The big news today is that National City teachers plan to go on strike on Friday, the first teachers strike in 15 years in San Diego County.
We try to cover stories that aren’t getting covered elsewhere, which means we probably won’t be chasing the play-by-play between the union and National School District over the next few days since it seems to be getting plenty of attention. But here are some good ways to learn more about the labor drama:
• The Union-Tribune did a nice job laying out the disputes between the teachers and the school district:
[A]dministrators said furloughs would eliminate a $2.5 million chunk of the $3 million deficit to its $53.7 million operating budget. The union has argued that, at $8.6 million, the district’s reserve account is too high and could be tapped to offset more of the deficit. But the district said the majority of its reserves is made up of deferred state funding — money they have been advised not to spend until it comes in.
• Watch over the next few days to see if the school district scrambles to avert the strike. The union said it will start the strike Friday — not right away — which gives National School District a window to meet with them again. It’s a small window but it could happen.
• Another issue to watch: National School District plans to hire substitute teachers during the strike so that classes can go on. Parents are being told that they still have to send their kids to school, but the U-T quoted one parent who said she won’t do that. Districts get money when students come to school, so if lots of kids are out, even for a day or two, it could hurt the school district financially.
• This whole issue has been simmering for a while: Teachers first voted to green-light a future strike back in December.
• Now for a history lesson. The last strike in San Diego County was in 1996 in the biggest district in the county, San Diego Unified. Back then, The New York Times reported that the dispute was over pay. Education Week gives more details.
Is there something about this strike that nobody else is reporting on? Please don’t hesitate to let me know. You can also post more links to news and commentary on the teacher strike in the blog.