Last night I had hammered home to me how grateful I am that that dream fell through.
I have just over 10 years of service with the State with a BA as the only necessary education, and I am within $5,000 of the top teacher salary for Davis Joint Unified School District, and more than $10,000 above the average salary. To cover my entire family with health coverage I have under $700/month taken out of my paycheck for medical and $33/month for dental, and our coverage is awesome. Last night I heard teachers talking about $1,400 a month for medical coverage, and take home pay within a few hundred dollars of their childcare costs for one child.
There are places where this wouldn't surprise me. Teaching isn't ever sold as a high pay option.
This, however is Davis. We take great pride in our schools. People move to Davis for the schools. We passed a parcel tax last year for our schools, and in the 20+ years I've been connected to Davis I haven't heard of a funding request for schools that hasn't been passed.
Last night we were at the school board meeting to support the teachers who were highlighting the 80 teachers the district had lost in the last 3 years by neither paying or respecting our teachers.
Brian and I among many teachers and parents, including one parent who came for something else entirely, but joined in to supporting the teachers enthusiastically, spoke during public comment. By the time my turn came I was choked up because of the lack of support from the superintendent, and the real experiences our teachers and parents described. This is what I meant to say:
Hi I’m Sarah my child Joshua is a 1st grader at MME
In our year and a bit of school at Davis we’ve been extremely impressed with the school, and the teachers. Maestras Diaz, Ortega, a and Valdez have been passionate, hardworking and inspired. Joshua has grown and flourished. This brings me to my first point.
- We have amazing wonderful teachers. They deserve better. They deserve pay parity. They deserve to be able to live in the community they teach in. If we do not provide this we have no reason to expect them to stay.
- By refusing to offer competitive pay we are missing out on teachers who don't even consider working here. I know three amazing teachers who live in Davis and teach elsewhere. One of them would take a $17,000 pay cut if she transferred to Davis another friend lives in West Sacramento and commutes to Fairfield. He would love to teach in Davis, but he can't afford the pay cut involved.
- It is expensive to live in Davis when we chose to buy a home in Davis we were able to make it work with our budget because we knew we would not have to worry about private schools. I can't imagine we're alone in this. Davis schools are well known and we have much to be proud of, but we cannot maintain the quality of our schools without our teachers.
We are here to help you with this. We will campaign for and vote for the taxes you need to keep our schools great, but we cannot do this if you do not ask for what you need. We need to pay our teachers for our kids, and for our community.
I hit my key points last night. A lot of people hit some excellent points last night. What remains to be seen is what the school board will do with this. My kid is in first grade. The board can look forward to at least 11 years of hearing from me.