Sacramento City Unified School District Board of Education Approves Labor Agreements
Sacramento, CA - The Sacramento City Unified School District Board of Education tonight approved contract agreements that were recently negotiated with SCTA and SEIU. Our focus has now turned on recovering learning time that was lost due to the recent strike, which our students and families deserve.
The Board of Education heard a presentation by district staff and was briefed on the Sacramento County Office of Education’s independent review of the impact these agreements have on the district’s budget, which is summarized in a letter from Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) Superintendent David Gordon. State law requires SCOE to maintain fiscal oversight over Sac City Unified due to the district’s long standing fiscal imbalance. SCOE’s review determined the new labor contracts will add $16.1M to the district’s structural deficit in Fiscal Year 2023-2024.
SCOE’s analysis anticipates approximately $47 million in penalties the district could face for not providing students with the number of instructional days and minutes required by law this school year. In an effort to reduce the penalties and make up critical instructional time for students, the district is working with SCTA to offer additional learning time to students before the school year ends. Our other labor partners will be included in the process, as any changes impact their work schedules.
In his letter to the district, County Superintendent Dave Gordon informed the district of his changing of the district’s budget certification from “qualified” to “negative”. It is important to note that the district briefly attained “qualified” status largely due to an infusion of one-time COVID-19 relief funding.
“Unfortunately, SCUSD is all too familiar with “negative” certification based on decades of risky budgeting practice. That is a cycle we are committed to breaking,” said SCUSD Board President Christina Pritchett. “The independent review by SCOE should serve as another reminder to us that we have to address our deficit spending in order to have ongoing resources to invest in our students as well.”
There are positive changes underway. The new contract with SCTA includes a framework for achieving health care savings in the near future. That would allow the District to use the savings for hiring employees to staff programs designed to enhance equitable learning opportunities for our students and eventually address our structural deficit.
“It’s important for families and taxpayers to hold SCUSD and SCTA to that commitment. Finding comparable health coverage for our teachers and their families at a more affordable price is a win-win. The teachers will continue receiving the high-quality care they deserve and the cost-savings would be available to help our most vulnerable students get the extra learning support they deserve,” said SCUSD Superintendent Jorge A. Aguilar.
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