SAN ANTONIO – Updated Wednesday at 1:50 p.m.:
During a specially-called meeting, the San Antonio Independent School District Board on Wednesday approved a new work schedule policy, which will allow principals to regulate teacher hours.
San Antonio Independent School District Superintendent Pedro Martinez wants to give principals the power to regulate teachers' hours to accommodate hundreds of students throughout the district who get to school early or leave late, oftentimes unsupervised.
“Right now, by policy, teachers are not required to be there before class starts or after class ends,” Martinez said. “For example, we had one principal who said, ‘I just need about 10 or 15 minutes before the school day starts and about 10 or 15 minutes after the school day ends, and I don't need every teacher. We can have a rotation schedule.’”
Adrian Reyna has been teaching at Longfellow Middle School for eight years. He feels teachers should be able to vote on their hours.
“Allowing principals and teachers to come together on individual campuses to talk among themselves and decide for themselves what changes to fix whatever problems they may have,” he said.
Shelley Potter, president of the San Antonio Alliance, a union for teachers and school personnel, is concerned that school administrators being able to change teachers hours could mean a heavier workload on top of their average 10-hour workday.
“We just went through an RIF in the school district last spring, a reduction in force. We just had no salary increase for teachers,” Potter said.
Both sides insist that, without a solution to students being left unsupervised, the students’ safety could continue to be put at risk.
The superintendent said his proposal falls in line with policies at other school districts in the area. The school board will vote on the proposal on Wednesday.