Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Latest Word - December 2010

The OUSD online, automated substitute teacher assignment system, SmartFindExpress, is unchanged from previous years.

In late September, Interim Executive Officer Barbara Gee sent notice to all OUSD substitute teachers that the OUSD had been forced to lay off an unspecified number of regular classroom teachers, and that under the California Education Code these laid off teachers had preference for assignment to work as substitute teachers.

At the same time that this notice was mailed, substitute teachers and school sites experienced problems in using the OUSD online system for requesting substitute teachers and for obtaining substitute teaching assignments.

As a consequence, a number of substitute teachers became concerned that the established online system for assigning substitute teaching assignments had been disrupted by an obligation to first offer substitute assignments to laid-off teachers.

This was not the case.

In discussions with OEA representatives, OUSD officials have confirmed that the online assignment system, SmartFindExpress, has not been changed. In fact, only four laid-off OUSD teachers have asserted a right under the CA Education Code for preferential assignments to substitute teaching assignments. Their right to preference has been met without any change to the normal system as used by OUSD substitute teachers. There have been instances of problems with the online assignment system, but these problems have been quickly resolved and are completely unrelated to an obligation to provide assignment preference to laid-off teachers.

To learn more about how the OUSD system for making substitute teaching assignments works, please go to the Did You Know tab on the OEA Substitute Teachers site.

Should any substitute teacher experience problems with SmartFindExpresss or with other aspects of the OUSD substitute teaching assignment system, please inform your OEA representatives via email at Substitutes@OaklandEA.Org.