Still without distance learning plan, parents coalition tells SCUSD, teachers union ‘no more politicking’

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A newly-formed parents coalition says it is fed up with a labor impasse between the Sacramento City Unified School District and the teachers union that is hampering their children’s education.

Parents joined with community and business groups, as well as other unions, to demand talks between SCUSD and the teachers union happen twice a week or more.

“Every other district in the state has an agreement on distance learning,” said parent Daniel Conway. “Here in Sacramento, we’re somehow a month and a half into the school year and we’re still without one.”

The Sacramento City Teachers Association told FOX40 that its members are still showing up for work and doing what they feel is safe.

The district says it had to adopt a distance learning plan without a union agreement after the union declared an impasse in talks.

SCUSD and the Sacramento City Teachers Association are no strangers to the negotiating table.

Last year, teachers held a one-day strike after they claimed cost savings weren’t being put back into the classrooms as promised. The school board said it faced insolvency without givebacks by the union.

The parent coalition says the bad blood further hurts special needs and disadvantaged students affected by the pandemic.

“Put aside all of the things we are harping on and let’s focus on the children,” said Cassandra Jennings, president and CEO of the Greater Sacramento Urban League.

The district last week opened up small learning hubs to get disadvantaged students in-person help. It was noticeably staffed by community volunteers, not teachers because there is no agreement in place.

The group is also demanding regular meetings to deal with restructuring teacher contracts and other measures that could head off financial insolvency and a state takeover of the district.

“You may not get everything that you want but get enough to serve these 40,000 children that are in this district,” said Richard Owen with United Professional Educators.

“No more politicking or finger-pointing,” said Rebecca Marcos, the parent of a special needs child. “Just do the work. Be the leaders, be the adults that our kids deserve.” 

On Tuesday, the district said it was open to meeting twice a week and claimed the union has refused dozens of invitations to meet.

The union said more meetings could help but only if the district shows some flexibility in negotiations.

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