Faculty senates were created to empower teachers, allowing them to have more control over the issues impacting their school and to give teachers a voice in the operation of their school. Over the years, this power has either been diminished by some administration, or fallen to the wayside as teachers have forgotten the strength they possess at a faculty senate.
Here are some FAQs to help you better understand faculty senates and reclaim the power you have as a faculty.
Q: Who is part of the faculty senate?
A: All permanent, full-time professional educators employed at the school. Itinerant employees are members of their home school faculty senate.
Q: What about administrators?
A: Administrators are members of the faculty senate and have one vote just like everyone else. They are NOT in charge of faculty senate, do not set the agenda, nor dictate any part of the meeting or discussions. They have no more power than any other member of the faculty senate. The faculty senate chair oversees running the meetings and setting the agenda.
Q: How often and how long are meetings?
A: At least six 2-hour blocks of time for faculty senate meetings are scheduled in the year including: first and last months of the employment term and in the months of October, December, February, and April. Emergency meetings may be held during non-instructional time at the call of the chair or a majority of the voting members by petition submitted to the chair and vice chair.
Q: Can administration use faculty senate time for other duties, tasks, trainings, meetings, etc.?
A: NO, the 2-hour block of time is solely for faculty senate business and cannot be infringed upon for any other reason.
Q: How much money does faculty senate receive?
A: $400 per professional instructional personnel employed at the school. Each faculty senate shall control funds. $300 is allotted to each teacher to be spent on academic materials, supplies or equipment which, in the judgment of the teacher, will assist in providing instruction to teacher’s assigned academic subjects. $100 remains in the faculty senate fund to be spent as voted upon.
Q: What other funds are available to faculty senate?
A: 75% of the profits from the sale of healthy beverages and soft drinks shall be allocated by a majority vote of the faculty senate of each school.
Q: What powers do the faculty senate have?
A: Below are a few of the many powers and rights of faculty senate.
- Make recommendations on the selection of faculty to serve as mentors for beginning teachers.
- Develop a strategic plan to manage the integration of special needs students into the regular classroom.
- Participate in the hiring process for teaching positions.
- Nominate teachers for recognition as outstanding teachers under state and local teacher recognition programs.
- Submit recommendations regarding the assignment scheduling of secretaries, clerks, aides, and paraprofessionals.
- Make recommendations regarding the master curriculum schedule for the next ensuing school year.
- Review the evaluation procedure as conducted in their school to ascertain whether the evaluations were conducted in accordance with the system required.
WVEA is available to present at your faculty senate meetings to share more information about your rights and power. Contact your ODS or the WVEA Help Center for more information.