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YUBA CITY SCHOOL STRIKE NOW LIKELY (August 29th)

posted Sep 3, 2016, 6:29 PM by Yuba City Teachers Association

Yuba City District Officials’ Disrespectful Tactics Hurt Our Students and Community

District’s Teachers Are Leaving for Better Treatment, Pay in Nearby Districts

 

In their latest show of disrespect, Yuba City Unified School District (YCUSD) officials last week broke their promise to meet to discuss resolution of the 2015-16 contract impasse. Yuba City Teachers Association (YCTA) went to the meeting with district officials on Wednesday, August 24, prepared to discuss resolution of the 2015-16 impasse and avert a strike. Unfortunately, the district made it clear it had no interest in doing so. Later the same day, YCUSD further ignored the impasse by emailing YCTA a proposal for 2016-17 and beyond, as well as releasing it to the public. The district continues to use these smoke-and-mirrors delay tactics to mislead the public and ignore the real issue: attracting and retaining the best teachers for the kids of Yuba City. Last year, more than one in 10 teachers left Yuba City schools — and that’s no wonder, when the district persists in paying its teachers well below the state average.

“While the YCUSD superintendent and the school board acknowledge there is a teacher shortage, they aren’t addressing the needs of our district. At the same time, neighboring districts and others statewide are consciously improving salary schedules to attract and retain qualified teachers. Our district should be doing the same thing. Yuba City teachers already make 13 percent less than the state average,” said Yuba City Teachers Association President Dina Luetgens. “We can’t afford to wait. Unless the district does the right thing for our students and schools, I fear the exodus will continue. Our students, teachers and community deserve a greater investment than the district is offering. Creating a stable and rewarding learning environment with the best teachers in the classroom for Yuba City students is well within the hands and budget of the district.”

YCUSD Superintendent Nancy Aaberg and the school board continue to tell the community that YCUSD can’t use Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) money to improve teacher salaries. This is another attempt to mislead the public. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson made clear in a letter to all districts that they “may use supplemental and concentration funds for a general salary increase in a manner consistent with the expenditure regulations and LCAP Template regulations. …A district may be able to document in its LCAP [Local Control Accountability Plan] that its salaries result in difficulties in recruiting, hiring, or retaining qualified staff which adversely affects the quality of the district’s educational program.”

During the development of the district’s LCAP, YCUSD acknowledged significant stakeholder input demonstrating the need to attract and retain great teachers. Despite this community input, YCUSD continues to refuse to make this investment in students. When a district like YCUSD is having trouble attracting and retaining teachers, it can and should use LCFF concentration and supplemental dollars for across-the-board salary improvements to attract and retain quality teachers in an effort to improve student achievement.

If YCUSD can’t compete for great teachers, it won’t matter what programs it offers.

“Our students need and deserve the best teachers in order to receive the best education possible,” said Luetgens. “Yuba City teachers are proud to speak out for our students’ education. It’s what we do every day. While YCTA is committed to reaching an agreement for the current 2015-16 impasse, we are prepared to stand up and strike to make our schools attractive again to the best teachers around.”

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Yuba City Teachers Association is a chapter of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association, which is affiliated with the 3 million-member National Education Association.

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