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End-of-year assessment update

Monday, May 8, 2015

Recently the district distributed some Frequently Asked Questions about the End-of-Year Assessments that are mandated by the legislature. In that document it implies that the Polk Education Association is in some way blocking the process. I need to reassure you that statement is categorically false. The Polk Education Association has been an active participant in the process since the inception of the Teacher Evaluation Advisory Committee (TEAC). We have pushed to hold meetings to discuss the legislative changes and how those changes will impact our teachers. We held our first TEAC meeting in 15 months on April 27, 2015.  


Once the district told us that they intended to keep most of the EOY assessments and proceed with testing this year, which is their legislatively mandated prerogative, our discussions turned to changing the percentage of student learning to 33.3% and defining the additional indicators of professional performance that are now allowed. There was NO indication from the district that they were opposed to using the EOY in calculating Student Performance as part a Teacher’s overall rating. Therefore we were completely surprised by the FAQ sheet that said they were “waiting on PEA’s approval” as this was not even discussed at the meeting. 


We believe that we need to implement any allowances the legislature has made in the process of assessing students and having their performance tied to teacher evaluations. We have a process in place to reach joint solutions that can then clearly be communicated to the employees. We need the district to use the process with fidelity and know that we will come to solutions that will meet the law, the district policies and the needs of the employees. By working together we can create solutions that we may never come up with on our own.

There are several TEAC and bargaining meetings set on the calendar for May. It is our hope that the committees will continue to meet and share honestly so that a conclusion can be reached before the school year is out. We want you to have this information before the school year ends.



PAy Increases Coming Soon!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


The Polk County School Board, at today’s Board Meeting, voted to accept the bargaining proposals put before them. Their vote was unanimous. This action, along with your positive vote yesterday, means that the language and salary changes for Polk’s teachers (Instructional Staff), paraeducators, and ESP (secretary/clerical) are now in effect. PEA appreciates the hard work of the bargaining teams and thanks the Polk County School Board members for ultimately standing by the agreements made.


Superintendent LeRoy and CFO Michael Perrone have continued the work to make the off-cycle pay check that will contain your retro pay a reality. This means that you will receive a direct payroll deposit to your account on May 15th. Your May paycheck will reflect your new salary amount. PEA would also like to thank the staff of the payroll and HR departments for their work to make this possible. It has been a long bargaining season and we are glad for this positive outcome.


Tonight we celebrate the increases to our wages and the fact that, through the hard work done at the bargaining table, Polk is more competitive with our surrounding counties. We also believe we have some new contract language that improves working conditions. However, please know your PEA bargaining team and the District’s bargaining team are already at the table bargaining for the 2015-16 school year and there is still much work to be done. We are hopeful that this early start will bode well for a timelier resolution. We will keep you posted as we move forward.


Ratify contracts

Monday, April 27, 2015


The ballots were counted at the PEA office by a team of fabulous volunteers. The results are as follows.


Teachers - 98% YES

Paraeducators - 99% YES

ESP/Secretaries - 99% YES


The School Board will vote at Tuesday's board meeting.  Pending an affirmative vote by the  board, ratification will be complete.

We will post the results here after the board meeting.


planning time grievance - we won!

February 6, 2015


PEA filed a class-action grievance regarding the erosion of planning time and the fact the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was not being followed throughout the district.


PEA presented evidence that the CBA was being either partially or, in some cases, completely ignored. The district’s hearing officer, in conjunction with Sup’t LeRoy agreed. The result of grievance and the expectation that the contract be honored has been outlined in a memo that Sup’t LeRoy has given the principals in the meeting they attended February 5, 2015.


PEA and the district continue to discuss planning as an ongoing issue and your bargaining team has also taken up this as an issue at the table.