The tax for teachers failed. What next?

The “Outstanding Teachers for All Oakland Students” tax measure received 61 percent approval, but it fell short of the two-thirds vote it needed to pass — likely, because it was strongly opposed by the teachers union, itself.

Now, it’s back to the drawing board (and the bargaining table). The district’s part-time CFO, Leon Glaster, hasn’t loaded raises into the budget. The state is poised to make mid-year cuts, and further cuts next year.

What should the district and the teachers do now in the short term — to avoid labor unrest — and in the long term, to offer more competitive pay?

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • John

    Great! A few dollars retained by Oakland’s grossly over taxed property owners! They can spend the savings on a potted plant, and burglar alarm to protect it. Don’t let the cat out!

  • cranky teacher

    Oakland teachers make the same as we did in 1999, starting at 39.5K. Boy howdy.

    The upside for students? Turnover is so high that when their hormones come in they’ll probably get to ogle a TFA-style teacher as young and attractive as the one pictured.

    The bad news? When he or she’s developed his/her hard-earned chops by year five, he/she’ll be long gone to a different profession or district.

    Whoo! Ain’t it fun!

    But of course, our educational system has nothing to do with the plant-stealers John is worrying about (although I only know one kind of plant folks actually bother to steal, J!). Criminals are beamed from Planet Liberal to harass the good people, right?

    Good thing cops start at 70K, not counting all that overtime, since they’re doing such a good job with the crime. And the prison guards, and the lawyers, and the judges…

    (OK, Nextset/John, I’ve lined it up for you on a tee…)

  • John

    “Beamed from Planet Liberal to harass the good people.”

    That’s quite good Cranky!

  • TheTruthHurts

    I think my screen name is truly appropriate at this point. This is not a good situation at all. I don’t have any solutions. Oakland is behind the eight ball again. I think the teachers asked for 20% and I don’t know where the blood from this turnip will come from.

    $39K in California is not sufficient to build a life on. Not if you want luxuries like a car, vacations or an occassional dinner out. I guess it wasn’t much better in my day when teachers made 30% of their income doing something in the summer. Whatever they do, I hope both side realize that the kids get hurt most in labor unrest. The state certainly doesn’t get hurt.

  • Rose

    One of the biggest and fastest growing expenses school districts have is health insurance benefits for personnel. If the governor had signed SB840, the single payer health care bill sponsored by Sheila Kuehl, and passed by the legislature this year, that expense would have been eliminated and those funds could have be spent on teacher salaries or other needs.

    School districts should be advocating for the passage and rapid implementation of this legislation. The 8 billion dollars annually California will save on medical care will benefit us all.

  • Let’s be sensible

    Salaries frozen since 1999 – and good faith teachers even taking a pay cut!!
    It is time for OUSD to step up and reward their teachers if they want to have any teachers left! I agree that students have it hard enough without adding labor disruption to their school year.

    Maybe it is time for the district to think about offering retirement incentive (pay for medical benefits until 65 for those who have worked in the district more than 20 years or give teachers a monetary incentive to retire), as district can save money by hiring 2 new teachers for every one that retires that is at the top of the salary schedule–many continue to work for benefits.

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