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Posted by: thepinetree on 05/16/2017 02:07 PM Updated by: thepinetree on 05/16/2017 02:07 PM
Expires: 01/01/2022 12:00 AM
:

Teachers Union Reminds District of Legal Obligation to Negotiate Reduced Class Sizes

San Andreas, CA...Calaveras Unified School District (CUSD) Superintendent Mark Campbell received legal notice reminding him of the district’s obligation to bargain in good faith class size reduction with the Calaveras Unified Educators’ Association (CUEA). Calaveras teachers are at impasse with the district over class size, specifically for transitional kindergarten to third grade. CUEA President Lorraine Angel says the district has failed and refused to address class size as required by state law and has been accepting K-3 Grade Span Adjustment (GSA) monies from the state to reduce class size.



Under California’s Education Code, school districts can only claim the money under one of three conditions:

Making progress toward maintaining a K-3 class size enrollment of no more than 24 students per school site;
Maintaining a class size of 24; or
Having a collectively bargained alternative annual average class enrollment for each school site.
CUSD has received approximately $1.4 million over four years and claims it has collectively bargained an alternative with CUEA. “This is not correct,” says CUEA President Lorraine Angel, adding that teachers are concerned the district accepting the monies will jeopardize those resources for students in the future.

The letter, sent on behalf of Calaveras teachers from the California Teachers Association’s legal department, notes CUSD’s own auditors expressed doubts about the district’s claim to the monies based on an agreement with teachers.

Kindergarten classes average 32 students in the district. Compared to most other districts, CUSD’s kindergarten-third grade classes have approximately 6 more students, on average. “These excessively high class sizes make it difficult to give our young students the attention they deserve,” says Angel.

CUEA proposed a class size limit of 24 students for transitional kindergarten to third grade, 30 students in grades four to six, and 180 student contacts per day in grades seven to 12. “Teachers want to give more attention to students before they enter fourth grade,” Angel said. The district wants to keep class size averages at its current 30 to 1 for all grade levels.

“Our students are losing good teachers, and they can’t afford to lose financial resources, too” Angel said. CUSD cannot attract and keep high quality teachers because salary and benefits are not competitive with other districts. “Our students’ education is being compromised.” Last year Calaveras Unified lost 14 teachers, not counting retirees.

“Our biggest concern is being able to give our students the education they deserve,” Angel added.

###


The Calaveras Unified Educators’ Association is an affiliate of the 325,000-member
California Teachers Association and the 3 million-member National Education Association.


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