Common misperceptions about DCF and AFT
Salaries and Hourly Pay in the Federation Office
All teachers and classified staff in the Federation office are compensated at the same amount as if they were in the classroom or working in a school. For instance, a 3rd year teacher with a master’s degree in the classroom makes the same amount in the Federation office as he or she would in the classroom.
Under the last agreement between the DCF, board members, and Liz Fagen, employees in the Federation office provided important services to the district. The majority of professional development for DCSD teachers was coordinated out of the Federation office (a nationally recognized research-based program that allows great teachers to share their craft with other teachers). The district now employs 17 people/positions in their Professional Development Department to take over this work–work that was previously provided by the Federation TOSAs (Teachers on Special Assignment) in the 2011-2012 school year for the equivalent of one position.
The BoE and Dr. Fagen continually use a figure of $4,000-$10,000 as the amount of money the DCF spent on staff development through our Educational Research and Dissemination (ER&D) Program. However, this is just one line item in the budget; it is the amount spent on class supplies and meals for each session of the ER&D courses from year to year.
In fact, AFT National spends a minimum of $100,000 per school district where the local Federation provides professional development through ER&D programs. In addition, the DCF has spent tens of thousands of dollars each year, year after year, sending our own DCSD teachers to national and local trainings, ultimately benefiting our teachers’ skills and the students in their classrooms.
Teacher coaching was also an important function of the teachers in the Federation office, in addition to working on committees and directly with the district on important initiatives. Unfortunately, the district no longer values this important partnership with their employees and chose to end a 41 year tradition that helped Douglas County Schools attract and retain the best teachers in the state. Since the 2009 school board election and 2010 hiring of Liz Fagen, DCSD has seen hundreds of teachers leave each year for other school districts.