Starting January 22, many Santa Barbara School District teachers aimed to gain leverage in their ongoing salary negotiations with the district by refusing to provide voluntary services to students. In a move at least partially endorsed by the Santa Barbara Teachers Association (SBTA), some teachers temporarily stopped conducting homework clubs and providing after-school and lunchtime extra help. According to district Superintendent Brian Sarvis, the protest –which ended January 31 – was anything but widespread, as he observed “most teachers” practicing business as usual. But the SBTA claims teachers have been “very united” in this protest, with participants at every school site. A state mediator is scheduled to meet with the union and the district again on February 1.

With slightly more than two years at the helm of Adams Elementary School under his belt, Principal Matt Zuchowicz announced that he will be stepping down this spring. Looking to depart sometime in April, Zuchowicz is moving on to the Santa Barbara County Office of Education, where he will work directly with new teachers as the director of the county’s Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment Program.

A Santa Barbara County educator was elected president of the 340,000-member California Teachers Association this week. Santa Maria Elementary School teacher David Sanchez was unanimously voted into office by the association’s 800-member governing body on January 27. With 26 years of experience as an educator, Sanchez will become the first Latino president of the association when he takes office on June 26.

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