District Offers $22 Million to Santa Barbara Unified Teachers

Members of the Santa Barbara Teacher's Association protesting outside the Santa Barbara Unified School District Office in downtown Santa Barbara in April 2023 (Photo: SBTA)

Santa Barbara Unified School District Proposes 19% Raise Over Two Years in Second Round of Contract Negotiations

The Santa Barbara Unified School District (SB Unified) has proposed $22 million total compensation package for teachers during the second round of contract negotiations with the Santa Barbara Teachers Association (SBTA) on Tuesday.

In a press release, SB Unified stated, “The District is interested in reaching a fair settlement in a timely manner and to further this goal today, the District brought forward a proposal it believes can form the basis for an agreement. The District is intent on not engaging in incremental bargaining and put forth a proposal to bring an early settlement.”

SBTA’s initial proposal of November 15, 2023 was for a 20% wage increase for 2024-25 and permanent class size reduction. Together, this proposal was estimated to cost $26.2 million.

SB Unified has countered with this current proposal of about $22 million that is equal to a 19% raise over two years which includes an 8% salary increase for 2024-25 and 4% salary increase for 2025-26 along with SB Unified paying 75% of medical premiums, and retaining reduced class sizes on an ongoing basis.

SB Unified provided SBTA with data showing that the 2023-24 increase alone would result in SBUSD ranking first out of six comparison unified districts in both beginning and maximum scheduled salaries:

SBUSD chart for 2023-24 teacher salary comparisons (courtesy)

SB Unified also noted that the latest projections show the State Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2024-2025 to be around 1% (the prior projection was 3.94%). While the State’s projected COLA is 1%, the District’s proposal for that same year is for an 8% salary increase.

SBTA president Hozby Galindo stated that courtesy of their union it feels like negotiations are moving in the right direction with the district bringing forth genuine proposals.

Teachers have staged several demonstrations and rallies throughout the year to increase wages and benefits as more educators leave the area for higher pay and lower costs of living.

Currently the District covers 40% to 60% of medical benefits premium costs for teachers depending on the chosen plan. Under its new proposal, the District would cover 75% of medical benefit premium costs (including future premium increases) regardless of the particular plan chosen.

This offer would reduce monthly employee out-of-pocket costs from $102 to $406 (employee-only coverage), $340 to $736 (employee plus one) and $371 to $937 (family). Annual savings would range from $1,020 to $9,370.

Members of the Santa Barbara Teacher’s Association protesting outside the Santa Barbara Unified School District Office in downtown Santa Barbara in April 2023 (Photo: SBTA)

For the reduction of class size, the District and SBTA previously agreed to separate year-to-year agreements. SBTA proposed to include the separate agreement – and in some cases to further reduce those numbers – permanently in the negotiated agreement.

The District agreed with SBTA to place class size reduction permanently in the contract and proposed to continue the class size reduction numbers contained in the latest side letter agreement.

These reduced class sizes have been funded by one-time funds which are expiring. This means the $6.2 million ongoing cost to maintain reduced class sizes would have to be paid out of regular District funds and represents a new, ongoing $6.2 million expenditure for the SBTA bargaining unit.

The third negotiation session is on December 12. Additional dates have been set for January 11th, January 19th, and February 6th.

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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  1. Teachers work 186 days/year. The typical full time salaried worker works about 240 days/year. If I scaled the max teacher salary ($106k/year) by 240/186, I get $137k/year. That’s comparable to what a mid-to-high level engineer (not software) makes a year in private industry around the SB area. That seems pretty reasonable to me.

    • Teachers work more than 186 days a year. They put in a lot of unpaid hours in order to do that job 186 days a year. That 106 is end of career–20-30 years in with a masters degree. I bet that is not the ceiling for engineers.

      • That salary I quoted above ($137k/year) I believe is typical for an (non-software) engineer with a Masters degree and 10 years experience. At my company, I’ve hired PhD engineers with about 5 years post-PhD professional experience for less. It’s true that they can get bonuses, stock options, etc. But I think there’s a general misconception that engineers and technical persons make more money than they actually do. Partially this is due to the exceptional cases of playing the start-up lottery and hitting the jackpot. It’s rare. A teacher makes a different calculation. He trades that high ceiling for job security and comparatively low hours.

        ps. It may be true that they work more than 186 days a year and work long hours. I believe you. But my estimation of a typical salaried employee working 240 days/year may be off in the same way. In both cases there are those that that work more or less.

    • I came here to say exactly this. I fully respect what teachers do, but the whole teacher’s underpaid argument requires more context. When compared to a full time job, the salaries are comparable. This doesn’t mean that teachers are highly paid, but it certainly does not mean they are underpaid. Certainly engineers in many industries can make more, but teaching salaries are well within the normal salary spectrum for working professionals. The real issue here is the cost of living, but that applies to everyone not just teachers.

      • I’m not sure what you mean by a “full time job.” Teachers work a full time job. Equivalent education + experience would get you a higher paying jobs. I know a former teacher who makes more as a bartender. She left teaching.

      • Bosco – your arguments aren’t grounded in reality and are founded from parroted far-right republican social media memes. Teachers are putting in 2,000 or more hours per year depending on their situation (and they don’t get paid OT). The average American only works about 1,811 hours a year. Teachers on average work 10-11 hours a day. That includes required school hours, Time at school before or after school hours, and hours working at home.The average teacher brings an additional 2-3 hours of work home with them at the end of each school week. Most schools are in session for roughly 36 weeks a year, so that adds an extra 100 or so hours. One of the common misconceptions most people have is that if school is not in session, teachers aren’t working. Teachers report back to school 1 to 2 weeks before the official “1st day”, plus there are a few days during the year that teachers work when students aren’t there. Conservatively, that’s an extra 10 days of work at around 8 hours a day. That’s another 80 work hours – bringing the total up to around 2,000 hours per year. There are also teachers who spend numerous hours during the summer months taking classes for professional development, planning out the year ahead, and making sure their classrooms are ready to go when students return in the fall.

        • Your math works out, but don’t think your assumptions are correct. You really think the average teacher works 10-11 hours/day? I’m close friends with three SB-area elementary school teachers. They are dedicated professionals and I’m certain they’re excellent teachers. But they absolutely do not work 10 hours/day or anywhere close to 2000 hours/year that you claim the “average” teacher works. I acknowledge this is a very small sample, but…

          • IFORONE – have you asked your “close friends” how long they work per day? I have many close friends and have never, not once, asked how many hours they work per day. It’s a weird thing to know about a close friend, much less three of them.

          • IForOne – I wasn’t assuming — there is plenty of data online about the hours teachers work. I mis-wrote when I said average though – I don’t know the average daily hours and I’m sure they fluctuate. However, according to a new survey by the RAND Corporation, teachers work an estimated 53 hours a week.

    • I am an engineer an married to one of our SBUSD teachers.

      I think this line of thinking where we look at what a teacher would make if their job was paid at the same hourly rate over a full year rather than over the school year is common. Based on the extrapolation we then say that a teacher is fairly paid because they work less than whatever job we are comparing to, engineer in this case.

      I think this an overly simplistic view of the motivation for teaching and the pay it should receive. The PHD holding engineers with post doctoral experience choose to be engineers and teachers choose to be teachers. It is NOT primarily a financial decision in most cases.

      Many teachers I know and more so the best teachers I know teach out of a deep calling to do so.

      If it were a financial and time off decision, I imagine we wouldn’t have any shortage of teachers.

        • There are definitely people that leave industry and join teaching for the time off. I know a number of people that did just that. They left high stress, time sucking corporate jobs to pursue more rewarding careers and better work life balance. I know a few that did simply to allow themselves time to travel over the summers. There is nothing wrong with any of this (good for them) but it should be factored in when discussing what an appropriate salary should be since it’s part of the overall benefits package.

          • What are you saying should be factored in. It sounds like you are saying that “ They left high stress, time sucking corporate jobs to pursue more rewarding careers and better work life balance.” Should necessarily result in different pay.

      • I agree that engineers and teachers work for other reasons than pay and time off. I have no doubt that most have a deep calling to the profession. But… this entire thread is about how much they should be paid. Do you agree that if they got paid more, or had more time off, they’d be more content? I apologize if I missed the point you tried to make.

        • I make no claims about a teachers contentment based on pay. In fact I don’t know if it would be good for schools and children to get people to increase pay to a level that people who don’t have the calling want to do the job.

          I think the fact is that there is a shortage of teachers in our area shows the demand is there. Others have posted that the district loses a large number of teachers each year. I have seen this happen several times in the last year to my spouses colleagues who have chosen to move to a position at a private school or move to a community where the income to cost of living ratio was better.

          These things suggest to me that their pay is too for our community.

          You also asked about time off. I know that one of the main things missing in our district over the last year has been substitute teachers. The lack of subs makes it very difficult for teachers to take the meager amount of mid year time they have off without negatively impacting their coworkers who are forced to take a class and a half on a regular basis or sacrifice their preparation time to cover a teacher who is out sick. I don’t think teachers necessarily need more time off but I think they need to be able to more easily take off the time they are supposed to have.

  2. Wondering how the 6.7million that the district cheated the teachers out of is going to be considered. Sure would be great to see a transparent breakdown of where the money is going, and has gone. So hard to get the real numbers. I have asked for Freedom of Information Act but there are constantly delaying and giving me crumbs of information. I find it so sad that are teachers are stressed and significantly underpaid and some of our most vulnerable students are not able to get there needs met in all the chaos of not having para educators and basically cutting staff too thin. Hard to get clarity and I have been trying. Strange that since it is public monies that it is all so hidden and obfuscated. This top down model does not work because the monies does not make it to teachers or vulnerable students. With more than half the students not proficient in reading our district still does not offer remediation to students in secondary . The district under this Superintendent has skewed priorities by creating fluffly, new, unneeded, bloated position for her former colleague at 287K and other highly questionable expenses in travel and consultants. If we eliminated those our students, teachers and community would be better off. And maybe some day they would actually remediate those students who they never taught to read… Sad and avoidable mismanagement is what our district is evolving into.

  3. whoa whoa whoa there. these numbers need a LOT of context! this looks like a press release barfed out by the district itself, and i would encourage edhat to be a little more careful before becoming the district’s mouthpiece. $22mil sounds like a lot, but the district’s overall budget is well over $200mil, and continues to grow. careful journalism would parse this proposal more thoughtfully.

    that nifty graph makes sbunified’s proposal appear almost competitive. but notice what’s missing: numerous other districts, who pay better; health coverage, which is cheaper and better elsewhere; and cost of living, which is BY FAR highest here. a nuanced comparison would show that, even with their proposed raise, the cost of housing and health care are comparatively higher here, and teachers in santa barbara would be wise to move ANYWHERE ELSE!

    counting stable class-sizes as a “raise” is extremely disingenuous. as a community, we all value smaller class sizes, but this is not money spent on teachers. important, valuable, but not a raise.

    counting the increase in medical contributions is misleading, for many reasons: a- many staff do not benefit, as they have better insurance from other sources; b- sbunified health coverage is among the most expensive in town (teachers pay as much as $2000/month for a family, using high-deductible HSA’s); and c- many districts already cover a higher percentage, and offer more competitive plans. again, a valuable offer, but only for SOME, and certainly not a raise.

    the bump in wages is a significant offer to be sure, but they did NOT offer a “20% wage increase”; they offered 8% for next year and 4% for the year after… which will leave teachers, at the end of the 25/26 school year, 12% over current pay… this is relevant, but given the price lag against inflation to date, roughly where they were a few years ago, relative to cost of living. considering district funding has grown by 7-8% annually for a while now (they did NOT share this teachers), and is forecast to continue growing at roughly the same rate, their 12% over two years plan is basically just keeping teachers where they are now. in other words, if this plan is accepted, TEACHERS WILL REMAIN BARELY ABOVE THE STATE-MANDATED BARE MINIMUM of 55% of overall district budget (they actually fell below this threshold this year, but you already know that). don’t be fooled, the district MUST, by law, increase teachers wages in proportion to their budget growth, and since SBUnified is funded by local property taxes, their budget will continue to climb.

    if sbunified wants to do right by the community, they will SHRINK the percentage of overall budget being wasted on BS internal/external administrative costs, while GROWING the percentage of overall budget invested in the classroom.

  4. The PR spin coming from the district makes me dizzy.

    SBUSD is saying their salaries for NEXT SCHOOL YEAR after their proposed 8% raise, will be higher than THIS YEAR’s salaries in 7 other cherrypicked nearby districts. Note that their list is conspicuously missing Goleta Union, Montecito Union, and Hope districts (i.e. the places where the cost of living is most directly comparable to Santa Barbara). Also, all the other districts are likely to increase their salary schedules by at least 2% for next year, so it’s a totally misleading comparison. They are cherry-picking data to support a claim that is not really true, “This raise will make us #1 among local districts.” If a student tried to argue from evidence like that on an assignment, they might get a C if the teacher was generous.

    SBUSD is also saying this is “equal to a 19% raise over 2 years” but they don’t really provide reasoning or a rationale for how they got that number. They are offering an 8% raise, followed by a 4% raise the following year. Even compounded, that’s only 12.32% raise over the current salaries. So I guess they are included the increase in their contribution to health insurance premiums? But those vary widely based on how many dependents a teacher has and which plan they buy (if they buy one at all — most teachers whose spouses work in other industries are on their spouse’s insurance plan since SBUSD’s insurance is such a bad deal). So it may be a 19% increase in the district’s costs over 2 years, but it definitely won’t be a 19% increase in total compensation for every teacher.

    Administrators who would publish such spurious and misleading arguments to benefit their own self-image should not be in charge of educating our children, and should certainly not be earning cushy 6-figure salaries from our taxes for this poor quality of work.

    • Agree that the district likely has much more money than they’re offering. Although I can’t get on board with the health insurance piece. If a company is offering a benefit package with health insurance and the employee chooses not to take it, how is that the company’s fault?

      • The fault is in spinning their offer to sound like it’s equal to a 19% raise across the board when that’s not true.

        An employee who is not on the district’s insurance would not benefit from the district’s offer to contribute a higher percentage of premiums, therefore the employee’s compensation would not increase by 19% over two years under SBUSD’s offer. There’s nothing wrong with that situation, but SBUSD needs to be more honest about how much impact their offer would actually have.

        They also need to be more honest about a lot of other things, like where the money went when they paid teachers less than the state-required minimum last year, why they have significantly increased their budget for administrator travel and conferences, what the budgets for administrator salaries and third-party consulting contracts have been in recent years, and how many of which staff positions are vacant in the district right now. I haven’t seen SBUSD show any sense of urgency to publish press releases about any of those issues…

  5. I’ve had 4 kids through our school system. There are a handful of teachers and staff that I am EXTREMELY grateful for and have shown it. I also have family and friends who are teachers. I know how hard they work and care. I believe education is one of the most important things we have to share.
    Hey, get your degree and your teacher’s degree, and let’s make some money, if you love kids and making a difference. I have a degree and don’t make close to what someone my age teaching makes! I work 300- 330 days a year… I don’t get the insurance, which is way better! I pay the same and get zero benefits unless I use over 10,000. I get no pension, yet paying for it…
    When I increase my rates, don’t bitch because it’s not even close to 12% and I’m having to eat the other 20% to get the job and maybe pay the bills.
    So, go to school kids, but get a government job. We got you.

  6. Teachers are valued, respected members of society and should be fairly compensated just as any other public servant. But what other job exists which one makes more, works less, produces decreasing outcomes and gets a 22% raise over 2 years?
    I see where there is a student walkout scheduled for DP in support of SBTA. Way to go, get the kids and local media to carry the water for the Union. Who’s next, Fire, Police, Public Works?
    The $22 Million comes from (you guessed it) property owners.
    Yet another argument for School Choice, whereby Parents choose what’s in the best interests of their children based on performance!

    • When a school district loses 100+ teachers every single year due to housing costs, I’m not sure how you can expect ever increasing outcomes (which, by the way, existed before COVID). Salary schedules for jobs change, often completely unrelated to a particular individual’s ability. “School choice” won’t solve the underlying problem.

      • I’ll take your word that it’s true that 100+ teachers have left the district due to low pay. But is it true that those positions have not been filled? If not, then this is the most effective way for teachers to get a raise. If the citizens of Santa Barbara see a significant shortage of teachers, then we’ll demand an increase in wages for them. But it’s going to be a hard sell otherwise. Teachers strikes, along with those of other government unions have a mixed reception by the public.

          • SB is an expensive area – all types of workers leave here for low pay. All of coastal California districts have similar difficulties filling positions. It is not unique to SBUSD. And SPED teacher shortages are everywhere. Very sad.
            The way schools are funded needs to change. A board manages a budget – they seem willing to pay teachers more, but they only have so much to give. The state needs to give more. And the feds need to give more – Sped is basically an unfunded federal mandate.

    • SBTEJANO – what’s wrong with the students voicing their support? As I understand, they are directly affected by this, missing out on club activities, out of class tutoring, getting letters of recommendation for college applications, etc. This is a community issue and the kids are at the center of that community. Instead of belittling their efforts, we should commend them for standing up and spreading awareness!

  7. In my opinion, the biggest and most serious issue with our school system(s) is the huge overhead of management and executive level staffs not the salaries paid to the teachers. The teachers deserve to be paid more. But the school system organizations full of superintendents, assistant superintendents, deputy assistant superintendents, principals, assistant principals, managers, etc and all of the support staff each one has is where our tax dollars are wasted. If we eliminated many/most of those positions (like the school organizations were many years ago before unions and all the associated “improvements” that we now live with) and gave the $ to the teachers our school systems would be much improved. My opinion.

    • I want to agree with you, but I’m not sure the math works out. Do you know what portion of the District’s budget goes to teachers versus administrators? I’ve looked around for these numbers but I’m not finding them. I *think* that the total administrators’ salaries+benefits is around $10 million per year compared to the total for teachers, which is about $150 million. If all administrators were eliminated completely and the money distributed to the teachers, that would lead to a 6.7% increase. That’s not bad, but eliminating the administrators wouldn’t lead to a windfall for the teachers.

    • I’ve been a principal – wonderful job and the most difficult job ever. Your life is dedicated to the school – 60+ hour weeks are the norm. And despite all the prep and planning, continual stressful events pop up that have to be carefully negotiated to avoid being crucified by one side or the other. I made more hourly as a teacher and had much better health. Irks me when I hear someone say, eliminate site level admin – someone has to do their work – manage the facility, staff, difficult student and parent issues, compliance and accountability reports and advocate for the school. Not every principal is great, but it is incredibly difficult work.
      I do agree that the extra district level admin Hilda created is wasteful. I suppose she needs help covering duties as she commutes back to LA every week…

      • Thank you for clarifying. I agree with you, onsite admin puts in a ton of work. Principals and their staff work long hours, go to after school events, district meetings, etc. and deal with parents which sounds brain numbing.
        I think when commenters reference admin they mean jobs like “chief of communications” and “Director of Community partnerships” and directors of educational services and directors of technology. These jobs make at least six figures and it prompts people to ask what is necessary and needed when teachers are underpaid.

    • Maldonado is a disaster, but that does not totally define this issue. This board did, as many boards do, take Maldonado’s word that an additional district level admin was needed – that was wasteful. Now the board’s job is about managing the broader budget. In many cases, boards wants to pay teachers more, but will only do so to the point they feel comfortable because they have a responsibility to be fiscally responsible.
      At the negotiations, they look at the budget in terms of three year projections with an eye on how increases now affect their future reserves. Keep in mind that a 1% raise in a year will cost the district more money than that in the next year because most staff moves up to a higher salary scale each year and every year employee benefits cost have increased. Of course, retirement rates are unknown as is future funding – they could get more or less in the future. Meanwhile, the state has a limit on how much of the reserves they must retain (or how much money they do not spend). This is important because state monies do not come to the schools predictably and schools must be able to cover payroll and be prepared for emergencies. Meanwhile school finance advisors suggest that districts maintain higher reserves to be fiscally sound. Basically, a board will agree to spend up to the point where the cost projections do not fall below their comfort level which is usually slightly above the reserve minimum. That is their job here. It is important to note that if districts are way too conservative in one year, they will then have more money available to spend the next year.
      I’m bringing this up because I would hate for a decision to be made about going on strike after only two negotiation sessions. At the next session, both sides will be able to see the budget models and the union leaders will get to see if the district is really giving all they can. Increased pay, more insurance cost paid, class size reduction all have a cost and they all compete with each other for the same money at the end of the day. The union likely conducted surveys to get a sense of what their members prioritized so they can propose changes to the district’s proposal or ask for more in any area. Really, the district proposal is surprisingly close in total cost to what the union asked for – it is rare to see a proposal like that so early in negotiations. So, I do see signs that the board is bargaining in good faith. If things break down, then I would expect to see more action, but hopefully, for now, I hope the negotiation process can continue civilly.

      • Teachers don’t want to strike and they understand it is a long process. The problem however, is the calendar. Staffing decisions start happening in March-April in many districts. Teachers who are desperately trying to stay need to have some sort of hope that there will be compensation that helps them stay in the area. If not, they will need to start the application process for other districts. It also will determine who applies for open spots. Teachers understand this is a negotiation process, but the lack of urgency, and then the spin of the numbers, makes it very difficult to trust the process. If you believe you are negotiating in good faith, then say what you are offering: 8% raise this year, 4% raise next year and reevaluating the health and welfare benefits to increase the district’s portion of the cost that will help some of the staff. Combining the two years to play on people’s cognitive biases so that the teachers look bad for not agreeing to their proposal doesn’t seem like a good-faith move. I think that is what is disappointing to teachers. Also, don’t forget that the district had the power to open up salary negotiations last year when teacher’s started communicating distress and they put them off.

        • Staffing decisions are made in the spring into the summer in every district. Negotiations and the ratification of contracts always go into the spring and sometimes into the following school year – that is usually when you have heightened labor activity. I’m sure some would like to know right now if they are going to get 8% next year or 9 or 10%, but I’ve never seen an agreement happen before the spring.
          The district was quite clear in what they offered – 8% and then 4% and increased coverage of 75% of insurance costs plus guaranteed class size reduction. I suppose you take issue with them stating that the cost of that is almost $22 million which is equal to a 19% raise. I’m not prepared to do the math to know if that is correct or not but the other numbers are quite clear. Meanwhile, the union started with a $26 million total ask. By the looks of it, they really are not that far off.
          In regards to last year, the district did provide teachers with a one time payment that they did not have to do – I’d have to say that I’ve never seen a board do that before. Usually if you make a deal – that something is off the negotiating table, both sides respect that. That is how it works because you can catch up the following year with the items of interest. I do recognize that teachers, just like most people working in this area, need more money right now, but things don’t move that quickly and there is a finite amount of money available.

          • The one time payment left 6.7 million dollars in the district coffers. The payment was to create the same effect it is having on you. Instead of giving a raise that would increase the salaries of teachers moving forward, the district now looks like they are being generous. Most people haven’t fallen for this. They evidently weren’t clear if you think they are close. Those percentages do not equal a 19% raise for over 50% of the teaching staff. So, why put that number out there? So, people like you, who do not understand the actual outcomes of these things, will think they are being reasonable. The district has asked teachers to pivot and be flexible in unprecedented times for the last 5 years. Yet, the district will not return the favor. Teachers are not asking to become rich, just to be able to live in the community in which they invest. If the community and district keep ignoring this issue, you will continue to have high turnover. If everything was so wonderful, you would have teachers wanting to work here and would not have open positions. We had highly qualified candidates turn down jobs in this district because they couldn’t afford to live here. That hasn’t been the case in the past. This used to be a district where there were only a couple of positions open in some departments and 30-50 people applying for them. They are still hiring for positions in December. That is not normal. You don’t seem to know the history of negotiations in this district because you would know that furlough days and class size increases were given when “something was off the table.” It has been done before and the district has the power to agree to open up elements of the contract. There is nothing against any law or code and isn’t unprecedented. You can’t ask one side to be “flexible and pivot” when the district has a shortfall, and not do the same when the other side is saying the financial pressures are hurting their retention and you do have the money to solve the problem. They had and have the money. The request by SBTA is after looking at the books. It is not an arbitrary number. Again, if you knew the history of negotiations in this district, you would know that SBTA has often agreed not to seek increased compensation when the budget did not allow for it. They negotiated other language in order to lighten the responsibilities instead (no extra duties for example). You are highlighting a major disconnect between teachers and those on the outside created by a lack of institutional history. If you knew how negotiations have gone in the past, you would understand why this is different. They could move quicker if the district wanted it to move quicker. It is possible. You are explaining teacher negotiations to a teacher who has been in the district for 30 years.

            • I’ve been a union rep and on the other side of a bargaining table and I have followed these issues across the county especially in SBUSD and other areas. SBUSD is not unique. This same dance happens every year everywhere in coastal California. Teachers do not get paid enough and have to move – I did this myself many years ago. Currently, there are openings everywhere especially SPED – everywhere across the state. Teachers have to make concessions year after year because there is never enough money for all they want. And they fight over how deep in the reserves the board will go. If there ends up with higher than expected reserves, it gets spent the following year and temporarily fixes some things a little. Because of the budget unknowns this happens all the time so in a way, teachers get what the district can bear a year or two later.
              Unfortunately both sides are guilty of misrepresenting numbers here and there -(or maybe not completely explaining how they calculated their numbers). I’ve read what the union sent to members before negotiations and some of it was a little misleading. For example, they would cite admin pay and include the cost of benefits, but not include that when citing new teacher pay. None of that should be necessary because I think that everyone agrees that new teachers deserve more pay – 40k or 50k or 60k is still not a living wage here…
              The bottom line is that none of our teachers get paid enough and our districts are not sufficiently funded.

              • So, you are now agreeing there has been a misrepresentation of the numbers. That was not what you were indicating in your earlier discussion of this matter. Not including information to an audience that knows their own salaries is not misleading the public. That is different. I have been a union rep as well and have an insiders understanding of our history and negotiations. What appears missing in your understanding of current negotiations, and your misunderstanding of the angst and reaction to the spin of numbers, is there is a history of this not being the case. Surely, given your experience, you understand that context is important, and without this institutional history that teachers in THIS district have, you might look at the district’s proposal and their public relations campaign a little different. Your posts read like an essential “calm down.” You may not have meant it that way, but that is how it came across to me reading it through my lenses. Teachers aren’t really being asked to be paid “enough”–which is not even quantifiable–they are desperate to remain in their jobs made nearly impossible with the increase in the cost of living.
                When you know there was money there that could have been spent on salaries, the bare minimum of the budget is going toward teachers, and you are seeing increases in other budgetary expenditures, this makes for an incredibly frustrating context that I have not seen in 30+ years in the district. It is different than the “usual.” The response of teachers is completely appropriate.

  8. Santa Barbara has one of the the highest property taxes due to the cost of our homes. This money is supposed to be supporting the schools. How can other areas of California better provide for their schools with much much lower property values? We should be able to fund the schools and pay the teachers well based on the high property taxes we are paying.

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