Officials with the Wichita teachers union say contract talks "have not been moving quickly," but they are closer to a tentative agreement.
Larry Landwehr, president of United Teachers of Wichita, said school board members are expected to consider a contract proposal at their meeting Monday.
He would not discuss details of the proposal or whether the union's executive board would likely approve it. The union represents the district's about 4,000 teachers.
"The board has to look at it, so we don't have a tentative agreement yet," Landwehr said. "Talks are still ongoing."
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Contract negotiations began in March for a contract set to begin Aug. 1.
District leaders have proposed freezing teacher pay at 2008 levels, instituting a furlough day, reducing the number of contract days and requiring more detailed lesson plans.
The union had been asking for a 3 percent pay raise, more planning time and fewer work hours outside the classroom, including in-service days.
According to a union report, a one-day furlough would be a $200 pay cut for a beginning teacher. For a veteran teacher at the top of the pay schedule, one day of pay is $310.
The union recently surveyed members by e-mail to get their thoughts on furloughs. Landwehr would not discuss the results.
Union officials and school board members say financial challenges — including an expected $27.5 million reduction in district spending next year — have made contract talks especially tough.
"It's difficult this year because of the financial situation we've been put in," Landwehr said.
Wichita administrators and teachers didn't negotiate a contract last year because a two-year contract made in 2009 was still in effect.
That agreement didn't come easily. After a "no" vote from teachers on a tentative agreement brought them back to the negotiating table, mediation helped create a contract approved by teachers in October 2009. That contract called for a two-year salary freeze and possible health insurance premiums in exchange for fewer training hours.
Few Kansas school districts have approved teacher contracts.
Talks in Garden City stalled this month and a federal mediator was called in over a dispute over how teachers dress. Teachers there overwhelmingly rejected a proposed contract that would have banned them from wearing blue jeans.
Landwehr said "professional dress" has been an issue in past Wichita negotiations and has not been resolved yet this year.
The current contract states: "Teachers will project a positive professional image while dressing in an appropriate manner as determined by the teacher."