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Tentative Teacher Deal Extends School Day At 'Underperforming' Schools

Students in Boston's 12 "underperforming" schools could get a longer school day as part of a tentative arbitration agreement (PDF) reached with the city's teachers.

Boston teachers would work an extra hour each day — totaling 190 hours a year — in exchange for a $4,100 increase in pay.

It's the first arbitration agreement under the newly enacted state education reform law.

But teachers union President Richard Stutman says the pay increase is too low.

"You cannot disrespect people, even if you say you respect them, by paying them a wage that is one-fourth or one-fifth of what they would normally earn for the toughest task around, in my opinion," Stutman said.

Stutman also criticized the new education law, which gives education officials more power to overhaul schools and school districts.

"The state law takes advantage of us because it can," Stutman said, "it doesn't take advantage of us because it's the right thing to do."

Boston school officials applauded the tentative agreement, saying it is good for students. They also noted that Boston's teachers are well-compensated, compared to other urban districts.

State education officials still have to approve the deal.

This program aired on June 21, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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