There was not a great deal of snow this winter but there were a great number of snow days. So many days that several school systems had to ask permission of the State Board of Education to either forgive the 180-day school year requirement or extend the school year beyond the original closing date and busting the Governor’s directive to end school by June 15.
For the most part, the State Board did not forgive the 180-school day requirement and allowed systems to end school after June 15. There was one notable exception. The high school students in Baltimore County, Maryland attend school eight hours less a school year than any other school district in Maryland. The State School Board ruled that the county’s high schoolers won’t have to make up the eight hours of instructional time they lost this year because of bad weather, on the condition that the county rework its high school schedule to lengthen the time students are in school each school day. Without the waiver, the school system will need to extend the high school year by one full day.
However, the county cannot do this without negotiating with the teachers' union.
The union has decided to play hard ball on the issue.
The union is saying that they will not work an extra 8 hours unless they are paid for that time. And to further complicate the situation, the union insists that all teachers be paid the same with the same credentials and years of experience. So not only would the county have to pay the high school teachers for those eight hours of time it would also have to pay elementary and middle school teachers as well.
Here is another take on the situation. All these years the high school teachers have been working eight hours a year less than the elementary and middle school teachers but have been paid the same amount of money. Since the union is asking that all teachers be paid more for the extra eight hours the high school teachers will work, how about those high school teachers paying the county back for all those years they were paid for hours they DIDN’T work. If the union does not agree to a settlement all high school teachers will need to work another day at the end of the school year.
To top it off, all teachers in the system work a seven-hour day, unlike the rest of us who work eight hours. Even with the extended day to make up the extra eight hours, teachers would still be in the school building no longer than the required seven hours. The average teacher’s salary in Baltimore County is $60,497, which is 29% above the national average for teachers and about $18,000 more than the average salary of teachers who are striking in states around the country. They work seven hours a day for about 195 days for that money.
After all these benefits- the union expects the county taxpayers to cough up more money for ALL teachers. Really! Really? Say it ain’t so