San Ramon Valley Teachers Rally For Students
By Cynthia Menzel
San Ramon Valley Education Association (SRVEA) members are “laser focused on securing contract language that provides the best learning conditions for our students.” That message was delivered by nearly 300 educators and parents to San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD) school board members and management during the last meeting.
The two sides are at impasse and recently 98.2% of SRVEA members voted “yes” to authorize a strike if an agreement that gets the best supports, the best class sizes and the best educators for SRVUSD students is not achieved. “We don’t want to strike, but we will for our students,” said SRVEA President Ann Katzburg .
“Our proposals provide the best ways to determine class size, to provide more nurses, counselors, schools psychologists, and to attract and retain the best teachers for our students,” she added. “This district can afford our proposals. Managers and school board members are choosing not to invest in what’s best for our students.”
SRVEA members have been sharing their homework in town halls on Facebook Live and in community conversations. They say in the last bargain, SRVUSD managers agreed to work together to get more funding for public schools. Thus far managers have refused to work with SRVEA to promote Schools and Communities First, an initative headed for the November ballot that will put millions into schools by closing corporate tax loop holes.
SRVUSD managers have admitted their budget projections are usually wrong, but use those projects to incite fear about budget shortfalls. “We are negotiating from facts, not fear,” Katzburg said.
SRVEA members say quality education matters and the professionals in the classroom are the best ones to determine the best resources and supports students need. “We are negotiating on our students’ behalf, so we can improve their learning conditions,” said Katzburg. “We want today’s resources spent on today’s students and we want to make sure future funding goes to our students.”