Santee’s focus on retaining quality teachers wins community support

After months of negotiations and a successful Rally for Students at the January 19 Santee School Board meeting, Santee Teachers Association (STA) and Santee School District (SSD) reached a mediated settlement that will help keep outstanding teachers in the community in this time of growing teacher shortages.

Teachers will receive a 4% increase for 2015-2016, and an additional 4% increase for 2016-2017. The agreement also addresses the issue of substandard healthcare benefits by adding $600.00 to their benefits cap in 2016, and an additional $1200.00 in 2017. STA had raised the concern of teachers leaving the district for better pay and benefits elsewhere.

Their successful agreement reflected a continued focus on student improvement by compensating teachers for state-required certificates that improve teacher effectiveness, changing the work year to facilitate teacher professional growth activities, and adding stipends for activities that teachers perform outside the school day, such as 6th grade camp.

The Tentative Agreement shows strong support and passage is widely anticipated at the ratification meeting set for January 28. STA President Lori Meaux and SSD Superintendent Cathy Pierce commented in their joint release; “Today we found common ground. Now is the time for all of us to reach out and work together to build an even stronger learning environment for our students!”