Statement issued Friday by Steve Brace, executive director of the Fort Wayne Education Association:
FWEA and FWCS have a proud history of collaboration that has produced proven results for the boys and girls of our community.
FWCS graduation rates and ISTEP results are UP – trends continuing.
FWCS has made AYP, and we expect to do so again.
We are excited about the improvement and change taking place in our LEAD buildings.
We are not adverse to change. We have demonstrated time and again our enthusiasm for working together to improve education opportunities for our students.
Fort Wayne teachers have risen to the call and have done what no other teachers' association in Indiana or the country has done to implement the LEAD process.
This is not about money. The association is not blind. We recognize the financial restraints FWCS is under. We can work through the money issues. We have basically worked through changes in insurance.
This is about the ability of teachers to control their classrooms. This is about working conditions. FWCS has proposed eliminating the entire article on working conditions and replacing it with a generic paragraph giving FWCS carte blanche over teachers' lives.
Student success remains our #1 Goal.
The school board and FWCS administration stood behind teachers with support and appreciation in their March FWCS Board Resolution citing legislative efforts to limit collective bargaining as "misplaced" and touted the district's cooperative working relationship with the FWEA.
The Board now has the opportunity to back their words with action. Instead of seizing the opportunity and supporting teachers, they have turned their back on them.
The March resolution and subsequent comments made at the March Board meeting ring hollow to teachers today.
We are surprised and disappointed in this turn of events. While we fully understand and accept the fact the administration wanted to dismiss some of the contract, we did not expect the wholesale dismantling of a document that has served this system and its teachers fairly for many years.
The Indiana Education Employment Relations Board has been contacted, and we expect a mediator to be appointed shortly.