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File photo: A sky view of Cal State Fullerton.
California State University has reached a tentative agreement on a four-year contract with its faculty that would avert threatened strikes this fall, the university and faculty union said Tuesday.
The last contract expired two years ago. Talks had broken down several times, with the faculty voting in May to authorize strikes to take place this fall.
"In this extremely challenging budget climate, we are pleased to come to an agreement with the CFA that will allow both parties to move forward and focus on the state's reinvestment in higher education," said John Swarbrick, Cal State's associate vice chancellor for labor relations.
The agreement must be ratified by union members during a two-week voting period scheduled for late August, as well as the board of trustees.
The settlement with the California Faculty Association stipulates no raises for the past two years, but the issue could be revisited for 2012-13 and 2013-14, the university said.
Inglewood's school board voted this Wednesday to ask the state for a bailout loan that would result in a state takeover of the 1,500-student district.
The Inglewood Unified School District has moved one step closer to fiscal insolvency. Its school board voted this Wednesday to ask the state for a bailout loan that would result in a state takeover of the 1,500-student district.
“We’re scheduled to run out of money in December of 2012," said Alena Giardina, a member of the school board who says the district's $9 million in the red. "So the problem would be if we don’t start the process now, we will have already allowed the time to lapse, so this is actually a precautionary measure."
Giardina says the district will do what it can to avoid insolvency — including laying off dozens of employees to close the deficit.
Christopher Graber, with the union that represents district custodians, clerks and cafeteria workers, says the board’s been a poor fiscal manager.
"We’ve seen so many foolish decisions that this board makes in the sense of rewarding people at the top," Graber said. "[I] don’t think [they think] of people at the bottom."
L.A. County education officials are looking through Inglewood Unified’s books and will recommend a bailout loan amount to the state Legislature in the next few months.
LAUSD teachers and administrators have started training sessions that the district says will help them move away from a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
LAUSD teachers and administrators have started training sessions that the district says will help them move away from a “one-size-fits-all” approach to educating students.
Parents, teachers and school administrators have complained for years that they feel restricted by the district’s lengthy rules and regulations, and by union teacher and administrator contracts. But all three groups have now signed an agreement that’ll let schools decide on an instruction model that best suits their needs.
Rachel Bonkovsky, who manages instructional support services for LAUSD, says schools can operate autonomously under all three of districts new education plans.
"They all share a number of similarities," says Bonkovsky. "I think the best way to think about this is that we have schools that have freedoms from the district and then we have schools that have some freedoms from the union contracts."
Bonkovsky says the model called “Expanded School Based Management” allows the most freedom from district policies. That means schools will be able to design their own assessment systems and choose their own curricula.
Lawyers for L.A. Unified, United Teachers Los Angeles, Associated Administrators of Los Angeles, and parents filing suit, were sent into the hallway to come up with a timeline for when the district must be in compliance with state law and include student test scores in teacher evaluations.
L.A. Unified must comply with a judge's ruling to include student test scores in teacher evaluations by Dec. 4, a bevy of attorneys representing the district, its unions, and parents agreed in court today.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant made his ruling in Doe vs. Deasy last month and asked the attorneys to agree on a compliance timeline. After multiple meetings and disagreements, Chalfant sent the attorneys into the hallway this afternoon to come to an agreement, or face him imposing one unilaterally.
L.A. Unified attorney Barry Green said the district and its unions agreed on a staggered timeline that included a check-in on progress Sept. 4 and a final "drop dead date where everything has to be in place" by Dec. 4.
"We can't just wave our wand and just implement, because we have the unions" to negotiate with, Green said in court today. "We have a gun to us that says we must do that."
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Los Angeles Superior Court
More than a month after a judge ruled that L.A. Unified must include student test scores in teacher evaluations, legal wrangling over even a general timeline continues to stall efforts to bring the district in compliance with state law.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant made his ruling in Doe vs. Deasy last month and asked the district, its unions, and the attorney representing parents who brought the suit, to agree on a compliance timeline. Attorneys were to return to court with that timeline today; instead, in multiple court filings over the last six weeks, they continue to disagree over the broadest of details.
"That's 43 days ago, six weeks, where the district is not complying by the law," said Scott Witlin, the attorney who represented parents suing the district in the case. "There doesn't seem to be the requisite urgency to get the district into compliance with the law...Every year this doesn't get done it's another 50,000 kids who've never had their teachers properly evaluated."