The kids are headed back to class over the next week, but teacher contract negotiations remain unresolved in 18% of New Jersey's school districts, according to figures gathered Wednesday by the New Jersey School Boards Association.

It's estimated that negotiations over teacher contracts are continuing in at least 103 districts. The NJSBA will get updated numbers monthly.

Seeing this many districts still at the bargaining table in late August isn't that unusual. Teachers never actually work without a contract. If a new agreement isn't reached, the old one remains in effect. Any new contract, though, could include retroactive pay.

The association says contract standstills should be no cause for concern among parents.

"There should be no impact on the opening of school, or on school operations," said Janet Bamford, NJSBA's manager of communications and publications.

The average public school teacher in New Jersey will receive a pay jump of 3.01%, based on the 372 ratified agreements covering the upcoming school year.

"That is higher than last year's average salary increase of 2.92%, but it's still below the salary increases seen about a decade ago," Bamford said.

About three-quarters of agreed-upon contracts reflect some level of "school board achievement," such as work time changes or adjustments to health insurance options, Bamford said.

It's expected the number of unsuccessful contract talks will be greatly reduced through the fall.

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