SIMI VALLEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The California Teachers Association (“CTA”)/California Virtual Educators United (“CVEU”) issued a media release, dated April 11, 2018, concerning a tentative agreement recently reached between CTA/CVEU and the California Virtual Academies (“CAVA”). That release included factual inaccuracies, according to CAVA. The following information is meant to correct serious material misrepresentations made by CTA/CVEU in the media release; and to implore CTA/CVEU to work honestly and in good faith with CAVA toward the mutual interests that have been advanced by the parties’ nearly two years of hard work in reaching a tentative agreement for an initial collective bargaining agreement.
WHAT IS AT STAKE?
Under the applicable legal framework, a tentative agreement is not effective until ratified by both parties. This means that CVEU members must ratify the tentative agreement, and then each of the nine separate and independent CAVA non-profit school boards must ratify the tentative agreement for it to become effective.
Some of the highlights of the tentative agreement include:
Changes to Working Conditions
- Work year reduced by fifteen (15) work days;
- Removal of multiple certificated daily duties;
- Reasonable minimum weekly teaching hours requirement; and
- Establishment of caseload limits.
- 17.6% pay increase on a new salary schedule containing equal steps for advancement in years of service and academic units/degrees;
- Immediate increase in starting teacher salaries to $46,000;
- Retroactive payment for each unit member to July 1, 2017; and
- Prior Service Credit for new hires (up to three  years).
Job Security and Due Process
- Just cause/due process after a traditional two-year probationary period; and
- A guarantee of no layoffs for the 2017-2018 school year.
K12 INC. IS AN INVALUABLE SERVICE PROVIDER, BUT NOT A PARTY TO THE AGREEMENT
Contrary to the information provided in the media release, the tentative agreement is not between CTA/CVEU and K12 Inc. as publicized, but rather the agreement is between CVEU and the CAVA schools. CAVA schools are wholly independent legal entities that are supported by K12, which is a vendor/service provider.
CTA/CVEU HAS MATERIALLY MISREPRESENTED A LEGAL SETTLEMENT INVOLVING K12 INC.
According to CAVA, without any evidence to support its position, the media release claims a legal settlement between K12 Inc. and the State of California caused a serious decline in student enrollment throughout CAVA schools. Further, the media release seriously mischaracterizes that previous legal settlement by claiming that the State assessed a $168 million penalty against K12 Inc. However, this is simply not true. In fact, in that case, the court judgment reflects the parties entered a no-fault final judgment, stating, “. . . without adjudication of any fact or law and without admission of liability by K12 or the CAVA schools. The parties agreed that neither the Settlement Agreement nor judgment or any payment hereunder may be used as evidence of liability regarding CAVA or K12.”
In 2016, the organization K12 Inc. (not any of the CAVA schools) paid $8.5 million to the State of California to settle two complaints and those payments were not fines or penalties, but as the court specified in its final judgment, payments made largely to defray the cost to taxpayers for expenses related to the State’s investigation.
“STUDENTS FIRST” REMAINS CAVA’S CORE PURPOSE
Each CAVA school and each of its service providers (including K12 Inc.) remain focused on placing the students they serve and their academic success first and foremost in everything they do.
REQUEST THAT CTA/CVEU NO LONGER PROPOSES OR PROMOTES HARMFUL RESTRICTIONS ON CHARTER SCHOOLS
Now that CTA/CVEU represents hundreds of teachers in so many successful online charter schools in California, it is CAVA’s sincere hope that CTA will not hereinafter sponsor legislation to eliminate or severely restrict funding for or the establishment of such important choices in public education.
REQUEST THAT CTA/CVEU ACT IN GOOD FAITH
CAVA hereby renews its commitment to work in good faith with CTA/CVEU, and requests that CTA/CVEU refrain from engaging in the types of harmful and reckless communication noted above.
CAVA wishes to reiterate its continued desire to collaborate with CTA/CVEU on communications to the field to ensure that accurate and trustworthy information is conveyed to the CTA/CVEU members, parents and students of the CAVA schools.