I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Working Together to Help With Budget Shortfalls

Found a couple of interesting articles online this morning about collaboration/working together in this era of shrinking budgets to help local school districts cope with financial cuts.

From The Tampa Bay MetroMix:

"The Pinellas teachers' union files a lawsuit against the school district for violating the teacher contract. Middle School teachers are teaching six class period days, which is one extra class period this school year compared to last, lunch not included..An arbitrator ruled in favor of the teachers' union on November 26, saying the district has to return to the 6-period day by the beginning of the second semester which started January 20. The union hopes the suit will compel the district to comply with the arbitrator's ruling. "That's why we have a contract so there's not more and more piled on that reduces the quality of instruction we provide the students," says Kim Black President of the Pinellas County Teachers' Association.
By teaching the extra class period, the school day is longer by 14 minutes. Teachers complain the extra class cuts their planning time, adds to their work load but not to their paycheck."

Full article here:

From the Indian River TC Palm:

"Treasure Coast educators facing both the prospect of a 10 percent cut in next year’s state education funds and a deadline to reduce student-teacher class ratios in every classroom say something’s got to give. They want Tallahassee lawmakers to let them spend millions of dollars earmarked to hire more teachers, on school operating expenses. If they can’t, local school districts say services to students and their families will need to be cut next school year. [The Florida School Boards Association] and the Florida Association of School District Superintendents are calling for lawmakers to hold class-size reduction penalties in abeyance until the 2010-11 school year. That deadline is written into the state constitution, but state law calls for implementing class size reduction one year early. Lawmakers can change that deadline.Unions representing teachers balk at postponing getting more teachers in the classrooms. An official for the teachers union in Indian River, Martin and Okeechobee counties said cuts to school budgets should be made elsewhere"

Full Article Here:

Unions statewide should get on board with the rational idea of holding class size in abeyance for a period of time until the budget crisis subsides---to ease the impact of severe cuts to students.

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