I am Peter Kline. I am a citizen. I am not a teacher. My wife and I moved here in 2005 from Connecticut.
I want to comment on the fact that you hold this meeting in this facility knowing that you would have an overflow crowd just as you did with your August meeting. I am sure you could find a facility in this district that would accommodate this attendance in a more appropriate fashion.
I want to request that the minutes of this and all of your meetings be posted on line in a timely fashion. I searched for them after the August meeting and could not find the minutes of any meetings since June.
I want to remark on the fact that the County Board facility in which we are meeting is a wonderful, clean, modern, technologically well appointed space while many teachers are working in dilapidated, poorly maintained, dirty and ill functioning teaching stations which have intermittent internet connections and lack standard modern equipment.
When my wife took a teaching position at Soquel High School in 2005 she had 33 years of experience and her contract was for about $34,000 less that she had been paid in Connecticut.
Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and now Maryland vie for first place in the national ranking of best in the nation in academic success. i know that there are many different ways to measure academic achievement but no matter which measure you select, California ranks near the bottom. Why is that? What can we do about it? The responsibility lies partly with you, this board. The key to academic achievement lies in your teaching staff. It is easy to say how much you value your teaching staff but it is time that you show them. While I feel that the local AFT negotiating team made a blunder in not setting a percentage of local Proposition 30 funds which they would receive when they agreed to the five furlough days give back, it is now time that you agree to a settlement which demonstrates that you do, in fact, value your certified staff.
To defer negotiating with the AFT until you had the "actuals" from 2011-2012 budget year demonstrates to me that you were not properly managing your accounts. It is the job of this Board to surveil the budget as the year proceeds to ensure that adherence to the established budget is occurring. To defer negotiations with the AFT citing the resignation of a Budget Director only reinforces my sense that you are not properly fulfilling one of the functions for which you are responsible. You are responsible for neglecting this duty.
In closing, I want to impress upon you that it is your responsibility to improve the educational experience of the children relying upon you to provide them with skills which will position them in life to compete with the rest of the world. That should begin with treating teachers fairly and negotiating a fair salary schedule and stop postponing negotiating sessions.
Not paying teachers well is a big mistake. You build schools and pay teachers well or you build prisons which cost far more. I remind you that not paying for education is like eating your seed corn. It might get you through this winter but next year you will be in big trouble.