Talks to Reduce Class Size at Frazier Park School Slow

  • Chuck Mullen and Sandy Spencer of the El Tejon Teachers' Association (ETTA) explaining their plan to lower class sizes.

    Chuck Mullen and Sandy Spencer of the El Tejon Teachers' Association (ETTA) explaining their plan to lower class sizes.

UPDATE—LEBEC, CA (Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 at 3 p.m.)—New Interim Superintendent Gary Rice has informed The Mountain Enterprise this afternoon that the talks between the El Tejon Teachers Association and El Tejon Unified School District Superintendent Katherine Kleier, mentioned in our November 23 report below, and discussed by former interim superintendent Bud Burrows, have in fact not progressed as formerly anticipated. Rice said it is likely that a plan to reduce class sizes will not be in place until after December.

In an email update to The Mountain Enteprise at 2:53 p.m. Monday, Rice wrote: "Discussions took place today between the District and the Union as to the specifics of adding a teacher. No resolution was arrived at today, thus talks will continue in the future. As to Board of Trustee action [on] this issue being on the agenda for December, I would say that it is way too early in our discussions to predict that this will be an action item in December."

Original report, in the November 23 print issue of The Mountain Enterprise :

Thanksgiving was being celebrated early by Chuck Mullen and Sandy Spencer, officers of the El Tejon Teachers Association, as they announced at the November 14 ETUSD Board meeting that they had nearly come to an agreement with Superintendent Katherine Kleier to bring an additional teacher back on staff at Frazier Park School immediately, to lower class sizes, due to the promise of Prop. 30 funding.

Carey Carpenter, principal of Pine Mountain Learning Center, stood to say that the teacher in question was coming from her school, and she had heard about that idea just as they were making the announcement. “You are yanking a teacher, one quarter of my staff, away with no notice. I believe I should have been given the courtesy of knowing. I understand your urgency, but you are going to leave a big hole in my school.”

Interim Superintendent Bud Burrows apologized, and agreed it could have been handled better.

Burrows confirmed on Tuesday, Nov. 20 that a deal had been worked out, but that he did not yet have specifics. He said that it was likely that the smaller classes would be in effect when students return from the Thanksgiving vacation.—P. Hedlund

This is part of the November 23, 2012 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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