After a Long Dry Spell, California Teachers Get Pay Raises
After several lean years, thousands of California teachers are winning pay hikes, bonuses and other benefits in contract negotiations — the fruits of voter-approved school funding increases.
The $6.1 billion in new funds headed for schools this year courtesy of Proposition 30, a temporary income and sales tax increase, also will allow officials to rescind layoffs and restore days to the school calendar in districts from Napa to Long Beach.
"On the whole, teachers are happier," said Eric Heins, vice president of the California Teachers Assn. "We're beginning to see a very positive direction" in the state.
But officials in some districts, the teachers association says, still are "behaving badly."
In San Diego County, for instance, the Alpine Unified Board of Education recently approved what teachers said would amount to a 30% cut in pay and health benefits. Facing a $1.3-million budget deficit, officials voted to make cuts beyond what a state labor official — who has been brought in to mediate a settlement — had recommended.