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CUSD Looking to Sign New Teachers Contract to Restore Days, Class Sizes

Capo Unified staff also want a three-year contract.

Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo.
Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo.

The teachers’ contract is on the agenda tonight at the Capistrano Unified school board meeting, and unlike recent years, the district is seeking to pen a multiyear agreement.

Also unlike recent years, district officials say they want to restore the school year to a full 180 days of instruction and reduce class sizes to at or under state maximums.

The district dipped below the standard 180 days in 2012-13, to 175 days, as officials struggled with an incredibly tight budget. In fact, had Prop. 30 not passed that year, the district was prepared to shorten the school year by an additional two weeks.

Then for this year, the school board restored two days in June, but left three furlough days on the calendar.

In addition, class sizes – which grew beyond state allowable limits in 2012-13 – only nominally shrank this year.

All that could be reversed after contract negotiations, according to a staff report the trustees will hear tonight.

“As we enter into a recovery phase, the district does not anticipate the need for economic concessions or furlough days from employee groups for the 2014-15 school year but cautious optimism for the future must be coupled with equally cautious fiscal management to address the serious and delicate challenges ahead,” states the report.

The district would like to discuss in upcoming negotiations a three-year contract which would have limited “openers” to refine it along the way.

The number of hours teachers work and the class sizes are the main two topics the district would like to put on the table, according to the staff report.

The board meets at 7 p.m. at CUSD headquarters 33122 Valle Road in San Juan Capistrano. 

fact checker March 27, 2014 at 08:37 PM
Yes Capo Parent but you left out the one factor that affects every teacher's skills the most...the teacher next door who shares their expertise.
Shripathi Kamath March 27, 2014 at 09:09 PM
Capo Parent March 27, 2014 at 07:19 PM FC Experience in and of itself does not make one better. ___________________________________________________ It almost always does make one better. Your experience may vary, but I myself am yet to see someone do poorer because he was more experienced than he was the previous year. You, in your own profession are very likely better today than a year ago because you're a more experienced professional. You have learned more things, re-learned how to do things better, practiced more at the same thing, you have made mistakes, you have corrected them, you have confidence that you can solve some difficult problems. ___________________________________________________ Now, you might not be better than someone with lesser experience for the reasons yo offer below—although learning from one's mistakes necessitates experience. Even then, in general I prefer an experienced surgeon to a youthful, motivated one. A more experienced plumber, co-worker, politician, detective, banker, dentist, car mechanic, racquet stringer, bus driver, pilot, masseuse, ...you name it. In fact, unless the less-experienced demonstrates her value rather visibly, it is hard to pick otherwise. Without some semblance of objective measures, it'd be a crap-shoot. ___________________________________________________ "There are a lot of other factors involved, including motivation, skill level, desire, ability to learn from one's mistakes, etc." ___________________________________________________ If only we ventured to want to quantify some of these things. Because all it takes otherwise is to say that "Even though Mrs. Poole is experienced, Mr. Wright is far more skilled, motivated and has the desire and ability to learn from his mistakes, and he does not cost as much" and we have either total agreement, total disagreement or another set of "Well, being more motivated is not exactly the same as being experienced, and one set of skills do not work well to all students, and having desire makes it too personal which might too intense for some students .... etc." What we are left with is people confusing youthful exuberance for better competence, or experience for continuing excellence, and we go round and round like this. Alternating between "Experience is king" vs "Experience is not everything" ___________________________________________________ And such is fine, it is often entertaining. Because, in reality it is about cost. The issue, if we drop the charade is that senior teachers cost more than junior ones, and that is bone of contention.
Capo Parent March 31, 2014 at 05:27 PM
FC You assume the teacher next door with experience has "good" experience to share. I don't think the students and teacher at Miramonte nor would the plaintiffs in Vergara v. State of California agree with your unsupported blanket statement. An experienced bad or mediocre teacher is not going to impart "good" experiences to a younger teacher.
fact checker March 31, 2014 at 07:24 PM
Of course not capo parent. What a silly argument.

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