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BALSZ school board responds to teachers rallying for raises

BALSZ school board responds to teachers rallying for raises
Posted at 7:16 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 23:26:10-05

PHOENIX — BALSZ School District Governing Board President, Channel Powe, responded Wednesday after teachers rallied for raises in Phoenix Tuesday night.

"When we receive tactics of collusion and very calculated steps to try to make things personal with the governing board, that is unacceptable and it's unprofessional," she said.

BALSZ teachers shut down Roosevelt St. between 48th and 50th streets Tuesday to protest the board's hold on administration's contracts.

"It's all or nothing. our community deserves it, our students deserve it and our administrators deserve it," said teacher and President of the BALSZ Education Association, Daniel Roman.

In January, a three percent raise was approved for both BALSZ teachers and administration. In February, the board put administration contracts on hold prompting teachers to rally. Powe said the contracts were put on hold to review salaries after an audit found the district was spending nearly $400 more per pupil in administration costs compared to the state average.

"This is strictly about governance. Per our board policy and per state statute we have a fiscal responsibility. So we wanted to make sure because when it all boils down it comes down on the governing board," added Powe.

Still, teachers were willing to put their rises and jobs at risk.

"I hope that they receive their contracts so I can turn mine in and be there for my students," said Sabrina Ramirez. Fellow teacher Lisa Vaaler added, "I hope the board starts really listening to their teachers and supporting them because it's not just the teachers, it's the students that are affected and their families."

Powe said she received no communication from teachers prior to the rally. After last night's meeting, the board did lift the hold on administration's contracts.