End The Delays! Work With Your Teachers To FIX CAVA NOW!

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California Virtual Academies (CAVA) is California’s largest online public charter school, serving nearly 15,000 students, and is managed by K12, Inc., one of the country’s largest for-profit education companies. Teachers at CAVA are concerned that issues at the school – including insufficient resources and poor working conditions – are contributing to high teacher turnover and harming the quality of education that students receive.

Teachers at CAVA have tried to address these issues by forming a union.  But after nearly two years of delays, CAVA administration officials still won’t commit to working with educators to fix the school.

This petition is even more urgent with the publishing of recent news stories documenting how Virginia-based K12 Inc., the for-profit company that established the California Virtual Academies statewide school, is apparently exploiting California charter and charity laws for money. Read the revealing two-part series by the Mercury News, which is part of the Bay Area News Group.

CAVA teachers want to see the following improvements at their school:

  • Sufficient resources for the classroom to support teachers in giving every student the attention and support they deserve.
  • A commitment to supporting teachers by allowing them to focus on the job they were hired to do – teach our kids – rather than being burdened by ever increasing loads of administrative tasks that come as a result of CAVA’s penny-wise but pound-foolish cost-cutting measures.
  • More competitive wages and benefits for teachers, and other improvements to working conditions that will allow CAVA to recruit and retain quality educators and restore workforce stability by reducing teacher turnover and burnout.
  • Workplace protections that will allow teachers to effectively advocate for students without the threat of retaliation or even job loss.

TAKE ACTION NOW: Stand with CAVA teachers as they stand up for students by signing on to the letter below.  Your support will send a message to CAVA, K12, and the country’s rapidly growing virtual education industry that teachers, students, and taxpayers demand accountability.

Katrina Abston, CAVA Head of School
Stuart Udell, CEO K12 Inc.
Allison Cleveland, EVP of School Management and Services K12, Inc.
Nate Davis, Executive Chairman of the Board K12, Inc.
K12 Board of Directors

To CAVA Decision-Makers:

Educators at K12-managed California Virtual Academies (CAVA) are calling on administrators to join with teachers, students and parents to work together to ensure CAVA is providing the best possible education to its nearly 15,000 students across the state of California. For the past two years, front-line teachers have appealed to CAVA administration to address serious concerns they have about how CAVA and K12’s policies and priorities effect students, but to no avail.

We the undersigned are calling on CAVA’s administration to work with teachers to fix their school. We demand that administration move immediately to recognize CAVA teachers’ union and make a real commitment to investing in the classroom by working with teachers to make improvements at CAVA that will dramatically affect the quality of education for students.

We stand with CAVA teachers, who are seeking the following necessary improvements at their school:

  • Sufficient resources for the classroom to support teachers in giving every student the attention and support they deserve;
  • A commitment to supporting teachers by allowing them to focus on the job they were hired to do – teach our kids – rather than being burdened by ever increasing loads of administrative tasks that come as a result of CAVA’s penny-wise but pound-foolish cost-cutting measures;
  • More competitive wages and benefits for teachers, and other improvements to working conditions that will allow CAVA to recruit and retain quality educators and restore workforce stability by reducing teacher turnover and burnout;
  • Workplace protections that will allow teachers to effectively advocate for students without the threat of retaliation or even job loss.

Now is the time for the quickly growing online charter school sector to make critical changes. New research has raised major concerns about how a lack of public accountability and regulatory oversight, and a blatant failure on the part of the industry to invest in the classroom ultimately hurts students. Failing to work with teachers to address issues at schools like CAVA will only hurt students more.

CAVA and K12 have an important opportunity today to be industry leaders and to set an example for virtual public charter schools throughout the country. Teachers, students, and taxpayers are eagerly looking to you to do the right thing. We urge you to move now to address these issues alongside your front-line teachers – those who know best what our kids need to succeed!

 

Submission of your entry constitutes permission for CAVA, the California Teachers Association (CTA), and NEA to use your name, story, and other submitted information in connection with any campaigns designed to raise awareness about this issue. We may, for example, provide compilations of your comments to local and national leaders and other individuals participating in our efforts, without disclosing email addresses or personally identifying information. We may also make comments available to the press and public online. In addition, by clicking submit, you are expressing your consent for your comments or stories to be used in any future CAVA, CTA, and NEA publications. Education Votes will send you updates on this and other important campaigns by email. If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from our email list, you may do so.

Reader Comments

  1. During the 2007-2008 Great Recession, CAVA and other charter schools picked the bones of the public schools who were Reduced In Force (RIFed) when school budgets were cut nationwide and laid off educators took whatever reduced salary they could get-often in for-profit charter schools with no union representation. These same teachers deserve every benefit that their brick and mortar counterparts receive. I wish them good luck in their fight!

  2. Although I am back in the regular school setting now, I worked for CAVA for from 2005-2008. It was nice to see CTA behind the teachers there. I truly hope it all works out for them. The ideas are great, however, the demands on the teachers definitely need to change, especially if it got worse since I was there!

    1. Well, as a piblic school teacher – never a brick and mortar teacher, I hope that these very valuable teachers who I’d trust to educate my son, deserve the rights that I take for granted. Enough with the name calling, someone missed the point, we are a group of professionals deserving of that title and all that it does! Personally, I hope to welcome the CAVA teachers into our group and continue to teach and touch lives. That’s what this is about. Bricks and mortar? Don’t you build countries with those? Aren’t they a necessity in building what lasts? An insult isn’t always one. I remain a teacher and a professional.

    2. Well, as a public school teacher – never a brick and mortar teacher, I hope that these very valuable teachers who I’d trust to educate my son, deserve the rights that I take for granted. Enough with the name calling, someone missed the point, we are a group of professionals deserving of that title and all that it does! Personally, I hope to welcome the CAVA teachers into our group and continue to teach and touch lives. That’s what this is about. Bricks and mortar? Don’t you build countries with those? Aren’t they a necessity in building what lasts? An insult isn’t always one. I remain a teacher and a professional.

  3. CAVA needs to honor the teachers who have committed their careers to the students they work with everyday. They need to receive a salary equivalent to the education they had to pay for to receive the degree that enabled them to be hired. CAVA needs to step up and do what’s right by the teachers and the students.

  4. This union should be recognized and the teachers’ work recognized. With no teachers, there is no school!

  5. Cava teachers work hard and are more disciplined than their brick and mortar counter parts. As a parent and a student pursuing their master degree, I am upset to hear that CAVA teachers are not paid as much as brick and mortar teachers. Cava teachers deserve to get compensated as much as brick and mortar teachers because they work just as hard. If you compensate your teachers appropriately then you do not have to worry about them leaving your school to go to traditional brick and mortar.

    1. I take exception to your assertion that CAVA teachers are more disciplined. you are implying they work harder than “brick and mortor” teachers (ie: public school teachers?) Any conscientious educator works hard and is highly disciplined. We all deserve adequate compensation and contracts that guarantee a quality working environment and adequate resources

  6. CAVA could be a leader in the cutting edge movement of online school. There are so many students who suffer from being bullied and anxiety in a brick and mortar school setting. I see so many GOOD things in this environment but due to the large and INCREASING caseload of special education teachers it is difficult to capitalize on the GOOD. When a teacher is over-worked AND underpaid, they lose the feeling of loyalty to the school for which they work. The main focus then becomes survival. This isn’t new information for anyone involved in education. Just remember, if you aren’t going to show appreciation for your teachers there will always be another school, or school district that will. Just like our students. There are other online choices for schools popping up all over. NONE of which are as good, technologically advanced, and thorough as CAVA. However, if teachers, students, and parents are not felt supported they will all go away, eventually.

  7. I know how hard Brianna works and is paid much less than the average teacher salary in California. CAVA should value her and others like her and work with teachers.

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