Fact-finder brough in to help school district, teachers agree on a contract | Bellevue Schools
August 30, 2011 · Updated 2:05 PM
A fact-finder has been called in to help negotiations between the Bellevue School District and Bellevue Education Association.
While the two parties have reached agreement on more than 30 issues, two key issues remain unresolved: early release days on Wednesday and the timeline for teacher's entering students grades into the district's Gradebook system.
The district requested the fact-finder, an individual who analyzes the facts of the unresolved issues in question and seeks to find a compromise. The district and the BEA are not bound by the fact-finder's recommendations, but they may help bring a resolution.
The district proposes that it, as well as schools, would direct the use of the 38 hours from the early release day to professional development. However, the education association maintains that the hours should be used for grading, parent conferences and preparation, and teachers can choose to use the time for training and collaboration.
Also, the BEA wants the timeline for posting work into gradebook to be 10-15 school days, while the district maintains 8-13 school days.
The two parties have been bargaining since April 13, and working with a mediator from the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) since Aug. 10.
"Our goal is for a new teachers’ contract that supports the instructional needs of all children," wrote Superintendent Amalia Cudeiro in an open letter to students and families.
BEA President Michele Miller was in bargaining all day Monday and could not be reached for comment. Washington Education Association representative Linda Woo was also unavailable.
Gabrielle Nomura can be reached at 425-391-0363.