Teacher Pay Raises Despite Budget Deficits

Updated: May 22, 2018

Sacramento and San Mateo School Districts Authorize Pay Raises Despite Budget Shortfalls


Sacramento Teachers’ Pay Raise Prompts Talk of Budget Cuts to Make Up the Cost. Sacramento county schools chief David Gordon is warning the Sacramento City Unified School District that pay raises in a new three-year contract approved by teachers will push the district’s reserves so low in two years that cuts will be needed to avoid being placed on the state’s early financial warning list.


The contract, which is retroactive to the 2016-17 school year, will cost the district an estimated $25.7 million, leaving the district $4 million in the hole and without a 2 percent reserve by 2019-20.


Mr. Gordon told the school board that by next month, the district will have to adopt $15.6 million in budget cuts for the 2019-20 year if it wants to avoid the financial warning territory.

The contract, approved by 98.1 percent of teachers, includes a 2.5 percent raise retroactive to July 1, 2016, a 2.5 percent raise retroactive to July 1 of this year and an additional 3.5 percent raise effective July 1, 2018.


Additionally, the contract includes a 3.5 percent increase to parts of the salary schedule aimed at boosting pay for mid-career teachers. (Source: The Sacramento Bee, December 12.)


Facing Large Deficits, School District Approves Raises. Facing a $10 million budget deficit, the San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District ended a contract impasse and avoided a strike with the teachers’ union by approving a salary increase.


The agreement, which covers the district’s 625 teachers and support staff, will be in effect through June 30, 2019, and contains two retroactive pay increases: a 5 percent increase retroactive to July 1, 2016, and a 3 percent increase retroactive to July 1, 2017.


Teachers argued that some of the $14 million in district reserves could have been used for raises they said were necessary to live in high-cost areas. According to data from the state Department of Education, the average salary for district teachers before the raises was $75,328. (Source: San Mateo Daily Journal, December 1.)

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