SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento City Teachers Association announced they are prepared to strike for the second time. The second strike is set for May 22, the association said Tuesday.
District officials responded with prepared statements to the SCTA announcement Tuesday, urging the teachers to join the district at a march to the Capitol on the same day to request more funding for schools.
“District and teacher’s union leaders both embrace the larger effort to secure more school funding. On May 22nd rather than striking, we should join forces to demand full and fair funding at CTA’s #RedforEd Capitol Action Day. California ranks an abysmal 41st out of 50 states in per-student spending—well below the funding we need to provide a high-quality education for our students. It would send a powerful message to policymakers if we were to harness our collective energy and come together to show the state why it’s imperative that we take action now to fully fund K-12 education,” said Board President Jessie Ryan.
“SCTA leaders have announced another strike at a time when our district is running out of money, on the brink of insolvency and state takeover. We should be working together to save our schools, not working against each other. This strike will once again have a negative impact on our students, particularly those with the greatest needs. Almost half of our students showed up to school during the last one-day strike on April 11th because our schools are safe havens that provide them with a safe learning environment, healthy meals and other supports. That is why our schools will once again be open on May 22nd. It is our hope that rather than go on strike, SCTA leaders will join forces with us so we can march to the Capitol together on May 22nd to request more funding for our schools,” said Superintendent Jorge Aguilar said.
This comes after a one-day strike on April 11, their first strike in 30 years. The teachers association alleged unfair labor practices by the district.
Members of the teachers union were striking for one day over allegations the Sacramento City Unified School District is not honoring its 2017 contract agreement. The union wants to use the health care savings for students and the school district wants to use the money to help reduce a $35 million budget deficit.
On the day of the last strike, the district reported only 48.3% of students attended school, costing the district some of the much-needed daily allowances that they get from the state. Additionally, the district must pay for teacher replacements, which were paid $500 a day for the last strike.
After the one-day strike in April, the district called for a cease-fire agreement between the district and SCTA.
The school district says coming to a compromise is critical to balancing the budget before the June 30th deadline set by the Board of Education. If they can’t, a state takeover is certain and could mean a student exodus and school closures.