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Ormond Beach Observer Friday, Apr. 8, 2016 4 years ago

Teachers take their message to the street

One of their concerns is too much testing.
by: Wayne Grant Real Estate Editor
Protesters occupied three corners at the intersection.

Dozens of teachers held signs and waved to cars April 8 at the corner of Granada Boulevard and Clyde Morris Boulevard as part of a countywide rally organized by the Volusia Teachers Organization.

Andrew Spar, union president, said he expected hundreds to take part at locations throughout the county.

“For the better part of two years, teachers and parents have been asking the School Board to address problems with curriculum, lack of resources, the fixation on testing rather than teaching and the cleanliness of the classrooms,” he said in a statement.

“We’re tired of taking it.”

Barbara Hoffman, vice president, Volusia Teachers Organization

The VTO and the School Board are at an impasse over salary and benefits for the 2015-16 school year. The two sides had a meeting with a magistrate on March 30. The next step will be for the magistrate to issue a recommendation within 21 days. The School Board can then either accept his decision or make final decisions on the contract.

 “The board has the final say,” said School Board spokeswoman Nancy Wait.

Teachers on the Granada Boulevard corner had several concerns in addition to salary. They held signs and chanted, “More than a score,” meaning that students were more than just the number on a test result and there is too much testing.

“There’s one assessment after the other,” said one teacher on the picket line. “I apologize to my students.”

Volusia School officials have said the amount of testing is comparable to other districts.

Barbara Hoffman, executive vice president of VTO, said they want to raise awareness and cause people to ask why teachers are protesting on a street corner.

“We’re tired of taking it,” she said. “People don’t realize that we don’t get cost of living increases.”

Teachers in surrounding counties make more than teachers in Volusia County, but the School Board has said changes must be made to health insurance to save money for raises.

Teachers have concerns other than salary, such as testing and school cleanliness.



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