In 2011, San Diego Unified promised teachers raises it didn’t have the money to make good on. To make that work without laying off staff, teachers agreed to delay those raises and took extra furlough days. Kids and teachers dealt with larger class sizes.
Now, the district is looking to clear its obligations and invest more in education programs. Unfortunately, it’s facing even bigger budget shortfalls for the coming years.
And yet, it’s considering a new round of across-the-board pay raises.
Since spring, the district and the San Diego Education Association have been at the bargaining table working out the terms of their next contract. Because that negotiation happens behind closed doors, it’s tough to know precisely where the district and union are at. But we know enough to see some of what’s at stake.
SDEA posts negotiation updates that show us a few items on the table, like teacher evaluations, class sizes and additional counselors.
All of those are important, but the biggest impact would come from the 6.5 percent across-the-board pay raise the union is asking for, which would be a huge hit to an already strained budget. (Note that these pay raises would be on top of the step pay raises that happen automatically, based on time served.)
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Funny, the pension issue wasn't a surprise to anyone else but the school district. The "alarmists" have been screaming about that elephant in the room for years, and years. Looks like the "alarmists" were right on!
" But then the district got walloped by some bad news: It would have to contribute substantially more to CalSTRS, the state pension system for teachers. A lot more."
"All of which came as a surprise to the district."
Many on VOSD and elsewhere have been warning of this for years.
Bait and switch by the governor and legislature.
Thank you for bringing this facet of the conversation forward Mario. It has been ignored far too long.
" This year the district will have to pay an extra $3.1 million into CalSTRS. Next year it’ll owe $19.3 million more. The year after, an additional $22.2 million. All of which came as a surprise to the district."
Gee I guess that the people warning us about this for years were right on the money! Too bad this is a shock to the school district staff and the board of elected officials.
In fairness, one would expect that contribution increase to affect all school districts. Therefore I would expect that a comparison of teacher salaries and benefits here to those in other districts would be fair as well.
It is just a simple case of how we treat the people that serve all of us. When San Diego balks at raising the salary of the people that help protect us, it is no wonder teachers "ride the pine"(the proverbial bench). San Diego is cheap and has been cheap for a long time. Sure, the City Council made some real mistakes along with the people who manage the pension City employees have. But, we are not Detroit. San Diego makes money. And, the people who support that money machine, the people that make that money machine shine, are the unsung heroes who quietly, continually, do what needs to be done: the fire fighters, the police, the office personnel, and the teachers. Public relations is about WHAT San Diego provides.
We really can compete with San Francisco. Our weather is, after all, far better. We have good intellectual properties in SDSU, UCSD, USD, National, Point Loma Nazarene, and every entity associated with the Salk Institute. This is no longer a heel on the geographic map of the U.S.A. Our military counts as the best of the world. We participate in the most traveled border in the world, between Mexico and the U.S.A. Can you say...cosmopolitan? San Diego is a world leader. Do we want to show the world that we are CHEAP?
"San Diego is cheap" I don't think that is true. I believe we want to pay for what the service is worth, not what the union and the pay for play politicians rate worth. Don't try and goad the taxpayers into paying more because your scream cheap. What kind of work do you do and are you a "good" union member?
Let's see, price of gas, water, electricity, housing, food, etc. have all fallen over the years....oh wait, they have all gone up substantially. But let's not give our teachers any raises. The district is always poor and the budget is always strained. Year after year after year.
There is $168 Million in hidden money outside the annual budget process that could be used for teacher raises, the planned 6-to-6 Before- and After-School Programs, or infrastructure.
In the last 3 years of Recognized Obligation Payment Schedules ROPS-1 to ROPS-6, Civic San Diego and the City Council liquidated $382 Million in Successor Agency Cash as Residual RPTTF Distributions outside of the Budget process for the benefit of public employee pensions. The goal for Residual RPTTF Distributions is always zero, due to the outstanding $1.67 BILLION in Successor Agency (SA) Debt.
According the to San Diego County-Auditor-Controller, the K-12 schools including San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) received $168 Million in the last 3 years. Off the books and outside the budget process.
Please look at the K-12 School's budget and financial report to see that the $168 Million has zero documentation online. The schools did not expect the generous $168 Million windfall. Which came at the expense of the City of San Diego, the repayment of the $228 million HUD OIG Audit Debt from the Successor Agency to CDBG Program Income.
Civic San Diego and the City Council sold out the poor and homeless for 21 cents on the dollar for the benefit of the City, County, and Schools' General Funds.
@La Playa Heritage I haven't seen any updates from the VOSD editors about this, but it seems like a news organization should be looking into this to confirm.