School Board Studies Language – Sean Fregoso

On Tuesday April 10, as if the council election were not enough for one small town, the Culver City Unified School District held a meeting to clarify where they stood on the threat of a lawsuit from the Association of Classified Employees. The threat of the lawsuit in regard to adjuncts at El Marino (and the rest of the district as well) has drawn much ire from parents involved in fundraising efforts for the non-profit organization ALLEM. Associates for Language Learning at El Marino.
The meeting started, as many of them have since the threat, with parents pleading with the board to support the adjuncts. The board heard parents tell of how they moved to Culver City because of the great school they heard it had, and offer their own skills to help the children. One parent and former head of ALLEM, Jamie Wallace, pleaded with the board to “Use us!” After hearing parents tell stories of fundraising “one cupcake at a time”, and listening to the board give their stance, it became clear that the parents and school board are on the same page. The biggest issue seemed to be with communication between the district and the union.
One of the most important things that came up was defining what or who was to be considered a volunteer. It was established that a volunteer would need to be someone working under the supervision of a school employee, and receiving no compensation for their help from the school, or from any other outside source. While the school board’s attorney Tina Kannarr pointed out that no court of law would be held to the definition agreed on in the meeting, it was still important to clarify what made someone a volunteer for the sake of discussion between to board and the parents.
The next concern was that once these volunteers enter the classroom, who would be responsible for them? And who is telling them what and where to help with? While the attorney was concerned that they are following the leadership of ALLEM, Wallace, stood up to interject that the adjuncts are under the complete control of the teachers once they enter their classroom. This new information seemed to change little in the board’s stance about the situation.
The problem with the lack of communication was evident, prompting the board to suggest meeting with the parents, booster clubs, and the board to hear everyone out and make sure everyone was on the same page. With the board looking for ways to keep these parent volunteers around, as they are of immense help to the teachers, board member Laura Chardiet ended the meeting with a suggestion to set up an internship program with West LA College, to get college students looking to go into education work experience in the CCUSD, and to get the teachers the extra help that they so need.

The Actors' Gang

1 Comment

  1. Doesn’t this then accept that the adjuncts who are paid through ALL and other parent fund-raising organizations are not volunteers, since they are compensated for their help by an outside source?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.