Natomas Teachers Vote to Ratify Contract

Teachers in the Natomas Unified School District voted Thursday to ratify a Tentative Agreement negotiated between the Natomas Teachers’ Association and the school district which will contribute about $2.2 million to the District’ budget, which has been devastated by recent cuts.

As a result, and after approval by the Sacramento County of Education and the NUSD School Board, teachers will be taking five furlough days during the remainder of this school year, and six furlough days during the 2010-2011 school year.

“Eliminating days from the school year is going to hurt. It’s going to hurt teachers, but most of all it’s going to hurt our students,” said Cynthia Connell, president of the Natomas Teachers’ Association. “This is not the outcome we’d like to see, but it is our reality.”

Natomas class sizes have already increased 25 to 30 percent this year, which has impacted students and teachers alike. Students have less time with their teacher individually while teachers have seen a substantial increase in their daily workload. Even a small stipend from the district for teachers to buy classroom supplies has also been eliminated. Meanwhile, as Natomas students adjust to the loss of 40 teachers who were laid off this summer, teachers have learned that more layoffs are anticipated in March.

“This is a horrible situation and it’s going to get worse,” Ms. Connell said. “Despite these cuts, Natomas teachers remain committed to providing the best learning experience possible for our students, and continue to strive to make their school experience a positive one.”

She added, “But what we need to do is come together as a community to look at solutions. The $18 billion in state budget cuts has been devastating to our schools. We must find the resources necessary to educate our students for the future.”

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