Carpinteria Schools Impasse

I fully support CAUSE [Carpinteria Association of United School Employees].

This week I received an email from our superintendent, which said in part: “The Trustees and I wish to extend our most sincere gratitude and highest appreciation for everything you do, day in and day out, to serve our students and make our community one of prestige and envy. Your personal dedication and commitment makes Carpinteria Unified School District the stand out that it is.”

First let me begin by saying I have the utmost respect for our superintendent and consider her style of leadership to have been a welcome and necessary change for our community. I believe her sincerity in extending her appreciation, but there is a history here.

It seems that our negotiators spend an entire school year working with our district and Board of Trustees (representing countless hours of prep time, away from their classrooms) to garner the best possible true acknowledgement of our commitment to our students. Somehow, this message of appreciation has managed to fall in the very same season when we are denied a fair and reasonable cost of living adjustment on the salary schedule. It makes messages like “highest appreciation for everything you do day in and day out” feel rather frustrating.

I fully agree that our district is a “stand out” though perhaps not for all the right reasons. As educators we do rise above these mixed messages to offer the utmost quality of services to students. However, we continue to be far below other districts in compensation in our surrounding areas when all possible comparisons are considered.

I would feel appreciated if the district would acknowledge the reasonable requests of our negotiators which are well within reach!

Angela White has been a teacher in the Carpinteria Unified School District for 20 years.

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