tv [untitled] December 4, 2014 1:30am-2:01am PST
and foster care youth. having said that, i am glad that i have the opportunity to come here today because respectfully correcting what i just heard is that it isn't all about what's happening in sacramento. it is about what's happening here in san francisco and the last time i checked, that's your jurisdiction. because every time i hear testimony at the board of education it is about how our teachers can't live here, how our paraprofessionals can't live here, how the cost of living is too high, they can't find housing here and they have to leave. we lose 50 percent of our teachers within the first 5 years. every time we lose a teacher it's 10 to 20 thousand dollars. we now have 19,000 vacancies in our school district and it is largely because they can't afford the cost of living here. we wish every single
school-aged child in san francisco would use our wonderful san francisco public schools but when you can't hire enough teachers to be able to have a qualified teacher in every classroom, then that's a problem. so i do think that the city takes some responsibility in this. our families can't live here. our teachers can't live here. our paraprofessionals can't live here and every time a eusf member comes to the board of education and says i can't live here, i have to move, i want to tell them, go to city hall and tell them that, because that is not our jurisdiction, this is your jurisdiction. the housing issue is your jurisdiction. i don't know if you realize our teachers can't ard $5,000 a month for rent. they are a -- they don't serve a capitalistic model, they serve the children of san francisco. and that is noble work and that is hard work and by offering -- i would love to give them a 300 percent
raise. we just don't have the funds to do it. but i want to be honest that even if we did, they still couldn't afford to live here. this is a really expensive city. the ball is in your court. and i know the three of you and i feel like i shouldn't even be telling you this, i wish that everyone was in the chambers because i could tell all of them because all of you, you three, you know it well. this is the struggle. we are trying to recruit teachers here. there is a teacher shortage all over this nation. we are trying to recuetd them to this really cool city of san francisco to educate our cool children of san francisco and we can't afford it either. so i'm appealing to you. it is a partnership. with all the building that is happening, where is the building for our workers? where are the buildings for our families? i think we, i can tell you that ue comes to our board meetings and since i'm the board president i have the honor of fas cilitating those meetings and when i hear the voices of
the ue members saying they have a hard time living here, they will have to leave because they can't live here, i want them to march over to city hall and tell you guys that this isn't -- we can't deliver that kind of housing, you can. we can't put those ordinances or any legislation forward that protects our workers. we can't do that. our families. we depend on you to do it. and so i welcome this opportunity, actually, to come and tell you this and so i thank you for this resolution because i think we're on the same page on this. you know, supervisor yee, you know, your daughter is a teacher, the struggle of us to live here and again i feel like i'm preaching to the choir for you three supervisors because you have worked in our district, you have heard our families, you have heard our teachers, you know what we're up against here. and i agree we need to fight at the state level but at the city level we need to fight together too. because if the
cost of living continues to increase at such a rapid rate in san francisco we will never be able to attract the quality that we need, the talent that we need, in san francisco to educate our fine students. and so i emphasize with our ue members. my sister is a teacher also. the they work do is noble work. the work they do is honorable work. the work they do is educating the future generation of san francisco and how more profound work is that? but we need your help too. this is my opportunity to say as a the board president that we understand your concerns. i want to guarantee i want to tell you we are negotiating in good faith, we want an equitiable solution to this and i really appreciate that you take responsibility also for the school district and for our school age children and for the education too and that you have
also invested many, many, many, many thousands of hours in your terms as officers of our city government to help protect our workers and also protect our students as i once again say i wish this was a full chamber so i could tell all of your colleagues how important this is and how the public school system of san francisco is actually a part of the infrastructure of san francisco that makes it so fabulous and why people stay here. it is because we have a high performing school district and it's part of the infrastructure for the future residents of san francisco. in order to protect that we need to have people here that can do the job and do it well and to keep them here. and so, as i said, this is a burden on us too that what is happening in this city and as a board president i take great responsibility again in protecting those funds that are earmarked for our most vulnerable students and personally, myself, i will not
go there. that is a population that has been underserved for way too long and we have an opportunity to use some funds and it is not a lot of funds, as you know, in this state it is a minimal amount of funds to serve these students because they are so high need. i am happy to address any questions that you might have. >> if i may just make a comment. >> yes, you can make a comment. >> because i appreciate you being here and i know that we're going to hear from our deputy superintendent and also from uesf, i appreciate everything you have said and i agree with what i think the gist of what you said and i do think that it's not just what happens at the state level, it's what's happening in san francisco and god knows that we have been fighting the issue of affordability and to address the affordability crisis. the city has a role in providing housing and other things. you know, we have built 22,000 units, 1200 of which in the last few years, 1200 of which
are affordable but not a single one ever them is actually affordable to a teacher or a paraprofessional so the city has that responsibility. where you can come in and address the issue of affordability, to make the city more affordable to teachers and paraprofessionals, is to give them a fair salary. i have a great deal of respect for president fuer and i welcome the fact that under her leadership the board of education is weighing in on some of these other issues like some of the projects that are happening in my district. i think it's important and even though it's our jurisdiction to approve those projects i think it's important for you to speak out as the board of education on those things. it's kind of like what we're doing here today. >> absolutely. >> but the one thing i would say where i have a different perspective based on my own experience is on this issue of equity. i started working in education as the school district's lead
counsel on a consent decree case. i think often times there is a false dichotomy created between being equitable, meaning you have to protect low performing kids, kids of color, kids in high ue wage, and giving teachers a fair wage. my experience having worked on the consent decree, every time you team up and every time the question of doing right by those kids came up, the most useful player was always the teachers and paraprofessionals' union. i had that experience with promise neighborhood. i have that experience with everything so i think that it's a mistake to see it that way in terms you have to choose between these kids and the teachers. the two
are actually one and the same. because these kids cannot perform without having quality teachers and these quality teachers are not going to be here unless they actually are able to make a living wage. and so what i would say is this: that i believe that as we have done in the past and we did this time and time again with the consent decree, without the court ever having to step in and mediate those issues, i think that you as the school district can work with this union to find a way of addressing that issue of equity in an equitable way for everyone. because i do believe that this union gets it. and so what i am saying here is that we as a city are here committed to helping you with that. and so i am optimistic,
i am hopeful, because i actually think that at the end of the day we have the same goals, the same objectives, and we just have to figure out a creative way of getting there and i know that we will. >> yeah. thank you. and i think because the funding formula has changed since you were our legal advisor we have several metafunds and concentration funds and those are the funds that are specifically earmarked for foster youth. we can't even use them for other funds. it's specifically earmarked for them. and i agree, i feel like we need to have a conversation about equity. we need to have a conversation around what is equitable and what does equity really mean in the classroom and what does equity really mean for our teachers and what does equity really mean for our students. and i believe that has sometimes been interpreted
in ways to serve many different agendas. i agree with you, supervisor, and i agree that it takes a combined effort here in san francisco. your city government, our government or bureaucracy at the san francisco unified school district to protect our teachers but also to protect our workers here in san francisco but should protect our families too around the housing issue, around fair wages and i believe that we know at sfusu you aren't saying our teachers don't deserve a raise. we know it is past time for a raise. we know it is the commitment of the board that you want to give them a very good raise. i have great faith that both will come together and we will come to a very good solution so we can get on to the very important and profound business of educating the next generation of san franciscoans. again, supervisors, i just want to say once again that if my tone was hostile, it didn't mean to be
because i know of the board members that occupy these chambers that you have always been friends of our families, our students and our teachers. and so you have done the public service also that we are all doing now at the school district and i want to thank you. >> thank you, president fuer, and i don't think your tone was hostile as all, your tone is very passionate and i think it's that passion that ultimately will lead folks to a good resolution here because we're passionate about the same things, i think. so, supervisor mar. >> i just was going to thank president fuer for being here and say as supervisor march, avalos and i drafted this we were trying to avoid finger pointing and defensiveness and bring everyone together for the common good avoiding labor conflict. i also know supervisor yee and
campos and i have all been involved with social he can quitd. the strategic plan of the school district ensuring that explicitly we focus on equity and social justice is a key goal that all three of us have played a role in. i don't think it's an either/or as well. i think teachers and parents gt -- get a fair wage helps all the families in the school district, especially the paras. there are other pots of money that should be considered and it's in no way telling you what to do but not to look at things as either/ors but avoid finger pointing and defensiveness as well. i think that's within the authority of this board to pass non-binding resolutions like this, which is what it is, and to really do everything we can to address the inequities within city, as you point out, but also to do our best to
support you so with funds and with other types of political support as well. so i just wanted to thank you but also agree with a number of the comments from our former legal counsel, supervisor campos, and urge both sides, put your heads together and we'll do everything we can to help as well. thank you. >> thank you. i also want to say to you, supervisors, thank you for all the support you give to your schools in your particular districts and the way that you serve actually the students in your districts. i just want to say thank you very much on behalf of the board of education. >> president fuer, i think supervisor yee wanted to say something. >> yes, supervisor yee. >> as i was saying, your comments really are refreshing to me to have somebody come here to talk about kids like this. >> i agree. >> thank you. yes, and supervisor yee, you were
working really hard to get your daughter a really good raise. >> by the way, i think that labor organizing and working with workers, supporting workers, is in the fuer blood because if anyone had seen president fuer's daughter in action they will see you are not going to find a stronger champion for workers. >> thank you, supervisor campos, yes, i am reminded quite frequently that we are fortunate in this country that organized labor sets a standard for a living wage. and i never forget that. thank you very much. >> thank you. supervisor mar, should we open it to -- actually i see the deputy superintendent, young lee, superintendent, do you want to say anything? young lee has been serving the district for a very long time
and has gone through this many, many times so we are very appreciative deputy superintendent lee that you are here. thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you. it's, like, 15 years, it's coming up on 15 years. >> yes, supervisor, i am in my 15th year and one memorable experience in that is spending an all-nighter in this building related to a tough round of bargaining. i think supervisor mar and i had that experience in common. i believe supervisor yee as well. anyway, it's like a little flashs about back. i did want to speak briefly and thank you as well for the discussion this morning and definitely feel a sense of optimism about the negotiations we're engaged in. they are under the cloak of confidentiality because we are in a confidential mediation phase of our negotiations. we have been at the table for many
months and while i can't provide a lot of details we are hopeful, we are very hopeful that things will be resolved and reach a good conclusion for all parties. and that is part of just to provide a little bit of context for, as supervisor campos described, the significant pushback that you experienced or that came from the board of ed and superintendent as well as myself and other staff. i just wanted to explain that a little bit. we have been discussing these negotiations in good faith. we have been mutually working very hard as president fuer described as well, so it was just a little bit of a surprise, frankly, to see the introduction of the resolution and we found out about it quite language and we were just sort of caught off guard by it and we, i think that was an element of the concern on the part of the board and the administration of the district.
so we're glad that supervisors you seem willing and supportive of making some amendments to the language in the resolution. we definitely appreciate that. and in general we hope this will all come to a speedy resolution just as you all do and all your colleagues do as well and we know that everyone has the same interest in mind. with that, i just want to thank you for your attention to the matter, to the willingness to support amendments, and to -- couldn't come and speak about anything related to city and school district relations without mentioning the consistent and we get it very unique, not to be taken for granted support that each of you in your capacities as supervisors and all your colleagues, the mayor, all of the city family has always embraced the needs and the responsibility to support the students in the san francisco unified school district and we very much appreciate that today
as always. thank you. >> thank you very much. any comments or questions for the superintendent who probably happens to be a district 9 resident as well. now i'd just like to give an opportunity to united educators of san francisco to come up and we have here mr. ken tray. good morning. >> good morning, supervisors. this really is like old times. we could be at 555, i don't think it goes back to 135, though. my name is ken tray, i'm the political director of united educators of san francisco but more importantly for my own life, i've been a classroom educator since 19 85 and taught in san francisco schools for 25 years. i'm glad that president fuer brought up the issue of equity and social justice and i also appreciate that supervisor campos made the point that the united educators of san francisco are full on on the terrain of social justice,
equity, fighting for the students of the most impoverished communities and our students that we believe are falling into the cracks of the opportunity gap. that's one of the reasons that uesf we call them add kated 10 to 1, san francisco organizing project and a number of other groups,ase, formed the close the gap coalition. we have engaged, we think, in some positive ways with the district in addressing the issues of equity. on a personal note and i suppose being in the leadership of uesf, back in 1966 my friend allen and i launched a project called students for peace and equality, we spread to many high schools in the area and our issue was to get young people involved in the anti-vietnam war movement and in support of the civil rights movement, both movements of
which were very active in the streets of new york in the 1960's. so we are front and center in the fight for social justice and i might add for quite a few decades. maybe that part of it is unfortunate, the decade part. so we feel the resolution is one that calls for finding common ground between uesf and fusd is something we can support and as young lee mentioned, there is grounds for feeling optimistic that we may be moving forward. so we are glad that we're in that state of affairs at this point but we still think it's a very good thing for city hall to engage and take a stand for a resolution of this contract as soon as possible. teachers and paraprofessionals have been waiting for new contracts since last spring.
and it's not unusual for city hall to step in and i think maybe mr. lee mentioned that the 2005-2006 negotiations, the mayor and city hall helped us come to resolution and, by the way, that was after the second strike vote. so you may be aware in the uesf constitution and bylaws it takes two strike votes. we're not at that point yet. second strike vote may or may not happen, hopefully not, but in 2006 it did. hundreds and hundreds of uesf members voted to strike and at that point the city became more engaged and we resolved that dispute i think with a fair contract. >> i think i should add that ed harrington, our controller at the time, and mayor newsom were really central in helping with that but i think that time is a good example of how city hall and the school district can work together to resolve
things. >> yeah, and thank you for that. so just one other thing about social equity and the situation of our students of color, particularly african american, latino and pacific islander students. and the categorical funds under local control funding formula that are to make sure that there are the resources for those students to succeed. we in no way waiver, uesf, the people in the classroom, the paraprofessionals and the teachers, the people who work day in and day out with our students who are struggling so hard to succeed despite enormous aub sta kels, are we after a penny of that money. i'm glad the specter was raised because we are not going after that money. we have been clear about that in negotiations.
however, and supervisor campos brought up the false dichotomy of what goes to the teachers and what goes to the students. but we are indivisible. our working conditions are our students' learning conditions. 50 percent, as was mentioned, of new teachers leave san francisco within the first 5 years. that's basically because there's not enough compensation and benefits to keep people here, there certainly is a lack of housing, but also there isn't enough support for educators in the most challenging school community. we in no way want to undermine the resources to do the most important work that all of us face day in and day out in san francisco. the final point, and president fuer brought this up, is that of housing. i'm wearing a top today, i don't know if you can see it, there's a bunch of birds on the wire then there's a landscape of high rises and old san francisco victorians.
teachers are like birds on the wire. they are wondering where they are going to make their nest, they are wondering where they can find a place to stay and maybe even have the audacity to raise children of their own in this town and send their children to public schools. teachers and paraprofessionals don't know there's a place for them. right now uesf, the discussions have stalled because of the election and the contract and all that that's been going on, but we've been engaged with the mayor's office about housing. the district's been involved and we would invite the board of supervisors to get involved because this is an issue. programs for our kisd, compensation for our educators and finding housing so educators can stay in san francisco is something that everyone should be able to rally around and particularly after this rather competitive electoral season, this should
be an issue for us to promote what a real san francisco values and those values ought to, front and center, support our children in the classroom and the educators who do the work. thank you for this resolution, we look forward to resolving the contract dispute, maybe do something about prop 13 in 2016. thanks. >> thank you very much. why don't we now open up to public comment. >> (inaudible) very professional lady (inaudible) yesterday. our politics, home rule religion have imposed upon philosophy (inaudible) holy study, the coming objective
unified everything (inaudible). >> thank you very much. seeing no more public comment, public comment is closed. again i want to thank president fuer, deputy superintendent and united educators of san francisco for being here today. we have a motion to amend the resolution if we can take the motion to amend without objection. >> yes. >> without objection, and now as amended with the understanding that we have reached language that both sides can live with and my hope is that we will be able to see a resolution as quickly as possible and i know that those of us who are here in the city family remain willing to help in any way possible and to the extent that the city was
helpful before, i actually think that it was better to introduce a resolution sooner so that we don't get to that second strike vote and hopefully we can see that resolve as quickly as possible. so without objection we can take that unanimously. any other comments, colleagues? mr. clerk, do we have any other business before this committee. >> there are no more items mr. chair. >> thank you very much, the meeting is adjourned. (meeting adjourned). .
(clapping). >> the regular meeting of the board of education of the san francisco unified school district for tuesday november 18, 2014, is now called to order roll call please. thank you mr. haney ms. maufas par plain clothing xhorp arrest ms. wynns president fewer arrest ms. son at that and mr. chin. >> please