The Hemet Unified School District board unanimously approved an agreement with the Hemet Teachers Association for fiscal year 2012-2013. No proposed teacher or staff reductions were part of the agreement or the district’s tentative budget for the next fiscal year.
The agreement continues the 178-day school year, a six-day reduction from the normal 184 days. The reduction includes five student days and one non-student day.
This will save the district about $3.2 million in salary and benefit costs.
“The union was very generous working with us to develop the budget,” said HUSD Board President Bill Sanborn. Yet he worries, as do other district educational officials, about long-term funding for the district. Sanborn expects many California school districts will begin to announce unqualified budgets, meaning their revenues and reserves are less than annual expenses.
The new agreement includes a pilot project that will permit a weekly late start on Tuesday mornings. The time will be used for staff meetings, professional development or data team sessions.
On two Tuesdays each month, leadership and learning “data team” meetings are authorized. Another Tuesday will be for teacher-facilitated meetings for the purpose of collaboration, vertical teaming or school improvement.
This agreement extends, but does not replace, the September 2009 and 2010 agreements between the district and the association.
“This is both new and old,” said HTA president Jim Brigham. The Tuesday late starts have occurred at a few district schools. With this agreement, they will be district wide.
“Teachers will be fresh and able to do school business,” Brigham said. There used to be three staff meetings per month and this agreement authorizes two.
In other business, the board received a proposal from Hemet High School Principal Dr. Emily Shaw to name the newly constructed theater after Ron and Dianna Murray. The Murrays, who are Hemet alumni, have been very active leaders in the school’s theater program for nearly two decades and are retiring this year.
Also student Anakaren Chable spoke in favor of the proposal and described how much time the couple has devoted to the program.
Sanborn said the board could not take action at this meeting, but would put it on the agenda for the May 15 board meeting. But there is a general policy discouraging the naming of school facilities for people who are living.
“It a general rule of thanks after the individual has passed on,” he noted.