California Educator

April/May 2023

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Page 36 of 61

Local Associations Win Community Schools Agreements While local associations statewide are working to negotiate com- munity schools power-sharing agreements into their contracts, many are memorializing their collaboration with school districts through a memorandum of under- standing (MOU). Natiomas Teachers Association reached a Community Schools MOU with the district in March, outlining basic parameters to prepare for implementing commu- nity schools. NEA-Jurupa signed a Community Schools MOU the same month, while their work continues to bargain shared deci- sion-making language into the contract. Highlights of the MOU include the agreement that com- munity schools site coordinators will be part of the bargaining unit and details about the community schools steering committee. In January, Montebello Teachers Association won a new community schools article in their contract, which outlines the formation of a steering committee to guide community schools work in Mon- tebello. While the article is not as expansive or detailed as UTR's, it's a major achievement for MTA that memorializes the commitment to community schools while allowing for flexibility moving forward. Richmond Educators Win Community Schools Agreement UTR, district agree to shared leadership to build schools students need By Julian Peeples U N I T E D T E A C H E R S O F R I C H M O N D (UTR) asked West Contra Costa Unified School District management to take a leap of faith together on building the com- munity schools their students deserve, and the district agreed — outlining the process for shared leadership in a new article in their recently ratified contract. e result is five new pages of the UTR contract (in effect through June 2027 or until state funding expires) that lays out how the district will move forward in collaboration with educators, students, parents and community to build trans- formative community schools that are tailored to student and family needs. e contractual agreement on shared governance is one of the most robust in the state, which is appropriate for a district that was just recognized by the state as a model for community schools work. "I'm really excited for us to be leaders in the state in building community schools. People really care about it because they know education is more than just math and reading lessons," UTR President John Zabala says, explaining that the community schools model aligns well with long-established and embraced district values. "We also believe in this wholeheartedly. It was one of the corner- stones of our campaign." UTR set out when it started bargaining last year with a three-pronged strategy: physically and emotionally safe schools; permanent, certificated educators in every classroom; and uplifting community voice through shared decision-making (see bargaining recap on Page 43). Zabala says UTR leaders knew that it was going to be a tough bargain and they built a structure to engage and mobilize their members, and organize to win. Utilizing resources from the NEA Strategic Campaign Institute for Community Schools, UTR executed a three-phase campaign that included engaging their membership and mobilizing, increasing public pressure and building UTR members held massive rallies and organized to win a comprehensive community schools article in their contract. Continued on Page 37 35 A P R I L / M AY 2 0 2 3 A

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