It’s not ok, Bradley Cooper!

Published May 17, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

And, by the way, I don’t really have much sympathy for Tim Allen.

Yes, I understand that he was blindsided by the cancellation of his hit show. I know that must be a buzz kill.  He also was arrested for trying to sell cocaine. I am also aware that he did that in 1978 before his other hit show was on the air.

What I also know in his career as a performer he has had TWO hit shows both in syndication and his provided the vocal talent for three hit movies.

As the girlfriend of one professional actor, the amazing S. Lamar Wilson and the mother of another the equally talented Dustin Kane Nolen, I know what a struggle it is to find paid acting gigs. It is also a major crapshoot just to get cast in a pilot episode, not to mention the huge gamble involved with the series getting picked up by a studio, and surviving past one season.

Getting two series that survive to syndication is amazing. Tim Allen got two bites at that apple and now I’m supposed to feel outrage at his show’s sudden cancellation?   I’m sorry Mr. Allen, I’m too busy choking on my own rage about something else.

I stopped my rant about education in mid-stream.  This is because there are things going on in my real life that are even scarier than Midnight Meat Train (starring Bradley Cooper and not really scary, although Batman would have preferred I not bray like a donkey while he was trying to watch it.)

I’m just going to lay it out as I have to both my Financial Adviser and a colleague of his.

In regards to my current employment situation.

This is the  current situation at Kauffman Leadership Academy as of yesterday, May 16.

The dates for Payroll are the 10th and the 25th.  Our April 25th paychecks were issued on on May the 7th. At the faculty meeting earlier that week, we were told that the hold up was due to an error at TEA regarding the payment in TRS. (Apparently the Superintendent of our school did not pay TRS.)

We were also told that May payroll would be honored and on time.

May 10th came and went with the excuse that there was no money to pay us and that if funds were  not available prior to the May 25th payroll, we would receive a check equal to the entire amount.   To my knowledge no effort on the part of the administration or the board has been made to get the teachers paid.

I am starting to feel like a chump because I’m allowing myself to be treated this way. I don’t like feeling like a chump. I’m talking about this now because I have made it very clear, and in a public forum, to the administration of my school how I feel.

Here is the statement I made at our faculty meeting:

This has been a very trying year. Some of it due to a new school’s growing pains, some due to a lack of communication on the part of the administration. I do take partial ownership in this because I have not always spoken freely.

That is due to the fact that the time I met with you speaking in full honesty about the perception of misdoing in the school I was met with what I felt was a defensive, dismissive tone.

From that point, I have seen a deterioration  of morale amongst the faculty and some of the students. I am watching our students grow gradually more disrespectful and have felt powerless to stop them because there are no clear cut consequences.

I have tried to stay hopeful. All of my efforts have failed and hope has abandoned me after five late paychecks this school year; the latest one the third in a row.

I am currently out of money. It is very hard to find the motivation to drive to work and teach my students. I feel as if I am being taken advantage of because I do not want to abandon my colleagues or my students.

I do not believe that I will receive partial or full payment on May 25th and I will not be able to sit with parents at the conference on the 26th and pretend that everything is fine and business as usual.

I am actively seeking other employment . Because I do not believe KLA will be able to pay me through the summer, since I’m not being paid now, I need to seek part-time employment for the summer. The problem with this is that most summer jobs begin on June 5.  We are still in school until the 9th.

I propose that you consider ending school on the 25th and use the conferences on the 26th to have the final meeting with the parents.  This way the teachers can return after Memorial Day to clean their classrooms and fully wrap up the school year.

The response I was given is that to be paid throughout the summer as per my contract, the school must stay in session until June 9 as it is in our charter with TEA (Texas Education Association). At this meeting the entire faculty was told that we would receive a full paycheck on May the 25th, June 25th, July 25th and August 25th.

And if I don’t get paid on the 25th?

That will not be ok, Bradley Cooper.









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