California Educator

April / May 2018

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While teachers prefer not to strike, they say they will if they must, for their students. Parents and teachers are rallying at the April board meeting, asking the board for a yes vote and demanding that the district honor the tentative agreement. Teachers accepted a 5 percent salary raise for 2018-19 and earned language that gives parents and community members equal voice in developing the district LCAP. Teachers also agreed to increase their workday by a half hour so students can start the day with an intensive intervention program in order to increase student learning and achievement. San Diego: Agreement On April 4, the San Diego Education Association (SDEA) announced a tentative agreement with the San Diego Unified School District that includes a new maternity leave benefit. SDEA President Lindsay Burningham said in a news release that the three- year contract will, among other things, secure teachers' current fully paid family health care and increase wages by 2 percent next year. Members will also receive a one-time payment of 1 percent of 2017-18 earnings. "Our educators are worthy of fair and competitive salaries, and for the first time will be eligible for paid maternity leave," Burningham told the Times of San Diego. "It is the hard work of our educators that has contributed to record graduation rates and student success in the district." The agreement calls for three weeks of paid maternity leave, protects and improves class size caps and transfer rights, and reinstates district-paid BTSA (Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment) for new educators. CAVA: Educators Avert Strike, Make Gains for Students California Virtual Educators United (CVEU), the union representing teach- ers at California's largest online public charter school, reached a tentative agreement with California Virtual Academies (CAVA) April 4. The settlement came just 24 hours after a fact-finding hearing, which was the last step before a possible strike. In November, CVEU members voted overwhelmingly to strike if necessary to get an agreement that would be good for CAVA students. Although articles on salary, workload, and achieving permanent job status had been previously agreed to during more than a year of nego- tiations and member organizing, the remaining issue was caseload, the online equivalent of class size. CVEU members believe CAVA's "profits before kids" model has shortchanged students of the individual attention they need. CVEU sought caseload caps and class balancing that takes into account subject- and grade-specific needs, as well as the needs of special education students and English learners. The settlement makes some progress in that direction. Profits have been key to CAVA's relationship with K12 Inc., the publicly traded Virginia-based online school giant whose investors have included Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. CAVA contracts with K12 for curric- ulum, technology, and administrative services in an arrangement where about half of the millions of California tax dollars the school receives leaves the state to enrich K12 investors. In 2016, state scrutiny led to a $168.5 million settlement with both companies over alleged violations of "false claims, false advertising and unfair competition laws," including misleading parents about students' academic progress, college eligibility, class sizes and other issues. CVEU is CAVA teachers' exclusive representative; this will be their first collective bargaining agreement. " We are so proud of all the hard work and commitment our teachers made in ensuring that our core values on work status, caseloads, and workload were recognized," says CVEU Pres- ident Brianna Carroll. " We now have a first contract that begins to put our school's needs over the needs of K12 Inc., one that is a strong start to fixing CAVA and ensuring the success of our students and teachers." At press time, the agreement was being prepared for a ratification vote by CVEU members. 50 Advocacy CVEU delegation at fact-finding. Back row, left to right: Janine Burns, Brianna Carroll, Kristin McCaffrey, Amy Koller. Front row: Sheryl Carruth, Stacey Mankoff, Amber Blodgett, Katie Jamreonvit.

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