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Teachers demand higher pay from school district

Original post made on Sep 8, 2014

Teachers packed the room to air their grievances at the Mountain View Whisman district board meeting last week, as part of a new effort by the teachers union to lock in higher salaries and compensation.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, September 8, 2014, 1:58 PM

Comments (48)

17 people like this
Posted by ckaten
a resident of North Whisman
on Sep 8, 2014 at 2:16 pm

I'm embarrassed and appalled at the Superintendent's decision not to pass on the California state's 10% cost of living increase to Mountain View teachers. The cost of housing in Mountain View has increased by 25% in the last year. How can we expect to keep quality teachers if they can't afford to live here?


5 people like this
Posted by Greg Coladonato
a resident of Slater
on Sep 8, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Greg Coladonato is a registered user.

In response to the acrimonious confrontation at the meeting described in this article, I sent the following letter to the Trustees the following day:

***
Dear Board President Lambert,
CC: Trustees

Recently, community members have become aware that the MVWSD Governing Board, in January 2014, identified "Explore alternate compensation systems for District teachers" as a Board priority.

In the intervening 9 months, to the best of our knowledge, this topic has not been agendized for a Board meeting.

Last night, many in the community also became aware that numerous members of the District teaching staff feel they are not being adequately compensated for their time and efforts. A number of parents echoed these concerns.

Additionally, the existence of excess of $20 million in District reserves would seem to imply that if the District and the Mountain View Educators Association could agree on an alternate compensation system that offered a fair and reasonable way for teachers to be better compensated, that the funds may well exist to implement such a system.

Community members would like to agendize an item for the September 18th Board meeting, which is 13 days from today, named "Explore alternate compensation systems for District teachers", which is exactly what the Board identified as its priority 9 months ago. This topic is of an urgent nature given the acrimonious proceedings at the Board meeting of September 4th, and the lack of a cost of living adjustment to teachers' salaries for the 2014-15 school year, already begun.

This topic is clearly "within the jurisdiction of the Board", and as this request is made more than 10 days before the scheduled meeting date, it appears to be the case that the item may not be postponed to a later meeting date. This is not "merely a request for information", nor is this "issue is covered by an existing policy or administrative regulation".

We ask that this item be agendized for open session, pursuant to Board Bylaw 9322:

Web Link

---
A member of the public may request that a matter within the jurisdiction of the Board be placed on the agenda of a regular meeting. The request must be in writing and be submitted to Superintendent or Board president with supporting documents and information, if any, at least ten days before the scheduled meeting date. Items submitted less than a week before the meeting date may be postponed to a later meeting in order to allow sufficient time for consideration and research of the issue.

The Board president and Superintendent shall decide whether a request is within the jurisdiction of the Board. Items not within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Board may not be placed on the agenda. In addition, before placing the item on the agenda, the Board president and Superintendent shall determine if the item is merely a request for information or whether the issue is covered by an existing policy or administrative regulation before placing the item on the agenda.

The Board president and Superintendent shall decide whether an agenda item is appropriate for discussion in open or closed session, and whether the item should be an action item subject to Board vote, an information item that does not require immediate action, or a consent item that is routine in nature and for which no discussion is anticipated.
---

One specific example of an alternative compensation scheme the community would like the Board to be prepared to discuss is the teachers contract in San Jose Unified, described here:

Web Link
Web Link

In addition to a staff presentation on this topic, we would also like to be given 10 minutes of our own to present our reasons why alternative compensation systems may be appropriate to consider in the MVWSD.

Thank you,
Greg Coladonato
on behalf of the community
***

Trustee Lambert acknowledged my email, but has not yet gotten back to me to confirm we will be hearing the board discuss compensation at the next board meeting.


7 people like this
Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 8, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Wait a second, that teacher (Kristen Kovac) says she lives in Saratoga. Saratoga is more expensive than Mountain View.. especially to RENT a place.

Hard to feel sorry for her. She can move to a cheaper place to live like the rest of the world.

Then she tells us she could be making significantly more money if she took a job in Saratoga.

SO TAKE THE JOB IN SARATOGA.

Then this other teacher is claiming to work 84 hours a week. What? The school week is only around 30 hours for the students. So even if you pad the week before and after classes how do you come up with 84 hours? I just don't believe it.

I'm proud of our district for trying to put some money away for a rainy day. That's just fine by me. But the union knows the money is there and thinks they deserve a piece of it.


4 people like this
Posted by Maher
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Sep 8, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Maher is a registered user.

In the 60's I recall a political button which read something like this:

"Most problems will be solved when schools have all the money they need, and the Pentagon has to hold back sales."

Unfortunately that is still true.


12 people like this
Posted by Cordelia
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 8, 2014 at 2:48 pm

According to wikipedia, the median household income for a family in Mountain View is 105K. That's a lot more than the 60K mentioned in the article.

Our teachers work harder than most of us and deserve our respect. My friend made a mint as a programmer in the tech industry and decided to try teaching elementary school. After a year, she said she couldn't handle the constant demands, early mornings, & late evenings grading and planning. So she went back to the tech industry.

We need to support our schools, they are the foundation of our democracy. We need good public schools to help provide equality and the pursuit of happiness for every citizen, not just for the ones who can afford it.


6 people like this
Posted by Common Sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 8, 2014 at 3:04 pm

ONCE AGAIN, commenters are failing to notice that this story exists in two copies on the Voice website. Comments posted to the version with "news" in its URL (the version featured on both the home page and the Express emails) are not appearing there, due to a bug; but they are appearing here, on the "Town Square" copy of the story.

That is why people post them more than once -- each copy dutifully appears here.

Until commenters realize this is happening (or the software is fixed), expect the comments on popular stories to be a confused mess.


10 people like this
Posted by Litsa
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 8, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Easy for Goldman to be unapologetic, when he just entered into a 3 year deal, paying him $216,216 for the 2013-14 school year, increases by about $4,400 each year.
$220,540 for the 2014-15 school year and $224,951 for the 2015-16 school year.

In addition to base pay, Goldman is entitled to various other perks, such as a life insurance policy and reimbursement for job-related expenses.

Web Link


5 people like this
Posted by taxapyer
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 8, 2014 at 4:21 pm

I think what we fail to remember is that teachers work about 8.5 months a year. Within that 8.5 months, there are 5.5 weeks of vacation/holiday days. Let's assume a salary of $60,000. By annualizing this (meaning if the teacher actually worked all 12 months), the salary is actually $84,705 per year. You add the 5.5 weeks of time off, it's actually market salary.

I make more than the $84k but my employer does not provide a pension nor life time medical benefit. If the teachers were willing to do a trade off for more salary now and forgo the life time benefits, I would definitely be in line with providing the teachers with a raise. I think there is a trade off between the lower salary now for the back end loaded benefit. I don't think it's right to provide true market pay now for any unionized employee and continue with all the backend benefits. The losers are, once again, taxpayers because for every one working employee, the taxpayers are paying for an additional 3 retirees. How is that fair?


4 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of Slater
on Sep 8, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Robert is a registered user.

What I am seeing unfolding here is just typical election year antics. Our district has done a good job of saving for that rainy day, and the State wants to give it to the teachers. Remember, it's called the teachers union, not the student union or the educational union and their sole focus is on garnering goodies for teachers.
If that silly comment about bake sales were true, we would now be paying our teachers in Yen or Deutsche Marks.


4 people like this
Posted by kendall
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 8, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Let's tax google and raid the salary of MV teachers before they vanish and leave MV broke. Let's charge football fans parking in MV too!


4 people like this
Posted by Hmm
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 8, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Hmm, the sac bee had in it's parade section a while back, that an ESL teacher makes 87k in LA. That's more than an engineer type job pays. What does that tell you about school priorities? I should of worked for the govt. the new privileged members of society, thanks to the Union. Liberal unions the same that did in Detroit are trying their best to do in the nation with unfundable pension and medical, like the above guy said, for every teacher we pay for 3 retirees that could be doing the same job.


3 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Same old crap. We all want more money, but the truth is that teachers make a pretty good wage. If the conditions were so bad, and the pay so poor, why are there always more teachers available than jobs for them?
And citing the high cost of living in Saratoga gave me quite a chuckle!


3 people like this
Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

What happened? The "kids have to buy their own pencils" tactic flamed out? Could it be because everyone started remember having to buy their own pencils 30, 40 years ago?

I remember having to do so.. .and my own paper...and everything else. ...at Chadbourne which fed to Hopkins which fed to Mission... on of the best high schools in CA and the US for over 20 years...


Of course if you didn't have a pencil there was the orphaned pencil box, and if you didn't have paper there was a drawer full of that newsprint that tore when you tried to erase anything...

But so much for the scare tactics. Now's is on/back to cant-afford-to-live-here.

I always wonder about that argument...how people seem to miss that 370,000 people a day take BART from where they can afford to live to their jobs...


5 people like this
Posted by What?
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 8, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Ms Kovac can't afford to send her children to college because she has four of them and rents in Saratoga to send them to schools that are probably better than most of the schools in Mountain View. Am I supposed to feel sorry for her? I would love to have 4 kids and live in Saratoga. But I don't, even with two high tech salaries, because I can't afford to. Tell her to rent in our neighborhood and send her kids to our neighborhood school. Then I'm willing to talk about a raise.

Even if she rented in our neighborhood she would still likely be allowed to send her kids to the Saratoga schools if she worked in Saratoga - another little known benefit teachers get.

Also, two masters degrees? Really?

It will be interesting to see the numbers compared to other school districts, but the attempt to pull on my heart strings with personal stories is not working yet.

@Cordelia - I know 2 people who started working in high-tech, made some money, went back to school to be teachers and now absolutely love it. All summer off, long vacations for winter and summer breaks, home by 3:30pm, no more working nights, weekends with no vacations like in the tech industry. It really depends on the person. Don't assume your experience is conclusive evidence that it's harder to work as a teacher than in tech.


14 people like this
Posted by Paul
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 8, 2014 at 5:44 pm

I'm embarrassed that the senior citizens in our community are so nasty towards our hard-working teachers. We should do our best to undo Prop 13 and move these ungrateful wretches out to "BumF Iowa" as "George" put it. Without Prop 13, we would have homeowners who could pay their fair share of MV property taxes of roughly $13K per year as opposed to the ~$1K the average elderly homeowner pays. More importantly, commercial property owners would finally pay their fair share. Our schools would be better funded, and we would have fewer of these miserable, angry people around who don't wish to invest in the future of our community.


13 people like this
Posted by BA
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 8, 2014 at 6:19 pm

"All summer off, long vacations for winter and summer breaks, home by 3:30pm, no more working nights, weekends with no vacations like in the tech industry."

I don't know about that, perhaps that does happen in (private?) schools elsewhere, but if you drive by Bubb School on the weekends you'll see some teachers' cars parked in front of the classrooms while they work inside to prepare for the week ahead. I've gotten emails from teachers at all hours of the day. Although they do get longer breaks compared to the high-tech workers, I'm not sure I myself would be willing to be at school from 7:30 to (at least) 3:30 Mon-Fri, grade papers in the evenings and weekends, deal with rowdy kids in the classroom during the day and demanding parents all week long. I've helped out in the classrooms, and the teachers really do have a very, very demanding job.

Thank you, teachers at Bubb and everywhere! Thank you for making the sacrifices so our kids can learn!!!



7 people like this
Posted by MV Mama
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 8, 2014 at 6:22 pm

Just some comments as a parent of 2 children in the MVWSD.

Teacher start in mid August and get out in mid June. They work at least 10 months. In addition, they attend conferences and continuing education classes over that 2 month break.

Teacher are in no way home by 3:30. I doubt many leave before 5 (and still take home work to grade), and they are there before 8 to prep for the day. I am regularly on campus for meetings in the afternoon and see this first hand. They do not get an hour for lunch, and they supervise recess instead of getting breaks.

That said, we make a heck of a lot more than teachers and could not afford $4600 for rent OR 4 children. The MVEA picked the wrong speaker on that one.


6 people like this
Posted by Just Say No to Kool-Aide
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 8, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Just Say No to Kool-Aide is a registered user.

Figure out the things that you actually want the teachers to do, here are some suggestions:

1. Teach extra STEM
2. Tutor kids after school
3. Teach effectively
4. Take courses in technology
5. Use technology in the classroom.
6. Take risks, try new things.
7. Successful teaching of ELL and low income students.

Then pay the teachers more that are willing and able to do the things on list. The union will hate it. They think that it should be across the board, breathing raise. The longer that you have been breathing in a classroom the more money you should should get. It's time to stop the were professionals but we need a union thinking. If you actually are professionals then you don't need a union.


9 people like this
Posted by Cordelia
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 8, 2014 at 8:18 pm

You're missing the forest for the trees. The point is that teachers work really hard, harder than many people in private industry. They are shaping our future, tomorrow's voters and workers. We need to invest in them.

As for whether teachers need a union, I admit I have never been part of a union, but none of my jobs have ever been as important even though my compensation has been much much more monetarily. I think teachers need the protection of a union because 1) their jobs are so important 2) they need to teach controversial topics. Growing up, I had a English teacher who was forced to teach at a different school because he asked a 16 year old kid who was wearing a Malcom X t-shirt if he understood Malcolm X's message. Without the union's protection, his punishment would have been even more ridiculous. In recent years, teachers all over the country have been pressured to not teach evolution. I'm glad our teachers still have unions to protect them when they are doing the brave, right thing.

If you're anti-union because you're jealous that you don't personally have retirement benefits, you should blame private industry and our politicians for the lack of security. Getting rid of retirement benefits for everyone will not fix your problem and will only put more people on the streets.


7 people like this
Posted by Interested Observer
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2014 at 8:54 pm

One point of clarification: teachers do not get lifetime medical benefits when they retire. If younger than 65, they can pay for the district medical plan till they reach 65 and qualify for Medicare. Once they reach 65 and Medicare becomes their primary provider, they could still participate in the senior supplemental plan offered by the district's provider but they pay for it.


17 people like this
Posted by MtnViewTeacher
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2014 at 9:19 pm

As a mvwsd teacher, I would like to address the comment by Craig Goldman that the average salary comparison does not effect individual teachers as well as a cost-by-cost breakdown for myself personally.

1. I make $58,812 per year with a Master's Degree.
2. Teachers are contracted to work approximately 7 hours per day with a 30 min lunch (7:30am -3pm) 183 days per year for a contracted hourly compensation of $45.91.
3. It is well known that teachers work MANY hours of overtime. If teachers were to be paid for just one hour of overtime per day at this rate (I..e. leaving work at 4pm) they would make $8401 more per year. Based on my salary, this is a 14.2% increase in compensation.
4. In response to the post by "Just say no to Kool Aide" I literally do everything on that list, using my time outside of school, and do not get paid for any of it.
5. For someone with my education and experience the salary in the Sunnyvale Elementary School District is $63,148. This is $4336 more than than MVWSD (or %7).
6. All teachers are asking for is fair compensation for the work that we do!


4 people like this
Posted by Lazy Teachers
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 9, 2014 at 1:23 am

Teachers do not work overtime—they are considered professionals Lower-level manufacturing and service employees working extra hours would be in an “overtime” situation, but it’s the life of professionals to do what it takes to make their job successful. This is especially true in silicon valley, where most professionals work well over 40 hours/week. 60-80 hours are in the norm. If you want to get paid overtime, then go work at McDonalds. You are a professional…act like one!

The Masters Degree that teachers need is incredibly easy to get. Almost as easy as an MBA at a lower-echelon school. Try getting an MS in Chemistry or Mathematics from a decent college. Those are REAL Masters degrees.

If you feel that you cannot get your job done in the time you feel you are paid for, then I would suggest that you get together with your other teacher associates and figure out how to be more efficient with your job. The only time teachers collaborate is to to hold their “overworked” hands out to the public for more money.

I’ll tell you what. Let’s give you an extra $1500 raise per year (on top of what is negotiated) if you give up your retirement pension & medical benefit. Oh, not enough? Well, why don’t you tell us how much it is worth to you. That’s right—the total compensation package is significantly higher than many real professionals get in private industry.


4 people like this
Posted by X-teacher
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Sep 9, 2014 at 2:14 am

After 30 years in high tech, I taught Math for a year. Hardest job I ever had. Worse than any 100 hour per week tech job. If I was awake, I was either at school, preparing for school, grading papers, taking classes to be allowed to teach.

In high tech if you have a problem you can not solve, you bump it up the chain of command. School does not work that way. They hand the problem right back to you and say solve it.... need something ... buy it....

Kids are passed through grades without gaining the skills. Kids have no respect for anyone or anything. Teachers are more like cops for displine and truancy problems, wardens and baby sitters for kids in a class without the skills to get into the class.

Parents...OMFG... Here is my kid ... fix them... it is your job.... oh, and don't make the child uncomfortable.... and make a custom education plan for them ... and document everything your going to do for them, and everything you did for them....

Risk and responsibility... off the charts...dealing with minors that can go on the internet and be taught exactly what their rights are, and how to mess with a teacher....
Insane to take the job ...


Doing the job ... When each Friday came I did not quit because I was too tired to resign... School holidays seem like they are designed right at the point of endurance, where a teacher is about to die ....

I agree teachers are under paid....and given way to many benefits ....
and under supported.....

It is the system. The system is badly broken.... It would take a focused effort of more than 30 years and a great deal of money to reform it.... Now who is going to do that?
Once your kids are out, you give up.... The system knows they only need to slow you down to fend you off. Every special education parent learns this.

Until schools need to compete for your business, and until special needs children are a gold mine to teach, the whole system is hopeless.


7 people like this
Posted by retired
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 9, 2014 at 7:58 am

Teachers are not given lifetime benefits when they retire, as mentioned by "Interested Observer", they pay for district offered benefits (which only covers 2 party, family coverage is available for considerably more). They contribute to their retirement through STRS and the district is required to contribute to that as well, during their tenure as a teacher. Let's be fair, we don't teach because it's the best paying profession. We teach because it's what we want to do. Most people choose to work in a profession where they feel rewarded from within, they're happy. However, no matter the job, most workers feel that they deserve more pay (even the fast food workers, some of whom are just happy to have a job). Teaching contracts are usually for 186-187 days/year. They are required to be on site for between 7 1/4 and 7 1/2 hours for those days. They use time outside of their contracted hours to plan, grade work, meet with parents, and learn the new curriculum. MVWSD teachers also often have required meetings that extend into their non contracted hours that they are not compensated for because they are considered "professional responsibilities" according to Craig Goldman. They are asked to work on several committees, which they can say "no" to, but most don't. While I am interested in hearing about alternative compensation, I would ask that everyone think about how that may contribute to retirement (which is based on salary). Benefits can be found for reasonable cost after retirement, however it is salary that determines your monthly income. As for where MVWSD teachers rank in salary with other districts, it was not done as an average. Craig knows that! He may not have chosen to say that, but he has worked with the union long enough to know. And yes, salaries have gone up for the district - but so have other district's salaries. MVWSD goes up 3%, Palo Alto goes up as do most of the local surrounding district's salaries. It is all public information, most districts post their salary schedules on a public site (not MVWSD - that you can only see if you are an employee on the district website). The district did give salary increases during years that other districts did not, then again as the economy picked up, many of those districts then got very nice salary increases and some were locked into the contracts with multiple year increases. To my knowledge the only multi year increase locked in by contract for MVWSD is that of Craig Goldman. Using some of the district reserves for increased salary is very doable. The "cap" at 6% reserve may be too low - but 8% should be enough. Yes, the cost of living in the Bay Area is high. Let's try to help those who are educating our future leaders be able to live where they work. Please start with a salary increase for the hard-working, dedicated teachers in MVWSD (for anyone who works in the district knows, that whatever increase the teachers get, so will classified workers and the rest of the DO administrators).


6 people like this
Posted by Yes teachers, no union
a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 9, 2014 at 9:25 am

@X-teacher

It was the hardest job you ever did because you only did it one year. My mom and sister are both teachers in other states. They say the same thing. The first couple of years you work really, really hard. Teaching has a steep learning curve. But as the years go by you increase your repertoire of lesson plans and then can teach classes with little additional planning and prep. Grading papers in the evening is often done while watching TV.

One year might be harder than others if you are asked to change grade levels, or learn a new style (this year teachers were likely very busy getting up to speed on Common Core requirements) but then you adapt and things go back to being manageable.

My complaint with the union is that it attempts to group all teachers together and view them as a single person. I'm sure we all know teachers who work their butts off even when they don't need to, constantly trying to improve each year because they themselves are driven to be the best that they can be. Those teachers absolutely deserve a raise and all our love and appreciation.

Unfortunately we all also know teachers who do the bare minimum to get by, and then happily take their union negotiated check to the bank with little incentive to improve. I hate to admit but my best friend is in the latter category. She works in San Jose, is very lazy and will do the bare minimum to get by. She somehow still has a job and just seems to get transferred from school to school in San Jose. I love her as a friend and as a person, but she is the perfect example of someone who should not be protected by her union. I feel so sorry for the kids who are in her class each year, essentially wasting their time, and she gives those teachers who are really working hard a bad name.

If we were better able to differentiate between teachers (high vs low performers) we might finally be able to narrow the education inequality in this country. Thank you to all the teachers who do put in the time required to be a real inspiration to our kids.


8 people like this
Posted by Teacher
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 9, 2014 at 10:55 am

You don't need a union. Some teachers work the minimum hours - some work extra. Some go to school and are on auto pilot. I have worked with teachers that barely do anything and I have worked with totally awesome ones.
I have also worked some very smart ones and some that I wondered how they ever got through college. If MV has extra money then target it. Don't give everyone a raise. Pay bonuses that are for doing something meaningful. The union will fight it but it is worth it.


7 people like this
Posted by Amy V
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2014 at 8:50 pm

"Lazyteachers posted: Teachers do not work overtime—they are considered professionals Lower-level manufacturing and service employees working extra hours would be in an "overtime" situation, but it's the life of professionals to do what it takes to make their job successful. This is especially true in silicon valley, where most professionals work well over 40 hours/week. 60-80 hours are in the norm. If you want to get paid overtime, then go work at McDonalds. You are a professional…act like one!

The Masters Degree that teachers need is incredibly easy to get. Almost as easy as an MBA at a lower-echelon school. Try getting an MS in Chemistry or Mathematics from a decent college. Those are REAL Masters degrees.

If you feel that you cannot get your job done in the time you feel you are paid for, then I would suggest that you get together with your other teacher associates and figure out how to be more efficient with your job. The only time teachers collaborate is to to hold their "overworked" hands out to the public for more money.

I'll tell you what. Let's give you an extra $1500 raise per year (on top of what is negotiated) if you give up your retirement pension & medical benefit. Oh, not enough? Well, why don't you tell us how much it is worth to you. That's right—the total compensation package is significantly higher than many real professionals get in private industry.
===========================================================
I DARE you to teach for one day. How ignorant you are. How do you know what colleges we attended? My colleagues and I attended Harvard, Yale, Oberlin, Princeton, and many other Ivy League schools. They have masters degrees and often PhDs. I have been teaching for 20 years and have always worked more than one job including in the summer.


6 people like this
Posted by Other MV Teachers
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 9, 2014 at 9:49 pm

At another great MV school, our teachers graduated from "sub-decent" colleges as well...U.C. Berkeley, Stanford, Wellesley, UCLA, UC Santa Cruz to name a few. No REAL Masters Degrees here. Amy, that fool couldn't last beyond recess.


6 people like this
Posted by Jay
a resident of Gemello
on Sep 9, 2014 at 11:11 pm

It's interesting to notice that these teachers could not respond to the question posed. How much is your pension & benefits worth to you on an annual basis? Give those up and we'll give you $1500/year raises! You are skirting this question, because you know that the benefit is worth 30k/year or more. So, your compensation is in excess of 90k/year. Summers off and no requirement to work more than 35 hours/week.

It's funny to watch all these postings about these teachers who choose to do extra hours. Hey, if it is a choice, then why should we pay for that? If you feel that it is *required*, then don't do it and if you are fired, then you can sue the taxpayers...oh, i mean the school district.

Worst is the constant complaining about "lesson preparation". How much knowledge being imparted to students is actually NEW this year? The suggestion that teachers should work together to make teaching more efficient is a good one. I have NEVER seen that done.


4 people like this
Posted by Jack
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 10, 2014 at 7:52 am

In private industry, we don't pretend that going off the clock is "compensation". That would be illegal.

Any psychopath who goes on the internet to baselessly & anonymously attack some of our most respected members of the community has to be a pathetic specimen. I'm imagining an obese, unemployed has-been who's never had anyone's respect and wishes to bring others down to his level.


5 people like this
Posted by Jay
a resident of Gemello
on Sep 10, 2014 at 8:17 am

"In private industry, we don't pretend that going off the clock is "compensation". That would be illegal. "

Just working hours outside of 8-3:30 is not compensation. Compensation are things like salary, healthcare, fringe benefits and the like. It's obvious that people like Jack, who don't understand this basic concept should have zero say in how our community operates. No wonder he likes teachers so much--they let him skate by with little comprehension of the world and graduate.

If teachers are "some of our most respected members of the community", then why are they supposedly paid so little??? I believe they once were, but after abusing the public trust through a combination of poor performance and constantly threaten to strike, they flushed that respect down the toilet years ago. Of course, their compensation is hidden through their very expensive pension and benefits package.



5 people like this
Posted by Jack
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 10, 2014 at 9:53 am

Look at that internet troll back-pedal! If he goes any faster, he might accidentally get some exercise.

The Supreme Court has recognized the need for unions in order to create a power balance between employers and employees since the 1930s. If MV teachers are not being compensated adequately, it's time for them to use the power of their union.

We don't want our public schools replaced by private enterprises where the best education goes to the highest bidder. That's how they do it in 3rd world countries where there's no real democracy because you're either rich or you're a servant. Here's two articles about how the wolves are trying to position our public schools as inadequate so that they can swoop in & cash out.
Web Link
Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Jay
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 10, 2014 at 10:09 am

Please explain again how working so-called extra hours is "compensation"? It's sad to see the intelligence of some of my fellow Cuesta park neighbors is lacking....

Notice how Jack immediately starts name-calling. Obviously cannot support their point.

Then, all the slights against third world countries? Unfortunately, despite what Anne Coulter maintains, racism DOES exist. Very unfortunate to see it here.

We live in a democracy and if the People think teachers are underpaid, then they can vote for more bond money. Clearly, in this school district at least, the consensus is that the pay is adequate for what the kids are receiving. Want more pay? Then prove your value!


4 people like this
Posted by more money?
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2014 at 1:57 pm

If you want more money stop teaching and get another job.

I don't plan on throwing more money at a system that doesn't work and doesn't educate too large of a percentage of kids.

The only teachers worth giving bonuses and raises too are the ones that actually work with children to make sure kids are educated to the kids' highest potential which requires creative problem solving abilities which most of our teachers do not have as evidenced by the amount of failing children we have in our society. No excuses- No blaming the parents.

Of course the unions will never allow that. I do not trust the teacher's unions and I will vote down anything with their name attached to it. The teacher's union is corrupt.


6 people like this
Posted by more money?
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm

I think what teacher's can take from this discussion is that there is growing belief that we are not getting our money's worth, and perhaps some in your ranks have diminished the profession.


3 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Luckily, we still have some freedoms left. One of them is to seek other employment when we're dissatisfied with what we have. It seems (from reading these posts anyway), that many of our teachers have sophisticated degrees from very prestigious schools. With credentials such as those, it should be a breeze to find something more lucrative right here in the valley.
There is always a teacher surplus, just awaiting opportunity. Until the law of supply and demand dictates a shortage, it means salaries are already too high.
And of the statement "they work harder than most of us": please show your data! Having an important job is not the same as working hard...


6 people like this
Posted by Future of Education
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 10, 2014 at 6:55 pm

The goal of the teachers union is to get the most pay for the least amount of work. The longer you have worked the more you should get paid. All of the very silly and tedious regulations that we have in California are because of the unions and various contractors.

If you want to solve the problem then start looking at charter schools. That is the answer. Teachers at charter schools are mostly not unionized, and if they are it is a small local union. Some of the best schools in California are charters. Charters select students by lottery and are PUBLIC schools. We need some charter schools in Mountain View.


4 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 11, 2014 at 8:18 am

There is a public charter school serving MV middle school students. It is near 101 in Sunnyvale - Summit Danali. As a MVWSD Trustee, I followed their charter process (through the County) and I know that they have focused on Economically Disadvantaged under-served students in the "101 corridor." I have talked to several of our MVWSD families that have chosen this route for middle school. MVWSD Demographic Report shows that 7.5% to 9.5% (+-) of 5th grade students do not chose 'our' middle schools. The average out-migration is around 3% per grade otherwise.
Competition? What is the "lost opportunity cost" of good/great teachers lost to the competing local public school districts? When we are getting (from the County Treasurer) 0.1% or so on tens of millions of 'non-required reserves', what is the lost $$ value of those Reserves? What is the community (not the Administration's) opinion of 'non-required reserves' vs. 'excess reserves'?
I, as an elected public official, a Trustee of the MVWSD, consider these POLITICAL and not Administrative decisions. Public Policy should be decided by the elected Board - and not the staff.


4 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 11, 2014 at 10:27 am

Trustee Nelson fails to remind us that his Board of Trustees did vote to approve this reserves and the accompanying multi-year projections at a meeting in June. That meeting was preceded by at least one meeting where district financial staff presented the assumptions they intended to use in preparing the budget. I don't recall specific input given by specific trustees at those meetings, but as a board they approve the budget and it's components. Let's consider compensating the MVEA's negotiating team, so that discussions can continue during the "summer" rather than during school with substitutes in their classrooms. Anybody else in this high cost valley whose regular job "only" uses about 36 weeks of the year would likely also seek supplemental employment during "down" periods.


6 people like this
Posted by Brit
a resident of Whisman Station
on Sep 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm

I found it absurd for a teacher (or any "average" middle-class person) to imply that he/she deserves a pay that would cover a $4,600 rent per month. I'd be surprised if MTVSD intends for provide such a salary either. I have sympathy for teachers wish to get paid more, but I certainly got turned off by the assertion that they deserve more because they (chose to) live in a $4,600/month residence.


3 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 20, 2014 at 9:10 am

thanks old guy! Trustee Nelson did vote for the preliminary Budget - and probably will for the final Audited Budget. This (as old Steve probably knows) includes "projections" for two years out. That is the minimum required by state law. The City of Mountain View, Finance Dept. will send you their 5 yr projection working Excel spreadsheet. Old Steve, please ask the MVWSD to send you their equivalent spreadsheets.

It would be nice if there was a Budget Task Force for citizen financial review of long term community priorities. What happened to that (Peter Darrah - former member?). Did it fade away or just disappear in 2009? Or was it 2010? Joe Mitchner, former member, where did it go?. Fiona Walter, former Budget Task Force member, where did it go? Why did it go? Who voted for it to go? Was there a vote? (old Steve?)


4 people like this
Posted by MV parent
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Oct 5, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Interesting article:

The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers

Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by MVWSD Teacher
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 7, 2014 at 10:45 pm

Reading these comments makes me furious!

Not only are you people not talking about the real issues here, YOU ARE IGNORANT!

Teachers are in the profession because we want to help children.

I agree with Amy V. I dare any of these negative people to try teaching 1 day of middle school.
HAHA

You would not make it to break time!


5 people like this
Posted by Logic
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 7, 2014 at 11:24 pm

MVWSD Teacher: Instead of being furious, try to see it from others point of view.

An assistant chef in a busy restaurant makes very little money--much less than a teacher, but do you hear them saying, "I dare any of these negative people to try being an assistant chef for 1 day. You would not make it to break time!" ?

Of course not. I'm sure your teaching job is a difficult one for you. For some, it is not. I don't know you, but there are plenty of jobs that make far less than a teacher, yet you would not be able to do them either. You would not have the ability or temperament. Does that mean those jobs are worth more money? Of course not.

Part of the problem is that a LOT of people want teaching jobs. Many people enjoy being with children and helping/watching them learn. With job stability, expensive & valuable benefits, summers off, etc... Of course there are more applicants for jobs than positions. That is why the only way teachers can get paid silicon valley tech wages is to threaten to strike. Legal extortion. Yuk.


4 people like this
Posted by MVWSD Techer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 6, 2015 at 3:57 pm

Logic,

No one needed to hear your opinion on this matter. Over and done!


3 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of another community
on Jan 6, 2015 at 4:29 pm

What is a "techer"??? Do you mean "teacher"????

Wow. You can't even spell "teacher", but think you should be paid more? No thank you! We want our kids to be properly educated.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of another community

on Apr 5, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of North Bayshore

on Apr 24, 2017 at 9:02 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


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