On Monday July 18th, the SAISD School Board rescinded
their decision to keep all third-year probationary teachers on probation for a fourth year. Those teachers will now be placed on the continuing contracts they should have received in the first place.
Alliance members Daisy Dockery (J.T. Brackenridge), Lauren Conzelman (J.T. Brackenridge), and Molly Haynie (Highland Park ES) as well as Alliance President Shelley Potter spoke at the Board meeting. The Alliance was the only organization to speak out on this issue and the only organization with representation at the Board meeting.
The issue began back in April when the Board approved the superintendent’s recommendation to keep all third-year probationary teachers on probation for a fourth year rather than moving them to continuing contracts. Normally, after the first three years, teachers in SAISD are moved onto a continuing contract. State law provides the option for a district to extend the probationary contract to a fourth year only if “the Board
determines that it is doubtful whether a continuing contract or term contract should be given.”
Nothing in the wording of the agenda item indicated that this action was being contemplated for the whole group of third-year teachers. These were not teachers who
were being considered for extension of their probation due to performance issues. The impacted teachers were completely surprised by the decision.
Probationary contract teachers contacted Alliance leaders for assistance. The Alliance worked with the teachers to develop and implement a plan of action. Signatures on a petition were gathered as well as commitments to attend designated School Board meetings. The Alliance filed a grievance over the issue due to the manner the agenda item was posted and the Alliance’s attorney’s opinion that any action would have had to be
taken for individual teachers, not all of the teachers as a group.
Congratulations to the teachers who stepped up on this issue and to the 4th-year teachers on attaining this milestone in your teaching career!