An Invitation from YCTA - SPED Task Force

posted Dec 1, 2011, 8:52 AM by Yuba City Teachers Association   [ updated Apr 22, 2013, 5:40 PM ]

Hello SPED Teachers and SLPs

 

Special Education – Case Loads, Workloads, IEPs, Credentials and Additional Authorizations.

 

There are many issues unique to special education that result in extra work and credential requirements.  We have made little progress in addressing these issues.   Elizabeth has agreed with us that the demands of IEPs add many hours to your work.  Elizabeth understands the demands of case loads and workloads.  We appreciate her efforts to listen and address these concerns. But alas, that shared understanding has not translated to any progress at the bargaining table.  We proposed stipends of 6.65%  to SPED teachers and SLPs to compensate for the added work loads of special education mandates such as IEP prep and testing, as well as recognition of SLP certification as an equivalent for National Board Certification for teachers.  We proposed negotiating caseloads limits.  The district rejected all of our proposals.  See the excerpt from an earlier bargaining update.

 

·      From the Bargaining Update -  We proposed relief for Special Education teachers – the work-load for Special Education unit members has significantly increased, given the demands of IEPs and RtI.  We proposed relief in the form of case-load limits as well as in the form of stipends for the additional mandated work.  The District was not willing to consider either solution.  The District reports, “Most Special Education teachers already have time built into their schedules during the week to assess students and write reports.” Apparently lacking a sense of irony, the District stated “To compensate one group and not all groups would create a disparate situation.” 

 

What are we going to do about it?  The collaborative approach has not progressed us towards solutions that sufficiently address your work load.  We have watched as the work load for SPED teachers and SLPs has increased tremendously with new service delivery models such as RtI.  We have requested and received information regarding the caseloads of special education teachers and speech and language pathologists.  We believe that many of you are over the legal limits of your caseload.  Ed Code limits the caseload of RSP teachers to only 28 students.  In addition, you are not to be simultaneously assigned to teach special education and general education students.  (See the directive from CDE in the attached document.)

 

TWO THINGS – LEGAL ACTIONS AND ORGANIZING.

 

ORGANIZING – Most powerful is simply the act of standing together to voice our concerns and expectations for improvements.  First we need to gather once again as the SPED Task Force within YCTA.  I am asking you to save the date of January 12 at 4PM at YCTA to meet as a SPED Task Force to bring forth all the issues of SPED Program at YCUSD and plan for action to bring about positive changes to serve our members and our students.  I anticipate that you might be too busy to gather before the break, but I am hoping that you will set aside this first Thursday afternoon following our return from the winter break.  Please come share the concerns and the burden.  Let’s work towards solutions that address the needs of SPED teachers and SLP. We hope that this will leads towards progress in addressing the demands placed upon SPED educators.

 

LEGAL COUNSEL -- Ed Code limits RSP teacher caseloads to 28 and SLP to 55 (although that second one has some flexibility).  We have already secured CTA legal representation for one unit member and will seek additional representation as needed to secure some relief for both special education educators and their students.  Within the attached document you will find the scan of the letter from CTA GLS attorney to YCUSD regarding the caseload of one of our K-5 members.  We have forwarded the caseload numbers and intervention contacts for YCUSD SPED teachers and SLPs to CTA legal for consultation.  For example, a SPED teacher at Gray Ave has 25 students on his caseload and 16 intervention students.  A SPED teacher at YCHS has 29 students on her caseload and 74 student contacts for intervention.  These numbers are overwhelming and we simply seek some relief for the workload. 

 

We only seek legal counsel as a means of compelling relief for the workloads of our members as they endeavor to serve the diverse needs of our students.  We would prefer a negotiated solution through a collaborative process.

 

Please feel free to share any issues, concerns or questions with me in advance of the January meeting.  Or if you would like a preliminary SPED Task Force meeting prior to the winter break, I would be happy to set aside an additional time slot in December to meet with anyone interesting in meeting in advance of the January meeting - perhaps Dec. 8 at 4PM.

 

I am truly impressed by the tremendous amount of dedication shown by our SPED teachers and SLPs.  You work so hard to meet the needs of our students with special needs. 

 

Thank you, Dina

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