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A Complete Guide to Solutions Intermediate Teachers Book and Its Online Resources

Petitioner Lompoc Federation of Teachers, Local 3151, AFT, AFL-CIO (hereinafter "petitioner") appeals from a judgment denying its petition for writ of mandate. The petition sought a writ directing respondents Lompoc Unified School District and Governing Board of the Lompoc Unified School District (hereinafter "District" and "Board") to pay teachers in grades 4, 5 and 6 (hereinafter "intermediate teachers") an additional 1/6 of their salary, by virtue of the fact they are regularly required to spend 325 minutes per day in classroom instruction, whereas teachers in grades 1 through 3 (hereinafter "primary teachers") and teachers in grades 7 through 12 (hereinafter "secondary teachers") are required to spend only a total of 280 minutes per day in classroom instruction for the same salary. [58 Cal. App. 3d 704]

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At the trial the court received in evidence the District's various rules, regulations and policy memoranda covering the salary schedule for certificated personnel, the length of the school day and teachers' hours of service, and the daily schedules of class activities for primary and intermediate grades. Oral testimony of four witnesses was received. Declarations of three of these witnesses were also received pursuant to stipulation that the witness be deemed to have so testified.

However, the hours of class instruction were different for the three categories of teachers. This came about as the result of the length of school day established for the various grade levels by the District. The school day is the time during which students are in attendance in class. fn. 2 Under the regulations of respondent Board, the school day for primary grades was set at 280 minutes, for the intermediate grades at 325 minutes, and for the secondary grades at 280 minutes. As a result, the intermediate teachers, though not required to be present at school for a longer period, were called upon to devote a greater portion of the time they were required to be at school to classroom instruction.

The remaining evidence bore upon the respective parties' contentions regarding the reasonableness of the District's establishment of shorter normal periods of classroom instruction for primary and secondary teachers in comparison to intermediate teachers. John McCoy, an intermediate teacher called as a witness by petitioner, testified that in addition to the time consumed in classroom teaching, intermediate grade teachers engaged in daily class preparation at school after the school day ended or at home. McCoy also described extracurricular activity done by intermediate teachers on a voluntary basis, including acting as student council sponsor, intramural sports supervision and club activities. He did not, however, engage in any such activities during the school year 1975-1976. McCoy also described intermediate teachers' preparation in conferences with parents, in part during two one-week periods per year when reduced class schedules were in effect and when the need occurred at other times, before school, during recess, lunch periods or after school. McCoy also described the assigned supervisory duties of intermediate school teachers; though normally supervision of the students during recess and lunch periods for both primary and intermediate students was handled by teachers' aides, each teacher performed four weeks per year recess supervision and four weeks per year supervision for the 15 minutes before class began. In addition, on rainy days when recess and lunch periods were spent in the classrooms, the primary and intermediate teachers performed supervision. However, on the days when the [58 Cal. App. 3d 706] primary and intermediate teachers were required to supervise during recess or lunch, they were permitted to leave the school at 3 p.m. McCoy described past experience as a secondary teacher in which he taught six classes with two different subject matters and stated that in his present employment as intermediate teacher he had eight subjects to prepare on a daily basis. Comparing the preparation required for primary teachers with that required of secondary teachers, McCoy stated that he "would not think" that they needed more time to prepare, that he knew of no study within the District showing the length of time required in preparation for the various grade levels. He also pointed out that the subject matter for grades 4 through 6 was more difficult and complex than the subject matter of the primary grades. McCoy acknowledged the use of commercially prepared lesson materials in the intermediate grades. He was unable, however, to compare the volume of such material available for primary grades.

Milligan testified that she was familiar with the duties and duty hours of teachers within the District. She explained that the one-hour "free" periods were for secondary teachers to prepare for their daily class work and for conferences with students in light of the fact that such teachers were required to spend more time outside the classroom in extracurricular activities and in supervision than is required of primary and intermediate teachers. She described the supervision duties as including lunch hour supervision on a rotation basis by all secondary teachers.

On cross-examination, Milligan testified that certain extracurricular activities, referred to in the salary schedule as "Co-Curricular Assignments," resulted in an additional $350 per year pay. fn. 4 Other than for the four specific assignments, no additional stipend was payable. Milligan referred to the nonpaid extracurricular activities of secondary teachers, of which there are at least 50 for students in grades 7 through 12, as being [58 Cal. App. 3d 707] the subject of subdivision IV (A) of the rules and regulations of the teachers' salary schedule which provides: "A reasonable amount of extracurricular activities, and other types of work done outside of school is considered part of the normal load of the instructor." Traditionally, extracurricular activities existed only in the secondary level; primary and intermediate teachers were not required to supervise extracurricular activities. She stated, however, that "at the secondary level, we do require that teachers supervise extracurricular activities." Though direct assignments had not been made, the teachers were asked to sign up "for their areas of interest," and "those that don't sign it, will be assigned."

The witness Mott testified to the approximate hours per school year required for extracurricular duties of a secondary teacher. He computed a total of 8,041 hours of student contact and preparation which was approximately 100 hours per school year for each teacher. Though this was not equally divided among the teachers, an effort was made to see that teachers "generally do equal service" by pointing out to those who were not carrying their share that "someone else is picking it up for them." These extracurricular duties for secondary teachers greatly exceed those required of primary and intermediate teachers because "[t]he total events and functions at the secondary program ... would far exceed any such events at the elementary."

The witness Don Hart testified that despite the shorter primary school day, primary teachers spend more time at school than intermediate teachers -- something on the order of one-half hour per day. According to Hart, more time outside of class is required for lesson preparation in the [58 Cal. App. 3d 708] primary grades than is required in the secondary grades. Factors contributing to this include lesser availability of commercially prepared lesson material for primary instruction. These kits which are used extensively in intermediate grades enable students to work independently without teacher direction, whereas primary students, many of whom cannot read, require constant teacher direction. The prepared materials eliminate the necessity "to create the problems," and "devise your own key," because "grade keys are already set up for you." The declaration of Don Hart also pointed out that primary teachers were required to spend more time outside of classes in conferences with parents than is necessary for intermediate teachers.

From these findings, the court concluded that it was "not arbitrary nor capricious" for the District to refuse to pay intermediate teachers extra compensation "solely because they are required to spend more time in classroom instruction than teachers of other grade levels in the District," and that petitioners had "failed to establish any abuse of discretion by Respondents, ..."

Petitioner contends the evidence shows without "substantial dispute" that "there is no real distinction between the teachers in Grades 4 through 6 and other teachers except that extra 16 percent of classroom instruction time required of teachers in Grades 4 through 6." On this basis, petitioner asserts that respondent District's pay schedule (1) violates Education Code section 13506 prohibiting salary differentials "solely on the basis of the respective grade levels" taught; (2) fails to meet the requirement that the fixing of salaries not be discriminatory, arbitrary or unreasonable; and (3) denies intermediate teachers equal protection as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Respondents contend that substantial evidence supports the trial court's findings that the nonclassroom duties of primary and secondary teachers exceed those of intermediate teachers, that such findings are, therefore, conclusive and justify the difference in classroom work load.

[2] Viewed in the light most favorable to respondents, the evidence in the trial court clearly supports its findings that the duties of intermediate teachers outside of classroom hours are substantially less burdensome than those of primary and secondary teachers.

The testimony of respondents' witnesses substantially supports the finding that primary teachers "must devote more time to lesson planning, motivation of individual children, and conferences with parents than teachers" of the intermediate grades. The conduct of respondent District in requiring its primary teachers to remain upon the school grounds the same number of hours as is required of intermediate teachers is consistent with this testimony. The contrary views expressed by petitioners' witness created no more than a conflict in the evidence, which it was the province of the trial court to resolve.


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