From San Antonio Alliance President, Shelley Potter:
Fellow SAISD teachers and support personnel welcome back! To those who are beginning their first year in SAISD, welcome!
The San Antonio Alliance is the Consultation representative for non-administrative employees in SAISD. District employees elected the Alliance to be the official Consultation organization. This means our Alliance Consultation Team meets monthly with the administration to consult on matters that impact you in your day-to-day work.
Alliance members work together to make a difference for our students and ourselves. As last school year came to a close, and over the summer, the Alliance was hard at work on many key issues.
Power at the state level: Working with our state affiliates, TSTA and Texas AFT, we were able to achieve some important accomplishments, even during an extremely difficult legislative session. The attack on class-size limits was blocked, thanks to the efforts of many legislators and a remarkable, ad-hoc coalition of parents, community groups, and educators. A similar coalition came together to block multiple attempts to enact private-school vouchers. We blocked two bills that would have made the consequences of high-stakes testing even worse. One would have tied evaluations to student test scores, and the other would have used test scores to trigger the potential handover of a neighborhood
school to a charter operator.
We preserved the teacher’s authority to remove disruptive students from class under the Safe Schools Act. A new anti-bullying law requires districts to develop an anti-bullying policy.
A new law strengthens requirements to provide full, immediate notice of a student’s
serious criminal history to teachers and other school personnel with supervisory responsibility over the student. Law-enforcement officials and superintendents or other administrators who fail to carry out this duty will be subject to professional-licensing
Power at the local level: As approved by the school board on June 20, the district is picking up the FULL cost of the increase for our health insurance premiums. There will be NO increase to employees on any plan.
Next, the Alliance won the fight to preserve the 7 1/2–hour teacher workday. While the administration proposed lengthening the student day and the teacher day by 30 minutes, with no additional pay, the policy change they proposed would have actually given the superintendent carte blanche in setting the length of the workday. The Alliance succeeded in lobbying the Board to vote down the proposal.
On July 18, the Alliance won our battle to get the Board to rescind their previous decision to place all third-year teachers on a fourth year of probation. Those teachers have now been placed on the continuing contracts they should have received in the first place.
All three of these issues required a vote by the school board. The Alliance’s success in helping to elect three school board candidates last spring laid the foundation for these
important votes during the summer.
Professionalism: Our professional development program is healthy and growing. For the past eleven years, the Alliance has collaborated with the school district to provide
professional development to new teachers. The Foundations of Effective Teaching course is offered to all new SAISD teachers.
Last year, we finalized an agreement with AFT and SAISD to provide support for professional development opportunities for support personnel. This year the district
created a Health and Safety Team and has asked the Alliance to collaborate with the district to offer various AFT health and safety courses.