marquette School Board has approved its budget for the coming school year, but some teachers may not be happy with it.

      "According to Ms. Berry's calculations, our two recent negotiation proposals were about $100,000 apart. Are the teachers of this district not worth a small fraction of the standard margin of error in the budget each year?" said Fred Cole.

      Teachers at Marquette Area Public Schools are still without a contract.

      And now, they have even more to worry about.

      Rising out-of-pocket insurance costs.

      "Sometimes you have things happen to you that you don't plan for. And it's incredible to me that I had this wonderful family of teachers that backed me up when I had to be out for 80 days for emergency medical procedures this year."

      At today's regular board meeting, members had a new budget plan on the table for the 20-14 20-15 school year.

      It was approved unanimously.

      However, now teachers who are members of the union must pay around $200 more per month out of pocket for their medical insurance if they want to keep the same level of coverage.

      The board voted for a hard cap on how much the district will pay for insurance benefits.

      As far as salary negotiations go, the board says they are still working with the teachers to hash out a deal.

      The total the district can spend on salaries will have a slight up-tick, so that may help.

      "It would go from 14.7 million this year in salaries to about 15.125 next year. That's what we have proposed on the table, we do have several settled contracts so we know that's built in. We don't know what that would be, obviously, for our teachers union at this point," said Bill Saunders, Superintendent.

      The board and the union plan to meet again this Thursday for more negotiation talks.