California Educator

March 2017

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CAL AVERAS TALK S STALL OVER CL ASS SIZES The Calaveras Unified Educators Association (CUEA) is at impasse with Calaveras Unified School District (CUSD). Talks stalled over class sizes. CUEA proposed a class size limit of 24 students for grades K-3, 30 in grades 4-6, and 180 student contacts per day in grades 7-12. CUSD wants to keep class sizes at its current 30-to-1 level for all classes. "Our biggest concern is being able to give the students in Calaveras County the education they deserve," says CUEA President Lorraine Angel, noting that smaller class sizes help educators give more attention to students and make the district a more attractive des- tination for teachers. CUSD says it is facing a possible $1.9 million deficit in 2019-20 and does not have the funding to add teachers to accommodate smaller class sizes. The district is already planning to cut 2.5 cer- tified teachers by 2018-19. PERRIS PARENTS: NO CONFIDENCE IN SCHOOL BOARD The Perris Elementary Teachers Association has moved through impasse and mediation with Perris Elementary School District in Riverside County, and is scheduling a state fact-finding hearing while con- tinuing to seek a settlement. Meanwhile, parents joined students and educators at the district school board meeting in February to deliver a no-confidence declaration to the board and the superintendent — and to demand an end to the contract dispute that has increasingly affected teacher and community morale. Parents, some of whom had to stand outside the packed room because of crowd size, spoke passionately about the impact on their children and the community when teachers leave Perris for better pay and benefits elsewhere. Educators have complained of bullying tactics by administrators and school board members; many were disturbed by school board President Jose Garcia's comment that teachers should "take a bullet" and accept the district's proposal during discussion at a board meeting. ALUM ROCK TEACHERS HOLD 'GRADE-IN' PROTEST Unable to secure small class sizes for students and accomplish other priorities after one year of fruitless contract negotiations, members of the Alum Rock Educators Association (AREA) in San Jose held a "grade-in" at the Feb. 9 school board meeting. Grading papers and holding protest signs, their purpose was to demonstrate how much grading and other tasks are done by teachers outside of the required work day. In response to stalled negotiations, educators have been refraining from doing extra work not required by contract since Jan. 3. Alum Rock Union Elementary School District and the 600-member AREA were heading into a state fact-finding hearing in late February in an attempt to reach a settlement, says AREA President Jocelyn Merz. "It will cost the district more in legal costs than if they settled these talks fairly." By Cynthia Menzel, Mike Myslinski and Ed Sibby. #OurVoiceAtTheTable Photo: Ed Sibby Photos courtesy AREA 32 advocacy

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