The Sacramento City Teachers Association is gearing up to go on strike on Nov. 8 if their demands aren't met by the Sacramento City Unified School District.
The announcement came Thursday at a Sacramento City Unified teacher rally held before the district's regular school board meeting. Teachers are demanding higher pay, reduced class sizes and better work conditions. The union is asking for a 16 percent raise, while the district has offered six percent immediately and a potential 2.5 percent for the 2018-19 school year depending on state revenues.
The story has generated questions and concerns on the school district's Facebook page, from parents who are wondering what is expected for their children if there are no teachers in their classrooms. ABC10 looked into some of the questions to get answers.
Here are the answers to FAQ:
1. Question: What are the qualifications for the Emergency Replacement Teachers?
Answer: Potential candidates must have "any combination equivalent to 90 semester units of coursework and be enrolled in a regionally-accredited four-year college or university and expertise in a particular field of interest", according to the school district's website.
There is also a minimum requirement of having a valid Emergency Substitute Teaching Permit for Prospective Teachers issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The district will assist with expediting the process to obtain or renew the required permit.
The job also requires passing the California Basic Educational Skills Test.
2. Question: How will the Emergency Teacher Replacements pass a background check under such short notice?
Answer: Every teacher MUST have their fingerprint and criminal background report come back before they can teach in a classroom, according to Sacramento City Unified spokesperson, Alex Barrios.
There is no rush because many of the substitute teachers are already substitutes in the Sacramento area and other school districts and have already completed the process, according to Barrios.
3. Question: How can the school district afford to pay Emergency Teacher Replacements $500 a day but claim they don't have the funds to meet the teacher union demands?
Answer: With benefits-- such as pension, worker's compensation and lifetime medical coverage-- included, every teacher costs the district $468 a day, according to Barrios.
Teachers who choose to go on strike will not be paid for the days they don't show up to work. Therefore, the district isn't losing a substantial amount of money by offering this pay to substitute teachers. It's higher than regular pay but doesn't include the long-term benefits.