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District, Ackerman settled individual contract issue

After a flurry of controversy, it seems that the PFT and the Ackerman administration have resolved the the issue of whether teachers are required to sign individual professional contracts. The PFT Web site reported the terms here.

In short, teachers hired after 1982-83 who were never given such contracts will get them now to sign, which the PFT recommends they do. Those hired before that date -- apparently when the District stopped providing them -- will not be required to sign a contract unless none can be found in their files. 

Teachers attaining tenure will also get such contracts, as the school code mandates.

Plus, non-tenured teachers -- those with fewer than three years --  "may" receive an employment contract that specifies they must give 60 days notice if they plan to leave. Apparently, concern over the failure of many teachers to adhere to that requirement is what spurred the administration to start sending out the contracts in the first place.

The settlement of this skirmish between union and District, however, has been overshadowed by a new one about the final agreement in the desegregation case.

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Comments (7)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 15, 2009 9:54 pm

What other job requires a 60 day notice? This is another loss for the union - and therefore - teachers. While I understand why the SDP wants notice, 60 days is oppressive. 30 days should be more than efficient considering most jobs require a 10 day notice.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 15, 2009 9:45 pm

The 60 days notice of a PA teacher's intent to resign or retire is a requirement in the School Code. It has been the law since 1949.

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on July 16, 2009 10:53 pm

Jack Stollsteimer...hopefully will be furloughed...he is about as effective as a spittoon full of spewtum...anyone agree?

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on July 16, 2009 3:41 pm

The union...just an arm of the district...same hydra...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 16, 2009 12:24 am

Teaching isn't most jobs. There is only one time you can replace a teacher without losing instructional continuity -- the beginning of the school year. And it's extremely detrimental for the students to have a teacher who is placed shortly before the year (which is the inevitable result of a teacher waiting until very late to retire/resign).

If an administration is to make good staffing/rostering/hiring decisions (which is a reasonable expectation) then they must know what staff they will have returning to the buildling. Even sixty days is shorter notice than some states (it's May 1 of the previous school year in some places -- and if you breach it, you lose your teaching license). This way schools know for sure who is coming back the next year and can plan accordingly. The SDP administration is certainly flawed, but asking that teachers commit to returning shortly after the close of the school year seems pretty reasonable.

Submitted by EnoughIsEnuff!!! (not verified) on July 16, 2009 1:31 pm

Once again misinformation is being spread. Philadelphia teachers are required to give notice in May if they are not returning the following Sept. This is nothing new so why are we talking about "other places". The incentive to do this is that teachers may keep their health coverage over the summer until their new employers can pick up the tab.

The problem is not teachers not giving notice, but the awful teaching conditions Philadelphia expects teachers to work under. Now that the hierarchy is cutting out the School Safety Advocate things will get even worse. Cover-ups a plenty a'comin', folks!

Submitted by Joan Sage (not verified) on August 12, 2009 3:31 pm

In response to Dr. Ackerman's Opinion column in the Philadelphia Public Record:
Do you know about the Philadelphia School District's study some years ago that stated where a school has a school librarian and a school library and students read for fun, they do better in all of their subjects.
Yet most public school librarians have been sacked, and the school library rooms are used for anything but books. It's been noted that public-school graduates' literacy is so poor that they have problems finding jobs.
School librarians and school libraries are great teachers and guides since children love to read and pursue their interests (just as they naturally love music, dancing and drawing).
Please rehire school librarians--they are the best teachers.

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