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Tomorrow, Dallas ISD Board to Vote on Adding 45 Minutes to Every Teacher's School Day

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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."

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