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Archive for Thursday, June 3, 2010

Planning time a topic of district negotiations

Lawrence teachers want some say in what happens with the school reconfiguration set to take place locally. High schools will be ninth through 12th grade and junior high schools with be sixth through eighth.

June 3, 2010

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Lawrence teacher contract negotiators want to protect planning time and other items as the school district plans to change to four-year high schools and sixth- to eighth-grade middle schools starting in the 2011-2012 school year.

Lawrence Education Association negotiators Wednesday asked school board negotiators to agree to reopen bargaining talks on certain items if either party believed school reconfiguration planning will affect those items. School board negotiators have said the district needs flexibility in planning for the change.

“We understand the need for flexibility, but our position is we don’t want to just give a blanket approval to do whatever you want without the guarantees for plan time and preparations,” said Lois Orth-Lopes, the LEA negotiations chairwoman.

Frank Harwood, the district’s chief operations officer, said the two sides should wait for two weeks to hear a presentation from a high school planning committee.

He said the agreement to reopen talks during the school year might be a good compromise when discussing language for the middle schools because that planning process will likely be more extensive than for the high schools.

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