Many of the changes involve provisions governing labor practices. The District is seeking to bypass seniority rules as it restores positions and calls back laid-off workers. It also wants the ability to put at least a temporary halt to automatic pay increases based on longevity -- called "steps"-- for professional staff. [...]Funny, isn't it, how the answer to these budget crises is always to weaken unions, pay teachers less, and look for ways to hire cheaper staff? Students, meanwhile, are facing larger classes and fewer course offerings in addition to the lack of basic school supplies that already plagued the schools.
Other requested changes would allow the District to hire licensed nurses who are not specifically certified as school nurses. Hite said that no current school nurses would be displaced, but that vacancies could be filled with nurses who would not be paid as much.
Hite also wants the SRC to suspend a requirement about "independent school employees" so that teachers at the District's new virtual school would not have to be part of the collective bargaining unit.
Pennsylvania has plenty of money to build a $400 million prison right outside Philadelphia, but it has only cuts, cuts, and more cuts for the city's schools. It's the outcome of a toxic combination of disregard for the mostly low-income and non-white students who will be affected by the cuts, outright hatred for the teachers and their unions, and a longer-term plan to undercut and eventually dismantle public education. We can hope that Corbett, an already unpopular governor, is going too far and that there will be a significant backlash. But damage has already been done and it looks like more damage is a near certainty.
(Via Crooks and Liars)