Baltimore Co. teachers' pact gets board OK Highlights include relaxation of working hours

January 15, 1993|By Mary Maushard | Mary Maushard,Staff Writer

Teachers in at least 20 percent of Baltimore County's public schools will try out relaxed hour and job descriptions next school year, according to a contract approved by the county school board last night.

The contract also would allow the superintendent to transfer teachers "as the needs of the schools require" with only 20 days notice and eliminate formal evaluations for tenured teachers who receive satisfactory ratings.

The board approved the contract without discussion.

The contract was hammered out over the past several months with the Teachers Association of Baltimore County (TABCO), representing 6,000 teachers.

TABCO is to present the contract to its board of directors tomorrow and to its teacher representatives Jan. 22.

A TABCO spokeswoman said the union would not comment on the conditions of the contract until after those meetings.

Superintendent of Schools Stuart Berger has called the agreement "revolutionary," particularly the pilot projects that relax provisions governing working hours and teachers'

responsibilities.

One project calls for teachers in 10 percent of the schools at each level to work without any specific language spelling out hours and duties.

Dr. Berger said this provision is consistent with the school system's goal of treating teachers more professionally.

"I think it was the board's belief that professionals don't need to be told what to do. This proposal says you know what the board expects," Dr. Berger said.

In the second pilot project, another 10 percent of the schools would operate next year with provisions for a seven-hour TC workday but without specific language for outside-the-classroom responsibilities.

Schools could volunteer for the projects if two-thirds of the faculty in any given school agreed to work under the new language.

Should more than 10 percent of the schools want to participate in either project, they would be allowed to.

"They are pioneers in every sense of the word," said Rosalie Hellman, board president.

Schools not wishing to participate would continue to operate under the current provisions, which spell out in detail when the seven-hour school day begins and ends. They also stipulate what is expected of a teacher outside the classroom.

The contract would give teachers more money through restructured salary schedules, but not through cost-of-living or percentage raises.

Dr. Berger said the salary adjustments would reflect the changes in the increased duties school staffs are likely to encounter as the system transfers more responsibility to individual schools, through its plans for "site-based management."

The contract also would:

* Provide that teachers transferred involuntarily be allowed to list 10 preferred schools and then be guaranteed a move to one of those schools.

* Allow tenured teachers with satisfactory evaluations to work out the evaluation process with their principals. The contract would retain the procedures for evaluating non-tenured teachers and those who have received unsatisfactory evaluations.

The board also accepted contracts with the Baltimore County Instructional Assistants and Clerical Employees Inc. and with the American Federation of State and County Municipal Employees.

In other action, the board approved another magnet program, this one for a pre-engineering and science curriculum at Woodlawn High School.

It would be the seventh curriculum designed to attract students with common interests to one location.

The Woodlawn program would draw students with particular aptitude for, and interest in mathematics and science, from the western part of the county.

The proposed four-year program would provide in-depth study in science, mathematics, pre-engineering and computer science, with emphasis on research.

The program would begin in September for about 100 ninth-graders, who would have to be accepted into the curriculum.

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