In April 2010 the School Board approved a new contract with the teachers. Rather than negotiate realistic reductions in health care benefits to reduce the financial burden on t he district, the Board "kicked the can down the road" for unspecified action later. The board has repeatedly failed to prudently manage the District's finances. As former teacher in Cupertino, our health benefits didn't come close to what the Los Altos teachers get. Once we retire, teachers pay 100% of their health coverage. In Los Altos they have over 100 teachers getting free lifetime health benefits. Do we want to provide more generous benefits than other districts?
The Los Altos kindergarten program is extravagant. It provides two teachers to instruct one kindergarten class. I have taught kindergarten in Cupertino where the majority of students were English as a Second Language, no other teacher or aide, and managed just fine. Usually districts that provide two teachers in kindergarten have "at risk" students. Should we pay for an extra teacher in kindergarten ? Both Cupertino and Palo Alto have one kindergarten teacher for the same program. Unfortunately language for the K program is in the contract which the board approved. This is going to be difficult to change.
The districts spin is making this about the kids when it is really about the board and district and their poor negotiating skills.