Tuesday, April 30, 2019

How Much Should Teachers Get Paid ?

Educators don’t enter the profession expecting to get rich. They do it because they love teaching and because they have an unwavering belief in their students.

But, they should also be able to support themselves. The sad truth is that many educators aren’t earning enough to make ends meet.

Today, we’re releasing our annual data on educator pay. Click here to find out how your state ranks in educator pay and per pupil spending.
Educator Pay in Your State >
Each year, NEA publishes data on educator salaries. We collect statistics from state departments of education and 11,675 school districts, which account for 94 percent of all full-time educators.

The data show in black and white (or, in this case, red and white) the dollar value each state places on its educators.

To make matters worse, the pay gap between educators and other professionals is vast and growing, forcing many out of the profession and creating a teacher shortage crisis that threatens our students and communities.

See how much educators make on average in your state and join the movement fighting for better resources for public school educators and students.

How much we pay educators is just one indicator of the value our society places on education. As part of the Red For Ed movement, educators across the country are joining hands with parents and community members to fight for the resources public school students need to succeed—like a nurse, counselor, and librarian in every school; a living wage for education support professionals; and more class time for learning.

Equipped with data like average educator pay and the teacher pay gap, we are able to better make the case that we can do better. Afterall, our children are worth it.


Lily Eskelsen García
National Education Association

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Latino Vote Increased in 2018.

antiracismdsa: Latino Vote Increased in 2018.: Trump can be defeated.  The following media release was published by National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NAL...

Friday, April 26, 2019

The Schools are Underfunded

As you consider the Sacramento City Unified Budget Crisis: Consider the Source.

It is the state budget. Tell the legislature. 

During that semester I taught six separate classes and was responsible for more than 250 students. Despite the pretense that real instruction was taking place, teachers like me were largely engaged in crowd management and little more.

Three weeks ago, I sat in a cramped conference room in the large public high school where I teach in Beaverton, Oregon. I was listening to the principal deliver a scripted PowerPoint presentation on the $35 million budget deficit our district faces in the upcoming school year.
Teachers and staff members slumped in chairs. A thick funk of disappointment, resignation, hopelessness, and simmering anger clung to us. After all, we’ve been here before. We know the drill: expect layoffs, ballooning class sizes, diminished instructional time, and not enough resources. Accept that the teacher-student relationship -- one that has the potential to be productive and sometimes even transformative -- will become, at best, transactional. Bodies will be crammed into too-small spaces, resources will dwindle, and learning will suffer. These budgetary crises are by now cyclical and completely familiar. Yet the thought of weathering another of them is devastating.
This is the third time in my 14-year-career as a visual arts teacher that we’ve faced the upheaval, disruption, and chaos of just such a budget crisis. In 2012, the district experienced a massive shortfall that resulted in the firing of 344 teachers and bloated class sizes for those of us who were left. At one point, my Drawing I classroom studio -- built to fit a maximum of 35 students -- had more than 50 of them stuffed into it. We didn’t have enough chairs, tables, or spaces to draw, so we worked in the halls. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

antiracismdsa: Rep. Ilhan Omar Speech - What She Actually Said

antiracismdsa: Rep. Ilhan Omar Speech - What She Actually Said: Muslims for a really long time in this country have been told that there is a privilege, that there is a privilege that we are giv...

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Study Shows California Significantly Underfunds Its Schools


The problem of the SCUSD budget crisis is not a problem of teacher health benefits. Rather It is the failure of California School Finance.

Present funding, including LCFF is substantially unfair, inadequate, and unequal. 
The report, “The Adequacy and Fairness of State School Finance Systems,’ from Rutgers University shows that California ranks 41stout the 50 states in state fiscal effort, and 47thin adequacy of funding. 
These shortages produce the strikes in Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento and more to come. 
Teachers are insisting that their districts provide at least adequate funding for the students. This inadequacy is seen more clearly in out of control class sizes. 

You would think that California, the richest state in the nation, could at least get to average.
 We need a new tax structure – like the Schools and Communities First proposal, to fix the budget problems and properly educate our children. 


 [ California ranks at the bottom on most measures !]
WASHINGTON – Most states’ education finance systems do not target resources at districts that serve high-poverty students, and funding systems in virtually all states fail to provide adequate support to all but the most affluent districts, according to a new report released today by researchers at the Albert Shanker Institute and Rutgers Graduate School of Education.
Over the past decade or so, a political consensus, backed by high-quality empirical research, has started to emerge about the importance of adequate and equitable funding for U.S. public schools. While there is plenty of important debate about how money should be spent, virtually all of the best policy options require investment. The idea that “money doesn’t matter” in school funding is no longer defensible.
This new consensus, however, is not reflected in most states’ school finance systems. The report, “The Adequacy and Fairness of State School Funding Systems,” evaluates states’ systems using three “core” indicators:
  1. Effort: How much do states spend as a proportion of their total economic capacity?
  2. Adequacy: Do states spend enough to meet common outcome goals?
  3. Progressivity: Do states target more resources at the districts with the most need?
These three measures are calculated using data from roughly a dozen sources, and control for various factors – such as Census poverty, labor market costs, population density, and district size – that affect the value of the education dollar. The data presented in the report apply to the 2015-16 school year.
The authors find, predictably, that states vary widely on all three measures. There are states, such as Wyoming, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, in which education funding is relatively adequate and distributed progressively. In most states, however, the results are disappointing and, in some cases, deeply troubling.
  • On average, states devote about 3.5 percent of their gross state products to K-12 education.
  • These effort levels vary between roughly 2.5 percent in Hawaii and Arizona to over 5 percent in Wyoming and Vermont.
  • Virtually all states spend far less than what the authors estimate would be required for students in their higher-poverty districts to achieve national average test scores, which the report uses as a common “benchmark” to assess states’ funding levels.
  • Although our estimates are state-by-state, a rough calculation of U.S. average adequacy indicates that actual spending on the 20 percent of districts with the highest poverty levels in the typical state is approximately 67 percent of estimated adequate levels. In other words, the typical state would have to increase spending by 50 percent to reach the adequate level.

Monday, April 15, 2019

As Young as 5 Months old, Held at El Paso ...

antiracismdsa: Babies, As Young as 5 Months old, Held at El Paso ...: Gabe Ortiz, Daily Koz  Hundreds of people, including infants as young as 5 months old, have been detained in “an emerging tent city” at...

Friday, April 12, 2019

Teachers Union Offers to Meet

One day after a teachers strike alleging unfair labor practices by the Sacramento City Unified School District, and the district’s call for a “cease-fire,” the teachers union sent a letter chiding the district but suggesting they meet at the end of the month. 
“A new direction begins with the district reaffirming its obligation to abide by our contract and to remedy the unlawful, unfair labor practices, including the unlawful layoffs of both certificated and classified staff,” read SCTA’s letter to Superintendent Jorge Aguilar. 
The union proposed two dates – April 23 or April 24 – to meet with the district and their appointed state mediator, Joseph Rios.
District officials said they would review the letter and respond accordingly.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Sacramento Teachers Strike

Jeff Bryant
Much like other teacher actions that have occurred across the nation, Sacramento teachers are demanding changes to their salaries, reduced class sizes, and increases in school support staff including more nurses, psychologists, librarians, and program specialists. But unlike other teacher walkouts, what’s happening in Sacramento is a replay of what they thought they had already won.
“We thought we had an agreement when we threatened to strike last year,” David Fisher tells me in a phone conversation. Fisher is the president of the Sacramento City Teachers Association (SCTA), which threatened a walkout in November 2017 of the previous school year.
“We were motivated by what was happening in RedForEd movements elsewhere,” he recalls. “We had everything lined up [in preparation for the strike] including having parents organized and having meals ready for the kids” who were going to miss school lunches.
The strike was averted when the union and district administration came to an agreement and signed a new contract in December 2017. Specifically, the three-year contract included an across-the-board pay increase for teachers. Salaries for the district’s teachers are below state averages and rank fourth from the bottom when compared to 14 other comparable districts in the state, according the Sacramento Bee.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Dolores Huerta Day- April 10

antiracismdsa: Dolores Huerta Day- April 10: © 1999 Barbara Carrasco. All rights reserved. EVENT DOLORES HUERTA DAY April 10, 2019 Dolores Huerta Day Wed., April 10, 20...

Support Teachers

Thursday, April 04, 2019

SCUSD Budget Crisis

Both the Education and Democracy Insitute, and LULAC, League of United Latin American Citizens, are part of the Community Priority Coalition.  Our goal is to improve the quality of education for thos under served in SCUSD.
Below is the Coalition's response to the current Budget Crisis.
 Community Priority Coalition 

 4625 44th Street, Rm 5 Sacramento, CA 95820 

 March 6, 2019 
Jessie Ryan, President 
Darrel Woo, First Vice President 
Michael Minnick, Second Vice President 
Christina Pritchett 
Lisa Murawski 
Mai Vang 
Leticia Garcia 
Rachel Halbo 
Superintendent Jorge Aguilar 

Re: SCUSD financial crisis 
Dear SCUSD Board Members: 

The Community Priority Coalition (CPC) is very concerned about the Sacramento City Unified School District's financial health and deficit spending that will negatively impact students in the District. The Community Priority Coalition members consist of Black Parallel School Board, Building Healthy Communities. Hmong Innovating Politics, La Familia Counseling Center. Making Cents Work, League of United Latin American Citizens (Lorenzo Patiño Council #2862), Sacramento Area Congregations Together, Democracy and Education Institute, and Public Advocates Inc. Since 2016, the Community Priority Coalition has submitted to the Sacramento City Unified District Board an alternative budget that reflect the following Coalition priorities: 1) Class Size Reduction (24 to 1); 2) Professional development in cultural proficiency and restorative justice; 3) Additional instructional assistance for English Language Learner and increased efforts to involve their parents in their education programs. including bilingual counselors, teachers, social workers and other staff; and 4) After-school/early intervention programs. Although, CPC clearly understands that the District will make very difficult decisions; we are most alarmed that you are unable to address the key concerns of the Coalition given the District history and current financial crisis. 

On December 12, 2018, the Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team (FCMAT), released the Sacramento City Unified School District's Fiscal Health Risk Analysis report. The purpose of the report is to evaluate SCUSD fiscal health and risk of insolvency in the current and next two fiscal years. The report indicted the District’s financial health by stating “that the district will be cash insolvent in November 2019 (estimated to be October 2019 at the time of FCMAT’s fieldwork) unless significant action is taken.” 
Historically, the District’s mis-management in the accounting department, poor budget development process, poor board decisions, and failure to address the structural deficit have placed the quality of education for the SCUSDs' students in jeopardy. Moreover, the current financial crisis will undermine the Local Control Accountability Plan process and shut out key stakeholders in the process. 
We understand that the District doesn’t want receivership nor do the Coalition, but the historical practices of the District gives us much pause. Therefore, we are urging the district not to use the  District's budget shortfalls in a way that will balance the budget on the backs of students, teachers and staff. 
The Community Priority Coalition sincerely wants to work collaboratively with the Superintendent and SCUSD Board for the betterment of our children. 

Community Priority Coalition 

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Why We’re Striking April 11th

Why We’re Striking April 11th: For Our Students! Sixteen months ago, educators and the District reached an historic agreement that redirected District priorities away from the Serna Center and into the classroom.  Since then Superintendent Jorge Aguilar, School Board President Jessie Ryan and the Sac City school board have backtracked on that agreement and engaged in at least 30 unlawful, …

Sacramento City Teachers Plan 1 Day Strike.

April 11, 2019.

From the Sacramento Bee. 
The teachers union at Sacramento City Unified School District announced Tuesday its intention to strike April 11. The strike will last one day, according to union leaders, and is in response to failed mediation attempts between the district and the Sacramento City Teachers Association last Thursday.
The union met Tuesday evening, and ended with their announcement to go on strike to protest unfair labor practices, according to SCTA President David Fisher.
“We want them to honor the promises they made to students by honoring our contract, meet with us and the fiscal adviser, and obey the law,” Fisher said.
“This strike is unnecessary and will only hurt students, families and employees by putting the district on the fast track to a state takeover,” said district officials. “A state takeover will result in less money for our students and do serious harm to our city’s public schools for many years to come. Our students do not deserve to be put through the hardships that will be caused by this strike.”

Read more here: https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/education/article228751559.html#storylink=cpy

The district recognizes the consequences of not reaching an agreement.
From the district superintendent’s letter to the union. 
state takeover will be devastating to our students and community and we must do everything to avoid it. The consequences of a state takeover include: 
·       · Paying interest on a state loan(s) for decades. For example, Oakland Unified School District has already lost over $53 million in principal and interest payments through July 2013 and is expected to fully pay back a $100 million loan until 2024; the loan was issued in 2003; 
·       · Local control would be lost as the District would have to turn over all its authority to an outside administrator appointed by the Sacramento County Office of Education, not the State Superintendent of Public Instruction;
·       · Student programs that are not required by law are likely to be significantly reduced if the District receives a state loan because the unrestricted dollars that flow into the District will be re-directed to pay off the state loan and interest. 

Monday, April 01, 2019

Sacramento Teachers Uprising ?

The #RedForEd Wave has already swept through Los Angeles and Oakland this year, with thousands of brave educators going on strike and leading massive movements to fight for the soul of public schools. Is Sacramento the next big fight of the Educator Uprising?
Frustrated and fed-up by continued deceit, disrespect and outright violation of their contract, Sacramento City Teachers Association (SCTA) voted to authorize a strike over egregious unfair labor practices and unlawful activity by Sacramento City Unified School District’s superintendent and school board. With 70 percent of SCTA members voting, 92 percent approved a strike to stop the district’s unfair practices and unlawful behavior, SCTA leaders announced Friday.
The SCTA bargaining team offered to meet with SCUSD at the end of the month to give the district an opportunity to correct its ongoing unlawful behavior. If SCUSD’s conduct and unfair practices continue, the executive board is authorized to set a strike date, likely in the next month.
“It’s truly unfortunate that teachers may be forced to strike to get Superintendent Jorge Aguilar, Board President Jessie Ryan and other district leaders to obey the law, including things as simple as agreeing to meet with us and honoring agreements they signed 15 months ago,” said Sacramento City Teachers Association President David Fisher. “What kind of example are they setting for the 40,000 students in our district?”
If 2,800 Sacramento City educators do indeed go on strike, it would be the first #RedForEd-era strike in the country over unfair labor practices and a school district reneging on a contractual agreement. SCTA says SCUSD’s continued unlawful activity is giving them no choice but to take direct action. These transgressions include:
  • Refusing to honor the collective bargaining agreement approved by both sides in December 2017, which included class-size reduction and increased numbers of school nurses and psychologists, violating the contract;
  • Refusing to meet at reasonable times and places with representatives the educators have elected to have represent them, and attempting to dictate who the teachers have represent them at the bargaining table;
  • Making unilateral and unlawful changes to the wages and working conditions of teachers without bargaining;
  • Failing to send district representatives to the bargaining table who have the authority to negotiate on behalf of the district, rendering bargaining meaningless.
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