Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Martucci touts transparency, work to improve conditions for teachers, staff

The first steps have been taken toward improving teacher morale in the Joplin R-8 School District, but there is a long way to go.

"The process takes a while," R-8 board member Jennifer Martucci told KZRG earlier this week. Martucci is one of four candidates running for two three-year positions on the R-8 Board of Education.

"We were able to get teachers a step increase and they have bargaining this year, as well. That's going to make for a better workplace."

Martucci said she hopes teachers will stay. "We have some great teachers and I don't want to lose any of them. We are really working on becoming a better employer."

Martucci also spoke of the strides that have been made toward transparency, noting that parents have a voice and that the consent agenda, which in the past has included as many as two dozen items that are simply approved by the board without discussion is now regularly down to two items- with one of those being the approval of the minutes of the last meeting.

She noted that a change has been made in how the public can address the board. In the past, those who wished to speak had to sign up by 4 p.m. the day of the meeting. Now people can show up for the meeting, fill out the form and speak on matters that are on the agenda.

Chad Elliot's complete interview with Martucci can be found at this link.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps this goes without saying, but while "conditions" may be improving for teachers overall morale isn't. One cannot layer a step increase on an existing problem and declare morale is better, especially when the cost of providing that step increase is at the expense of cutting already underpaid secretaries and carpenters. Sure some other inflated jobs have been cut too, but when you look at who is really losing it will be students in the long run.

Teachers should be paid more. It's true on principle and definitely here. As a teacher, I sure as heck want to be paid more. But what I don't want is to make more because someone's job was cut then have board members and the superintendent brag about it as some kind of accomplishment. Teachers make up less than half of our employee population. So, yes, please make sure we are making enough and have a say, but don't forget about our paras and custodians and cafeteria workers and bus drivers and secretaries and every person who makes it possible for us to do this job.

And don't bully the administration that's left too much. Even if they may not be anyone's first choice, we have to have some of them to deal with the board.

Anonymous said...

The people that oppose Jennifer are scared. Lose it CJ. And stay out of Panera