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Teaching Conditions at Orange Unified

May 08, 1988

This is in response to the letter "Orange Teachers Are Defended" (April 22).

I applaud Eleanor Stafford, and others like this dedicated teacher, for giving freely of her time and talent to try to educate the general public about the plight of California's schools. However, I would like to clarify a few points.

Orange Unified School District schools are safe, and students have adequate supplies with which to complete their course work. In addition to monthly safety checks by principals, the conditions at each school are monitored regularly by the district's safety committee and its maintenance department staff. All health and safety problems are remedied immediately.

Following the passage of Proposition 13, the district's custodial staff had to change from cleaning classrooms daily to cleaning them every other day. This was due to budget cuts that caused the Board of Education to eliminate many custodial positions.

Stafford makes reference to losing teacher aides for the 1988-89 school year--a direct result of salaries increasing with funds remaining the same. This is especially true of aides whose salaries are funded through federal and state programs that provide extra assistance for children with special needs.

Other program cuts referred to by Stafford had to be made because of a reduction of revenue to schools in California. The district is in its present situation with the teachers' union because the board simply refuses to cut any more educational programs in order to give teachers higher salaries at the expense of students.

District trustees feel their current offer to the teachers' union is a fiscally prudent one that will provide certificated employees with a much-deserved raise in salary while maintaining a sound educational program for students.

JOSIE CABIGLIO

public information officer

Orange Unified School District

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