Jackson County Teachers Picketing

It could be later this summer before several big issues are settled between the Jackson County Teachers' Union and School Board.

The teachers are calling for a pay raise and no change in their health insurance policy.

Northwest Florida teachers picketed outside the Jackson County School Board meeting Tuesday in Marianna.

One union official said the Jackson County teachers may be the only educators who didn't get a raise this year.

Union members claim school officials could fix the problem by using less than 10 percent of a $5 million contingency fund. But Jackson County School Superintendent Danny Sims said most of that money has already been budgeted.

Local education association president Peggy Mills said the issues may force some of the best teachers to leave the school system.

Mills said with no raise, the teachers will actually lose money, because the school board wants them to start paying part of their insurance. Right now teachers’ health insurance is fully funded.

A public hearing is scheduled for later this summer.