36 Student Hard Cap for Secondary in Dispute

Email sent by SDEA to SDEA members on September 5th about the 36 student cap:


The secondary class cap of 36 that SDEA members won in 2010 is now in effect! There is no “waiting period” before you can enforce your right. All secondary classes (except music, business, and physical education) should have no more than 36 students as of the first day of school. You can refer to this Memorandum of Understanding (see 9c) for the new class size limit. If any class or classes have more than 36 students, it’s a good idea for the AR and affected union member(s) to have a Step 1 informal grievance meeting with the principal. A good solution to such a grievance would be for the class size to promptly be reduced to 36. If you have questions, would like to talk through an upcoming grievance meeting, or if you had a Step 1 informal grievance meeting and the class size violation wasn’t resolved, please contact an SDEA Contract Specialist at 619-283-4411.

Email sent to UCHS staff on September 12th regarding SDEA’s email about the 36 student cap:

From: Olivero Jeff
Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 9:19 AM
To: 0355A University City HS – All Staff
Subject: 36 Hard Cap Question

Please know that I am aware your have been sent information regarding the 36-1 class size cap agreement to be implemented this year by SDEA.  On Thursday last week I contacted district officials to better understand where we were with respect to the cap question.  Below is the response back:

The district has informed Bill Freeman and Tim Hill that the 36 student hard cap is not part of the current staffing ratio due to the June 2012 agreement.  In March 2012 the district advised SDEA under Article 13 that all class sizes, including the 36 student hard cap, would be suspended due to budget issues.  The district sought consultation on this issue, but SDEA declined to consult.  As a result, the Board was then free to adopt the layoff resolution.  That resolution was approved by the Administrative Law Judge and adopted as the Decision of the Board.  In June 2012 the Board and SDEA agreed to restore the 2011-12 staffing.  The 36 student hard cap was not part of that staffing and the Board has not reinstated it.

Just to be clear, I will implement whatever has been decided.  At this time, there is no hard cap 36 rule.  We are, however, operating off of the 180 number for teachers.

I send this out so that you all know what I have been told.  -Jeff

Jeff Olivero

Principal, University CityHigh School

6949 Genesee Avenue

San Diego, CA92112


3 thoughts on “36 Student Hard Cap for Secondary in Dispute

  1. Pingback: NEW: SDEA Board Report 9/12—SDEA Gets Nicer to District, District Continues to Play Hardball with SDEA « The Breakfast Club Action Group

  2. I am feeling a little bit weird about this. I’m my site’s CR (although I did not post the above email), and would like to help anyone that needs to file a grievance, but at this point, the administrators are actually working pretty late hours with counselors to try and balance class sizes. Even though our principal sent out this email in order to represent the district’s position on the issue, and not his personal opinion, class sizes are being balanced for the good of all students and teachers, to the best of their ability.

    Let’s be realistic, though. At this point, it seems like it will be a waste of everyone’s time to grieve about the class sizes, especially given the inconsistent answers we’re getting between SDEA and SDUSD. This should not be an opinion about whether or not the contract says something. Either it does, or it doesn’t. If the 36:1 is not being enforced due to the summer “agreements,” then what’s the deal? Why can’t SDEA quote the portion of the agreement that SDUSD claims is under dispute, so we can see with our own eyes what the district is claiming.

    SDEA needs to be more transparent when they de-bunk the district’s claims, otherwise it just feels like hearsay. I don’t personally have the time to read through the entire contract to figure out what they’re bickering about. I will if I have to, but SDEA could do a better job of getting their contract specialists to show us in writing why the 36:1 should or should not be in effect, due to the summer agreement. Then us teachers would have educated reasons to file a grievance, educate each other about our rights, and educate the public about why they should support us. I’m not surprised when the district makes empty claims, but SDEA should represent the educated side of the argument. I’m sick of unsubstantiated statements being made on both sides of the bargaining table. I will say what I tell my students to sum up this blog thread: cite your evidence to support your claims, or don’t bother making any claims at all.

  3. That an important point about what is/isn’t going on – our union is not being transparent and forthcoming with accurate information. There seems to be a lack of clarity about our contract and what was negotiated on our behalf.

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