Last week, we learned from Beaumont Teachers Association (BTA) President, Jody Behrens-Blaul, that the teachers have reached an agreement with Beaumont Unified School District's administration to save 20 teachers' jobs and keep class sizes smaller. The BTA has agreed to 14 furlough days over the next two years. Link to the Patch article
I learned from a commenter on my Facebook Page, that this would result in 5 fewer school days each year for our kids. I have talked to a number of parents who favored larger class sizes over fewer instructional days. I have also heard from a few who believe the smaller class sizes are more important. One thing we all agreed on is someone - the administration, the school board or teachers - should have asked parents for our opinion.
There is no report that the board or the administration has confirmed the agreement and we should wait until all the details are available. However, parents are already asking about what sacrifices the administrators, board trustees and superintendents will be making. Based on the promises made in the past by our administration and our school board President, Mrs. Lara, I believe they will honor their word and accept a comparable number of furlough days.
In the June 9th board meeting in 2009, the trustees authorized the reduction of compensation to board trustees and administrators. The reduction in their compensation was promised to be "comparable" to how much the teachers and classified employees agreed to. This move was part of the district's strategy to convince the teachers and classified employees to accept furlough days.
In April 2010, I told the board I believed the board and administration's promise that they would match the furlough days was an empty promise. Mrs. Lara, the current Board President, responded "We don't make any empty promises." Click here to read more
And in the April 29th board meeting this year, once again, we heard the administration touting their promise to match furlough days. Here's the link for this board meeting summary
I believe, and hope, the school board will require the administration to live up to their promise and share in the sacrifice they are asking the rest of us to make.