"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Elementary Schedules for 2008-2009

On Thursday, May 29, the Administration presented the teacher association's Discussion team with their ideas for placement of Art, Music, and PE teachers for the 2008-2009 school year.

History - Negotiations 2007

During negotiations for the current contract, our Association asked for full time Art, Music, and PE teachers in every building...as well as Art, Music a
nd PE classes for all students, including Kindergarten. That request was summarily rejected. The administration claimed that to expand the special areas to that level would be too expensive - despite the fact that the school system has a huge cash balance.

The Negotiations team tried to tweak the request to make it more palatable offering to accept graduated staffing...smaller buildings getting fewer special area teachers and larger buildings getting more...but that was also rejected. The administration responded with a plan for all elementary teachers to receive 75 minutes of guaranteed, protected preparation time per day with a maximum of 1650 minutes of student contact time during a regular school week. Our team asked if this was feasible and were told that it would be workable.

Fast forward to 2007-2008

In September of 2007 the Association reminded the administration that they were going to have to plan for the 2008-2009 school year...the changes in elementary prep time were going to require some study. The administration put us off and said that they were going to take care of it. We reminded them again in October...and every subsequent month after that. They finally began working on it and have come up with a plan...just days before the end of the school year.

They expect us to accept it as is...because they know that our teachers do not want to leave for summer break without knowing where they are going to be next year.

There are other issues wrapped up in all this...the inequity of the student school day in different elementary schools across the system...the effort to bring more balance to the class loads of the special area teachers. There are simple solutions, but the administration does not want to put their money where their mouths are. They let their negotiations team box them into a corner on elementary prep time and now their desperately trying to figure a way out and claiming that they are doing what is best for students.

There is so much about their proposal which is just plain ridiculous including one teacher going to 5 buildings in 4 days, schools with multiple teachers in the same area and teachers running back and forth between schools several times a week.

It's clear that consistency in educational programs was not part of this plan...

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