Newsletter: Contact info and legislative updates

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In this newsletter, we seek to provide updates on the status of our unionization efforts and a legislative update. As always, please reach out to us if you have any questions! We can be reached at unitesummitteachers@gmail.com.   

Town Hall invite:

You are invited to attend a virtual Town Hall to receive updates from Unite Summit and participate in a Q&A session. The town hall will held via Zoom at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 3. Please email questions to unitesummitteachers@gmail.com beforehand if you are able! Please also RSVP via this link: tinyurl.com/UStownhallJune3. After you RSVP, you will receive an email with instructions on how to join the town hall. The RSVP is important to help us estimate attendance numbers and effectively balance our agenda to respect everyone’s time.

An update on PERB / status of union recognition process:

The Public Employment Relations Board has assigned an attorney to our case. Unite Summit and Summit administration are scheduled to meet June 20 to resolve the issues concerning residents and the non-teaching staff based in the Home Office.  

We are hopeful that coming out of this meeting, Summit will recognize our union and we can begin bargaining our contract. For more details, please see our April 17 and April 9 newsletters.

How to contact your union representatives:

You are always welcome to use unitesummitteachers@gmail.com to reach union representatives. At your sites, reach out to your elected Bargaining Team member for information about contract bargaining. Reach out to your Organizing Committee members for more general information and updates. We are seeking volunteer Contract Action Team members at each site to assist Bargaining Team members in soliciting teacher input and keeping people informed about bargaining once contract negotiations begin. Please contact your site organizers if you’re interested in that role!

Bargaining Team Representatives
Summit Rainier:

Elected: Isela Mosqueira, Spanish

Summit Tahoma:

Will hold elections in the fall

Tam Middle School:

Elected: Fahima Zaman, Science

Tam High School:

Synclair Young, SPED (interim – will hold elections in the fall)

Denali Middle School:

Will hold elections in the fall

Denali High School:

Elected: Andrew Stevenson, Science

K2 Middle School:

Elected: Haley Ralph (Holt), History

K2 High School:

Elected: Brendan Boland, English

Expeditions:

Elected: Liz DeOrnellas, Journalism / Creative Writing

Shasta:

Sarah Day Dayon, History (interim – will hold elections in the fall)

Summit Prep:

Elected: Dan McClure, Science

Everest:

Elected: Evan Anderson, Science

Organizing Committee MembersNote: This is the list of Network Organizing Committee members; each site also has Site Organizing Committee members who have provided invaluable support.
Summit Rainier: Isela Mosqueira, Shaila Ramachandran, Katina BallantyneSummit Tahoma: Morris Shieh, April Carrera-McGuire
Tam: Ernesto Umana, Fahima ZamanDenali: Amber Steele, Evelyn DeFelice, Sarah Rivas
K2: Brendan Boland, Miguel Gravelle, Eric Jones, Davida Lopez, Alyssa Montantes, Haley Ralph (Holt), Fuchsia Spring
Expeditions: Aaron Calvert, Liz DeOrnellasShasta: Sarah Day Dayon, Hillary Odom
Summit Prep: Patrick OliverEverest: Enrique Chante Coon, Jessica Sacksteder

Legislative updates:

There are some important updates since our last update on charter legislation. The language of these bills will continue to change as people (including union charter educators!) communicate with their elected representatives. One thing has been very clear in all of the committee hearings: this legislation is not meant to target existing charter schools that are serving students well.

AB 1505 passed out of the Assembly last week. The language was updated to make clear that many of the changes to the law do not apply to charter renewals. For example, the fiscal impact a charter has on a district cannot be a reason to deny the renewal of a charter. It also allows more latitude for county boards of education to approve new charters than in previous versions of the bill (Denali is the only countywide charter in Summit). It also adds a new requirement that the charter petition list the names and qualifications of the people serving on a charter board.

Some teachers have been asking how this bill would impact Summit schools that are still adding grades. This bill would have no impact on those schools because the grade spans that they will grow to were previously approved. The bill also makes explicit that teachers must have a credential relevant to their assignment (the current language in the law is vague and charters have been interpreting it in wildly different ways). There are already exemptions regarding credentialing and assignments that apply to district teachers; those exemptions would apply to charter teachers as well under this new language.

AB 1506 has some updates that changes the structure of the charter school cap. Under a previous version of the bill, districts that didn’t have charter schools could not open any charters. In this updated version, a new charter school cannot be added to a district if more than 10% of all students attend charter schools, which would allow districts without charters to open them in the future. This does not impact currently operating charters, unless that charter wants to grow enrollment beyond what had been previously authorized.

AB 1507 passed the Assembly earlier this month. It prevents school districts from authorizing a charter not located in their district (for a breakdown on why that’s important, see this article). One major change since we last wrote about this bill is that charters can operate outside their authorizing district if there is an emergency (for example, the Paradise fires).

SB 756 passed out of committee this month. Since our last update, the bill has shortened the moratorium on new charter schools by 2 years. It also adds in language that references the Charter School Taskforce, which is expected to make recommendations regarding changes to the charter law in July.

Show your support for our union!

Some sites will be wearing US stickers (with the same logo from this newsletter) to show their support of our union. If you are interested in receiving stickers or pins for yourself or other members on your site, please reach out to your Organizing Committee member! If you are comfortable being featured on our next newsletter or website, please send us a picture of yourself and/or teammates with these pins/stickers and/or a “I support Unite Summit because…” picture that we could add to our gallery! (Our end-of-year site meetings would be a great time for this : )

Please don’t hesitate to ask questions, voice concerns or send positive feedback from your school sites- you can email unitesummitteachers@gmail.com or visit our website at https://unitesummitteachers.wordpress.com!

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