First I am appreciative the superintendent took the time to get back to me. I think she has been a steady and calm influence on the district which is what we needed after the last super ping ponged us into one self inflicted wound and crisis after another.
That being said I have mixed feelings about the announcement. School recognition funds were released to the district last October. Many districts distributed the money before Christmas and the excuse that some schools just haven’t made their plans so every school has to wait feels weak. Is that an excuse teachers would take from students or principals from teachers? I don’t think so.
This is what the super told me via email:
Mr. Guerrieri –
Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to respond to your email. The email from the Communications Department is accurate in that statute provides the timeline by which schools (including School Advisory Councils) must submit their plans to the district. Payments cannot be processed until the plans are received and reviewed for compliance. We do encourage earlier submissions, however some schools elect to use the timeframe provided by statute for their submissions. In this case, FSRP plans are being review as they are submitted (with corrective actions as needed), and processing is occurring to meet a March 16th payment. It should be noted that other compensatory payments are being processed during the same timeframe (i.e. salary increases, performance pay, supplements, Best and Brightest, etc.).
It is always the goal of my office to distribute all funds to eligible employees in a timely manner and in a way that allows us to remain complaint with requirements for distribution.
So it looks like a lot of teachers are going to have a great spring break, and now teachers have some certainty, plus this is certainly better than previous years when the money was released in April and May, though I think we all know, it is what it is.
I don’t blame superintendent Willis, as I wrote in another post I think the last administration did not prioritize teachers needs, plus there has been a lot going on what with the negotiation of the contract. I just think we can and should be doing a lot better here.