Your March 10 Saturday morning snippet was truly informative, meaning how uninformed voiceofsandiego.org has become. And for those readers who didn’t catch the early weekend KOGO radio show, Scott Lewis and Andrew Donohue had some wonderful and hilariously biased commentary regarding the “ongoing battle” between the San Diego Unified School District and the San Diego Education Association.
One need only to read the VOSD headlines to understand the unoffending distance that our local media takes in criticizing school board positions and actions, yet readily characterizes a teachers association as “hardline.” The SDEA is simply recommending that negotiations be adhered to and that other options be explored. However, VOSD, you’re not alone as the U-T San Diego has for decades avoided criticizing the school district on education issues. Any decline to reconsider, re-discuss and “give in” is not hardline but rather a support for teachers and students that are affected yearly by board decisions, classroom impact and professional standards.
1. Why would SDEA come back to the table to re-negotiate an already settled contract?
Coming back to the table is an invitation to accept less. A concession of workdays and salary to balance 1,600 positions, as directed and received by the younger upstart and dedicated individuals, is sadly and extremely over-proportioned to the number of internal cost reduction concerns that exist. At last look, 40 position cuts are directed towards San Diego Unified central administration. What is the x-factor, really?
2. The SDEA is not the SDTA of the past regarding the positions stated by past leadership and now retired. These are statements of “status quo,” of which were the union spokespersons that spent more time on politics and positioning than on problems. There was a time when the teachers association was primarily an administrators union, and thank goodness for that split.
3. The current leadership — president, vice president and executive director — has taken a long-needed direction. Adhere to collective bargaining in a timely manner and cease pitting teacher against teacher and district against community. Unfortunately, San Diego Unified has VOSD’s ear and SDEA doesn’t.
Suggestions for Scott, Andrew and Will Carless:
Begin with parallel questioning. Ask the same of district department heads, school administrators, the school site councils, the site governance teams and every other stakeholder that affects decision-making on monetary distribution and those effects on student success.
Of course the district welcomes, as you mentioned, Kumbaya — but at a huge cost.
Aaron Larkin lives in San Diego.
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