Teachers' Union Criticizes School Board for Truancy Policy
Strongsville Education Association claims substitutes will be 'babysitters'
The teachers' union, in a statement, said the board has "reached a new low" and that parents are being forced to "send their kids into an unknown and unsafe learning environment."
Chris Canning, SEA spokeswoman, said the board has chosen to pay for "security goons and babysitters" instead of paying its teachers.
“The only curriculum that the students are going to be exposed to is a healthy dose of dodge ball, extended recess, and being corralled into unsafe, and under supervised, gymnasiums and multi-purpose rooms," Canning said in the statement.
The district, in a Q & A page on its website, addresses the truancy issue, saying that closing schools would mean extending the school year to make up the lost days.
"If schools are closed, the days will have to be made up by students at some point to meet state requirements for completing a school year. If the days are not made up, the state will withhold funds needed to operate Strongsville City Schools. More importantly, students will not get credit for the school year, and the entire year may need to be repeated. If the school is closed for an extended period of time while the parties try to reach a settlement, it is possible that the school year will extend into the summer. An extended school year negatively impacts students being accepted into colleges and may also affect appointments to military academies and enlistment in the armed forces as well as family work schedules and activities," the district says.
The district also says core subjects will be taught by the subs.
"We will be able to start teaching on March 4 with a qualified teaching team, that will ensure that English, mathematics, social studies and science are handled effectively from the start."
Strongsville police have also said they will send an officer to each school on Monday to help ensure safety and a peaceful environment.
The SEA's statement in full:
With the recent announcement that students will be truant if their parents do not subject their kids to an unsound educational environment, Dave Frazee and his Board of Education have reached a new low.
While it’s bad enough that the Board is privately forcing a strike with its teachers in order to advance their anti-teacher, anti-public education agenda, it’s utterly despicable for them to use threats of truancy to force parents to send their kids into an unknown and unsafe learning environment.
Unfortunately, this is a common tactic employed by the Board’s legal counsel and has been used across the state by this same firm in similar circumstances.
“The Board knows full well that they will not have enough teachers to staff each classroom,” said SEA spokesperson Chris Canning. “Worse, the Board clearly understands that no quality instruction or student learning will be occurring in their unstaffed classrooms. Unfortunately, they just don’t care.”
In their efforts to prepare for a strike and break the backs of the teachers, the Board has negligently wasted the same taxpayer dollars on strike preparation as it would take to settle the current contract and avoid a strike altogether.
“The Board’s priorities are clear,” Canning said. “Instead of paying for their teachers, they have willingly chosen to pay for security goons and babysitters, further demonstrating their fiscal irresponsibility.
“Parents shouldn’t be fooled when the Board publicly insists that state mandated testing, school curriculum, individual IEPs, 504s and other essential services will be provided by ‘highly qualified replacement teachers,’” Canning added. “The only curriculum that the students are going to be exposed to is a healthy dose of dodge ball, extended recess, and being corralled into unsafe, and under supervised, gymnasiums and multi-purpose rooms.”
The 383 highly qualified teachers, guidance counselors, coaches and special education interventionists employed by the Strongsville City Schools urge the parents of this community to contact the Board of Education and demand that they prevent the looming work stoppage before it is too late.