Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough school officials: Early-release rumors aren't true

TAMPA — The rumors were flying Thursday in Hillsborough County: The teachers union had asked for a weekly early-release day for students, all because of the district's $202 million Gates reforms.

There was just one problem, said union and school district officials: The rumors were wrong.

"If that's what (is being) reported, it's absolutely false," said Nick Whitman, executive director of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association.

Earlier in the contract talks that began last month, Whitman said, his union did offer a proposal for a weekly early-release day next year — but only after the school district had proposed abandoning the current setup of 13 such days per year.

"The district's proposal stated they wanted the unilateral right to set the number of (early-release) days each year," Whitman said. "The district wanted the ability to go backwards."

Faced with a wide gulf on the issue, the two sides stopped actively discussing it — effectively leaving the question where it currently stands, with 13 early-release days per year.

And would the issue still be under discussion if the union's negotiating team was strongly interested in pursuing the idea?

"Absolutely," Whitman said.

District spokeswoman Linda Cobbe sought a correction Thursday to news reports linking the early-release proposals to the Gates reforms.

And she confirmed that district and union negotiators' interest in the early-release issue had faded, even before the controversy sprang up.

The idea of adding early-release days was never raised after contract talks turned Wednesday, for the first time, to the district's seven-year, $202 million reforms with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Union negotiators asked whether teachers might need more time to confer with peer evaluators and mentors, who will be conducting between four and 10 observations plus pre- and post-conferences in each district classroom next year. But they made no specific proposal.

Whitman acknowledged that the union's proposal for weekly early-release days — though highly popular among rank-and-file members — was far beyond what the School Board would likely consider.

"That's so far-fetched and so far away from where the board has been," Whitman said.

Tom Marshall can be reached at tmarshall@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3400.

Hillsborough school officials: Early-release rumors aren't true 07/23/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 23, 2010 11:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018

    Blogs

    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    And Ramos is giving the Rays a pretty good glimpse of what that can be like.

    In Friday's 8-3 win over the Orioles, he hit a grand slam - …

  2. Buccaneers-Vikings Scouting Report: Watching Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen

    Bucs

    No matter how much film we study, no matter how much data we parse, we just don't know how an NFL season will unfold.

  3. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  4. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum

    Hurricanes

    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm. 
  5. After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar

    Blogs

    After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

    DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.