How about paying the staff the additional $20,000 they are due annually?
The State took over the Dever Elementary School three years ago and placed it into receivership under the control of Blueprint, an Education Management Company, which “won” the right to manage the school under a no-bid contract. The school has gone through five principals in three years, and staff turnover is very high. Why? Staff at the school have no collective bargaining rights, no due process protections, and get paid virtually nothing for an annual 500-600 hours of additional work and duties. The conditions our members work under are disgraceful and an insult to our profession. The BTU, along with the MTA, which represents two other schools in the same circumstances, has taken the matter to court. (We are also challenging the receivership principle at the Holland.) We lost Round I, and along with the MTA, have appealed. In the meantime, the staff at the Dever have to wait it out.
To keep all parties updated, the state issues a quarterly report, the most recent of which can be found online. We call your attention to pages 5 and 6, which call for improved methods to retain and attract staff. The obvious triggers are MIA: pay our staff appropriately, respect them as professionals, and honor their collective bargaining rights. Instead we get “(the staff should establish) a “Sunshine Committee to build staff morale.” See these excerpts for more:
Priority Area 5: Hire and cultivate high-performing and high-potential staff.
Highlight: Dever has a Sunshine Determined team, which is a group of Dever employees who look for ways to intentionally build staff morale. The Sunshine Determined team plans events, such as the annual holiday party, and other initiatives that are aimed at increasing staff morale.
Challenge: Level 5 schools, like many schools across the Commonwealth, face the ongoing challenge of finding educators with the competencies and perseverance to serve students for the long haul. Recruiting, selecting, and retaining high-quality teachers and support staff remains one of Blueprint and Dever’s top priorities.
Strategies used to retain teachers include establishing a ‘Sunshine Committee’ to build staff morale, holding teacher focus groups, assigning mentors to new teachers through BPS’s New Teacher Development Program, and strategically assigning teachers to instructional deans for support. Dever also provides frequent and actionable feedback as a research-based strategy that results in the retention of high-performing teachers…”