You’d be forgiven for thinking San Diego Unified is about to lay off lots of teachers.
Union leaders, principals and parents panicked last week when they learned of Superintendent Cindy Marten’s proposal to eliminate one teacher per school and dozens of other positions. They packed a board meeting last week, some holding signs that accused Marten of putting the district through “Hunger Games.”
But the district isn’t set to hand out pink slips. Instead, San Diego Unified is poised for a reshuffling effort cobbled together in the wake of the release of Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget, which proposed sticking school districts across the state with steeper pension bills to close a shortfall.
San Diego Unified was already saddled with more than a $100 million budget shortfall before this news despite voters’ approval of a statewide tax increase in 2012, which delivered $117.1 million in new funding this year. In San Diego, most of the new tax dollars will be eaten up by increased costs and agreements with teachers who previously went years without across-the-board pay increases.
One of the district’s strategies to deal with its already existing deficit – and declining enrollment – was to hand about 470 teachers a retirement deal to both lessen its teaching corps and get some of its more expensive educators off the payroll.
All those retirements mean the district will need to hire hundreds of new teachers next year. The new teachers will cost less than those who took the retirement deal.
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This is again a clear picture that we need student focused board members...not union focused. So, the answer for SDUSD is to vote opposite of anyone who is supported by the teachers union. The Teachers union..calling themselves an association now to try to fool us and is clearly against children and for adults and employment only. Don"t be fooled, you will have a chance to vote in November...be smart and vote pro children/anti teachers union!
Oh. I see. The tax increase that voters approved was for pensions all along. There was never any intention to use the money to properly fund schools. Voters got duped again! Now we'll need to pay even more to actually take care of the kids.
The reason why this reads as a puff piece is that it nicely glosses over what a "teacher who isn't currently spending the majority of his or her time in the classroom" is doing. It makes it seem like those teachers are not contributing today. The examples given are "teachers who assist English language learners or help with math instruction." That does a disservice to those teachers and what they do.
These teachers are resource teachers, who specialize in special education or English language acquisition, among other things. They are in schools now to serve a wide spectrum of grades, which is why they're not in a classroom today. They carry specialized education and training to help specific segments of the student population who need the most help and assistance.
If resource teachers are reassigned to classrooms, the burden of providing the specialized support those groups will need will fall on the classroom teacher, who will be, in many cases, unqualified and unsupported to provide the specific support those kids need. Reassigning resource teachers as classroom teachers will save the district money at the expense of the children who are often the weakest and in the most need of support.
@G.Fandango It doesn't gloss over anything. It simply reports facts which is what news reporters are supposed to do. They aren't supposed to be providing opinions about Cindy Marten's proposals. Your post could be better received by others if you simply added your additional thoughts which might be quite interesting to read.
SDUSD needs to communicate better with parents and staff about these important issues. Why do I hear about these plans from the media and not directly from the district? Also, the request for each school to give up one teacher shows how the district doesn't consider the needs of schools like Marvin Elementary and Kumeyaay Elementary where resources are so scarce there are NO teachers not in the classroom and no librarian and only rarely a school nurse . . .
I know I repeat myself on this a gazillion times but it is serious and some honesty from the district, board of education , legislators and CALSTRS is needed. Their failure to act on this problem is why it is so big regardless of the happy talk.
The unfunded gap in pensions has grown to 73.3 billion.
The district needs to be honest with the public and the younger teachers about this and how it will affect the budgeting. It is coming home to roost.
"Contributions are determined as a percentage of employees’ pay. Teachers and administrators currently pay 8 percent of their salaries into the defined benefit program; the state pays 3 percent and districts 8.25 percent. Once fully phased in over three years, teachers would pay 10.25 percent of salaries and the state would pay 6.3 percent. Districts’ share, under Brown’s plan, would soar to 19.1 percent of employees’ pay, paid for out of Proposition 98 funding. The phase-in for districts would be seven years."
@Mark Giffin When the average teacher in SDUSD makes $95,000/year in compensation on a 175 day contract, all that's happening is that they are making the employee contributions transparent. It was never the 'state' or the 'district' contributing to the pension system, it was always the employee and the tax-payers. Now, the employee will see the REAL cost of their pensions taken out of what could otherwise be their cash-compensation (i.e. salary). That's a good measure, it makes the game more transparent.
If we truly want to help kids get a real education, first we need to show the public labor pool the true level of compensation offered to educators, so that our best and brightest will stop becoming stock brokers and start becoming teachers.
@Michael Russell @Mark Giffin
The funding formula for the CALSTRS program is different.
The younger teachers don't quite get it......Yet.
I suspect the change in (state) funding formula for schools was a give it with one hand take it with the other.
Regardless we will be hearing the education establishment pleading poverty again in the not to distant future.