CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- It's a battle brewing over two big issues. The first over a letter the district sent to 700 or thedistrict's 2,700 teachers explaining they will have to re-apply for their jobs starting in June.
The district said this is the same letter they sent last year. Superintendent Charlie Van Zant, Jr. said they are following their contract with the union. "Part of what the union bargained for a couple of years ago was a notice by a certain date each year if you are an annualcontract teacher," he said.
The head of the teachers union Steve Richards sees these letters as something else. "It was a blanket firing of 700 teachers who are terribly upset about it and feel for all the teachers who have kids and mortgages and now all of sudden they don't have a job."
The second struggle revolves around a job description for the recently filled district position of Director of Career and Technical Education. The school board wanted the required qualifications to include three years of teaching discipline in this study. The superintendant did not. Now, it's a legal fight for control over this decision and future ones like it.
He added, "Never before in Clay County history has a school board member ever, ever taken it upon themselves to write a job description, agenda it after the agenda has been available to the public, which only the chairman can do that."