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Orcutt Parents Invited to Teacher Informational Meeting, Rally

Orcutt teachers will inform parents about the real threats facing the Orcutt Union School District at 7 p.m. Monday, April 11, 2016, at the Your Orcutt Youth Organization hall, located at 725 E Foster Road.

“The school board’s financial decisions are creating a threat to the district’s future,” said Orcutt Educators Association President Monique Segura.

Recent increases in District funding are being spent away from the classroom, instead of on classroom budgets and keeping Orcutt teachers from falling farther behind their peers in neighboring school districts.

Right now, an Orcutt teacher with 10 years of experience and the same education earns over $17,000 less each year in pay than an equally qualified teacher in a different district.

While the district’s revenue from the state will grow by more than $5 million dollars over last year’s revenue, according to the district, the teacher-controlled classroom budget will remain just $8 per student per year, which forces teachers to dig even deeper into their own pockets and beg for more supplies from parents to keep their classrooms running.

Rather than making the Association a fair offer in their contract negotiations, the school board recently increased Superintendent Deborah Blow’s annual salary to more than $200,000, more than she would earn if she were superintendent of the Santa Maria-Bonita School District, a district with nearly four times as many students.

Orcutt Education Association is at impasse in its bargain with the District. An initial mediation session with a state mediator March 2 did not produce a settlement. An additional session is planned for April 13.

In addition to the parent and community meeting at YOYO, Segura hopes parents will also come to a rally at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, before the 6 p.m. school board meeting at the District Office, which is located at 500 Dyer Street.

“It is critical that parents and community members tell the board that we need to keep Orcutt competitive for talented teachers,” Segura said. “You can’t put students first if you put teachers last.”

Five additional issues will be in dispute at the rally, including whether disagreements should be settled by the school board or by an independent third party, the rights of teachers to transfer and limits on class size.

Andrew Oman represents the Orcutt Educators Association.


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