CUSD Board Recall: if every parent whose family has been negatively affected by school closures would sign the petition, it would be a slam dunk

15 Jun

I would still like to remind folks to sign the recall petitions for CUSD board members Kathy Kaiser, Eileen Robinson, Caitlin Dalby and Tom Lando. Chico Parents For In-Person Learning need about 11,000 signatures, and remember, you have to sign a separate petition for each board member. Get a petition at their website here:

https://www.chicoparents.org/recall-petitions

I outlined the reasons I was supporting this recall in a recent letter to the editor. I read the agenda and reports for the May 19 board meeting at which the four in question voted to dole out $2.5 million in bonuses to district employees who never missed a paycheck during the shut down. I got my teachers’ average salary figure right from the horse’s mouth – the agenda reports. But a few local union gadflies are trying to talk me down in letters to the ER. They should really read the reports first, available here:

Here’s my response, below, sent to the ER today. I wish those of you who have already signed the petition would write to the ER and outline the reasons you are supporting the recall.

Letter writers have questioned a figure I cited in a recent letter to the editor.

I got the average pay for a CUSD teacher from the 5/19/21 Chico Unified board agenda report. The lowest fulltime Chico teacher’s salary I saw on Transparent California was over $69,000/year. Benefits packages ranged from about $10,000 to $35,000. The average also includes a wide variety of miscellaneous part-time positions paid less than $1,000/year.

Chico teachers are very well compensated. They were fully paid through the school closures, even receiving bonuses, while working parents scrambled to find child care or stayed home from work, left to navigate the unemployment system.

My main concern with the CUSD board is that four of five positions are held by union members. While I agree that school employees are entitled to fair representation, that is a lopsided. Especially when you consider that members have a paid union arbitrator to represent them before the board. In fact, at least two of the four vote on contracts that directly benefit them. That is an obvious conflict of interest.

These four have kept the schools closed – dereliction of duty, the shameful failure to fulfill one’s obligations. These people are abusing a position of trust, with no regard for the community. They’ve ignored the concerns of parents and the welfare of the children.

If every parent whose family has been negatively affected by the school closures signed the petitions, it would be a slam dunk.

Juanita Sumner, Chico CA

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