FAIRFIELD (CBS13) – Students in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District are grateful that their sports programs will be saved. But it might not have happened if not for teachers who voted to give up two days of pay and other concessions to save student programs.
To hear some of these teachers talk at Thursday’s board meeting, you really got a sense this was not an easy decision. Some teachers are already struggling financially, but they felt this was the right thing to do to save programs and jobs.
“I’m amazed,” said parent Rosa Florez. “For me to hear that, I applaud them.”
Rosa learned her daughter Raquel and other students will be able to continue playing sports the next school year. Thanks to teachers going above and beyond by opting to give up some of their own pay.
“I think it shows teachers actually, and they’ve proven to us, they care, even sometimes we think they don’t,” said Raquel.
The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District faced a strong backlash from students and parents after approving a cost-saving plan to cut all sports. Now, they’ve approved teachers’ concessions.
They total nearly $2 million. Teachers will help to save athletics and co-curricular activities like drama. They’ll also pay for basic school supplies like paper and tissues and some classified positions like librarians will also be saved, along with adult education and independent study.
But those cuts did not come without some pain. Middle school teacher Monica Brown told the school board she already works a second job because of her low salary and will now have to cut her son’s medical coverage.
“I’ve taught 36 years and part of it is I feel like I’m a failure that I can’t take care of my own two children,” said Brown.
Despite voting to support other people’s children, Brown is adamant the concessions 82 percent of teachers agreed to were not only to save sports, but also to save jobs.
“I just kind of get upset that it’s on my shoulders. It should be the whole community,” said Brown.