Yuba City Teachers Begin Strike, Students Feel the Impact

YUBA CITY -- It's not your average Thursday at schools across Yuba City.

Seven hundred frustrated teachers spent the day striking instead of teaching. And they had support.

"The kids got up at 10:55 a.m. and walked out. There's probably close to 200," said Yuba City High School Teacher Katie Wollman.

Wollman took video of hundreds of students walking out of the high school to join the teachers' fight.

"Our teachers, compared to the surrounding areas, are paid less and that's why we're losing great teachers to other districts," said Dina Luetgens, head of the Yuba City Teachers Association.

The Yuba City Teachers Association called for a 13 percent pay increase, rejecting the district's offer of 3.5 percent.

Unable to see eye-to-eye, teachers went on strike.

The impact was felt in class Thursday.

"Chaotic, boring," said sophomore Michael Watson.

Watson walked out because he says he didn't see much value in the classroom.

Some parents made a similar decision.

"They made us do packets, there's no point of doing a packet if teacher's not there, there's no education," said Watson.

"They are not doing any academic work, and I refuse to send my daughter into an environment that is chaotic," said Denea Rexroad.

The teacher's association says students were assigned packets that included crossword puzzles and word searches.

"Our teachers are struggling with this, we're all struggling. The strike was not the right answer," said Superintendent Nancy Aaberg.

Aaberg insists the district is doing its best to keep students on track in the absence of hundreds of teachers at 17 schools.

"The mazes and crosswords and word search is not the curriculum, the intended curriculum was designed according to the California standards, it includes reading passages, discussion topics," Aaberg said.

As the district prepares for a second day of striking, both sides are hoping for an agreement soon, for the sake of the students.