Reign of Error
Educational historian, blogger, and author, Diane Ravitch in Sacramento September 27
SJTA Bargaining Update
August 19, 2013
As you now know, California’s public schools are about to undergo profound changes in two major areas. First, beginning in 2013-14 the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) will permanently shift most state categorical monies to unrestricted status and add additional funds for low income, English language learners and foster youths.
Secondly, California signed on to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) marking a significant shift in what students should know and should be able to do by the time they exit high school. As you are now aware, this will lead to a substantial shift in instructional practice. California is a governing member of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and will adopt its computerized testing regime. The 2013-14 state budget has allocated approximately $200 per student in one-time monies to prepare for implementation in 2014-15.
Both of these issues have immediately altered our bargaining environment. Although the formula and calculation to determine the amount of additional revenue to San Juan in 2013-14 under the LCFF is extraordinarily complex, we are estimating that it is in the range of $10 million. Additionally, the LCFF class size reduction add-on is intended to replace the prior K-3 class size reduction program with 24 as the target rather than 20, which is to be gradually accomplished by the time the LCFF is fully implemented in 2020-21.
All of this is further complicated by the fact that the district is receiving different advice from consultants and the Department of Finance with regard to making projections in the out years of 2014-15 and 2015-16. In light of all of the ambiguity, we are expecting “clean-up” language from the legislature or the Department of Education over the next few months.
Salary, furlough days, health benefits, and class size are on the table. The goals of SJTA are straightforward: plan for future salary increases, eliminate the furlough days, maintain health care benefits, and design a phase-in plan for class size reduction. Additionally, SJTA placed a “demand to bargain” the approximately $7.5 million one time monies to support implementation of Common Core State Standards in the area of professional development, curriculum resources and technology.
SJTA and the District have calendared 10 bargaining dates beginning September 5 through the end of October.
We will continue to provide updates on our website and present a full update at the first Rep Council on September 18.