A proposal to create a new committee to deal with special education issues was part of a written offer made by the negotiating team to the at their mediation session Jan. 31.
The District had already announced it would give the union its ideas about teacher evaluation when the two sides met, but the ideas for special education were a surprise.
The new committee would have two teachers and a pair of administrators with the possible addition of parents to report to the District 109 School Board, according to Board member and negotiator .
“They would meet about special education issues as they come up and report directly to the Board,” Schwartz said. “We took it in (public and teacher comment) and decided we needed a new approach. We weren’t getting anywhere.”
, who was encouraged by the ideas on teacher evaluation when they were announced, was less enthusiastic about what he and his colleagues heard about special education.
“These proposals will require us to make significant counter proposals in order to continue to address the priorities we have identified in these two areas,” Jensen said. “We had hoped to make more progress. We are continuing to work with the Board toward a timely resolution of the issues.”
Schwartz expects the union to propose an alternative to the Board’s two written suggestions. “It will probably come at our next session,” he said. The next round with the federal mediator is Feb. 8.
The Board suggested the current method of evaluating teacher performance would remain in place for two years and all parties would work together on a new plan for the 2013-14 school year.
The new plan will be developed by a statutorily mandated evaluation committee composed of an equal number of Board and union representatives, according to a statement posted on the District 109 website Monday.
The new plan will be developed by a statutorily mandated evaluation committee composed of an equal number of Board and union representatives, according to the statement on the District 109 website.
The teachers have been working on an expired contract since August. The two sides have been negotiating with the assistance of a federal mediator since October. A new contract will be retroactive to the date the old pact expired, according to Jensen.
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