SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — With full-time teachers expected to strike on Wednesday, the Sacramento City Unified School District is scrambling to find emergency replacements in time to keep schools open.
The district has as many as 800 positions to fill for 77 schools. The challenge is, each candidate must have at least an emergency teaching credential and pass an extensive background check that includes fingerprinting before they’re allowed take on a classroom.
“What we are planning right now is keeping all of our schools open,” said district spokesman Alex Barrios.
“We’re doing the work necessary to achieve that. In the event that something is different, we’ll communicate with parents right away to let them know what’s going on.”
The district is offering replacements a rate of $500 per day. Kameron Edwards has been on the substitute list for two years, and while he empathizes with full-time teachers, he says he will cross the line if they go on strike.
“I do see why the teachers are striking. It is for some good causes, especially for the capacity of how many students are in each classroom, but like I said, my life must go on, and I still have bills to pay,” he said.
The Sacramento City Teachers Association says they are extremely concerned that the district is rushing the process of background checks, and doesn’t see any way the district can ensure parents that the replacements will be safe and qualified to teach their children.
The district says they will alert parents via, text, email, and phone should it come down to closing schools next week, but they’re hopeful to fill the positions in time.
“There are a lot of people in this community that care about kids and are willing to fill in,” Barrios said.