|The MEA union’s push to make education policy negotiable will take away local control of schools and increase property taxes, but worse than all that, it will create a closed-door process where our most vulnerable children with special needs are used as bargaining chips.
In the latest version of L.D. 240, An Act To Allow Public Employers of Teachers to Negotiate Regarding Educational Policies, both workload and now caseload would be negotiable on top of involuntary teacher transfers and teacher preparation time.
Workload is an undefined and broad category, which means it can encompass just about everything a teacher does. Caseload is defined in certain areas of education, most notably in special education.
Caseload in special education includes the students teachers directly serve, and for whom they manage activities, fill out paperwork, evaluate, and consult with others about. It is a wide-open category and the workload is different for every student. If every aspect of this process is negotiated, there is little question the already high-cost of special education will go up dramatically.
And for those students with emotional and behavioral problems, the child loses, because she and her parents have no voice in a back-room bargaining session that will decide what teacher and classroom she will be assigned.
Please contact your local legislators and ask them to urge their colleagues on the Labor Committee and Education Committee, who are jointly reviewing the bill, to vote no on L.D. 240.
Find your Senator. Find your House member.
L.D. 240 is a bad bill that would:
- Hurt our most vulnerable students
- Take away local control from the school board, voters and taxpayers
- Require costly decisions to be made behind closed doors
- Silence the parent, citizen and taxpayer voice in setting educational policy
- Put critical decisions about local schools in the hands of outside, even out-of-state arbiters
- Put the focus on the adults in the building instead of the students we are charged to serve