The Board approved the contract with the Fresno Teacher’s Association on a 6-1 vote last month. Several side letters appended to the new teacher contract called for cooperative work groups involving teachers and the district working together on issues including special education reform and the improvement of school discipline. Increased formal cooperation was hailed by the trustees as a new era in an often fraught relationship with the teachers’ union.
Another side letter proposed that the work group study whether a parcel tax or other “special tax measure” might be appropriate to support efforts to “reduce class sizes, improve student achievement and enhance programs at all levels.” Major class size reduction has been a goal of the FTA for a long while. Trustee Ashjian refused to vote for the agreement because he opposed the idea of an additional tax. Other trustees agreed that the Board would later have to approve such
a measure were it to come before them as a recommenda tion and voted to approve the new contract language.
Kay Bertken, Education Director