District Deeds thanks Ms. Francine Maxwell and the San Diego Branch of the NAACP for the following important Press Release titled “With Children First”.
We urge all our readers to stand with the NAACP to demand “what children is our district putting first” from the current leadership of the San Diego Unified School District.
November 10, 2020
Re: With Children First
This is the signature line for all the information that board members send out to the community and the press. It should read “Adults First and if there are crumbs left, let the children have them.” Once again, in the middle of a world-wide pandemic, our board members and the superintendent believe that it is a good idea to offer a “Bronze Handshake” (not as potent as the Golden Handshake) to teachers who are eligible. We haven’t even gotten the online teaching process down with our current teachers, and our leaders believe that this would be a perfect time to retire some veteran employees. Our district lost quite a bit of institutional knowledge less than 3 years ago with the Golden Handshake of 2017. Losing the remainder of the veteran employees to the district will wipe out any and all history with the district.
Keep in mind, there was no mention of the fact that a few years back, the Chief of Staff stated that she would be retiring at the end of this current school year. So interesting that they offer Free Medical Insurance for the next 5 years to any eligible member of SD Unified who retires now. WOW!!
Someone like Stacy Monreal will get at least $75K towards her medical insurance over the next 5 years. Other employees will get between $25-75K for their medical, depending on their seniority with the district. There are 600 employees who took this incentive package. If the average amount is right in the middle, this adds up to THIRTY MILLION DOLLARS going towards medical coverage for these employees over the next 5 years. It could easily be more. Add this to the already $165M deficit for the 20121-22 school year and anyone can see clearly that this district is NOT about children!
To further inflict chaos to our students, the employees who accepted this plan MUST leave by December 2020. Why? The president of the teachers’ union asked the same question and was given a non-answer that the deadline was December 31, 2020.
The first semester does not commence until the end of January 2021. Why make a teacher leave prior to the end of the semester? Is there a tax incentive for Ms. Monreal to get her money by the end of 2020? Will it place her in another tax bracket if she got the incentive in June 2021?
There is NO incentive for our students–they will now have to endure a substitute teacher who does not know them, the class routine, the school or sometimes the actual course itself. Will they be trained on using web portals to teach students? Can they accurately grade students using the new Performance Based Evaluations (which have not yet been vetted by parents or community members)?
Every single day, at all schools in San Diego Unified, the shortage of substitute teachers has been epic. If we are already short substitute teachers, how will they fill the teaching positions left by the retired teachers in January? And where will they find enough substitute teachers to fill in for teachers who get sick during the school year?
Our students who attend schools in the lower economic areas of San Diego will be hit the hardest. Remaining teachers who have seniority will fill the empty positions in higher-performing areas of San Diego, meaning our schools will be left with the substitute. Substitute teachers tend to want to teach in schools in the higher performing areas of San Diego, and it may be very difficult to find any teachers for our students.
Even if substitutes are found, our students, who have built trusting relationships with their teachers will now have to chance their education on someone who doesn’t know them or the school where they are teaching, and who may not even want to be there.
Once again, what children is our district putting first?
Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch
P.O. Box 152086 • San Diego, CA 92195-2086
Founded in 1919 after a visit by renowned author, activist and NAACP co-founder, W.E.B. DuBois, the NAACP San Diego Branch is celebrating a century of standing sentry over the civil rights of the people of San Diego. If you need more information about the NAACP San Diego Branch, please visit sandiegonaacp.org/presskit
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