BPAA Year in Review 2013/2014
The BPAA Board of Directors is pleased to provide our members with this annual report of our activities and successes. We worked diligently on behalf of our members and this represents only a portion of our goals and services we provided during this past year. We welcome your feedback, and hope you will provide us any concerns or issues you would like us to take on for this upcoming year. We were able to work with the Superintendent, District Staff and School Board in an effort to accomplish the following and we thank them for their support.
After Care Bonus for School Based Administrators (BOOST). BPAA along with all levels, and assistant principal representatives worked to create a bonus program for any school based administrator who runs an after care program (whether it is a school based run program or a program run by an outside entity). The bonus can be as high as $8000.00, and is based upon specific qualitative and quantitative criteria . While we are in the initial year of implementation, and continue to work out various issues with District Staff, we are pleased that 145 school based administrators will receive a bonus this year. The dollars are expected to be paid out in July.
Pay raises for Principal and Assistant Principals . Your BPAA membership supports our lobbying efforts in Tallahassee each year. As a direct result of these efforts, Principals and Assistant Principals around the State were included in a bill awarding $2500.00 to teachers. Consequently, Principals and Assistant Principals with effective performance evaluations were granted a $2500.00 raise (before taxes) exactly as teachers were provided this year in the district. This was a re-occurring raise and step and we look forward to starting salary negotiations with employee relations during this summer for the coming year.
- Surveys . BPAA held numerous meetings with District Staff and the Superintendent to voice our concerns and objections to both the shear volume and the manner in which surveys were conducted this year. The District Staff at the behest of the School Board created a process whereby parents could be anonymous, (parents voiced concerns about there being repercussions on their children if no anonymous which we view as completely unfounded). We informed the Superintendent, School Board and Staff that the method they created allowed for multiple responses from the same individual, thereby if a parent, staff, student wished to create havoc by generating multiple responses, they could in fact do so, causing the statistical veracity of the survey to be in question. We strongly objected to these surveys being used for any purpose which could affect a principal or assistant principals evaluation. As predicted, the survey data is clearly skewed at many schools. Rather than using the opportunity to provide useful feedback, we are finding that the survey responses are simply an opportunity for disgruntled parents and staff to spew rumors, and hate filled messages. This serves no purpose and we will continue to object and fight the use of this data for any purpose.
- Lobbying in Tallahassee. There were a number of bad bills this session, some were geared at stripping away your retirement benefits, others were ill-conceived measures which would have further created issues and problems for you as school based administrators. We battled back, all efforts to remove benefits from you, and were successful in reducing the impact of other bills for example, the gun legislation moved from being a mandate for all principals to carry weapons to school, to being gun education which is to be at the discretion of the superintendent. The bills relating to FRS and retirement were limited to newly hired persons and were limited in scope.
- Representing BPAA members. We have a number of frivolous complaints against principals and assistant principals this year including false complaints filed by parents against principals with the Florida Ethics Commission, filing of false bullying grievances by teachers and staff, filing of false complaints by students and staff, and other various defamatory statements made in public, on blogs, and in news articles. BPAA took a strong stance against advocates who made slanderous remarks before the School Board, serving them with notice of our intent to sue on behalf of the administrator they sought to defame. We were successful in keeping Principals and Assistant Principals from being found to have violated EEO and Ethics laws as a result of people filing libelous and untrue complaints. We continue to serve our members well in providing legal defense, and representing them during administrative processes when they are found to be unsatisfactorily performing on the BASA evaluation.
- Medical OPT Out and Bio Metric Exams. BPAA worked to ensure that the information from the BIO Metric exams was not shared with outside parties other than the medical provider and direct affiliates, we also were successful in obtaining additional time to provide the forms so that persons could obtain the $700.00 opt out after the window had closed.
- Other Critical Issues. The BPAA Board worked with the Levels, Assistant Principal Representatives and the Superintendent to resolve a number of issues relating to school based management. Issues such as the handling of Class Size, problems associated with the Budget process, issues associated with Text Book management, issues related to VAM and how administrators are evaluated, concerns relating to surveys, ESE , Testing schedules, Communication or the lack thereof, the volume of requests by departments, the ways in which certain policies impact the schools were raised and discussed. We were able to work out solutions in many instances, and in others were able to identify long standing areas of endemic problems which have been slated as priorities to fix. Over all, we have a large impact in making sure that your voice was heard, and that your concerns were brought forward to people and agencies that have the ability to create positive change. The needs of schools are great, and the problems continue to grow, however, BPAA stands to address these concerns and to make sure that where change can occur, that it does.
- Social & Educational. This year we added several social/networking events including a get together for Principals and Assistant Principals at BoKampers and a golf tournament at Jacaranda Country Club. We had a very successful Annual Holiday Party which all enjoyed at the Westin Cypress Creek Hotel. We are planning more fun and social events for 2014/2015 which may include another golf outing, poker tournament and networking events. Additionally, we are committed to creating a Summer Conference, similar to Dade County, which shall be collaboratively planned with the District to include growth and development workshops. Check our website at www.bpaa.us for announcements of upcoming events. Don’t forget to download the BPAA phone AP for breaking news.
On behalf to the BPAA Board of Directors, we thank you the membership for another successful year and we appreciate your input and support. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly with concerns or issues you would like to see addressed for the upcoming year.