Wednesday, April 16, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Davis teachers ask for a pay raise

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From page A1 | February 07, 2014 | 9 Comments

After being battered for years by deep cuts in state funding, the Davis school district’s financial picture is finally starting to look up. Davis expects to receive a $4.3 million boost from the state next year.

And at Thursday’s school board meeting, several teachers urged the trustees to make a salary increase for teachers a priority, saying they had accepted furlough days and salary cuts when times were bad, all the while taking on more work due to class size increases.

At the same time, Superintendent Winfred Roberson and Associate Superintendent Bruce Colby reminded the trustees that the school district faces a long list of needs, ranging from backlogged facilities needs to updating outdated technology, in addition to considering employee compensation.

Pat King, a longtime math teacher at Holmes Junior High, reminded the trustees that “teachers are being asked to implement the Common Core academic standards,” the biggest update in California’s math standards since the 1990s, which will entail new lesson plans and coordination between teachers at different grade levels.

“These teachers need to feel respected, they need to be compensated,” King said. “They can’t continue to do more for less. We’ve had less take-home pay (each year) for many years.”

Jerry de Camp, a teacher at Davis High and Da Vinci Charter Academy, urged the trustees to work on “lowering class size and increasing salary and benefits to attract the best young teachers. … We have supported you in the past, we ask that you support us now.”

He also urged the school board to consider a retirement incentive similar to the one offered by the school district give years ago.

Blair Howard, a teacher at King High and president of the Davis Teachers Association, held his 18-month-old son in his arms as he reminded the board that “many young but experienced teachers like myself survived rounds of layoff notices” during the budget crisis and “now are faced with another decision” — whether they should take a teaching job in another district that offers a higher salary and better benefits, in a community where home prices are lower.

“Davis may lose some of its finest young teachers,” Howard warned, adding “Teachers want their work to be recognized with competitive compensation.”

Colby said that while it is a relief talk about a budget increase for the first time in years, $4.3 million “is not nearly enough” to cover the accumulated needs that have built up across the district.

“We have lost over $15 million in purchasing power over the last five years, and while a $4.3 million bump is nice, we are still in a hole,” he said.

And Roberson ticked off a list of budget needs to be prioritized, including class size reduction, employee compensation, professional learning opportunities (including sessions on the new Common Core standards), new instructional materials (reflecting the Common Core standards), instructional technology and rising utility costs. Roberson said addressing all of these needs would involve budget planning over a period of years, not months.

The comments made at Thursday’s school board meeting were the public manifestation of conversations that are also going on in contract discussions between the district and the Davis Teachers Association. As Roberson observed, “We are in the process of engaging our community and our employees … as we address all of these things.”

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8055.

 

 

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Discussion | 9 comments

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  • HAAFebruary 07, 2014 - 8:42 am

    Teachers should definitely get a pay raise! Teachers all over the country don't get paid enough. Their day doesn't end when the kids go home. They always have extra work to do at home. How much money will the district save when many of the "seasoned" teachers retire and new hires come in? Class size reduction is also a necessity! One of my kids is in kindergarten with 30 kids. There have been many kids absent during this cold/flu season. The difference in the way the class functions with 3,4,5 kids absent is amazing. It seems much quieter and more managable.

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  • MLFebruary 07, 2014 - 10:27 am

    When public employees ask for a higher salary, why don't you list what they currently earn? One source from CDE says that in 2011-12, the average CA public school teacher make $68,500. Adjusting for a full year, that is roughly $85,000 per year. Another site wrote that the top-paying states are New York ($74,130), Rhode Island ($69,780), and California ($69,330). Context.

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  • BHFebruary 07, 2014 - 3:29 pm

    The average teacher in the DJUSD made 66,772 last year in the 2012-2013 school year. The number for this year should be in the same ball park.

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  • sasshaFebruary 07, 2014 - 3:42 pm

    ML, were your numbers from other states also adjusted for a full year or were those the 9 mo. per year stats?

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  • casperFebruary 07, 2014 - 4:27 pm

    vote no for teacher pay raises. Davis schools are a joke. very little homework because 3 parents complained. 35 kids per class. forcing Montgomery kids to learn Spanish. I would rather put my kids in a private or charter school.

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  • Davis parentFebruary 08, 2014 - 2:17 pm

    " forcing Montgomery kids to learn Spanish." I understand that Montgomery is a dual immersion school now. Are kids there also being forced to learn math, social studies, and English?

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  • Davis parentFebruary 08, 2014 - 2:21 pm

    "vote no for teacher pay raises. Davis schools are a joke. very little homework because 3 parents complained. 35 kids per class." The article also is a discussion about class size reduction. Are you also saying no to reducing class sizes? By the way, my elementary kid has plenty of homework.

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  • February 07, 2014 - 6:24 pm

    The Sac Bee had an article about transparentcalifornia.com last week. It's easy to look up the pensions being received by Davis teachers, principals and admins. Not so sure about the salaries

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  • February 08, 2014 - 4:53 pm

    Since Davis homeowners are still paying emergency school parcel taxes the teachers shouldn't be getting any raises. Stop the parcel taxes then you can give the teachers all the raises they want but not on the backs of homeowners.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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