Throughout the week the in-box has been filling up with complaints from Dallas Independent School District teachers who insist they were given no advance warning that trustees would be voting tomorrow on extending their workday hours from seven hours and 45 minutes to eight and a half hour. Writes one: "This does not add any instructional time for the students; it merely increases our work day by 45 minutes each day. No one I have talked to knows anything about this proposal. 45 minutes a day equates to about 18 extra work days or over $5000 for the avg. teacher." The proposed policy change, labeled "Assignments and Schedules," is below.
I asked Dallas Independent School District spokesman Jon Dahlander about it yesterday. He explained the rationale behind the policy change: "The additional time is for teacher planning, professional development and/or tutoring, as determined by the campus administrator." And he reminded: This has been discussed before, since at least November. He's correct. As Leslie noted on November 4, following the debate over school-year schedules, "The calendar changes also include extending school days from seven hours and 45 minutes to eight and a half hours."
Per the Texas Education Agency, the district sets that policy, not the state: "Compensation issues other than minimum salaries are determined by local policies and contracts."
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.