Personal Appliances Policy Changes

Post date: Jun 2, 2010 9:03:35 PM

Don't sell off your personal microwave yet...

At the end of the 2009-2010 school year teachers at all sites were to be instructed to take home their personal appliances, which would not be allowed at school beginning in August. This applied to refrigerators, space heaters, microwaves, coffee makers, etc. A primary reason was the cost of powering the ever-increasing number of personal appliances, and the superintendent expressed other concerns such as the safety of space heaters and other appliances, the use of extension cords in violation of the fire code, and other administrators' concerns about the use of public monies to provide personal conveniences.

As part of the June bargaining process the BEA team discussed the issue with the board team and secured some changes in the policy. The district agreed to the following:

Fans Are Allowed (Space Heaters Are Not)You may bring an electric fan to school for use in your classroom to help circulate the air, and no fee will be imposed for its use. (Space heaters are still banned. If your room has a climate control issue, you should bring it to the attention of your principal for action.)

Personal Microwave Ovens Allowed Upon Payment of $10 Annual Fee

You may have a personal microwave oven at school IF you pay a $10 annual fee for

its use through the school year. Details on the procedure will have to be worked out. The $10 fee should fully offset its operating cost, addressing legal concerns about using public funds to provide personal conveniences. (Part of the thinking here is that the operating cost of a microwave is much lower than that for mini-refrigerators, space heaters, coffee makers, and the like, and some break rooms have only one or two microwaves that would need to service many staff members in a short lunch period.)

District-Owned Appliances To Be Distributed Across Sites

The district agreed to review the accessibility at the sites of district-owned

refrigerators and the like. This addresses concerns about some sites with small break rooms, multi-story sites, a long walk from one end of extended campuses to a break room, etc. The district will decide where a district-owned appliance will be situated. Teachers or private groups may donate an appliance to the district. If the district accepts that donation, the appliance could then be placed so that appliance accessibility is improved for multiple staff members in an isolated area of a site.

So if you work in an isolated part of your site, you might consider donating a refrigerator to the district. The district will have to develop a procedure to approve or deny any such donation and then decide where such appliances would actually be placed. Be aware that you would no longer have any claim to the appliance: it could be placed anywhere or disposed of at the district's sole discretion.