Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sac City Superintendent gives pink slips to 700, chooses Teach for America



My name is Lori Jablonski and I am a SCTA site rep at C.K. McClatchy High School .  This email is to inform you about action at Thursday’s school board meeting that is being organized by a group of elementary, middle and high school site reps in response to both the issuance of 700 pink slips this week (affecting approx. 1/4 of the school district teaching corps.) and the related move to bring Teach for America interns to the school district.   This effort to organize a strong, united response to the assault on our jobs, our schools and the integrity of our professional careers is not intended to subvert the SCTA union leadership.   Instead, we hope to convince the leadership that rank and file teachers demand a more assertive, more communicative and more active effort on behalf of our membership before the school board and district administration.  Even more, we intend to clearly show the school board that we are ready to hold them fully accountable for decisions and actions taken by Superintendent Raymond that will seriously undermine education in this district.

We believe that when school opens tomorrow, there will still be a fairly significant number of teachers who will not be aware of the total number of pink slips that have been issued and the depth and breadth of the lay-offs.   Nor will they have a real sense of what the Teach for America program is about or the significance.  We are strongly suggesting that you (or ask your site rep) to call an emergency site union meeting on Monday or Tuesday at the latest. 

At McClatchy, for example, we will be calling for a meeting tomorrow during lunch in the staff lounge, a time that is most convenient for the teachers on our campus.  Please choose the time and place where you believe you can get maximum attendance.   (You might also consider taking notes, copying them and distributing by hand to those teachers unable to attend your meeting). 

At the meeting, we are suggesting you briefly explain these major points:

  1. Over 700 pink slips have been issued, including pink slips for those who teach Math, Science and Special Ed.  These “hard to place” categories are important to emphasize because the Superintendent has said several times this week that lay-offs would not take place in these categories.

  1. As he issues 700 pink slips, the Superintendent is working to bring the Teach for America (TFA) program to Sacramento.   The plan is to pay the private non-profit TFA corporation $2.7 million (the money will be raised by the district from the private sector) to recruit and train 30 TFA teaching interns to teach in Sac City schools. Their salaries and benefits will be absorbed in the general fund.  TFA recruits recent college grads to sign up for two-year teaching stints in under-performing schools and school districts. The Superintendent claims that the TFA interns will not replace Sac City teachers, but will instead supplement our current teaching staff in hard to staff areas, specifically Math, Science and Special Ed. An additional 30 TFA interns will be added to the district staff roster each year for at least the next three years.  In the event of future lay-offs due to ongoing budget woes, TFA interns would be skipped and would not receive pink slips.  The presence of TFA will cost younger, less senior teachers their jobs.

Attached, you will find some additional talking points regarding TFA.  

And below check out the Bee article:
http://www.sacbee.com/2010/03/11/2598445/sacramento-vies-for-teach-for.html

  1. The Superintendent and his Chief of Staff have told parents and school board members that TFA is necessary because teacher education graduates from Sac State and Davis will not work in Sac City schools.   Therefore, TFA is necessary to fill the new teaching positions that Sac State and Davis can’t.  I spoke at length with the coordinator of the Sac State secondary teacher training preparation program this weekend. She denies that this is the case and said that Sac State regularly graduates more fully credentialed teacher applicants than the district and all surrounding districts can absorb—even in hard to staff areas.   She also said that she believes probably half the teacher corp. in Sac City was trained at Sac State .  Her current student teachers (and she has them throughout the district, even in the highest need schools) would love to work in Sac City , if there were any jobs available.

  1. TFA is being used in school districts across the nation, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg, where our superintendent comes from, to undermine and weaken the union, to reconstitute teaching staffs at low-performing schools, and to suppress the overall wages and benefits paid to teachers in these districts. 

  1. Urge your teachers to attend the school board meeting on Thursday, March 18th  We want teachers to stand in unity behind several teachers from the elementary, middle and high school segments who will speak out regarding the pink slipping and TFA.   We expect the board to give us no more than 15 minutes total to cover everyone who wishes to speak out.  Therefore, we would like to get an idea of the total number of folks who want to speak and organize the speaking cards appropriately so that we have a nice sampling of voices and messages.   Most teachers will simply be asked to stand silently in support of their colleagues. 

The plan is for teachers to arrive by 6:00 pm to get a seat in the board chambers.  The item number to be addressed will come up at 7:27 pm; Item 9.1

During the public comment when folks are speaking, all the teachers present in the board chambers will be asked to stand up, some right next to the speakers.  

We plan on calling out with a show of hands those teachers who received their teacher training at Sac State and Davis .

We understand that student teachers might be reluctant to show up to the school board meeting, so please make a list of all student teachers/interns at your school site.  If student teachers decide not to attend, we can compile the lists and wave them in front of the school board as evidence of prepared teacher applicants eager to teach in Sac City .

Finally, please distribute the following phone number and emails of SCUSD Board Members at your emergency union meeting.

Ask members to write and express their strong opposition to what’s taking place.  We need to have an unprecedented show of strength and unity before a school board that was elected with the strong support and sweat equity of Sac City teachers.

Board central phone number: (916) 643-9314 

ellynebell@yahoo.com; (Ellyne Bell)
gustavoarroyo1@gmail.com; (Gustavo Arroyo)
Diana4scusd@yahoo.com; (Diana Rodriguez)
leadershipnow@att.net; (Roy Grimes)
Superintendent@sac-city.k12.ca.us; (Superintendent Raymond)

Don’t hesitate to email me with any questions.   Please see the Real Teachers Facebook site for updates:
http://www.facebook.com/search/?q=real+teachers&init=quick#!/group.php?gid=350702650204&ref=ts

Thank you.  In unity,

Lori Jablonski
C.K. McClatchy Teacher
Note. The  Bilingual/Multicultural Education department at Sac State has prepared over 400 teachers for Sac City Schools, and there are over 30 presently looking for a job. 
So, this approach by Sup. Raymond is based upon his lack of knowledge of the local area. 
Please let him know of his errors.

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