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Teachers are ready to strike Manteca Unified

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POSTED June 2, 2017 1:15 a.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
At 9 a.m. on Monday, June 5, meet at Manteca Unified District Office to support your local teachers. The teachers are requesting the help of the community they serve. Teachers are ready to strike in Manteca.
Let the district bigwigs hear you shouting for fairness for our kids. This is crucial because teachers proposed smaller class sizes, more nurses, counselors at our elementary schools, and pay that will keep our teachers here. And the district rejected all of it.
In addition, the district proposed to start school every Wednesday at 10 a.m. so they could keep elementary teachers in meetings at 9am when they should be teaching. This will be terrible for working parents to arrange day care.  In addition, research clearly shows that morning time is the best learning time.
We lose over 100 teachers a year to other districts. Seventy-five percent of California school districts are experiencing a school shortage.  Why isn’t Manteca Unified competing to retain and recruit the best teachers they can just like sports teams compete for the best free agents?  The district is spending millions on all sorts of special programs.  The district big wigs forget that research clearly shows that the No. 1 factor at school that accounts for the success of a child is the teacher, not some fancy program that doesn’t work.  That’s common sense. Why wouldn’t you want to keep your teachers?
The district has nearly $100 million in savings yet is required by law to keep only $7 million. The school district received an increase of 14% from the state last year, and offered teachers only 1%. However, the district big wigs gave themselves a raise of 5%. Next school year, the district will receive a raise of 7%. The school district is not a bank. They are supposed to spend taxpayer money on the children. Either spend it on the kids or return it to the taxpayer.
The school district claims it is poor because it has to fully fund teacher pensions.  Not true!  Who has all of the money needed for their retirement already sitting in the bank?  That makes no sense.  Pension costs are increasing but the district has received an increase of 51% over four years which is plenty of money for kids, school repairs, and a fair offer for teachers.
One of the classes that district big wigs must take is how to deal with teachers because we are the biggest cost to the district.  That makes sense because we teach the children all day which is what a school district is supposed to do and not sit in a district office and plot how to take advantage of teachers.
Mark Monday, June 5, at 9 a.m. on your calendar and make a difference in the lives of our children. Email Jason Messer, district superintendent, at jmesser@musd.net to voice your opinion. The district spent $40 million on a fancy schmancy internet system so let’s use it. Thank you.

Ken Johnson
Manteca teacher

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