I appreciate the opportunity to address the Governing Board tonight on behalf of TVEA.
Over the last several board meetings you have had many TVEA members attend and participate in Public Comments. Many are here again tonight, some wearing Red as a symbol for the “Red for Ed” Movement, “Ed” being Public Education. What is happening here in TVUSD is not an anomaly or unique. Public Educators across the country are standing up for our students, our schools, and yes ourselves.
Educators are standing up for adequate school funding
Educators are standing up against schools for profit funded by corporate billionaires under the guise of charters
Educators are standing up for equitable salaries to support their families, but they are also advocating for their students. We saw it in 2017-18 with teacher strikes across the country from Arizona to West Virginia. In 2018-19, recent strikes have occurred in Los Angeles and Oakland. These events were about much more than salary. Teachers took to the streets to stand up for lowered class sizes and for an increase in support professionals such as Counselors, Nurses, and other Social -Emotional Health professionals.
In Temecula, thankfully we are not at a contentious level of labor and management conflict like Los Angeles and Oakland. TVEA and TVUSD continue to work cooperatively on the various issues common to public school districts. Our leaders and members have had the opportunity to share concerns in multiple venues with TVUSD over the last several months.
This is all positive, yet what will the next tangible step be?
Our elementary members have clearly articulated the concerns of Time and Safety- and you have listened attentively.
Yet they need more than your ear-They need action by TVUSD and they need it NOW.
Regarding Time: Elementary teachers need quality reflective time to plan, digest the nourishment that comes with it, and transfer the resulting energy to their students.
Our elementary teachers need more than “Let’s see what happens in negotiations and in next year’s LCAP.” Please do not kick the can down the road. They need the support of time NOW to help them meet their increased demands and mandates.
I strongly suggest you consider altering the TVUSD PLC game plan from previous years. What seemed convincingly correct seven or eight years ago might not yield the same benefit today. I can testify as a longtime high school teacher and coach my lesson and game plans changed each year as I was committed to making them the best fit I could for my current students and players.
Regarding SAFETY: While it is encouraging to know that the District recognizes the safety of staff and students is threatened by alarming reports of adverse aggressive and/or violent behavior at the youngest ages, what will be the primary response action? I believe we need a well communicated clear and consistent set of principles related to behavioral interventions and student discipline across the district.
While I applaud the efforts of the Student Welfare and Success Department to reach out in last week’s employee newsletter, I was disappointed the message did not suggest we are moving toward developing district wide protocols. Sharing that each student’s adverse behavior situation will be uniquely addressed at the individual school site level does not feel like a game changer- in fact it sounds like no change at all. Providing a link to district level contact support, while having good intentions, does not provide confidence to our teachers and students that their own rights to effectively teach and learn will be ensured.
In closing, as our teachers and specialists advocate for public education, thank you for continuing to listen.
Hopefully the next step not only for our members but for TVUSD in its entirety is decisive and responsive action. As the highly successful former CEO of General Electric Jack Welch said, “An organization’s ability to learn and translate that learning into action rapidly is the ultimate competitive advantage”.