A number of articles have appeared in The Times over the last several weeks concerning the case of Vincent Chalk, a teacher of deaf students who has contracted AIDS, and his struggle to return to the classroom. Many of them have referred to the role of the County Board of Education in going to court to keep Chalk out of the classroom.
The citizens of Orange County need to be aware that the Board of Education operates under a different section of the California Code than local school boards. The board does not employ the superintendent of schools, Robert Peterson, who is elected by the voters and is responsible directly to them. The superintendent, not the board, is the employer of all the teachers, administrators, and classified staff who work for the County Department of Education.
Although the board sets the annual budget of the county Department of Education and the superintendent's salary, it has no line authority regarding the terms and conditions of employment for Department of Education employees.
Ackley is a member of the County Board of Education.