By Shane Parmely, CTA State Council Delegate/Candidate for SDEA Board Seat 5
Common Core Union-District Consultation Well Underway with No Member Input
At the previous SDEA Board meeting, there was a contentious debate about and then a slim 7-6 approval of the newly created (and completely unpublicized to members) Common Core State Standards Consult Team. This team is currently meeting and consulting (read: bargaining lite) with the District over the implementation of Common Core in our District, as well as how $22 million in related funds will be spent. No, you didn’t miss a member input survey. SDEA didn’t conduct one.
At the September Board meeting, SDEA President Bill Freeman and Vice President Lindsay Burningham repeatedly reassured the Board that the CCSS Consult Team would not be making any decisions without first getting membership input, and that they were just going to take notes and bring information back to members. But last week, Burningham completely contradicted these promises in her CCSS update. Burningham shared that the CCSS Consult Team had already met twice with the District and that they were working out ideas on how to proceed on spending the $22 million. SDUSD will receive $11 million this year, and $11 million next year. While as much money as possible will be spent on professional development, money will need to be spent on iPad keyboards and new batteries for the old netbooks so that students will be able to take the test. PLCs will need to be a priority so educators will have time to collaborate to implement changes. SDEA members will apparently only be allowed input on how we’d like our PD to look after everything else has already been decided. Again, this is a key difference between the Breakfast Club Caucus and the current Freeman/Burningham caucus. We believe our union’s leadership should involve members in major decisions that impact us before they are made.
SDEA Launches Input Meetings to Prep for Spring Bargaining
Burningham and Freeman’s reluctance to get our input for the CCSS Consult is even more baffling given the fact that SDEA Bargaining Input Sessions to get our feedback for our next contract are already underway. Why not ask us what we think about Common Core while you ask us what we think about our wages, benefits, and working conditions?
At any rate, SDEA is planning to have a contract input meeting at every single school to get ready for spring bargaining, and it’s really important that we attend these meetings and speak up. At the SDEA Board meeting, the Board reviewed the agenda for the Fall Leadership conference on October 19th from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Handlery Hotel in Mission Valley. Every school should send at least one person (preferably two!) so that your site will have a trained member who can run a listening session for your school. An SDEA staffer or Bargaining Commission member will also come out and help you run your meeting. Having and attending these listening sessions will be critical in shaping our bargaining priorities for our next contract.
If we don’t show up and speak up, the contract negotiations will be driven by the people who do. Don’t want another June 2012 “TA”-style contract? Want to make sure our union fights for top-tier pay, benefits, and work conditions over the next three years? Show up and get trained! Sign up here. Breakfast starts at 8:00 a.m. (let’s have coffee!) and lunch will be provided. This is also a perfect time to get to know your colleagues at other sites. If you go, please make sure you come and introduce yourself! We’re a pretty friendly group. We’ll have little BC stickers for anyone that wants to wear them to make it easier to meet each other.
Keep Up on Up for Ed
Board Member Jenny Rivera attended the Parent Trigger Training offered by SDEA. (Read about her experience here.) Attending this training only strengthened her resolve and motivation to make sure that Superintendent Cindy Martin and School Board members such as Kevin Beiser, Scott Barnett, and Richard Barrera honor their commitments to SDEA members about not allowing UPforEd access to District resources in order to undercut our public schools. She shared a rough draft of a declaration she wrote about this matter, and after some discussion the Board decided to bring the issue to a future Rep. Council for approval. The next Rep. Council is this Wednesday, October 9th at 4:15 p.m. Hope your school is represented and helps send a loud and clear message to the Superintendent and School Board that we expect them to keep their promises, and keep anti-public education groups out of our public schools.