Broward school district not budging on high school schedules

The type of schedule that Broward County high school students will encounter when classes resume this fall is up in the air, due to a dispute between the school district and the Broward Teachers Union.

In a cost-saving move last year, the district pushed its high schools to adopt a uniform seven-period class schedule. The change added to teacher workload at some schools, and some teachers were unhappy. A dozen Broward high schools, for example, lost their popular “block” scheduling format, in which students took four 90-minute classes each semester.

Superintendent Robert Runcie argued that switching schedules would boost efficiency and allow greater flexibility in the district’s efforts to comply with Florida’s class-size requirements.

But Broward’s teachers, according to their union contract, must approve any schedule change with a two-thirds majority at each individual school.

The new schedules were never approved.

An arbitrator recently ordered the district to reinstate the schedules used two years ago. On Wednesday, the district released a statement signaling it wouldn’t back down.

The district “intends to maintain high school schedules for the 2013/14 school year,” the statement said.

Now the Broward Teachers Union is mulling its next move.

The union could sue to force the district to comply with the arbitrator’s order.

Or the two sides may agree on a compromise during this summer’s ongoing contract negotiations.

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