School Board Election Candidates
PEA endorses three school board candidates
August 9, 2016
Remember to vote in the Primary to be held on August 30th, 2016 Members of the Polk Education Association, AFSCME #2227, PEA-Retired and others interviewed the qualifying candidates for school board. Each candidate was asked to submit a questionnaire and then scheduled for an interview. Of the 11 candidates, 9 completed a questionnaire and were interviewed.
The candidates were asked a series of questions concerning the school district, positions on school funding, collective bargaining, subcontracting, and more. The committee members then deliberated to determine whether they could make an endorsement of any of the candidates for each school board district.
The committee’s recommendations for endorsement follow:
District 1 William ‘Billy’ Townsend; http://billytownsend.com
District 2 Ronnie Clark
District 4 Edwin ‘Ed’ Smith
Please strongly consider the recommendations of the committee. School board seats are often determined during the primary election and only proceed to the general election in November if there isn’t a clear majority in the primary election.
May 23, 2016
The teachers, secretaries, and paraeducators represented by the Polk Education Association have all ratified their contracts by wide margins. The ESP/Secretary Contract was ratified by 99.6%, with 84% of ESP voting. The Paraeducator Contract was ratified by 99.6%, with 72% of Paraeducators voting. The Teacher Contract was ratified by 98.2%, with 59% of the Teachers voting.
The School Board voted on May the 10th to approve all three contracts, teacher, para, and ESP, pending the ratification votes taken this evening. Tonight’s affirmative ratification votes, coupled with the Board’s vote to approve this contract, bring this bargain to its conclusion. Employees will receive their Step increases in their May paychecks and it will be retroactive to the start of the school year for most employees and to July 1, 2015 for those whose contract year started at that time.
The teachers will receive Step movement and see an additional increase 1.5%. Paraeducators and ESP/Secretaries will receive Step movement with an additional 2% increase in pay. There was also positive movement on the Teacher Evaluation System, bringing it in alignment with the legislative changes passed in the 2015 session. Other items of language were also agreed to and will now be implemented per the new contract language.
PEA would like to thank the School Board for meeting in a Special Board meeting to take their vote on this contract. That cleared the way for a May pay out of the salary changes. PEA would also like to commend the hard work of the many Polk County School Board employees who worked with speed to get the raise into employee checks so quickly.
PEA President Capoziello stated, “I am pleased this process is finally concluded. For a while it looked like we would not have a positive outcome. I would like to thank Superintendent Byrd for reopening the dialogue regarding salary and contract sticking points. She put the right people at the table and suddenly we were able to move in a more positive direction. It is certainly a step in the right direction and gives hope for future negotiations being timely and more positive.”