Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Michigan unions brace for teacher opt-out decision

By DAVID EGGERT

Many of the 112,000 active educators and school workers in the Michigan Education Association can now leave the union and stop paying fees under the law that took effect last year. Other major unions, covered by multi-year contracts, won't reach the opt-out point until 2015 or later.

With the teachers given a 31-day window in August to decide, representatives for the state's largest public-sector union are imploring them to stay or risk losing their clout in how schools are operated.

"If I don't stand up and stay in my union, then we don't have a voice," said Chandra Madafferi, a high school health teacher and president of a 400-member local in the Detroit suburb of Novi.

Meanwhile, conservative groups are running ads and publicizing the chance for teachers to "grow your paycheck and workplace freedom."

Read more by clicking on the following:  http://news.yahoo.com/michigan-unions-brace-teacher-opt-decision-170456196.html

Monday, August 25, 2014

Student Issue Leads To Hard Lockdown at Belvidere High

BELVIDERE - A situation involving a student leads to school leaders calling for a hard lockdown at Belvidere High School.

The hard lockdown was put into effect at 10:15am Monday.  Superintendent Dr. Michael Houselog says school administrators identified a situation that "they were uncertain of."  Due to the number of people around the incident, a hard lockdown was called.

Dr. Houselog declined to tell Eyewitness News what exactly happened.  However, he did say no weapons were involved and classes continued as scheduled.

The lockdown was lifted at 10:45am.  Houselog did not know if the student involved was taken into police custody.

According to the Belvidere School District, a hard lockdown means "no one is allowed to enter or exit the building and students remain in their classroom."

Above is taken from:  http://www.mystateline.com/fulltext-news/d/story/student-issue-leads-to-hard-lockdown-at-belvidere/25692/FKjBcuKqUEmwokEkkTfpOQ?fb_action_ids=10202744698718661&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_ref=.U_uQn_HDI6I.like&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B700431230023557%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%22.U_uQn_HDI6I.like%22%5D

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Roberta Selleck (Superintendent of Freeport Schools) is under investigation

. This story is from RR Star on line:  http://www.wifr.com/news/headlines/Stateline-School-Superintendent-Under-Investigation-271952821.html

Just what she's being investigated for is unclear. The school board president confirmed in a letter released this week that Selleck has been on leave since the beginning of July and the board is looking into some of her "certain administrative decisions and actions."

Selleck had told other media outlets that she wasn't working because she was taking care of her sick husband, however board president Janice Crutchfield says Selleck was never approved to take time off for that reason.

The investigation was not addressed at Tuesdays school board meeting, much to the dismay of many Freeport parents who were looking for answers as to why their superintendent hasn't been at work and why she's being investigated.

Many people left Tuesday's meeting disappointed what they're calling a lack of transparency.

The school board president says she will not divulge too much information as this is a "personnel" issue.

SEE THE COMMENT SECTION FOR THIS: 

Squidward18 hours ago

A personnel issue? Perhaps but Roberta Selleck is the highest ranking and highest paid individual in the Freeport public school system which is funded by taxpayers. While Roberta Selleck should be entitled to the same level of privacy that is afforded to all for family leave, the position of Superintendent of a public school system also brings a much higher degree of public scrutiny that our elected school board officials must be respectful of. Selleck left her previous sup. post in Colorado under similar circumstances claiming family leave to care for a sick relative and then quickly resigned to float off on a $239k golden severance parachute. The fact is, Roberta Selleck's "leave" from FSD145 came suddenly and with little public explanation and then shortly afterward Selleck's Freeport home was put on the market. Under these circumstances combined with the Selleck's previous departure, it is not unreasonable to conclude that Selleck's relationship with FSD145 is likely coming to an end. One can only speculate as to whether Selleck ever intended on fulfilling her contract or was she simply finding another district in which to pull a golden parachute rip cord in order to fund her $370K Maricopa county Arizona residence that she and her husband closed on early in 2013 shortly after taking post in Freeport. Be that as it may, Taxpayers continue to fund not one but two highly paid public employees while the school board continues to refuse to provide the public with an adequate response or even a hint of a future plan all while our our district continues to operate in financial and academic distress. This is a very serious public matter that must be investigated at all levels and with full disclosure

Saturday, August 16, 2014

District 100 may have a referendum item on the November Ballot

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The following is taken from the Monday agenda of District 100;  see:  http://www.boarddocs.com/il/district100/Board.nsf/Public

Agenda Item Details

Meeting

Aug 18, 2014 - Regular Meeting of the Board of Education - 6:00 pm

Category

G. Board Action and Discussion

Subject

3. Adoption of a Resolution providing for and requiring the submission of the proposition of the election of School Board Members at Large and without restriction by area of residence within the District on the November 4, 2014 General Election Ballot

Type

Action

PASS: A good source of up to date info on District 100

GO TO:   https://www.facebook.com/parentspass

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Belvidere Teachers Starting Without New Contract

By: Shannon Smith - Email Posted: Thu 4:46 PM, Aug 14, 2014 By: Shannon Smith - Email

BELVIDERE (WIFR) – Teachers are back to work in the Belvidere School District, however they’re without a new contract.

The President of the Belvidere Education Association says he doesn’t want to go on strike or protest. He says he just wants better services for kids, especially special needs students in a new contract.

Mark Luthin is the president and a biology teacher at Belvidere North High School. He says teachers are fighting for smaller class sizes, claiming it hurts the quality of learning for students. Luthin says another sticking point is for the district to attract and keep teachers in the area. He says he doesn’t want it to come to a strike, but if they did, that wouldn’t happen for another six weeks according to state law.

Superintendent Michael Houselog says the district is working with the state to make sure they’re compliant with the requirements for special needs classes. He says the board has offered teachers a raise. Houselog says he is optimistic about coming to an agreement with the BEA.

The School Board meets Monday, however they won’t be voting on a contract. Luthin says he’s agreed to mediation with the district, scheduled for September 3rd.

The above is taken from:  http://www.wifr.com/news/headlines/Belvidere-Teachers-Starting-Without-New-Contract-271303481.html