LTA Political Action Committee & 2020 School Board Candidate Forum

Every two years, the Lennox community hold an election for the Lennox School District Board of Trustees, either reelecting current School Board Members or electing new School Board Members.  The Lennox Teachers Association, in our role as advocates for students and teachers, hope to see the most qualified candidates elected to these positions to lead our school district and guide district policy and culture in a direction the benefits all members of the community.

To that end, LTA has formed a Political Action Committee (PAC) to, at minimum, organize a community forum where the community can see all the candidates for the Board of Trustees answer questions about their vision for the school district.  Sometimes, when one or more candidates particularly distinguish themselves above the others, the LTA PAC will, after a fair process*, recommend candidates to LTA’s elected Rep Council, for possible endorsement by LTA on behalf of the teachers of Lennox.  LTA’s Rep Council will determine to what degree LTA will support endorsed candidates, and then LTA will work to make sure those qualified candidates are elected to represent the community.

*link to LTA’s PAC Committee Rules and Candidate Endorse Procedures

LTA members interested in participating in the PAC should contact LTA President Priscilla Avila as soon as possible, by Sept. 23rd at the latest.

For the November 2020 Lennox School District Board of Trustees election, there will be two Board Member seats up election.  Eight community members have registered with LA County Registrar as candidates and potential School Board Members.  LTA will be holding our candidate forum online using the Zoom platform to enable the community to meet the candidates while staying safe from COVID-19 exposure.

LTA 2020 School Board Candidate Forum

Thursday, October 1, 2020

4:00 – 6:00 PM

Public should RSVP to ltawebpage@gmail.com for a link to the Forum

link to downloadable flyer

Invitations have been sent to all candidates registered with the LA County Registrar.  Candidates interested in participating in the LTA Candidate Forum must contact the LTA PAC at ltawebpage@gmail.com by September 23, 2020 at 4:00 pm for a copy of the forum questions in advance and a “presenter” link to the Forum.  We welcome ALL candidates and encourage ALL candidates to participate in the public community forum, but candidates MUST contact the LTA PAC in advance (by September 23rd) to participate.

link to candidate forum participation schedule and timeline for possible endorsements

 

 

 

Posted in advocacy, Covid-19, elections, Lennox, Lennox School District, parents & community, School Board, school closures | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

LTA Fall 2020 Elections

Greetings LTA-

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of school sites in the Spring of 2020, our local LTA elections for Executive Board and Rep Council were delayed until Fall 2020.  Given the continuing pandemic and school site closures, we will be splitting the Fall 2020 election into two parts.

First, Site Rep elections will be held within each school site.

LTA Site Reps Timeline for Elections will be:

1.If you are interested in serving as a Site Rep, contact Elections Chair, Ruth Culqui, no later than Tuesday, September 15, 2020 by 4:00 pm.

2. Site Rep elections will be conducted electronically from Monday, September 21 – Wednesday, September 23.  Please look for an email from BigPulse.

 

Second, we will hold the election for the following Executive Board positions – President, 1st Vice-President of Contractual Affairs, 2nd Vice-President of Academic Affairs, and (to fill a vacancy) Treasurer.

LTA Executive Board Timeline for Elections will be:

1.Friday, September 11, 2020 – Announcement

a. Announcement of vacancy(ies) and term(s) of office using a method that will ensure each member is aware of the opportunity to file a declaration of candidacy;

2. Thursday, September 17, 2020 (extended to Friday, September 18, 2020) – Declarations of Candidacy

a. Place, time and date of receipt (date received, not date postmarked) for declaration of candidacy forms; Written declarations of candidacy must be emailed and received by Ruth Culqui at by 4pm.

b. Campaign statement of candidates (decide on limit of number of words, and what to do if limitation is exceeded); Candidate statements will be limited to 50 words or less. In case a candidate submits a statement exceeding 50 words, only the first 50 words will be included on the Candidates’ Statement sheet.

c. Provision for elections committee chairperson or designee to be present to receive declaration of candidacy by filing deadline; Ruth Culqui will be available to receive declarations of candidacy by email by 4pm on Thursday, September 17, 2020. Declarations (form) will only be submitted to Ruth Culqui via e-mail prior to the deadline.

3. Thursday, September 17, 2020 (extended to Friday, September 18, 2020) – Final date to acknowledge Candidates’ Declaration of Candidacy

a. Final date to acknowledge candidates’ declaration of candidacy; Candidates will be announced on Wednesday, September 30, 2020, no later than 4pm, via the LTA website

4. Friday, September 25, 2020 – Big Pulse Prepares Electronic Ballots

a. Date for preparation of ballots;

5. Monday, September 28 – Wednesday, September 30, 2020 – Electronic ballots sent out via email

a. All electronic ballots will be emailed to LTA bargaining unit members on Monday, September 28 to Wednesday, September 30, 2020 by Big Pulse.

6. Monday, September 28, 2020 – Wednesday, September 30, 2020 – Election will be held electronically

a. Date(s) when voting will take place electronically; Electronic voting will close Wednesday, September 30 at 4:00 p.m. Please look for an email from BigPulse.

7. Wednesday, September 30, 2020 – Ballots results will be reviewed electronically

a. Date, time and place where ballots will be counted, which should be immediately following the deadline for receipt of voted ballots;

***Election results will be reviewed on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. held via virtual platform. If you wish is view the election result via a virtual platform, email Ruth Culqui by September 28, 2020 no later than 4:00 p.m.

8. Wednesday, September 30, 2020 – LTA Results Announcement

a. Date that announcement of results shall be made to leadership, candidates, members, and posted at each work site, which date shall be not later than five (5) calendar days following the counting of ballots; Results will be posted on the LTA website on Friday, October 2, 2020, no later than 5pm, and emailed to all school sites on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 no later than 7 p.m.

9. Tuesday, October 6, 2020 Run-off Elections

a. Dates and timelines for run-off election, if necessary; and
Run-off election (if necessary) = Tuesday, October 6, 2020 – Wednesday, October 7, 2020 Ballots received electronically reviewed = Wednesday, October 7, 2020, 3:30pm
Results announced = Wednesday, October 7, 2020, no later than 5pm

10. Thursday, October 15, 2020 – Election Challenges

a. Deadline for filing of challenges to initial election and run-off if held (date received, not date postmarked). Written challenges must be filed and emailed by Thursday, October 15, 2020 by 8 a.m. to Ruth Culqui.

11. Procedural Components should include the following

a. Method by which Declaration of Candidacy(ies) are submitted (emailed only)

 

link to descriptions of open positions

link elections timeline

 

Posted in Buford, Covid-19, EBoard, elections, Felton, Huerta, Jefferson, LMS, Moffett, Rep Council, school closures | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Updated LTA Contract, 2019-2022

Here is a link to the most recent updated LTA/LSD Certificated Bargaining Agreement, covering 2019-2022.

LTA Contract (2019-2022 CBA)

The most current LTA Contract will always be available through the link in the upper lefthand corner of the header of this webpage.

Posted in adjunct duties, assignments, association rights, bargaining, class size, evaluations, grievances, health benefits, leave, moves, planning time, preschool, professional development, salary, school leadership, special ed, TOSAs, transfers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bargaining Update #3 – LTA/LSD Negotiations on Reopening Schools during the 2020-2021 School Year

The LTA and LSD bargaining teams met again today (Friday, July 31, 2020).  Negotiations continue on three main topics:

1.  Class sizes and concluding negotiations for the 2019-2020 school year,

2.  Language governing the safe return to in-person teaching and learning, and language governing distance teaching and learning until then, and

3.  Language governing the safe administration of the ELPAC test to new kindergartners and students new to the district, because the ELPAC must be given in-person.

1. Class Sizes and Concluding 2019-2020 Negotiations

Soon after the Covid pandemic forced the closure of schools in March, LTA offered to withdraw all bargaining proposals this year (including salary and benefits proposals) EXCEPT for the topic of maintaining small class sizes.  At the July 13 bargaining session, the district formally proposed concluding negotiations for 2019-2020 and focusing on 2020-2021.  LTA immediately reminded them that LTA had proposed the same thing back in March, that LTA would be fine with concluding 2019-2020 negotiations, but that we needed closure on the topic of class sizes first. (The permanent LTA contract sets all class sizes at 29 students to 1 teacher, but for at least the last 15 years LTA has negotiated smaller class sizes in short term MOUs [Memorandums of Understanding].  Currently, LTA has negotiated 20:1 in TK, K and 1st grade, 24:1 in 2nd and 3rd grades, 27:1 in 4th and 5th grades, and it’s 29:1 at LMS.)  On July 23, LTA formally proposed continuing with current class sizes into the 2020-2021 school year.

And today (July 31), the district stated that they “have no interest in continuing the MOU reducing class sizes.”  Just like that.  15 years of smaller class sizes and increased attention for students… over, because they’re not interested in continuing.

LSD – no counterproposal

By-the-way, LTA has also fought for norming class sizes in the Dual Language program separately to make sure neither the DL classes nor the English Immersion classes got too big, and for including students with IEPs who receive special ed services on GenEd rosters so they can be more a part of the classroom community.  Protecting those advances were also rejected by the district.

2. Safe In-Person Teaching and Distance Learning

On July 13, the district presented a vague proposal on school safety and distance learning, but the district’s proposal lacked detail and [LTA feels] would not have done enough to protect students and teachers from the risk of Covid infection.  On July 23, LTA presented a detailed, comprehensive proposal to safe in-person teaching and learning and effective distance teaching and learning until it’s possible to return.

Today (July 31), the district said they needed more time to prepare a complete response to LTA’s proposal but shared counterproposals to some portions of LTA’s proposal.  Please read both proposals and decide which one you think would do more to keep students and teachers safe and to ensure rigorous distance teaching and learning.

LSD 2020-2021 COVID-19 proposal (7-31-20)

LTA 2020-2021 COVID-19 proposal (7-23-20)

(LTA is working on a side-by-side comparison that we will post here when completed.)

3. ELPAC Testing

Under normal circumstances, the district conducts initial testing of all new kindergarten students and students new to the district in the weeks before school starts to determine students’ levels of English and provide ELD support once school starts.  However, given the Covid pandemic and the closure of schools, LTA raised concerns with bringing large numbers of students and teachers together, IN-PERSON, on otherwise closed school campuses to conduct testing this summer.  The district said it believed it could do so safely and LTA asked for details of the district’s safety plan and a formal proposal.  The district discussed its ideas on safety precautions at the July 13 and July 23 meetings but failed to provide actual proposals.  Then, last weekend, on Sunday, July 26 (between bargaining sessions) the district emailed an actual proposal and wanted to know if LTA would be ready with a response by the next session.  LTA has been waiting for over a month and district requested a response in under a week.

Today (July 31), LTA asked the district to compare its proposal to the LA County Health Department’s list of requirements for re-opening schools for in-person education.  The district declined.  In addition, LTA shared an email communication it had received the day before from the director of EL assessment at the California Department of Education in response to a question LTA had sent.  The email stated that districts should make every effort to test incoming EL students, but then listed several alternatives in case it was unsafe to do in-person testing, and further added that the state would be sending out its own set of in-person testing safety precautions in the next week or so.  Given the district’s inability to demonstrate that its plan met all LA County Health Department requirements and the state’s provision for alternative methods of assessment, LTA had no choice but to oppose in-person testing incoming students and unnecessary risks to students and teachers.

LSD 2020-2021 ELPAC Testing proposal (shared 7/26/20, presented 7/31/20)

The two teams agreed to meet again on August 13, with the goal of finalizing negotiations.  LTA will respond to the district’s proposals.  LTA understands the need to move as quickly as possible to resolve these issues so teachers can turn their focus back to where it belongs – on preparing for students and the start of school. But LTA WILL NOT be rushed into agreeing to unsafe working conditions for our teachers and unsafe learning conditions for our students, nor will we stop fighting for the small class sizes our students deserve.

In solidarity!

Posted in bargaining, class size, Covid-19, distance learning, dual language, English Learners, special ed | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bargaining Update #2 – LTA/LSD Negotiations on Reopening Schools during the 2020-2021 School Year

Today – Thursday, July 23, 2020 – LTA presented the district with the type of comprehensive reopening schools proposal that the district should have been prepared to give us weeks ago, with details on how to keep students and staff safe in every aspect of on-campus, in-person learning and, until then, specific demands on what teachers need to make distance education as rigorous and engaging for students as possible.  Unlike the district’s proposal last week, LTA’s proposal is based on most current California State Department of Public Health “COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Learning Framework for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-2021 School Year” and the most current Los Angeles County Department of Public Health “Protocol for COVID-19 Exposure Management Plan in K-12 Schools” regarding the reopening of schools and circumstances which would result in school/district closures, as well as Senate Bill 98’s direction on distance learning.

LTA 2020-2021 COVID-19 counterproposal (7-23-20)

California State Department of Public Health: “COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Learning Framework for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-2021 School Year”

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health: “Protocol for COVID-19 Exposure Management Plan in K-12 Schools”

Senate Bill 98

LTA also responded to the district’s proposal to officially conclude bargaining for the 2019-2020 cycle and begin the 2020-2021 cycle.  This may seem like just a bookkeeping detail, but ending the 2019-2020 cycle would mean that all negotiations on all topics other than COVID-19 would stop and it would be months before we could begin again.  Back in May, LTA actually suggested taking everything off the table EXCEPT class sizes because teachers know that smaller classes are better for students.  Right now, the district is demanding to increase class sizes in TK, kindergarten and 1st grade (in the middle of the COVID pandemic and distance learning, no less!).  LTA’s counterproposal today echos LTA’s May offer to drop all proposals, but only AFTER the district has agreed to not raise class sizes next year.  (LTA’s proposal also includes specific provisions to ensure balance between Dual Language classes and Structured English Immersion classes, and to promote full of inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classes.)

LTA 2020-2021 counterproposal on concluding 19-20 negotiations (7-23-20)

The two teams agreed to meet again next Friday, July 31, with the goal of finalizing negotiations.  The district will be responding to LTA’s proposals and LTA will make every effort to reply back during the same meeting.  LTA understands the need to move as quickly as possible and resolve these issues so teachers can turn their focus back to where it should be – preparing for students and the start of school.  But LTA WILL NOT be rushed into agreeing to unsafe working conditions for our teachers and unsafe learning conditions for our students, nor will we stop fighting for the small class sizes our students deserve.

In solidarity!

Posted in bargaining, class size, Covid-19, distance learning, dual language, special ed | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment