South Bay parents urge contract settlement

At South Bay Union School District’s (SBUSD) Thursday board meeting, parents joined Southwest Educators Association (SWA) in packing the SBUSD school board meeting and calling for a settlement to the ongoing contract dispute. Parents signed up in numbers to voice their displeasure at a school board that would vote a significant raise to their superintendent while the relationship with teachers has continued to erode.

The strong parent showing was not surprising to SWTA Organizing Chair Laura Wood, who explained “We want what our parents and students need- nurses at each school so children with injuries don’t wait for hours, counselors to assist students with diverse needs, and planning time for instructional improvement.” 

In addition, SWTA is urging SBUSD to respond to the current teacher shortage in California by increasing pay and benefits, ensuring the district can attract and retain the best teachers for students in the community. Educators have also prioritized planning and preparation time for teachers to develop quality, age-appropriate common core lessons for all grade levels and subjects to better meet parent and student needs.

“This is about our students and our community”, said SWTA President Lorena Garcia. Like her fellow SWTA members, she is frustrated with the lack of progress in its negotiations with the SBUSD. “The money is there to meet these educational needs and it is beyond me why the district refuses to spend it,” she said.