High Teacher Pay


Q:  I heard our teachers earn some of the highest pay in the valley.  Why don't we start by cutting their pay?
A:  Years ago, Sierra teachers were on the top end of the pay scale, but no longer.  Now, according to our local CTA rep, Sierra falls in the middle of the pack, at 15th in the valley.  Also, Sierra ranks last in the valley in contributions to health benefits.  Sierra teachers have not received a raise since 2007, and have taken 3 unpaid furlough days for the past 3 years, which is essentially a 2% pay cut. 
Q:  I hear that money from the bond will go to fund pension plans, instead of actually benefiting children.  Is this true?
A:  Pension costs do come out of the general fund, but this is a fixed obligation, and payments will not change with passage or failure of Measure O.  What will vary is how many personnel are on staff, which in turn affects the services the students receive.  A portion of personnel costs are pensions, but the real issue should be whether it is an unreasonable amount.  According to the district, pension costs are 8.7% of overall personnel costs.