Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando school district's contract proposal targets teachers' attire

BROOKSVILLE — Fashion police, dress thyselves.

That's the message from the Hernando County School Board to district teachers. Under its latest contract proposal, teachers would have to abide by the same dress code students follow, and then some.

Blue jeans, shorts, tank tops and tennis shoes or sneakers would be out, with some exceptions being made for physical education teachers. Teachers would be "expected to dress professionally every day," except on administration-approved spirit days.

The board also offered a financial carrot to the Hernando Classroom Teachers' Association, in the form of a 3.5 percent average salary increase, plus a 1.5 percent increase to cover higher health insurance premiums. That offer was a far cry from the 1.14 percent the board offered last June, and nearly matches the union's initial request for a 5.5 percent raise.

With the new dress code language, the contract talks now provide nearly a direct parallel to the dominant themes this summer at the School Board: clothes and money.

Even as they grappled with a $4.5-million budget shortfall because of plunging tax revenues, board members have fielded dozens of complaints about proposed changes to the student dress code, which establishes minimum standards without mandating specific uniforms.

While several school administrators and teachers said they'd prefer a simple student uniform of polo shirts and khakis to their current role as "fashion police," changes to the code were postponed until January.

But inappropriate faculty attire has also drawn its share of complaints, said business services director Heather Martin.

"Our board members and superintendent have heard from community members, 'You're requiring our students to follow a dress code, but look at this teacher,' " she said.

Teachers' union president Joe Vitalo said Friday that board policy already requires teachers to dress "professionally and appropriately." The vast majority of teachers come to work dressed at least as well as students, he said, and administrators quickly correct those who don't.

"That doesn't have to be taken care of by contract language," Vitalo added, criticizing what he described as an effort to "tell adults how to dress for work."

He said the Hernando Classroom Teachers' Association would consider the new offer before issuing a response next week.

But the union also sees problems with district proposals for two new, monthly staff meetings that would come without additional compensation, and with a change to the bargaining year that would force new teachers to wait 18 months for their first salary-step increase.

"You're asking for our time but you don't want to compensate us for it," Vitalo said, referring to the new meetings. "Teachers are already (working) a lot of time on their own."

Tom Marshall can be reached at tmarshall@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1431.

Hernando school district's contract proposal targets teachers' attire 08/22/08 [Last modified: Thursday, August 28, 2008 4:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Drinking alcohol on St. Pete Beach beaches now allowed — for hotel guests only

    Local Government

    ST. PETE BEACH — Guests at gulf-front hotels here can now drink alcoholic beverages in permitted hotel beach cabana areas.

    Guests relax on the beach near the Don Cesar at St. Pete Beach. Guests at gulf-front hotels in St. Pete Beach can now drink alcoholic beverages in permitted hotel beach cabana areas after the change was passed unanimously by the City Commission Tuesday night. Residents and other beachgoers who are not registered guests of the hotels continue to be barred from imbibing anywhere on the city's beaches.
  2. Man found floating in 'Cotee River in New Port Richey

    Public Safety

    NEW PORT RICHEY — A body was found floating in the Pithlachascotee River on Tuesday morning, police said.

  3. More than 13,000 fact-checks later, PolitiFact celebrates 10-year mark

    National

    ST. PETERSBURG — Bill Adair still remembers the moment when he realized his idea to fact-check politicians could turn into something big.

    (from left to right) Aaron Sharockman, Politifact executive director introduces a panel featuring Angie Holan, Politifact editor; PolitiFact founder Bill Adair and Tampa Bay Times Editor and Vice President Neil Brown at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg on Tuesday. The event celebrated 10 years of PolitiFact and its growth since 2007. The panel discussed the history of the organization and how it goes about fact-checking. [EVE EDELHEIT | Times]
  4. Trump, McConnell feud threatens GOP agenda

    Politics

    The relationship between President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks, and McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises.

    Sen. Mitch McConnell has fumed over Trump’s criticism.
  5. Former Sen. Greg Evers, advocate for law enforcement, dead at 62.

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Former State Sen. Greg Evers, the Baker Florida strawberry farmer and veteran politician, was killed in a single car crash hear his home in Okaloosa County. The Florida Highway Patrol confirmed the death late Tuesday, but deferred any further information pending an investigation. He was 62.

    Former Florida Senator Greg Evers, R- Milton, was a passionate advocate for law enforcement and corrections officers. He was found dead Tuesday afternoon in a car crash. He was 62. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]