SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A long-awaited day for teachers and paraprofessionals in the Scranton School District.

Tuesday night, the Scranton School Board passed the 2022 budget, including their new contracts.

The Scranton School Board made it official. Teachers and paraprofessionals in the district are getting their contracts that they have been waiting and fighting for for a very long time.

After a 12-day strike in early November, and weeks of negotiations, the Scranton School Board passed its 2022 budget Tuesday during a special meeting. One that includes contracts for teachers and paraprofessionals.

“We’re looking forward to continuing what we do best, we’ll be in our classrooms working, working with out students and their parents to make this a healthy community,” Scranton Federation of Teachers president Rosemary Boland said.

The $195 million budget allocates about $6 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding to help pay for the new contracts.

“We are just delighted to have passed a balanced budget with a reserve and a fund balance and no tax increase. I mean the initiatives in the recovery plan are beginning to take shape,” board president Katie Gilmartin said.

Now, both groups are looking towards the future.

“Relationships are built upon trust , and for the last five years-plus, counting, that trust has been eroded quite a bit, and it will take some time to rebuild that trust,” Boland said.

“In the best interest of children, in the best interest of the future of this district, in the future of the best interest of this city, we have to put that behind us,” Gilmartin said.

Meeting attendees say it’s been a long journey.

“It’s not that easy to be a teacher. And like I said, I just think it’s time that teachers are given the respect that they so much deserve,” former district teacher Susie Connors said.

Local property taxes will not increase.