Thursday, March 12, 2009 | Less than a year after a Barrio Logan charter school discarded its director and cut loose nearly all of its teachers with little warning, teachers in its system of schools are taking their first steps toward forming a union.
Six out of eight teachers at King/Chavez Arts Academy were dismissed last summer, shortly after its director was replaced. The jilted teachers, many of them relatively new to teaching, said they received little explanation of why they were let go.
Tim Wolf, the chief executive officer who oversees the five King/Chavez schools, declined to explain at the time why the teachers were dismissed but alluded to the lower scores of the Arts Academy. Wolf declined to comment for this article.
The exodus of teachers aggravated some parents who pulled their children out of the school. It suffered a significant drop in enrollment at the beginning of this year, while other King/Chavez schools saw their numbers increase.
“If the teachers weren’t going to be there, there was no point in being there anymore,” said Leticia Guadarrama, a Barrio Logan resident who pulled her children out of the school. “Now they go to a different charter school.”
It also made many of the remaining teachers fearful of losing their jobs, especially after another teacher from the same school was fired in the middle of this year. Some were galled that the principals and administrators judging them had not been classroom teachers themselves. So they kicked off a union drive across all five — soon to be six — of the King/Chavez schools.