Legal concerns were raised Tuesday by the La Cañada Teachers Association as the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation took another step in the process of stepping in as operator of the summer-school program at La Cañada High School.
The foundation’s summer-school program would replace the district’s program, which was eliminated for summer 2011 to save the district $85,000.
Foundation officials attended the school-board meeting to present a one-year contract that would allow the foundation to use district facilities and educational materials for the summer program.
But Rick Jordan, president of the La Cañada Teachers Association, said that allowing the educational foundation to operate summer school would breach terms already agreed upon between the district and teachers association.
“Moving forward with your plans to privatize this program would not only be a violation of that agreement, but would also be a violation of the Educational Employees Relations Act, in that it would constitute a unilateral change in wages, hours and working conditions that have already been bargained,” Jordan told the board.
Jeanne Broberg, president of the school board, said the district’s legal counsel has already been consulted and no red flags have yet appeared.
But Jordan said the union’s counsel found possible legal ramifications if the board moves forward.
“In light of that, we would invite [the board] to halt these discussions at this time and bring any changes about the summer-school program to the bargaining table where we can properly address them,” Jordan said. “This could avoid unnecessary expenses to the district and allow the processes already in place to go forward.”
The school board will study the contract until it returns for a second reading on Oct. 19.
A preliminary course list for the educational foundation’s summer-school program in 2011 was unveiled in the contract. A total of 19 courses made the list, including world and American history, American government/economics, English I-IV, algebra I, II and trigonometry, geometry, Spanish I-IV, biology, chemistry, physics and physical education.
The contract would generate a small amount of income for the district. It would cost the foundation $14.08 per day to rent each La Cañada High School classroom it uses, $31.52 a day to utilize the school’s library and $5 per student for use of educational materials, including textbooks.