What stands out to me the most in our school district is how our teachers, staff, and administrators collaborate together to support the learning and social-emotional well-being of all our students. We recently have been in contract negotiations with the unions representing our classified staff and our teachers. You may have heard that the teachers union declared impasse to the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) and asked for a state mediator. After hearing both sides, PERB has determined that negotiations should continue. We look forward to continued negotiations with both of our unions.
The Board of Education and I are committed to providing a compensation package with competitive salary and health benefits, while also maintaining a budget with a positive ending balance. However, you should know that our expenses keep increasing, far outpacing the money coming in from the state, our main source of income.
My utmost concern during our recent negotiation process is California’s lack of adequate per-student funding that pits labor and management against each other. California is currently in the bottom 10 nationally in per-student funding. I know that the SRCS budget deficit is
not the fault of our staff. Our budget deficit is due to the increase in unfunded services for our neediest students, in unfunded pension cost increases, and in the state operating schools at a 2008 funding level. Collectively we need to demand more funding from the state for long-term solutions. How might we do that together? I welcome your ideas.
The California School Boards Association has started a petition drive, and you can learn more on the website