SMMUSD Teachers and School Workers Join Efforts to Keep Budget Cuts Away From Classrooms and Direct Student Services


Terry Carter, Spokesperson
213-700-5617 |

Thursday, August 27, 2009

SANTA MONICA, CA — With students scheduled to return to school in just a few weeks, the Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 99, representing non-teaching staff, announced that they will work jointly to ensure that the quality of education at SMMUSD schools is protected as the District looks to slash more funds from student programs and services.

Teachers and classified employees are concerned that Sacramento’s deep budget cuts to education are already having a negative impact on classrooms. Teachers are starting the new school year with increased class sizes. Classified employees are already struggling to maintain student services with less staff. The school district has begun looking at even more cuts to meet budget shortfalls, but teachers and others providing essential services say the impact of any additional cuts would be devastating to students.

By working together, teachers and classified employees hope to shine a light on options other than funding cuts.

“The District has a responsibility to make sure cuts are kept as far away from the classroom as possible. We propose a review of all the money that is being wasted on outside consultants. We want to see the District dig into its reserve fund before more cuts are made to student programs,” said Sarah Braff, a third grade teacher at Will Rogers Elementary School. “We also suggest that the District consider offering an early retirement incentive, which will save both jobs and money.”

“We are all committed to quality education. We are proud to work for this District and we want to make sure its high standards are preserved,” said Keryl Cartee-McNeely, Chief Steward for non-teaching staff. “By working together, we can come up with solutions to this budget crisis that don’t hurt our kids.”

SEIU Local 99 is a union of more than 43,000 dedicated education workers who guide our children from preschool and kindergarten, through grade school, high school, and at community colleges. We are teachers, paraeducators, custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, first responders, and others working in schools, colleges, and administrative offices throughout Southern California. We are part of SEIU International, the fastest-growing union in North America with 2.1 million members.

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