JUNEAU (AP) -- A jump in state funding has helped bring the Juneau School District and its teachers back to the bargaining table.
Contract talks between the 350-member Juneau Education Association and the school district stalled last month over raises, and the parties planned to turn to mediation May 23.
But schools Superintendent Gary Bader has now asked teachers to resume negotiations.
Clay Good, one of the union negotiators said the teachers are eager to return to the table.
The school district now has more money to spend, thanks to an increase in the per-pupil funding from the state passed late in the recent legislative session.
The Legislature approved an $18 million increase statewide in its basic school funding formula, including $3.8 million in tax relief for communities with rising property tax assessments.
Next school year, Juneau will get $655,700 more than it would have under the previous funding formula, district administrators said. The changes to the formula upped the district's state funding by $809,600 and lowered the city's contribution by $153,900.
Bader said the extra funds may be used to pay for new contracts, bring back some laid-off teachers and fund equipment and supplies.
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