Superintendent Dixon Recommends Approval of Teacher Contract that Focuses on Student Achievement, Highly Qualified Teachers
Dr. Dixon Calls Tentative Contract a Win-Win-Win for Students, Teachers, Community
Aug. 25, 2019 -- Columbus City Schools Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon will recommend that the CCS Board of Education on Monday vote to approve a tentative, three-year contract agreement between the District and the Columbus Education Association (CEA).
“I believe the negotiating teams for both Columbus City Schools and CEA not only negotiated in good faith, but also clearly negotiated with our students’ best educational interests top of mind the entire time,” Dr. Dixon said. “This tentative contract is a win for its focus on increasing student achievement; a win for its fair compensation of teachers as educational professionals; and a win for the community seeking oversight and a return on their investment to keep our schools strong.”
The CEA held its membership meeting Sunday evening to consider the tentative contract. The members voted to approve the contract. The Columbus Board of Education will consider action on the tentative contract at a special meeting Monday morning at 8:30 a.m.
This past week during her Convocation address, Dr. Dixon presented to the Board of Education and to the district’s 9,000 employees her four major goals and strategic priorities for achieving those goals in the 2019-20 school year. She said she believes, “The tentative contract closely aligns with and will help us meet both our short- and long-term academic goals and strategic priorities.”
Dr. Dixon said the district’s first priority goal is a laser focus on student academic performance, with a renewed focus on literacy and numeracy especially in early childhood and the younger grades. “I believe the negotiated tentative contract, if approved, will be a critical tool to help ensure our students reach their full potential every year from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. We also will see increased graduation rates,” she said, and pointed to several elements in the tentative contract that support student outcomes:
- Smaller Class Size – Beginning in 2020-21 through 2021-22, phase-in of class size reduction until the maximum class size is 27 pupils for grades K-3.
- Increase the number of early childhood education teachers by 8 by fiscal year 2021.
- Increase the number of social workers by 15 by fiscal year 2021.
- Increase the number of school nurses by 12 by fiscal year 2021.
At the heart of efforts to achieve the district’s goals is the work happening in the classroom, Dr. Dixon said. “Our teachers are on the front line daily, and they are the ones driving academic outcomes for our students,” Dr. Dixon said. “The administration and board of education love, respect and support all of our teachers and the work they do to drive our district – and our students – forward. I believe the tentative contract demonstrates our commitment to recruit, retain and develop the best-in-class educators and staff.”
Dr. Dixon pointed to several elements in the tentative contract supporting the District’s commitment to its teachers:
- A three-year contract. It has been 10 years since the District and CEA have had a three-year contract (2006-2009). Typically, the norm is a two-year contract. “It’s important that we provide stability for our educational professionals,” Dr. Dixon said.
- A 3% salary increase each of the three years of the contract. “It is essential our students have high-quality and dynamic teachers in their classrooms,” Dr. Dixon said. “We are in a competitive market with so many school districts in central Ohio. We must do all we can to attract and retain the best teachers and staff for the students in Columbus City Schools.”
- Increased Professional Development. The tentative contract provides for teachers to engage in a minimum of forty hours each school year of job-embedded professional development. Additionally, the tentative contract provides for a new “Instructional Rounds” professional development tool for the purpose of improving student instruction, practice and student learning.
“Our teachers are dedicated to the students in their classrooms,” Dr. Dixon said. “All of us want to grow professionally and personally, and that includes teachers. Professional development that focuses on building teacher quality to increase student progress and growth is critical.”
“My job as superintendent, along with the Board of Education, is to empower our teachers, administrators and staff and give them the tools and support they need to make sure their students have a great pathway to success,” Dr. Dixon said. “The tentative contract between the District and the CEA is just such a critical tool, and I encourage the Board of Education to vote to approve the proposed tentative contract at their meeting Monday morning.”