Janssen given credit for improving Race to the Top MOU
Before the Pinellas School Board voted 5-1 yesterday to support the state's revised Race to the Top application, Pinellas union president Kim Black gave superintendent Julie Janssen credit for helping to modify a key sticking point.
Unions feared the original memorandum of understanding wouldn't keep districts from imposing unwanted changes on them. Black said Janssen played a pivotal role persuading superintendents to adopt wording that offered greater protections against that happening. (Janssen, unlike Black, was not a member of the task force, but she attended the meeting.)
"Dr. Janssen worked with superintendents to help them understand that impasse is not the road that we need to take," Black told the School Board. "When you have the bargaining parties at odds, the students are the ones who suffer. And Dr. Janssen, through her leadership, was able to help the other superintendents understand that working together we can present a stronger product."
The impact of the modified wording on impasse was huge. No change there would possibly have been a deal breaker, Black said.