Educators hit the picket lines outside Fresno HS

Thursday, May 10, 2012

With signs in hand -- dozens of people protested the misuse of federal funding at Fresno High School.

Bob Hoe has been teaching here for 37 years and says Fresno Unified used that money to hire two administrators in the downtown office instead of using on students.

"The last two hires were $200,000 a piece plus benefits," Bob Hoe said. "While kids are facing larger and larger class sizes and less and less resources."

Fresno High was used as an example of what the union says is going on at other schools across the district. But on Thursday district officials released this statement saying. "The proper and legal use of federal Title 1 and State QEIA funds includes a complex set of stipulations that can lead to confusion about what is within the bounds of acceptance. The Fresno Unified School District takes great care to ensure compliance with the United States Department of Education's and the State of California's regulations regarding these funds."

The district is asking people to go to the Department of Education's website to see how the money is being used properly. Still, upset parents and teachers don't believe the district is following those guidelines.

"I think all you need to do is look at the graduation rate and that says it all," Bob Hoe said. "At Fresno High we get 1,200 kids in a freshman class and we graduate less than 500 and we deem ourselves to be a success? Every teacher that works here knows that we're failing these children."

The QEIA program which stands for Quality Education Investment Act -- is also supposed to have paid more experienced teachers in classrooms and reduce class size. But protesters believe the district also took some of that money to help pay for administrators salaries.

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