BRISTOL — The towns making up the Newfound Area School District rejected a three-year teacher contract that would have provided step increases plus 2 percent cost-of-living increases in the first two years and step plus 2.5 percent in the third year, as well as a 2 percent increase in co-curricular stipends, in exchange for significant changes in the district's authorized leave policy.
While the Newfound Area School Board supported the new agreement, the budget committee did not recommend the article, pointing out that combining the steps and the COLAs would increase teacher pay by 15 percent over the three-year contract period for teachers now on Step 1, while those at Step 10 would see a three-year increase of 17.5 percent.
Bridgewater, Hebron, and New Hampton voters supported the agreement while Alexandria, Bristol, Danbury, and Groton voted against it. The final tally was 1,053, or 46.7 percent, for the agreement and 1,201, or 53.3 percent, against it.
Voters supported all other articles on the ballot except for the one calling for a school resource officer. During the deliberative session, voters had reduced the funding for the position from $51,840 to zero.