The news that an agreement had been reached in the contract negotiations between the Houghton Lake Board of Education and the Houghton Lake Education Association took us quite off guard; we hadn't expected that news. Superintendent of Schools, Pete Injasoulian, had said early Thursday morning at the Houghton Lake Merchants Association monthly meeting that the two sides would resume negotiations that afternoon.
It must have been a very productive 13-hour session.
With the contract settled for the next two years, there is reason to believe that efforts can be concentrated on rebuilding the educational programs that had to be terminated in the wake of the district's financial ruin. We'd rather look at the optimistic plans than the pessimistic.
Both sides have struggled over the past two years to reach agreement, and considering how far apart the sides have been on many issues, the overwhelming support by the board and teachers leads one to believe that this contract will work.
The two sides are to be congratulated for reaching a fair and equitable settlement that will help the district rebuild its educational program. Sacrifices have been made, and they will continue to be made to preserve the educational and financial integrity of the school district. That those sacrifices have been made will not be forgotten.