SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Students will not be in school on Thursday as teachers and staff return to the picket lines for day two of the strike.
“It’s nice to be back in the classroom learning, and I can also see my friends every day. But then when this happens, it’s almost like a tiny little distance learning again, except we’re not even getting to learn,” said 5th-grader Zia Kashmiri.
Teachers are demanding higher wages, increased health care benefits and more staffing.
“Kind of breaks my heart how quickly we went from, two years ago, talking about how teachers were these saints and how could we ever do what they are,” said parent Katie Hymans.
The district’s most recent proposal includes a 2% raise, health care for all employees, bonuses and a raise for substitute teachers.
Teachers wondered how they were offered a 2% raise while the superintendent received a 6% raise.
“I feel that the proposal that we have passed to the SCTA is a very, very reasonable one. that provides 100% health coverage for all of our employees,” said Superintendent Jorge Aguilar.
Many parents said teachers should be given what they are worth, agreeing with teachers that raises should be more than 2%.
“Teachers really are the backbone of our society, and I think we need to be supporting them,” Hymans said.
Teachers also wondered why money from the COVID-19 relief fund could not be used to help raise their salaries.
“We are very careful about not using one-time funds for ongoing expenditures. We don’t know what the future holds. We want to make sure that we strike that delicate balance, and I think that our proposals do just that,” Aguilar said.
Teachers, parents and their children are expected to return to the picket lines on Thursday.
“We hope that we could welcome them back very, very quickly. They have been away from our school system. They just returned. And we need to make sure that this is resolved quickly,” Aguilar said.
“I have the day off from school. But my parents don’t have it off from work. So I’m just kind of stuck at home all day — just sitting there,” Kashmiri said.