First, what PCE said in their email (emphasis added):
Union taking teachers out of classrooms
The union convention in Utah is traditionally held in early October, and it was scheduled to be so this year, too. In fact, school districts, which build their calendars around the union's schedule, had already scheduled school breaks for October 11 and 12. Then the union switched their conference to this Monday and Tuesday so it would be close to the election, and so they could present their version of the facts to Utah teachers without giving them the chance to hear from parents and others who support the positive change that vouchers will bring.
But the change came too late for many school districts to change their calendars. The union is asking teachers to leave children in class, in the care of "uncredentialed" substitute teachers, so union bosses can keep spreading their "false" (according to KSL) claims about the voucher law. For all their claims of being "for the children" the union demonstrates over and over that they are simply protecting their own interests and sacrificing the interests and now the education of children.
As I said yesterday, I attended the convention last year, and I was pretty sure I remembered the convention dates announced last year as a Monday and Tuesday in late October.
Now, thanks to my crack team of researchers here at B&S Consulting (read: me), I have found the proof that I didn't make that up.
Here is the entire article from the Deseret Morning News November 11, 2006, page B5:
The Utah Education Association president said she is disappointed that fall break next year for the 94,000 students in Utah County will not overlap UEA's annual convention.
The Alpine, Provo and Nebo school districts scheduled fall break for Oct. 11-12 -- weeks before the UEA convention Oct. 29-30.
Wednesday night, the Nebo School District set it in stone by authorizing a calendar for the 2007-08 academic year that does not give the days of the UEA conference off.
"Our teachers who choose to go to the convention can take personal days to attend that," said school board member Bonnie Palmer.
"That's disappointing news if they decided not to support us for (next) year," UEA President Kim Campbell said.
Campbell mailed a letter last week to the Alpine, Provo and Nebo superintendents, asking them to reconsider their academic calendars. She said she never heard back from them.
"The date changes have not been our idea," Campbell said. "Those are because of the convention center."
Convention space at the Salt Palace is limited. The convention center will begin an expansion project in 2008, and "we think the year after that, we can start to settle on a narrow window because the Salt Palace will be (larger)," she said.
Officials in all three districts cited next year's UEA convention dates -- a Monday and Tuesday at the end of October instead of the traditional Thursday and Friday at the beginning of the month -- among reasons they will not give teachers the holiday.
If Nebo officials were to give the UEA convention dates off, students would return on Halloween. Students and employees would be better served by a holiday at the beginning of October instead of one so close to Thanksgiving break, Nebo school board member Debbie Swenson said.
The reason the districts decided to coordinate their calendars? "We have a lot of employees that live in Alpine and Nebo (districts)," Provo School District student services director Greg Hudnall said. "Probably less than a third live in Provo. When their kids are out of school, we lose a lot of workers" who take vacation to be with their children.
School officials said next year's calendar also coordinates with the school calendars of Brigham Young University and Utah Valley State College.
Officials in the three districts said their teacher unions were OK with the calendar.
Mike Gowans, president of the Alpine Education Association, said that is mostly true.
"There are several teachers, many teachers that would like to be out to go to UEA," Mike Gowans, president of the Alpine Education Association, said. "There are still several teachers in Alpine School District who attend UEA. I'm not going to tell you 100 percent of my teachers attend UEA, because they don't."
The UEA could not say Wednesday evening how many Utah County teachers attend the convention each year, Campbell said.
To my knowledge, these are the only districts that held school the past 2 days.
Why, oh why, does PCE have to resort to lies and slander to get their point across?
It's because the truth doesn't favor them.