Current REA contract defines teacher’s role in operation and administration of school district

In the current REA contract, Article 18 establishes the advisory role of the teaching staff in each school building committee setting, dealing with the operation of their respective building and it encourages staff recommendations concerning building operations.

In Article 19 of the current contract, Textbooks and Supplies or Article 20 – Instructional Council – The board recognizes the expertise of the teaching staff in the selection of textbooks, textbook replacements when changing curriculum and supplies in their areas of expertise and that textbook selection originates with the committee staff members.

However, any forms that directly effect professional staff, such as transfers, leave policies, evaluations and other professional forms require mutually agreed upon content between staff and administration, including inservice training programs. This process begins infringing upon administrative and board policy decisions. Data should be required for effective administration and should be the priority in choosing forms format.

Article 21 – Least Restrictive Environment – deals with inclusion of individual students with disabilities in regular classrooms and establishes minimum requirements that prevents this federally and largely unfunded mandate from altering programs of learning for other students, or threatening the safety of either regular or disabled students.

However, this article dictates sums of money be set aside for staff development for all teachers that have inclusion students, plus set asides of $250 per inclusion student for the purchase of relevent materials, as determined by the staff member in consultation with the IEP case manager. This is staff dictating budgetary policy with should not be in their purview.

Article 22 – Staff Hours and School Calendar – does more to create jobs than educate kids. The official length of the day for elementary schools is only 5 1/2 hours, and staff members report 15 minutes before the start of the student’s day and remain 15 minutes after the end of the students day – not a lot of time to consult with those students having problems with some of their courses.

In addition the contract sets up 5 – 30 minutes planning periods a week during the semester. No professional staff member shall be required to supervise more than the maximum permissible class size according to current contract limits, and there will be two 10 minute breaks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with the staff member’s class being staffed by another staff member assigned to the building – does that require more staff members than classes, so that all classes be covered throughout the day during the staff breaks?

Next, the blog will show how the contract covers middle and secondary school staff requirements.