SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The first full day of distance learning is in the books for Sacramento City Unified students and their families. Though they’re already days into a new year, Sac City Unified is more divided as both the teachers union and the district continue to butt heads on negotiations for the year.
“When does my child meet their teacher? When does our day start? That’s what I need to know. When do I need to get my child in front of the computer?” Christine Shelby said, asking many of the same questions parents had over Labor Day weekend.
The district and schools sent conflicting scheduling messages to families throughout the weekend, sending shock waves of stress through their homes. Trish Shoemaker’s daughter was just one of them.
“She was just almost in tears. ‘I don’t know what to get on, when am I supposed to get on?'” Shoemaker said. “I don’t know what time my schedule is supposed to be.”
As the year starts to progress, many parents are hoping for answers about what’s next for the year, feeling frustrated and forgotten.
“I don’t feel like anybody is thinking about us in a way that makes them come to a decision,” Shelby said.
It was early on in the weekend that SCUSD announced its scheduling plans after mediation failed between both SCUSD and SCTA Friday night. The district was unable to speak with CBS13 on Tuesday but had previously said the decision was made in the best interest of students and district families.
Though the SCTA felt neglected and said many teachers had planned on using their own schedules for weeks.
“It’s about schedules as representation of the lack of respect for the teachers,” Lori Jablonski with SCTA said. “These schedules didn’t pop up at the last minute.”
The district’s schedule is in place until common ground can be found between the two groups. Both the district and the union are currently undergoing a fact-finding process with the state, in hopes of coming to terms soon.
Parents like Shelby say they can’t help but feel like pawns in a game and say if and when that agreement happens, she’s still unsure.
“When we do get a contract, is everything going to change again?” Shelby asked. “It doesn’t make me confident going forward that we’re going to be doing what’s right for the kids.”
The fact-finding process means one person from the district, one from the union and a mutually-selected third party would continue negotiating until they can agree.