Please include the following to the
1. Special Education
In additional to the questions we have already submitted as an open records request, we have a few more:
- Will the displaced teachers be required to complete an Insight Assessment before they can be placed in new positions?
- Will they be required to accept positions in the Apollo 20 schools even if they are unable to work the extra time required in those schools?
- Is the district monitoring principals to be sure the reductions are being made according to policy DFF (Local) or is HFT going to have to file numerous grievances to see that this policy is enforced?
- The district claims a loss of just over 4000 students since the 2005-2006 school year. We are requesting the special education enrollment for the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 school years.
- IF the special education teacher has other certifications, will they be placed in a pool for that hiring also, and have principals been told they must hire from the displaced teacher pools?
- How many new special education teachers were hired by HISD for 2010-2011?
- Why? What is the rationale in doing this? The teachers are already under contract and must be paid for the coming year. Why take them from their students? If indeed we are overstaffed, why don’t we use the extra staff to benefit students instead of having the teachers sit in some cubby hole counting paper clips?
2. Apollo Schools
Why is the district refusing to honor its written commitment to allow teachers selected for the programs at their schools to transfer from those schools without penalty up to
3. State Leave buy-back (DEC Local)
We have received reports from retiring employees that they are being denied the right to buy back unused state leave due to the new policy. As we understand the policy, any state leave accrued prior to August 31, 2009 was not affected by the policy change and the employee is eligible for full “buy back” of that time and that beginning in the 2009-2010 year employees could designate up to five state days a year to be placed in an incentive time bank. Upon retirement, days accumulated but unused in the incentive time bank would be bought back at 100% of the employee’s current rate on the last day of the contract year in which the days were accrued. Based on our member’s comments we have several questions.
- Is our understanding of the policy correct? If not, please explain.
- If our understanding is correct, why would recent retirees be told by people in payroll that the new policy prevented them from getting paid for their accrued state leave time? One member stated to us that she was told that the new policy converted state time to local time and that local time could not be bought back.
- What procedures were in place for an employee to designate days to be placed into the incentive time bank in the 2009-2010 year? The policy wasn’t even approved until
May 13, 2010leaving little time before the end of the year.
- Will employees receive a communication giving them the value of their accumulated days on a yearly basis?
- Which department is responsible for keeping these records and who should be contacted to answer questions and settle disputes?
With all the budget cuts this year on campuses, principals will tempted to use TAs in ancillary positions and as subs. What will the district do to prevent this and monitor this situation?
5. Teach For America Teachers
We have brought this item into consultation several times before but it keeps popping up. At the new teacher inservice at Chavez HS this past Tuesday, five Teach For America teachers told us that they were required to sign as part of their two year agreement with TFA, that they would not join a union. This happens year after year. Where there is smoke there must be fire.