District News Roundup

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The Jefferson County school district, the largest in Colorado, is considering whether to cut more than 500 jobs next year.

The cuts are needed to provide the funding for a 2 percent pay raise for teachers, according to a spokesman for the district.

The district must come up with $8 million to cover its recent pay-raise offer to teachers, which has yet to be accepted, said Marilyn Saltzman.

Superintendent John Peper has proposed saving an estimated $9.1 million by slashing the equivalent of 542 full-time jobs, including 132 bus-driver positions, half of all teachers' aides, and 81 administrative positions.

The district, with 75,000 students, 8,355 full- and part-time employees, and a $300-million budget, must adopt a budget by the end of the year, Ms. Saltzman said.

Los Angeles teachers have rejected the school district's offer to raise salaries by 16.9 percent over three years.

The offer is "totally unacceptable," said R. Wayne Johnson, president of the 22,000-member United Teachers-Los Angeles, the nation's second largest teachers' union local.

Mr. Johnson said the Los Angeles Unified School District has enough money to offer its 32,000 teachers an immediate 12 percent increase.

Frustrated by the pace of negotiations, which have been going on since the beginning of the year, teachers are boycotting unpaid after-school meetings and refusing to turn in paperwork to the district, Mr. Johnson said.

District officials responded last week by threatening to dock the pay of the boycotting teachers.

Head Start employees in New York City are demanding pensions and higher salaries.

J.J. Johnson, a spokesman for a local affiliate of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, said the workers primarily want pensions similar to those of teachers and day-care workers.

About 700 of the city's 1,500 Head Start employees, who have been working without a contract since January, have held two demonstrations and are planning a third.

Officials have told the Head Start workers that providing the pensions would force the city to cut other programs.

The city pays starting Head Start teachers with bachelors' and masters' degrees up to $19,500.

Public-school teachers earn about $5,000 more to start, and the disparity is even greater within a few years.

Detroit's Cody High School has instituted a lottery to encourage students to show up to be counted.

The lottery, with prizes of up to $100, has been criticized by state officials, who said it could inflate the school's enrollment count for state-aid purposes. School officials deny that suggestion.

A California district last year agreed to pay its former superintendent $410,000 because it demoted her without telling her why, officials of the district acknowledged this month.

Eunice Jones had sued the Palm Springs Unified School District for $3 million, on the grounds that the system denied her due-process rights.

Ms. Jones was demoted to elementary-school teacher in 1984. She filed a lawsuit, later settled out of court, that contended the school board never explained her demotion.

The terms of the 1987 settlement were announced this month after two local newspapers filed suit against the district, contending that the information was part of the public record.

Vol. 08, Issue 07

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