San Francisco's JROTC teachers granted extension for credentials 

JROTC teachers have one more year to obtain a physical education teaching credential in order to teach the independent-study course and maintain the program.

The San Francisco Unified School District granted a one-year extension to the nine instructors Tuesday evening, two years after obtaining approval from the Board of Education to continue to offer the program to high school students.

Students and supporters of the program packed the district’s board room to request the extension be granted. Some students said the independent-study course had helped determine their future by giving them the opportunity to choose the course and stay in school, teaching them discipline and keeping them active.

Physical education teachers, however, opposed the extension. Many teachers said the independent-study program affected general education PE classes.

“It’s not the same as being in PE class,” Lincoln High School PE teacher Leanne Walker. “It bothers me we gave JROTC teachers two years to get credentials and not one of them got it.”

JROTC instructors must obtain their PE credential by the end of the 2012-13 school year.

Before granting the extension in a 5-2 vote, board President Hydra Mendoza requested an update every six months on teacher registration and progress.

“I do not want to see this again in two years,” she said. “I feel slighted, to a large degree.”

In 2009, the school district approved JROTC to continue as an elective course for independent-study students, as a way to partially fulfill the state requirement for high school students to have 400 minutes of PE per week.

The nine teachers, though, are lacking the physical education teaching credential required by the state to teach independent study. The nine instructors already have three teaching credentials — a state teaching credential, a credential to teach English-language learners and a credential from the Department of Justice to teach JROTC.

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