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Former Teachers of Reconstituted School Still in a Fight to Save Their Jobs

                    No Teacher Left Unemployed

 

As most remember, Johnston High was closed as per TEA and NCLB in May of 2008.  What many do not remember is that we still have 7 teachers from the former Johnston who do not have positions and have been told they will be terminated if they themselves do not find a teaching position by March 2, 2009. 

 

On April 3, 2008 the AISD Board of Trustees passed through the Consent Agenda , item #10 of DFBA and DFBB (local) which allows the termination of teachers.  It states “Reasons for proposed termination of an employee’s term contract shall be a decision by a campus intervention team, that the employee not be retained at a reconstituted campus”.  This basically states, that if a campus is reconstituted, AISD does not have to keep the teacher if the intervention team feels they are at fault!  This is what AISD has used to keep the Johnston teachers as Substitutes and gives them the power to not have to provide them with a teaching position.

 

Education Austin has filed a motion to go to Impasse in front of the Board of Trustees to argue how wrong this local law is.  Board President Mark Williams at first refused to allow a hearing but under pressure from other board members has recanted and promises a January date.   This means we will need as many  teachers as possible, to attend this board meeting to support not only the former Johnston teachers but also Pearce, Reagan, Norman and all other schools facing closure.

 

The Johnston teachers were not placed into vacant positions as we all assumed was the easiest thing for AISD to do, given that they had many new Middle and High School Principals.  Instead what they did was have these teachers spend the summer on pins and needles not knowing where they would be assigned, only to assign them as full time substitutes.  At first, the jobs consisted of greeting kids, making I.D. badges, stapling cum folder info, and other meaningless jobs.  Most did not have a desk or even a place to leave their personal items.  Their only place of solace, was in their car.

 

Since Education Austin filed a grievance on behalf of three of the Johnston teachers, only one has found a full time teaching position and with no thanks to AISD  Human Resources Department.  The other two Teachers have full class loads now.  They are the teacher of record, still have a contract but since they are still considered substitutes they do not have the rights that a regular classroom teacher.  They do not have sub finder, portal access, and above all no idea what will happen to them after June 5.

 

We urge the Teachers of AISD to come out and speak on behalf of all teachers rights to teach in low socioeconomic schools and not fear the closure and their displacement and possible termination because the school was deemed “Academically Unacceptable under No Child Left Behind”.

 

Note:  Since this article was published, all three of the grievants have been permanently assigned to teaching positions.  The last grievants assignment came within days of the School Board hearing.