California Educator

March 2017

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Bargaining Roundup Details of these stories at Vindicated Redding charter educators, from left: Rosanne Blevins, Cindy Silva, Candy Woodson, Robin Thorne, Peggy Youmans, Christy Gadbois-Vail, Wendy McBroome, Mark Youmans. Not pictured: Shana Seitz. Photo by Timothy M. McBroome. CTA SECURES LOST WAGES FOR REDDING CHARTER EDUCATORS The Academy of Personalized Learning (APL) will pay lost wages to teachers who were wrongfully and abruptly fired for forming a union, the Academy of Personal- ized Learning Education Association (APLEA). The settlement was reached Feb. 7, thanks to CTA legal help. APL is the charter school in Redding that CTA contends illegally fired nine highly qualified teachers in 2014 and 2015 after they formed APLEA. (See the Educator's coverage of the incident at The teachers say they feel vindicated. "When we saw student learning was endan- gered, public money spent shamefully and the law broken, CTA stood with us and supported our fired colleagues," says Candy Woodson. On numerous occasions APLEA members asked Gateway Unified School District, APL's sponsoring district, to investigate allegations regarding APL's operations, including that it cherry-picked students and hired unqualified teachers. Teachers also voiced concerns that state funds designated for the classroom were paid to a hedge fund in Palo Alto. Records show APL paid "more than $500,000 in taxpayer money for attorney 's fees, rather than do right by students and teachers," Woodson says. "It's important to stand up for the students in our schools, and that's what we APLEA members did. Except for CTA, it felt like we were the only ones advocating for our students, and for public school funding to be spent appropriately." The settlement includes a provision that APL will close operations by June or July. In January, Gateway Unified told APL officials it would cancel its charter after a court ruled that charter schools must be in the boundaries of the host district. SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO SEEK S FAIRNESS Frustrated with being denied fair raises despite a teacher turnover problem and their school district's reserve of $51 million, members of the South San Francisco Classroom Teachers Association (SSFCTA) held a protest at the school board meeting in February, joined by students and parents. The South San Francisco Uni- fied School District refuses to adequately invest in educators to halt their exodus to better-paying San Mateo County districts, says Allison Light , president of the 420-member SSFCTA. "Students are being harmed by the district's indifference at the bar- gaining table," Light says. "Instead of investing its massive reserves to prevent teacher turnover and help resolve our teacher shortages, the district refuses to make students and the recruitment and retention of educators the top priorities." The sides reached impasse last fall, and a third session with a state mediator is set for March 17. Photo: Marcie Mitchell 31 March 2017

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