Arundel teachers want board in on charter talks

July 07, 2005|By Liz Kay | Liz Kay,SUN STAFF

The Anne Arundel County teachers union will not negotiate agreements with planned charter schools in the future unless the county school board sends a representative to the bargaining table, a union official said yesterday.

Bill Jones, executive director and chief negotiator of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County, made the announcement after school board members approved an agreement with KIPP Harbor Academy, a charter school that will open Monday for a summer session.

Teachers at charter schools in Maryland remain employees of the public school system. Charters must negotiate separate agreements for items such as the length of the workday that might deviate from the contract that governs teachers throughout the entire system. However, the school board, with guidance from its counsel, maintains that state law allows it to approve the product of negotiations between the school and union but does not allow it to participate in the talks.

"It remains unacceptable to negotiate in the absence of one of the parties in the agreement," Jones said.

In other business yesterday, the school board elected Konrad M. Wayson as president and Tricia Johnson of Davidsonville as vice president.

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