Wednesday, January 30, 2019

LA Contract Updates - View from the left with Jeff Bryant and the right with Mike Antonucci

[LA teachers] tell you they want to curb charter school growth, not because it threatens their union, but because charters threaten the very survival of public schools. Latona teachers I spoke with described competition from surrounding charter schools as an existential threat to their school and an undermining influence on the public system.... Jeff Bryant
UTLA created a graphic to promote its achievement of reducing secondary English and math classes from a maximum of 46 to 39. “This is effective immediately,” it says. But that provision also belongs to the new contract and won’t apply until next school year. Teachers with 46 students will still have 46 students until then.Whether the contract is a good or bad deal for one side or the other is a value judgment that is now moot. Both sides agreed to it, and now we all will have to enjoy or live with the result. UTLA members last week ratified the agreement, and the school board unanimously voted to ratify it Tuesday afternoon. Behind the broad claims of what the contract does are some facts that haven’t been clearly highlighted in the reporting. For example, there are actually two tentative agreements. .... Mike Antonucci, LA School Report (Part of the anti-union 74
While we see glowing reports of the victory in LA it is always good to get a variety of perspectives. We know the purpose of the 74 crowd -- the make the victory look like less than it was -- but we also have to be willing to take hard looks. But look through the lines of Antonucci posts for signs of shading. On the whole though his view is worth keeping in mind.

I'm interested in the charter angle and I'm surprised that people don't bring up the important fact that charters undermine the neighborhood schools, especially a key ingredient of stability, the elementary school and a regional middle school. Even high schools here in NYC used to be neighborhood based. [NOTE: Last night I attended and taped part of the District 15 CEC Vote on Pause for Charters where a reso to curb the growth of charter schools was passed.]

I've never been a big fan of Dana Goldstein, who used to write for the Nation and now is a national education reporter for the NY Times. Yesterday's report on the LA strike and charter schools had so many charter slugs' comments and avoided some of the real issues with charter schools:
I did like Jennifer Medina when she covered local ed for the Times.
Today, Goldstein has a personal piece with some comments about LA president Alex Caputo-Pearl and touches in his being in the first Teach for America class - something never mentioned and I think pertinent because he has turned against so much of what they stand for.
Jeff Bryant has been uncovering ed deform for years and here he focuses on the charter school issue in the strike.

LA Teachers on Charter Schools:  LA teachers make the case that charter schools are an existential threat to public education

Truth is, the financials of charter schools have never added up.
I spoke with teachers on the picket lines during the Los Angeles teacher strike about why they made curbing charter schools part of their demands...
https://www.salon.com/2019/01/25/los-angeles-teachers-make-the-case-that-charter-schools-are-an-existential-threat-to-public-education_partner/
The left press on the whole is raving about the magnificent victory - see ISO view in Socialist Worker by Gillian Russom - written the night of the settlement and she didn't have time to peruse the contract in depth.

My right wing buddy Mike Antonucci, who writes for the despicable 74 and its front LA School Report, dilutes the victory. But as always, Mike uncovers some interesting issues.

Antonucci: Things you might not know about the Los Angeles teacher contract

Mike Antonucci | January 29, 2019

*Updated


The 40-page tentative agreement reached between L.A. Unified and United Teachers Los Angeles in the early hours of Jan. 22 has a lot of details and dense contract language. Teachers did not have much time to read and digest it before they had to vote, and most of Los Angeles was happy just to get them back to work.
Whether the contract is a good or bad deal for one side or the other is a value judgment that is now moot. Both sides agreed to it, and now we all will have to enjoy or live with the result.
UTLA members last week ratified the agreement, and the school board unanimously voted to ratify it Tuesday afternoon.
Behind the broad claims of what the contract does are some facts that haven’t been clearly highlighted in the reporting. For example, there are actually two tentative agreements.
This is important because of its effect — or more accurately, lack of an effect — on the current school year. The two sides signed a half-page agreement covering the 2017-18 school year and the current 2018-19 school year. It has only one new provision, which is the two pay increases on the salary schedule, three percent for last year and another three percent for this year. All the remaining language from the 2014-17 collective bargaining agreement remains unchanged.
UTLA deemed the removal of the class size limit exemption (Article XVIII, Section 1.5) necessary for the future of public education. The union did get it removed in its entirety, but that refers to the new contract. Section 1.5 is still in effect and will remain so until the new contract begins in July.
UTLA created a graphic to promote its achievement of reducing secondary English and math classes from a maximum of 46 to 39. “This is effective immediately,” it says. But that provision also belongs to the new contract and won’t apply until next school year. Teachers with 46 students will still have 46 students until then.
The new contract runs from 2019-20 through the 2021-22 school year. It reduces class sizes incrementally from their current maximums. Those maximums, however, were set through the use of Section 1.5, spelled out in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) the district and union signed in August 2017. In short, it will take until 2022 to institute the same class size limits bargained in 2015.
The first tentative agreement addresses salary but not class size. The second one addresses class size but not salary. There is no guarantee in the new contract for any salary increases for the next three years.
Either side can reopen negotiations on salary in January 2020 and January 2021, and we can fully expect UTLA to do so. Either side can also reopen two other provisions in the contract. It is much less likely, but the district could reopen class size.
The union received two joint committees, two task forces and the appointment of a “co-location coordinator” with input into the charter school co-location process. None of these has any special powers or veto authority.
The tentative agreement includes an MOU that allows 30 schools to apply to transform into community schools, which are schools that also provide a host of social services. The district will contribute an additional $400,000 in funding for each school over a two-year period. Part of that funding must go to hire a community schools coordinator, who will be included in the UTLA bargaining unit.
A key provision of the MOU is that community schools will be protected from reconstitution and charter co-locations, new or renewed.
We’re at the bottom line, so let’s mention the bottom line. By its own estimation, L.A. Unified will spend $403 million to hire additional employees during the three-year term of the contract.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating). Or because your comment is irrelevant or idiotic.