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Reorganization Agreement – some details

April 20, 2007 pm30 8:43 pm

Some agreement was reached yesterday. Leo Casey posted some details on Edwize late this morning.  I am especially concerned about the “hold harmless” language. It reads like a slippery proposition to me.

Here’s what Leo wrote:

Here are the agreement’s key components:

CHANGES IN FUNDING FORMULAS

  • No school will have its budget cut as a result of the new funding formulas for the next two school years [2007-08, 2008-09]. Schools with large numbers of high needs students will receive additional funding, without a reduction of funding to other schools.

(continues below the fold–>)

  • A “hold harmless” protection in the hiring of teaching staff. Schools can hire new teachers with the same experience and salary level as teachers who leave, at no extra cost.

  • Extra funding for English Language Learners, special education students, and low income students, in order to provide them with the supports they need to succeed in school.

  • The UFT reserves the right to pursue its grievance against the inclusion of teacher salaries in the ‘open market’ transfer system.

  • A task force including the UFT, the NY Immigrant Coalition, and the Annenberg Institute at Brown University to evaluate the impact of Fair Student Funding and to recommend refinements.

CLASS SIZE

The DOE must now consult the UFT, NYers for Smaller Class Size and other stakeholders in the implementation of the new law on class size reduction. The UFT and NYers for Smaller Class Size can still fight for the best possible State Education Department regulations governing the law’s implementation.

TENURE

The DOE commits that existing tenure criteria will remain in effect for 2007-2008. Any changes beyond 2007-2008 will conform to the new state law. The UFT will participate in the process of developing any changes.

MIDDLE SCHOOLS

The DOE has committed to a Middle School initiative, working with the City Council Task Force on Middle Schools and the Coalition for Educational Justice, to overhaul instruction in the middle schools. A pilot project to implement new strategies in at least 50 schools will start in the 2007-08 school year.

PARENT ENGAGEMENT

The DOE will establish a parent engagement committee, with representation from appropriate stakeholders, to develop systems and processes for improving parent engagement and ensuring that every school has a well-functioning School Leadership Team.

STUDENT SUCCESS

A commitment to work with the Urban Youth Collaborative on improving college and career preparedness, graduation rates and college admissions among high school students.

Areas of disagreement remain between the city and coalition member organizations. At the announcement of the agreement, UFT President Randi Weingarten expressed ongoing concerns about the reorganization. But this agreement is an important first step in Putting The Public Back In Public Education, as a result of the campaign waged since January by the Coalition and by elected officials. The voices of educators, parents and students are finally being heard.

 

 

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