Thursday, May 29, 2008

CVESD tries to keep Castle Park Elementary parents off-balance

On May 27, 2008 Castle Park Elementary parents spoke of their frustration with CVESD's plans to lay off low seniority teachers while protecting hostile veteran teachers who were causing problems for children.

I listened as two different groups of parents announced concern to district represenative Leonard Hernandez. (Each of five tables in the Castle Park auditorium served approximately ten parents who formed a group; one member of each group announced the group's conclusions.)

I wondered why it was that Dr. Leonard Hernandez kept listening to these worries without telling parents the truth: the layoffs had been ruled out 5 days earlier.

I had read the news in Voice of San Diego:

"Chula Vista Teachers Saved"
May 22, 2008
"Chula Vista Elementary School District plans to cancel layoffs of all 274 educators who were slated to be terminated due to state budget cuts...the district faces a $7.5 million cut -- $3.5 million smaller than originally expected, said district spokesman Anthony Millican."

I began to wonder if the pink slips were a way to intimidate teachers and take parents' minds off their other concerns about school performance in Chula Vista.

I raised my hand and told Dr. Hernandez that the parents apparently didn't know that the pink slips were a thing of the past.

Hernandez immediately developed an urge to share the good news with the crowd. The parents applauded vigorously.

I wonder what the district won't do to keep parents from knowing what is really going on at some schools?

On May 30, 2008 another interesting article appeared in Voice of San Diego. Emily Alpert wrote about one teacher who had already accepted a job in the technology sector before his layoff was reversed.

People who can get better jobs are perhaps not the teachers we want to lose. I think we need a two-tiered teacher work force, master teachers and regular teachers. The master teachers should have more responsibility and be better paid, and not be among the first to be laid off.

Quotes from VOSD article:

..."It's a crazy way of doing business," said Anthony Millican, spokesman for the Chula Vista Elementary School District, which cancelled 274 planned layoffs for classroom teachers, but is still planning to slash more than 140 other positions. Its budget gap narrowed somewhat, from $11 million to $7.5 million, based on Schwarzenegger's revision...

Chula Vista Elementary School District spent about $40,000 on substitute teachers during a two-day hearing, said Millican. Like San Diego Unified, its legal costs have not yet been totaled. The school district hired the firm Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, whose partners and senior associates charge $210 an hour.

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