Baltimore County school grievance resolved

A grievance filed by Baltimore County teachers last fall over having to work extra-long hours because of new education initiatives has been resolved, school and teacher's union officials announced Friday.

The grievance, filed in November on behalf of the county's 8,700 teachers, complained that their workload had ballooned, in large part because lesson plans had not been provided until just weeks before they were to be taught.

Abby Beytin, president of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County, said that county school Superintendent Dallas Dance addressed teachers' concerns by giving them more notice of changes this academic year in curriculum and other educational initiatives.

"The curriculum was in people's hands when it was promised," Beytin said, "in the beginning of June." Some changes were made after that, she said, but called them "tweaks."

Beytin said school officials also heeded teachers' wishes in deciding how to launch a pilot kindergarten curriculum, and gave all teachers an extra two days to prepare before classes begin next week. As a result, she said, the teachers' union board voted last week to consider the grievance resolved.

"It's certainly not perfect," Beytin concluded, but she added, "there are a lot of things now happening to help our people over this big transition period." She credited Dance and the school board with being responsive to teacher concerns.

"Our teachers are the heart of this school system," Dance said in a statement. "It was important for us to work with TABCO to ensure that teachers can instruct and support our students at a maximum level of effectiveness."

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