Thursday, October 2, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Teachers give school board another earful

DTA president Gail Mitchell speaks as teachers stand and offer silent support for her comments at Thursday's school board meeting. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | May 04, 2012 |

The Davis school board faced another standing-room-only audience Thursday night as the trustees adopted several budget deficit-driven decisions they said they would prefer not to make.

Among those present were a large contingent of teachers who are unhappy at the prospect of smaller paychecks and bigger class sizes.

The teachers are in the midst of contract negotiations with the school district, a situation to which Davis Teachers Association president Gail Mitchell alluded in her comments.

“Two weeks ago, the (school) board asked us to consider a 5.5 percent permanent, ongoing pay cut,” she said. “What I hear from teacher after teacher, at site after site, is: ‘I can’t afford to see my paycheck shrink any further.’ ”

She warned that some teachers would need to move out of town or take a child out of college if the pay cut is adopted.

Teacher Rusi Gustafson, who has a kindergarten class at Birch Lane Elementary, said that “three weeks ago, we were warned to expect a total of 31 students in each of our classes next year,” and he noted that four years ago, kindergarten class size was 20 students.

Gustafson protested “this board’s intention to recompense us for this 50 percent increase in class size … with a 5.5 percent pay cut.” He warned that teachers are reaching “a breaking point.”

Tim Fahlen, a teacher at Emerson Junior High, worried about the reduction in hours for vice principals at the district’s three junior high schools.

“Schools will always be in crisis mode,” Fahlen warned. “A vice principal’s tasks are gi-normous. … How are problems going to be handled if the principal is gone, or not available?”

Marla Cook, a sixth-grade teacher at Willett Elementary, called for “a freeze on spending … no new reading series, no new language programs to replace ones that work,” and “no new computers, even.” She called on all district employees to consider a 1 percent pay cut.

In contrast to the April 19 school board meeting, some teachers praised Winfred Roberson on Thursday night. Last month, teachers protested a clause in Roberson’s new contract, under which the school district would reimburse him about $15,000 a year for tuition as he participates in a three-year doctoral program.

A few days later, Roberson quietly sent an email to teachers saying “I regret that the tuition reimbursement has become a distraction in the workplace. … I will not accept reimbursement for tuition costs.”

On Thursday, Roberson got credit for taking “the first step by declining to have his education subsidized (by the district),” as one teacher put it.

While negotiations between the teachers union and the district are rocky on some issues, a tentative agreement was announced Thursday with the district’s other bargaining unit. Assistant Superintendent Matt Best and Jim Herrington, president of the California School Employees Association local — representing custodial and maintenance workers, secretaries and others — said the tentative agreement includes two furlough days for CSEA members in the coming school year.

About four layoff notices to CSEA members will be rescinded as a result, but several other employees will still be pink-slipped under a pair of resolutions that the school board approved Thursday night.

Trustees also approved final layoff notices for teachers and other staffers who had received preliminary layoff notices in March. Those job eliminations will reduce the district’s $3.5 million budget deficit by about $2.5 million. The staffing reduction also will swell class sizes throughout the district.

“I don’t want to vote for this,” said trustee Gina Daleiden, but she noted with dismay that the alternatives were even worse. “We could close two schools, and may get close to saving $1 million.”

Associate Superintendent Bruce Colby told the trustees that the district’s fiscal reserves have dwindled after years of budget reductions by the state.

“We are running low on cash and if we are not extremely careful, we will run out of cash and go bankrupt,” he warned.

Colby cited a letter from the Yolo County Office of Education, which reviews local school district budgets, noting that if the Davis district doesn’t make $3 million or more in budget reductions, “the district would have a qualified or possibly negative budget certification,” which could result in the state appointing a trustee to assume control of major budget decisions.

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

Comments

comments

.

News

 
Sunder wants to expand opportunities for all

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

 
At Davis intersections, let’s be careful out there

By Kim Orendor | From Page: C2 | Gallery

 
Oktoberfest features Grand Isle Fire Brigade

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sunder supporters gather on Sunday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Trokanski discusses new project on ‘Davisville’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Learn more about Boy Scouts during upcoming events

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Third-graders face high-stakes reading targets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Learn how to ride a bike in Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Feinstein, Boxer depend on red-leaning Senate races

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A3

Gallery hosts poetry night

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Parenting advice on radio show

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Archer event set for Sunday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Per Capita: Tales from the back burner

By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

Sunflower power at the Winters Community Library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Tour gives opportunity to watch moonrise in the bypass

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

UC campuses aim to be more inclusive to LGBT students

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Check out Soroptimists at info night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Helping disabled ag workers stay in agriculture

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Unitrans persists through changing times

By Lily Holmes | From Page: C6 | Gallery

 
Up for a fun day trip? Take a bike to Bike Dog

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: C8 | Gallery

Volunteers are trained to help with train questions

By Bob Schultz | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
There are plenty of fun activities around town

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C13 | Gallery

Getting from here to there by buses, planes and trains

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C14 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Climate change is coming for you

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
A true vision for peace

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Drivers, just follow the rules

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Let’s fix the park deck

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

‘Maupin’s Law’ 2.0: Prevention is better than punishment

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Choose Archer, Sunder, Adams

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Barbara Archer for school board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Vote for change on board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Poppenga considers all students

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

 
Despite 168 points allowed, PSU defense may not be lousy

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Bumgarner, Crawford help Giants slam Bucs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cheung paces Devils past Pacers on the pitch

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS JV runners shine in varsity events

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Youth roundup: Diamonds swing to victories at Vineyard Classic

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: DHS girls tennis goes three for three

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

.

Features

Davis robotics team pays it forward

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

Wineaux: Picking the last rosé of summer

By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

 
Natsoulas to host mural conference

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

Robbie Fulks will visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Odd Fellows to screen classic Westerns

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Old Macs get new life at art exhibit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Woodland Opera House rounds up cowboy poetry, music

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Music for brass, choir and organ set at DCC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, October 2, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6