How would a ban on bargaining school calendar and schedule negatively affect your district and community? Let your House representative know – and help stop House Bill 4163!
Haslett teacher David Gott, president of the Haslett EA, recently shared his story in a letter to House leaders. Gott told lawmakers the additional restriction of local control over education decisions would limit collaboration and problem-solving among administration and staff.
He cited one recent example when students and teachers identified problems in an exam schedule at the high school that did not allow for half days. The resulting schedule led to wasted “test-cramming” periods and over-long test blocks.
However, because educators could discuss the school schedule at the bargaining table, a solution was found that led to a more student-centered plan for exams. The resulting schedule allowed students time to properly prepare for exams and teachers to process assessment data, Gott said.
“There are many other examples of how the Collective Bargaining Process can be used for the betterment of a district, but if HB 4163 were in place, we would have been unable to discuss our situation at the table and work through the discomfort on both sides to resolve this issue,” Gott wrote in his letter to lawmakers.
In addition to special schedules such as exam weeks, other important education decisions would be negatively affected by the bill, including school start and end times, and school employees’ shifts and duties – potentially adding hours and increasing workloads without addressing compensation.
- Teachers could lose prep time used to plan, grade, and collaborate.
- The bill would impact education support professionals as well, limiting bus drivers’ input in scheduling routes, for example.
- School hours could be altered without regard for educational needs.
- Holiday breaks and year-round schools could be established without consulting those who know best what will and won’t work.
Allowing school employees to provide their expertise and input to help determine what is best for students leads to greater job satisfaction. At a time when dissatisfied teachers are leaving the profession and the number of college students choosing to enter the field is dwindling, we must do everything in our power to retain and recruit high-quality professionals in education.
We’ve won this fight before—our calls and emails helped to stop this same measure from advancing to a House vote last year. Step up and make a difference, and encourage interested parents and community members to get involved.