Charter teachers reach landmark deal with union

By Valerie Strauss | Washington Post

Hundreds of teachers at California’s largest virtual charter school just won a landmark union contract from the Virginia-based education giant K12 Inc., securing a hefty pay raise and due-process rights. The pact, announced Wednesday, was reached after years of organizing and negotiations – and a threat of a teachers strike this month.

Teachers at the nine independent for-profit California Virtual Academies, known as CAVA, began the effort to unionize and win a contract more than four years ago. Now, they will receive pay raises of nearly 18 percent as well as a schedule for salary raises, caseload caps and binding arbitration.

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This is the first time K12, the largest operator of for-profit online schools in the country, has signed a union contract with its teachers, and the agreement marks one of the first such arrangements in the country. At its high point, CAVA enrollment was about 15,000, with students in most of California’s counties, although the number of students dropped after California’s attorney general announced in 2016 that his office had reached a $168.5 million settlement with K12 and CAVA over alleged violations of California’s false claims, false advertising and unfair competition laws.

California authorities alleged that K12 and CAVA schools provided misleading information to parents about students’ academic progress, parental satisfaction and eligibility for California public universities. The errant information was shared to persuade families to enroll their children, the state said. The state also alleged the company and schools gave inflated attendance numbers to state officials, allowing them to get more state funding than they deserved. K12 did not admit any wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement and said the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


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