Senator Rory Respicio has sent a letter to the DOE Superintendent, Jon Fernandez, regarding the revision of the school year calendar to accommodate FESTPAC. The instructional time for elementary schools has increased by 28 minutes and 15 minutes for high schools with an additional seven days of work days for teachers at the end of the school year.
“I would be grateful for your clarification as to whether this is an accurate assessment of this situation and your authority for implementing these changes in the work schedule. I raise the issue of your authority because supposedly DOE officials have cited Public Law 33-31 as the authority of making these changes. As you know, this statute principally addressed the issue of Christmas and Easter Breaks but did not change the requirement of 180 instructional days per school year aside from incorporating DOE’s suggested amendment adding ‘or its equivalence’. Although the Legislature concurred with your suggested amendment, it was to grant DOE with flexibility with respect to instructional days. There was no discussion of contracting or expanding the workload of the public school system teachers”, Respicio stated in the letter.
You may view the letter here. http://www.gftunion.com/images/uploads/Respicio_DOEletter2015.10