Santa Barbara Unified Employees to Get a Raise

By the edhat staff

After educators and staff rallied for increased wages in recent months, Santa Barbara Unified acquiesced last week.

On June 2, the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board of Education voted in favor of a pay increase and one-time bonus.

Salaried employees will receive a 4% raise next year and all staff members will receive a one-time $1,000 bonus later this year, which equals about $5.4 million.

Teachers hosted a rally last month on National Teacher’s Day to advocate for higher wages that reflect the increased cost of living.

In May of 2021, the District Board of Education approved a three year compensation agreement with the Santa Barbara Teachers Association (SBTA) that included a salary increase of 3.5% in July 2021, a 2.5% increase in July 2022, and a 2% increase on July 1, 2023.


Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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  1. Other requests were made by teachers at the May 9th board meeting, like lowering the caseloads for special ed, allowing more prep time, and one para educator who makes only 18.36 an hour w/o benefits asked for a competitive wage since many para educators are forced to leave the district. One special ed teacher who teaches english for 18 years at SB High said that he has asked 3 superintendents to address changing the culture around special ed because he has had ” less than a handful of freshman in his entire 18 years can read at grade level .. something needs to be done and I can’t do it alone “. I hope the board recognizes that students in secondary and junior high need remediation in reading and math. They don’t have time to wait for training in the new curriculum to be done which will take three years. All students deserve to graduate with a diploma that allows them to be eligible to apply to a UC or CSU. In 2022 only 13% of students with learning differences and only 9% of emerging multilingual learners graduated with a diploma that covered the A-G courses which would enable them to be eligible . Remediation in elementary and secondary needs to be addressed or teachers will be overworked and vulnerable students will continue to fall through the cracks with limited options after graduating. We could have 70% less students in special ed if we offered universal screening and appropriate remediation. This would save the district monies since special ed students cost 4x more. Then we could give teachers a competitive salary and vulnerable students could apply to a university of their choosing which rarely happens at SBUSD, because just like with the teachers, the leadership does too little too late sadly. And struggling students pay the price.

  2. SBeducator & Bird: So agree with SB educator. The teachers are stuck in a difficult situation and students outcomes reflect that the system needs to change. Teachers are caught in the middle and many are not encouraged to identify students for more intensive help which thousands need. . The board has the power to implement policy and pick the curriculum. In the past the board, superintendent, and even SB education foundation all supported a failed approach to reading despite a decade of advocates pointing out that “balanced literacy approach” was based on guessing at a word from contextual clues , like pictures. It did contain some phonics but was no where near effective. The new curriculum which was at long last chosen, is the science of reading approach which is based on decoding.. or breaking a word into parts. It also includes phonics but adds four important components, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency. This method works for students who struggle like those whose primary language is not english and those with learning differences. It is not the teachers fault that our current Superintendent just last year referred to our district ” as Lucy Calkins district, the guru with the failed approach. Lucrative publisher contracts drive this failed approach. ( Listen to Sold a story by Emily Hanford to fill you on the issue.) Watch Right to Read movie to see that many advocates are changing things. Besides new curriculum we as a community need to speak up for higher salaries and a complete change in culture for how we help students. Many advocates call for universal testing and being generous with intensive interventions early. The training for new curriculum takes 3 years. So we still have thousands of students who need expensive interventions to make gains. This could look like 4 hours a day , 5 days a week for 8 week by a reading specialists who has experience in several of the best approaches. But the leadership won’t use monies in this effective way. The Superintendent deflected a question I gave at her State of the Schools about the need and moral obligation for remediation. The only way the teachers and students are going to be successful is with public outcry and awareness. They system protects itself and rewards those at the top. The teachers are stuck with the crumbs and situations that are out of compliance. But who wants to go up against their employer. Sorry for the length . Teachers already go above and beyond and the district is devaluing them and being so short sighted. We need a proactive culture . It saves money and is successful . We could have 95% reading proficiency if we did what I referred to. And have 70% less in special ed. What we have now only works for whites and asians if you look at CAASP scores. And even they could do much better.

  3. To be clear, we were getting a 2% raise next year and they “generously” added another 2%. For teachers at the top of the pay scale, this will amount to about $150 a month before taxes. Considering that SB Unified is not passing along the 6%+ that we get from property taxes and should be our COLA, this so-called raise is misleading and insulting. We are still one of the lowest paid districts in our region-for teachers. Administration is paid extremely well. So well that one wonders how much of the payroll is going to the top jobs that Hilda has created. Before one of you responds and says we aren’t getting a bigger raise because of our test scores, either give me a quote from Hilda to that effect, or zip it.
    So this is not a raise-it’s a fraction of the COLA we haven’t been receiving the last several years.

  4. Is there anyone out there that can show us that SBUSD students are performing at an any acceptable measure? Yes Covid caused significant problems, at home lessons were ineffective at best.
    Teachers want more $$$$ show me the numbers.
    BTW, I agree with previous statements that the SBUSD is top heavy and that teachers are undervalued

  5. If LOVESBALOT’s post is accurate about the need for reading remediation is so clearly needed BEFORE high school, then the whole SBUSD needs to be shaken up. Students graduating without basic reading and math schools are being cheated and their parents (and the rest of us who pay our taxes) short-changed. WHAT CAN WE, in the non-school community, DO ABOUT IT?

  6. When you don’t pay teachers enough, you lose them and lose the experience they bring. Saying that we should only get paid more if students perform better is not reasonable. We have lost many talented teachers to other districts and then have staffs that are largely new teachers who need time to learn the craft. Pay better and retain the best! We have also had a terrible reading “program” that they district forced on us.

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