Sunday, July 26, 2009

Successful charter school cuts staff, hours over union contract

"Baltimore's most successful middle school is laying off staff and shortening its school day to meet demands of a teachers union contract in what is one of the first major disputes over teacher pay between a charter school and a union."

"KIPP Ujima Village Academy, based on a model that has forged a successful track record among poor students in more than a dozen states, has been violating a contract requiring teachers to be paid more if they work extra hours, school and union leaders acknowledge."

"After seven years of ignoring the issue, the Baltimore Teachers Union told the charter school earlier this year that it must pay its teachers 33 percent more than other city school teachers because they were working nine hours and 15 minutes a day, as well as every other Saturday. The standard workday for teachers is seven hours and five minutes."

"KIPP has been paying its teachers 18 percent above the salary scale, but could not afford to increase all teachers' salaries by 33 percent, according to Jason Botel, executive director of KIPP Baltimore. So it decided to stagger staff starting times and cut back on the hours students are in school when they return to classes next month."

"Students will attend classes for eight hours in the next school year, and Saturday classes have been canceled. The four layoffs include one music and one art teacher who were recently let go, as well as two staff members who worked with special education and struggling students."

No comments:

Post a Comment