April 25, 2011
The turmoil in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District continues to intensify, as increasingly large and vocal groups of stakeholders speak out against the MPUSD Board's decision to increase pay for Superintendent Marilyn Shepard and her staff. A group of Monterey High School staffers is now going so far as to demand the resignation of the entire MPUSD Board.
In a letter sent to news outlets Sunday, 40 "concerned MHS staff members" blasted the Board for the salary increase, stating that it "demonstrates a total lack of sensitivity toward those of us who have been sacrificing," and that by accepting the salary increase, "the Superintendent and her Cabinet have shown how out of touch they are with the people who make them successful" (read: those they employ).
The aforementioned sacrifice by MHS staffers - and, according to teachers at other MPUSD schools, all educators in the district - is in the form of "increased class sizes of up to 45 students in academic classes, i.e. more work at no extra pay, no change in our salary schedule for the last four years..." In light of this reality, the justification given by Board President Diane Creasey for the Superintendent's Cabinet salary hike - "an increase in the number of contracted work days from 222 to 230" - holds no water.
"When an individual member of the School Board no longer represents his/her constituents in an equitable manner, it is time for the community to recall this member," the letter states, in essence demanding Creasey's resignation.
The latest letter comes on the heels of one drawn up by the Monterey Bay Teachers Association last week, also protesting the salary increase, and at a particularly tumultuous time for MHS, whose principal, William Crockett, tendered his resignation to the Board April 4.
Here is the full text of the MHS letter, along with the names of those who signed it:
The phrase "shared sacrifice" is being bandied about on a regular basis in light of our current economic conditions. As teachers, counselors, and support staff we are thankful to have jobs in these difficult times. We have had to deal with increased class sizes of up to 45 students in academic classes. i.e. more work at no extra pay, no change in our salary schedule for the last four years, no repayment from the district on the additional monies that they borrowed from us and were directed to pay back as part of a court ordered settlement, and an increase in our health care costs by as much as 250% for some of us with families.
We have acted in a professional and responsible manner in order to ensure that our students receive the best education possible. The proof of our actions has been the increase in our students' scores on the state standardized tests. We have done and will continue to do our part for our students because we fully understand the need to sacrifice. However, the MPUSD School Board's decision to increase the salaries of the Superintendent and her Cabinet demonstrates a total lack of sensitivity toward those of us who have been sacrificing. Furthermore, by accepting this increase the Superintendent and her Cabinent have shown how out of touch they are with the people who make them successful.
That we recieved an email from the District office with a copy of a letter by the School Board President informing us of the decision on the same day the Board would be voting on the increase adds to the shame. This lack of good faith communication is disturbing. Moreover, the justification for the increase lacks viability: according to Diane Creasey, Board President, the increase is due in part to an increase in the number of contracted work days from 222 to 230. For the majority of us, quite the opposite is true. We work more for less.
When an individual member of the School Board no longer represents his/her constituents in an equitable manner, it is time for the community to recall this member.
40 Concerned MHS staff members
Aristotle Constant Jose Arellano Tom Newton William Pace Rosanna McCormick Chelsea Warner Brian Peterson Karen Klee Michelle Sweat Robin Jensen
April Zobel Rachel bennett David Swartz Maj-Britt Eagle Amber Mclarney Nicole Sharrah Tina Gonzales Ron Bettencourt Kathleen Bruno Carlos Trujillo
Laura Valesquez Robin Coyne Dan Rust Patty Deal Michael Hare Victor Grecco Aaron Sanders Joan Raymond Lisa Lei Ramendra Prasad Tima Gonzales
Amber Gainey Christina Aliotti
Please note 7 signatures were not legible so their names do not appear.