LBUSD, teachers agreement goes to board vote next week

Long Beach Unified School District teachers have ratified the tentative agreement between the district and its teachers’ union this week, and the agreement will now go before the LBUSD Board of Education for a final vote next week.

The agreement includes a 2% raise as well as a retroactive raise to the beginning of last year which would be paid out in a lump sum. Once the district and TALB negotiating teams reached the tentative agreement a few weeks ago—a process that took 18 months—the TALB executive board approved it, and it went before the TALB members for a vote. The teachers voted overwhelmingly to ratify, with 81.1% of those who voted casting their vote to ratify, and 18.9% voting against.

By rule, the LBUSD Board of Education gets the last vote and is expected to hear the item and vote on it at next week’s April 28 meeting. The board approved an addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding at last week’s meeting, which addressed some additional COVID-19 safety protocols.

The district has not yet reached an agreement with its other major labor union, the Long Beach chapter of the California Schools Employees Association, which represents many non-teacher employees of the district including custodians and maintenance workers.

All athletes eligible, regardless of grades

The LBUSD Board also adopted a policy waiving 2.0 GPA grade eligibility for high school athletes this year. The California State Legislature passed legislation (AB 908) making it easier for school districts to grant waivers allowing struggling students to compete this year, given the much higher failing grades among poorer students.

In the LBUSD, Jordan and Cabrillo high schools both struggled to field several teams, with coaches saying that grade eligibility was their biggest hurdle.

“Prior to the pandemic, a student was eligible for extracurricular activities if they had a 2.0 GPA or higher,” said LBUSD superintendent Jay Camerino.

“This is one of those equity pieces where the rubber meets the road,” said board member Megan Kerr. “We’ve heard over and over again about higher rates of D’s and F’s…that means a lot of our kids aren’t eligible for the things that bring them joy, like sports. Some of our schools may have half of their students ineligible because of those requirements.”

Students have to apply for a waiver to receive eligibility. The board policy only lasts through the end of this school year, at which point the 2.0 GPA rule will be back in effect.

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