Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Stalled Contract Talks for Teachers

The Santa Barbara Independent reported recently that hundreds of Santa Barbara teachers protested at a school board meeting over stalled contract talks despite state-mediated negotiations. The "S" word was actually used -- teachers mentioned going on strike for a 1.5% increase which they say equals about $50 per month.

I would love to hear from some SBTA members on some comparative pay studies to districts of similar size. We all know it has to be tough to be a teacher and afford to live in Santa Barbara -- but what are the numbers? And, if I may, how do the numbers match with declining enrollment figures?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to change the topic completely, but take a look at today's News-Press - - full page ad from "the management team" on page A-4. Is this to be considered HER side of the story?

2/21/2007 7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a more detailed follow-up article from the Independent, Sara:

2/21/2007 7:04 AM  
Anonymous my two cents said...


Rank District BA+30 @ 5 years

1 Montecito 54,918
2 Santa Maria High 53,422
3 Ballard 51,612
4 Santa Ynez High 51,296
5 Santa Maria-Bonita 50,960
6 College 49,811
7 Hope 49,442
8 Lompoc 49,339
9 Santa Barbara COE 49,165
10 Cold Spring 48,614
11 Goleta 47,970
12 Guadalupe 47,636
13 Los Olivos 47,505
14 Buellton 46,887
15 Santa Barbara 05-06 46,857
16 Orcutt 46,564
17 Vista Del Mar 43,963
18 Carpinteria 43,001
19 Cuyama 42,841
20 Los Alamos 05-06 42,127
21 Blochman 05-06 41,382
22 Solvang 05-06 38,212

Rank District TOP PAY
1 Montecito 99,293
2 Santa Maria High 84,211
3 Guadalupe 83,834
4 Santa Maria-Bonita 83,708*
5 Cold Spring 83,625
6 Santa Ynez High 83,214
7 Hope 82,917*
8 Goleta 81,692
9 Buellton 81,193*
10 Orcutt 79,815
11 College 79,484
12 Ballard 77,352
13 Lompoc 77,321*
14 Los Olivos 76,182
15 Carpinteria 76,067*
16 Santa Barbara COE 74,386*
17 Santa Barbara 05-06 72,161
18 Los Alamos 05-06 71,882
19 Vista Del Mar 05-06 71,176
20 Solvang 05-06 69,671*
21 Cuyama 64,729
22 Blochman 05-06 63,841

*with Master's Degree

2/21/2007 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Steve Jobs is right. Our school system is a failure, we shouldn't reward it or anyone in it with more money!

2/21/2007 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the salaries. Doesn't look like they should get a raise based on those figures!

2/21/2007 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the Daily Sound:


2/21/2007 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is quite obvious that most people really don't understand the issues here. In reality, the average teacher is OVER PAID! The average teacher is making between $50K & $75K per year for Part Time Work ! With 3 weeks off at Christmas, 10 days off for Spring, ALL Summer off & lots of Mondays and half days..
If you ALSO consider that they get incredible health and retirement benefits.. and work part time.. they really are OVER PAID>

It is a classic government employee that gets way too much for what they do.

2/21/2007 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous 9:48am said

I think Steve Jobs is right. Our school system is a failure, we shouldn't reward it or anyone in it with more money!

Sure sounds like talk radio. I saw on the news that gang activity is up in Santa Barbara so I guess the law enforcement system is a failure too. Let's not reward it or anyone in it with more money! While we're at it, let's do the same for the prison system and not reward them with any more money too. I bet we spend a lot more on each prisoner than we spend on each kid in school.

In the meantime, what do you propose as a solution for educating my children?

2/21/2007 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uuuuh... Lets see Lompoc teachers make more money... Santa Maria teachers make more money...Goleta teachers make more money, and Sarvis says teachers are a priority... right... time to get rid of Sarvis and Jan Zettle while you are at it.

2/21/2007 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These figures appear to be quite misleading. I have two very good friends who are teachers at SB High--both of them are dealing with a doubling of their insurance premiums, and the make nowhere near the $78,000 top salary. One is forced to take in students to help pay the mortgage, the other does consultant work on the side--and neither of them have any time during the week--they're always grading papers, doing lesson plans and working like crazy to implement the state and federal mandates that have taken the place of education. Frustration with the school system shouldn't be taken out on the underpaid, overworked teachers...Sarvis should reject his raise until his teachers get one--and lobby for a good one. Don't forget, Cottage is building housing for their nurses who make between $65,000 and 120,000--far beyond what the teachers are making!

2/21/2007 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least nurses earn their wages...

2/21/2007 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love these people who think teachers are overpaided. Their comments are laughable. If teachers are paid so great, why doesn't everyone want to be a teacher? Could it be that most teachers work 60hrs+ per week including weekends and evenings for a job where the salaries are in the mid 50's with a Masters degree. Sarvis is overpaid. I will give you that.

2/21/2007 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous 12:40pm said...

... time to get rid of Sarvis and Jan Zettle while you are at it

You can't get rid of them, didn't Sarvis just get a nice raise?

2/21/2007 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like the anti-public education (minority) is out again. The bottom line is teachers in Santa Barbara have gone from being well paided compared to other teachers in the county to being among the worst paided. With the cost of living in SB, it isn't right. I would also agree that the above figures are either misleading or inaccurate. All the teachers I know including veterans do not make more than the mid-$50's

2/21/2007 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is quite obvious that most people really don't understand the issues here. In reality, the average teacher is OVER PAID! The average teacher is making between $50K & $75K per year for Part Time Work ! With 3 weeks off at Christmas, 10 days off for Spring, ALL Summer off & lots of Mondays and half days..
If you ALSO consider that they get incredible health and retirement benefits.. and work part time.. they really are OVER PAID

My wife is a teacher and she works most weekends and evenings and the half-days are really "in-service days" (where the kids go half day but the faculty stays around for meetings and workshops). I think you are totally misinformed about the teachers' time commitment.

2/21/2007 3:08 PM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

I have to agree with Anon 2:52. If you think teachers are overpaid why don't you get a job teaching? And to the comment "At least nurses earn their wages..." I can only say you must never have visited a classroom. Nothing against nurses, but teachers work hard all day long.

Like the old poster says: "It will be a great day when the schools have enough money and the Air Force holds bakes sales to buy a new bomber."

2/21/2007 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whineguy, get a grip. Every election schools ask for more money and get it. Time to stop. We aren't getting the results we should!

2/21/2007 4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 12:42,

The answer to your question is a voucher system.

2/21/2007 7:26 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I know teachers work hard; I volunteered in the classroom for years. But did you know the teachers suggested to the district that they consider killing the elementary school music program to help fund their requested raise? THAT makes me mad. So short-sighted and selfish.

2/22/2007 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, because of very poor management for many years, the teachers at SBSD suffer from the years of improperly managed funds. If education was run as a business, every management person that works at the District Office would've been canned long ago.

Many teachers are overpaid, most are underpaid. Change the compensation as a system and a lot of our problems will go away. Pay those that work hard more and get rid of those that merely show up for a paycheck and leave when the last bell rings.

Sarvis received his annual increase, just as teachers do whenever they complete a year of service or finish more college coursework. He isn't the whole problem, he's just not strong enough to clean up all the things that are wrong with a district that needs major, major reform.

2/22/2007 9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It amazes me when I hear people talk about what a failure our schools are. If that were true, how do you explain the fact that we live in the most properous, productive society in history? Did all those productive workers, managers, leaders, and educators go to private school? No they went to the same schools you and I did, regular old public school. Give the teachers a break and stop spouting the same old "big lie" that schools don't work.

2/22/2007 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree that we need to change the way teachers are compensated. Aside from intrinsic satisfaction, there are no other benefits of being an excellent teacher - the mediocre and poor ones are compensated at the same rate. Test scores don't tell you the whole story but ask any student or teacher on a high school campus and they can tell you whose great and whose slacking. Also, not all teachers work the same. The comment above about how teachers work part time seems true if you look at just the time spent in the classroom - therefore maybe a P.E. teacher is vastly overpaid. But what about the English teacher who takes home stacks and stacks of papers to grade each night and weekend? What about the math teacher who works his/her tail off trying to find new ways to reach their struggling students?

2/22/2007 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 7:26 --

Great, vouchers. Can't wait for my tax dollars to go to some Christian madrassa that teaches the Earth is 6,000 years old and women should be stoned for disobeying their masters.

No, can't name any here in SB now, but "the market" would produce them in no time. No shortage of people out to make a buck.

2/22/2007 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:06 you are true narrow minded Santa Barbara. The point of vouchers is to give parents more choice, your idea of that says a lot about SB.

2/23/2007 8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 6:06

Competition leads to greater success than a monopoly.

Why does freedom of individual choice scare you? I suppose you also oppose allowing citizens to opt out of the social security system to invest their own retirement money as they see fit.

You are not the only one who pays taxes into the school system. There are those who see better educational options in the private sector and they should be allowed to spend their education tax dollars accordingly.

2/23/2007 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any system that simply rewards a person for longevity as opposed to merit is inherently broken. This method breeds mediocrity and worse. Moreover, while it may be painful to have to ante-up for benefits - they are not an entitlement or an employer's obligation. Many back-breaking jobs do not even offer benefits to their employees at any price. Has anyone not noticed the increase in health care costs? - we all have to pay our share of indigent care, hospital re-building, etc. Teachers should not expect freebie or low-cost benefits when so many others do without or pay top-dollar. As to the hard work teachers do - that is truly the case in many instances, however, if their average work week is 60 hours, then, at the end of the day they are really only working as many hours as the traditional employee who labors 50 weeks per year as opposed to teachers' more or less 28 weeks per year - gotta look at the whole picture - it does even out!

2/24/2007 8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the 8:02 poster, your post contains a lot of misinformation although I do agree with your conclusion that if you look at a teachers schedule and compare it to a more traditional schedule it basically evens out as far as time spent working. I would point out that even when school is not in session, teachers are working. Those two weeks as Christmas, I spend some of those grading, and writing recommendations for students applying to college. Spring Break.... I am grading at least a few of those days. Summer off...some days of course...but I am in my class room at least a few days cleaning, organizing, meeting with parents so if you put that together with the 36 weeks (NOT 28) that classes are in session, weekends, and evenings while it may not quite add up to the hours some work, it is a heck-of-a-lot more than a part time job as some other poster said. In addtion, teachers do not receive "freebie" benefits. We have to PAY for part of our health care coverage ($250 per month I believe for a single person). In fact, the district has been forcing us to pay for more of out health insurance. I would also like to point out that state has increased its funding per child almost 5% compared to last year.

2/24/2007 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While it is obvious teachers put in more time away from the classroom than is apparent to the casual observer, I believe the same thing is true of all occupations that pride themselves in being professionals - so that is nothing exceptional or unusual. One might check the article on this evening - it states clearly that the average American student is only in school 180 days per year, 8.5 hrs. per day. Again, while there are other responsibilities that go on behind the scenes, 180 days is a mere 6 months - it is difficult to believe teachers work another huge chunk of time to come up to the 36 weeks as featured in the post by 12:21 p.m.

2/24/2007 6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

180 days is 6 calendar months, but I think Anon 12:21 is assuming that most of us have 5 day work weeks. 180 days, 5 days a week = 36 weeks. So, about 14 weeks less than the average American. Teachers do work really hard, and I think most do a very good job--especially given the large class sizes and limited resources available--but they get paid pretty decently. It just doesn't add up in Santa Barbara, but that's the way it goes for firefighters, police officers, etc, etc, etc. Real estate here is too expensive for regular folks.

2/24/2007 10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction to my own blog - students on average are in school a mere 6.5 hrs. per day - for an interesting comparison and attempt to improve student performance, read the article on concerning increasing the school hours and days of attendance per year. We are falling behind many other countries of the world educationally.

2/25/2007 6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the teachers going to do if they don't get a raise? Quit? I doubt it!

2/25/2007 3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am ready to quit.

2/26/2007 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Face it folks..
There is only one real solution to this situation.
1. Lets completely REMOVE Tenure. What other business guarantees their employees lifetime employement.. There is NO incentive to perform and turn out a quality product.
2. Lets bring on School Vouchers.. What a radical idea.. Lets MAKE the schools & the teachers perform like any other industry. Let the parents decide who educates their children.
* Eventually the poor teachers will be fired and the schools we be more competitive.. IF NOT.. then lots of small charter and private schools start up over night.

** Either way the KIDS WIN.

2/28/2007 7:59 AM  

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