Negotiations over a new teachers' contract continue between Lehighton Area Education Association and Lehighton Area School Board. The teachers have been working with a contract that expired Aug. 31.

While neither side would specify the sticking point(s) of the negotiations, both seem optimistic to resolve the matter amicably.

"We are working hard to come to an agreement," said Lehighton Area School District Superintendent Jonathan J. Cleaver.

Chief negotiator for LASD is Paul Blunt, esquire, from the Law Office of King, Spry, Herman, Freund, & Faul, LLC of Bethlehem. Negotiating for the teachers is Pennsylvania State Education Association UniServ representative Charlie Shaffer.

He represents PSEA members in Carbon and Schuylkill Counties.

"As for the board, we have the obligation to ensure a quality education for our students and be fiscally responsible on behalf of the taxpayers," said school board President Rocky Ahner.

"There are many things to consider budget cuts, pensions, health and welfare benefits. We want to be as fair as possible, but if we are not responsible, there will be no economic growth due to high millage."

The next meeting of the Lehighton school board is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. at LASD Administration Building, Conference Room A. The public is encouraged to attend.

For more information about LASD, visit www.Lehighton.org [1] or call (610) 377-4490.