Tuesday, September 11, 2007
GRANDVIEW - A mediation effort between the Grandview School District and the Grandview Education Association (GEA) has not yet begun, yet the president of the teacher's union, Jamie Downing, is stating that the district superintendent, Kevin Chase, has not been completely honest.
She said class size is the number one issue, and Chase misrepresented the class size situation at Grandview Middle School.
"Kevin mentioned (a contract of) 168 students are to be seen by teachers per day.
"There are (a combined total of) 192 sections at the middle school per day, and 42 of those sections have more than 28 students each," said Downing.
The middle school runs a schedule of a six-period day and Downing said the 42 sections (or periods) have approximately 30 to 32 students each.
"That is more than 28 students in the classroom," cited Downing.
The discrepancy, according to Downing, is in the statement Chase made to the Daily Sun News regarding middle school teachers seeing 140 students per day. "According to our records, it is far more than that," she stated.
The average of 33 students per class period is too high, according to Downing.
"We want the new contract to be fair to everyone, capping the number of students at 28 per class," she noted, citing that the current 168 students per day is not fair to Grandview Middle School teachers because of the six periods per day scheduled versus the high school's seven periods.
Downing also said the district is currently paying eight to nine staff members as coaches "...and they don't see any kids each day."
She feels it is unfair to teachers that the coaching positions receive I-728 funding and receive an average of $5,000 to $7,000 more than teachers for paid days.
"It would really help the teachers if these I-728 (staff) positions were to see kids each day," noted Downing.
She said mediation for a new contract will begin Monday, Sept. 17. "A state-trained mediator from (Public Employment Relations Commission) PERC will help us work on the contract," said Downing.
Issues to be discussed on the four dates scheduled for mediation will include class size, evaluations and teaching hours. "The district wants more control of some of the contracted time before and after school," said Downing.
She concluded by stating that the final date for mediation will be Thursday, Oct. 4.