BHEA Statement Regarding 3.30.2017 Meeting with District Officials
Please feel free to share the following letter to any parent or community member you know:
Yesterday (Thursday) afternoon, BHEA President Telly Tse and Certificated Bargaining Team members Chris Bushee and Alana Castanon met with BHUSD Superintendent Michael Bregy, Chief Academic Officer Jennifer Tedford, and Chief Administrative Officer LaTanya Kirk Carter Latham for an informal conversation about the budget, the teacher salary formula, and the layoff situation.
We thank Superintendent Bregy for reaching out to BHEA and making this meeting possible.
From BHEA's perspective, the meeting was positive and collaborative. BHEA had the opportunity to voice concerns about how certain district officials were portraying the teacher salary formula to the community. BHEA presented data regarding certificated salaries. Both BHEA and the district discussed ways in which any financial issues could be resolved in the present and the future. Most importantly, both sides acknowledged that the teacher salary formula is not the problem.
BHEA also came out of the meeting with a greater understanding and appreciation of the challenges the Business Services Department faces. We believe the Board of Education (past and present) genuinely wants to do good but has made financial mistakes and engaged in poor long-term decision-making especially when it does not consider the advice and input of the educators in the district. We believe that the 23 layoffs are the district's way of attempting to rectify these past mistakes despite the fact that financially, they can avoid making these reductions.
The next few weeks will demonstrate to BHEA and the community whether the district takes our concerns seriously. Will the Board continue to publicly blame the salary formula for all their financial woes or will they accept more responsibility for their own actions? Will the Board continue to spend money unnecessarily on items such as an elementary math adoption at $800,000 when the current adoption does not expire until 2020? Time will tell.