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JFT Update: April 26

Jefferson Federation of Teachers Update

April 26, 2021

Jefferson Parish School Board

5.1 Second Reading authored by Sandy Denapolis-Bosarge; Move that the Jefferson Parish School Board direct the superintendent to place the following language into the employee handbook. The superintendent will formulate the proper language for inclusion into the handbook. 1. Teachers will receive a 30-minute duty-free lunch daily. 2. Teachers will receive class prep time each day equal to the length of one class period. Planning and class prep time may include the following, but no more than two times a week: grade-level department meetings, study groups, professional learning sessions, cluster meetings and collaborative sessions. 3.Teachers will receive $100 supply reimbursement each semester.

5.2 Second Reading authored by Tiffany Kuhn: Move that the Jefferson Parish School Board direct the superintendent to place the following language into the employee handbook. The superintendent will formulate the proper language for inclusion into the handbook. 1. Teachers will receive $25 per hour to attend mandatory professional learning seasons when held outside normal working hours. 2. Teachers will receive reasonable and appropriate materials and equipment to implement educational programs in the classroom, collaborating with the Teaching and Learning unit and building administration. 3. Teachers will be compensated according to the present Jefferson Parish Schools salary schedule. 4. Teachers will be given three days advance notice of a regularly schedule faculty meeting held after school. Advanced notice will not be necessary for emergency meetings called at the principals discretion.

Does this language sound familiar? It should. This is language taken from the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), between the Jefferson Parish School Board and the Jefferson Federation of Teachers. On the surface, this appears harmless, but in actuality it is a method to circumvent and eventually discontinue the Collective Bargaining Agreement. This is not good faith bargaining.

In a vote of 5-4 the readings did not pass. The school board members who voted in favor of the two readings were:

  • District 3 School Board Member, Tiffany Kuhn
  • District 9 School Board Member, Sandy Denapolis-Bosarge, and two retired educators:
  • District 1 School Board Member Dr. Gerard LeBlanc, and
  • District 7 School Board Member Billy North.

Ironically, Mr. North has directly benefited from provisions in the CBA. JFT negotiated coaching stipends as part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

In her statement to the board, JFT President, Kesler Camese-Jones, stated that this year, board members have authored very little readings to address student achievement. Click here to see her entire speech.

Board members who voted in favor of the measure acknowledged that there is a process in place, that should be followed and that JFT deserved a seat at the table. Click here to read the article.

Members will be informed of next steps in the process.

2021-2022 Jefferson Parish Target Schools

The district will continue to offer a $2,000 stipend to teachers who select a target school for the first year of teaching at that school. A target school is a school that has over 90% of economically disadvantaged students and/or the English Language Learners exceed 30% of the student population.  

The District will also pay a $1,000 stipend to certified teachers district-wide who teach in a target content area. The target content areas are English as a Second Language (ESL), High School Math, High School Physics, and Special Education (all grade levels).
2021-2022 JP Target Schools

A C Alexander School J. D. Meisler Middle School
Alice Birney Elementary School     Jefferson School
Audubon School John Q. Adams Middle School
Bissonet Plaza School         Johnson/Gretna Park Elementary School
Bonella St. Ville Elementary School Joshua Butler Elementary School
Bonnabel Magnet High School     Judge Lionel R. Collins Elementary
Bridgedale Elementary School L. H. Marrero Middle School
Bunche Elementary School L. W. Higgins High
Cherbonnier/Rillieux School Lincoln Elementary School for the Arts
Clancy-Maggiore School for the Arts Livaudais Middle School Marie
Emmett Gilbert School Estelle School Riviere Elementary School
Frederick Douglass Community School McDonogh 26 Elementary School
G T Woods School Mildred Harris Elementary School
George Cox Elementary School     Phoebe Hearst Elementary School
Geraldine Boudreaux Elementary School Stella Worley Middle School
Grace King High School Strehle Community School
Grand Isle School T. H. Harris Middle School
Green Park Elementary School Terrytown Elementary School
Greenlawn Terrace Elementary School Tom Benson School
Gretna Middle School Washington Elementary School
Harold Keller Elementary School West Jefferson High School
Harry S. Truman School William Hart Elementary School
Helen Cox High School     Woodland West School
Isaac Joseph Elementary School Woodmere School

Teacher Reimbursement

Article VIII of the Collective Bargaining Agreement states: “Teachers shall be reimbursed $100.00 per semester for teaching materials/registration fees for pre-approved conferences/workshops, including sales tax. A teacher who does not expend his allocation or any part thereof for the 1st semester shall be permitted to spend it during the 2nd semester. Reimbursement shall occur promptly but no later than 20 workdays following submission, provided receipts were furnished with all expenditures fully documented. The deadline to submit receipts is April 30, 2021.

JPPSS Voluntary Transfer Process March 1-June 4, 2021

Certified Teachers, Deans, Assistant Principals, Counselors, and Paraprofessionals are eligible for transfer if they:

  • Have a minimum of two years of experience in JPPSS at their current school.
  • Hold a valid Louisiana teacher certificate in the requested subject-area vacancy (teachers and administrators only).
  • Are currently NOT on any level of an Intensive Assistance Plan (IAP).

NOTE: If Human Resources assigned an employee to a school due to the school closing or consolidating in 2020, the employee is eligible for Voluntary Transfer. Support employees may transfer at any time, as vacancies become available.

Eligible employees who wish to participate in the VTP are required to complete an Internal Application/Transfer Form online during the application window (March 1-May 14, 2021 via www.applitrack.com/jppss/onlineapp). The application window closes May 14, 2021.

Phoebe Hearst Elementary

Phoebe Hearst Elementary School suffered damage due to a severe weather event. If you would like to donate any items, please drop them off at the JFT office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Louisiana Federation of Teachers

House Bill 35 – Take SLT’s Out of Teacher Evaluations This Year

LFT worked with Senator Troy Carter to develop legislation that would ensure SLT’s and all measures of student growth could not be used as part of teacher’s evaluations for this year. After everything that teachers and students have been through this year, we know that these test results will not accurately reflect your abilities as an educator, but instead could add extra pressure and stress to an already difficult year.

House Bill 35 was on the schedule for the Senate Education Committee this week, but ended up being delayed. It’s vital that the Committee hears from dedicated educators like you before they consider this important legislation.
 
 
 

Senate Bill 22 – Making it Harder to Retire  

Senate Bill 22 would raise the age of retirement to 67 for all future employees. In order to receive full benefits, new teachers, school employees, bus drivers and other public servants will have to work 40 years, or until the age of 67.
 
Thousands of concerned teachers, school employees, and retirees sent letters to the Senate Retirement Committee last weekend asking the Senators to oppose Senate Bill 22 because it would threaten one of the few benefits that teachers and school employees retain. Despite your outcry, Senate Bill 22 did successfully pass through the Senate Retirement Committee on Monday.
 
Now, the bill must pass the Senate before moving on to the House of Representatives for approval. Even with the proposed amendments, this is yet another “reform” looking for an issue. Please take a moment to ask your Senator to VOTE NO on this unnecessary and damaging legislation.
 

 

AFT/JFT Teacher Leader 2020-2021

The AFT Teacher Leaders Program (TLP) brings together a select group of teachers and school employees throughout the school year to learn how to take active leadership roles in their schools, unions, and communities. Participants in the TLP help to strengthen the union and its connection to the community by building greater support and understanding of public schools.

This year’s topics and graduates are as follows:

Equitable Access to Learning

  1. Asia Cleggett, M.Ed.: Advanced Study Academies and Racial Segregation
  2. Rebekah E. Becker, MAT: Explore Learning Group Best Practices: How-to Guide to Inclusion
  3. Westley Gray, LMSW: Impact and Outcomes of Truancy Enforcement Among Disadvantaged Students in Jefferson Parish
  4. Felicia Lloyd, M. Ed+30: Inclusion-Teacher Preparedness: Impact on students with disabilities

Testing and Student Growth

  1. Greta Glaser: Test More, Pressure Less
  2. Jacqueline Morales: Effects of Whole Brain Teaching Strategies on Student Growth
  3. Brenna Bethancourt: LEAP Testing in Native Language

Supportive Programs for Students

  1. Tempest Lennette, M. Ed: ESL Newcomer Program
  2. Carole J. Smith M.Ed., +30, NCED: Adding Visual Arts to the Elementary Curriculum
  3. Yvette Cresson: The Reflex Math program and Its effectiveness on Second Grade Test Scores

For more information about the Teacher Leader Program, email Rosamund Looney at: tlp.rosamund.looney@gmail.com
 

Workers Memorial Day 2021

 
Please join us to commemorate Workers Memorial Movement Day, on April 28, 2021 to honor the victims of workplace injury, illness, and death. Take a moment of silence for all of those workers who have experienced these workplace accidents.
 
Please join us for a special AFT virtual town hall on Tuesday April 27, 2021 @ 6:45pm EDT/5:45CST via facebook.com/AFTunion.
 
Also, we ask all JFT members to wear blue on Wednesday April 28, in solidarity. Take a picture and text it to Lauren at (337) 354-6597 or email it to Sandra at sandra@jft.org.
 

AFT’s Weingarten on White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment

 

Collective Bargaining Is the Official Policy of the United States; Executive Order Shows Biden Administration Is Dedicated to Its Success

 
WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement after President Joe Biden launched a task force to empower workers to organize and successfully bargain with their employers.
 
 
“Workers know that labor unions are a ticket out of poverty and into the middle class, but all too often their freedom to organize and bargain has been thwarted. Today, President Biden is acting to remove the structural impediments to the power and promise of unions so workers can join together for a better life.
 
 
“Like Franklin Roosevelt, the president believes in the goals of the National Labor Relations Act, which not only permits collective bargaining but actively encourages it. This historic task force, by including senior officials from across the administration, shows just how committed the president and Vice President Kamala Harris are to mobilizing the full force of the federal government to propel organizing and worker activism.
 
 
“We look forward to working with the administration to identify opportunities within the current legal framework, as well as new policies and provisions workers need to get ahead, including the Protecting the Right to Organize Act. Workers finally have a champion in Washington, and today’s announcement couldn’t be timelier or more important.”