Highlights of the “San Francisco Quality Teacher And Education Act ” Parcel Tax Initiative
On February 12, 2008 the San Francisco Board of Education voted unanimously to place the ‘San Francisco Quality Teacher and Education Act’ parcel tax initiative on the June 2008 ballot. In recognition of the difficulty SFUSD has in recruiting and retaining great teachers, the measure would provide over $20 million to boost teacher salaries, increase continuing education, and create innovative new programs to help improve and reward teaching in San Francisco.
- Significant increases to K-12 certificated salary schedules: The parcel tax would add approximately $11.5 million to the certificated salary schedule. For credentialed teachers, step increases would range from $500 to $6,300, depending on the number of additional units earned beyond a BA. Lifetime earnings would increase from $25,000 to as much as $92,500. The salary schedule will also offer an incentive for teachers to continue their education by offering significant increases in the BA+60 salary schedule. Increases between most steps would also be normalized. Similar advances would be made by school psychologists, speech pathologists, social workers, and nurses. For more information, see the parcel tax salary schedules.
- Teacher retention bonuses paid to K-12 certificated staff after year 4 and year 8: Teachers are most likely to leave San Francisco after their fourth and eighth years. The parcel tax would help reduce this turnover by giving teachers with at least a BA+30 a $2,500 bonus after completing their fourth year, and teachers with a BA+60 a $3,000 bonus after completing their eighth year. The bonuses would also be provided to school psychologists, speech pathologists, social workers, and nurses.
- Continuing education:An additional 18 hours of continuing education for all K-12 certificated bargaining unit members, would be paid at the rate of $40 per hour. An additional 6 hours of continuing education for all CDP teachers would be paid at a rate of $30 per hour. An additional 12 hours of continuing education would be given to each paraprofessional at a rate of $19 per hour. The goal is to have continuing education decisions made at the school site and embedded into site programs.
- Increase in paraprofessional retirement contributions.In addition to the gains made in the last contract, the parcel tax would raise the district contribution to PARS to the equivalent of the district’s Social Security contribution. This is the next step in moving paraprofessionals out of PARS and into an improved pension system.
- Improvements in the Child Development Program:A commitment to fully support the CDP Staffing Pilot Program, with the goal of making it the standard for the entire Child Development program.
- Expansion of substitute healthcare benefits: The parcel tax would provide health benefits to a total of forty substitutes who work at least 160 days during the school year. Effective next school year, these 160-day subs would be assigned to hard-to-staff schools first. If no hard-to-staff school assignments are available, the substitute would be able to select another assignment for that day.
- Creation of a Master Teacher program:In the interest of supporting teacher leadership, up to fifty teachers would be designated as Master Teachers, earning an additional $2,500 and receiving .2 FTE release time to assist other teachers at their school or other district-designated sites.
- $2,000 for K-12 teachers in recognition of work beyond the school day: In recognition of the additional work teachers do beyond the school day, each fulltime certificated staff member at a district-identified hard-to-staff school could earn an additional $2,000 per school year. This additional work would be self-directed time spent beyond the regular work day/work week.
- $1,000 stipend for teachers working on their credential: In the years that the district allocates funds for tuition credit, teachers working on their credentials at hard-to-staff schools may receive a tuition stipend up to $1,000 per school year for each of their first three years of service. When money is available, this stipend would be offered at other sites.
- $1,000 stipend for teachers working in hard-to-fill subject areas: Beginning in the 2008-2009 school year, the district would offer teachers in up to five hard-to-fill subject areas a $1,000 stipend per school year.
- Support for school site increases in achievement: Starting in the 2008-2009 school year, the twenty schools showing the most improvement would receive a $30,000 block grant in recognition of their efforts. Improvement is defined not only as an increase in API scores, but in other mutually agreed upon growth measures determined by UESF and the district. The distribution of the money at the site level would be subject to a recommendation vote by the entire school site staff, but ultimately would be determined by the school site council.
- Additional support and changes to the PAR program: Parcel tax revenue could be used to hire up to five additional Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) coaches. The PAR program would also be reformed to include the following changes: Teachers who receive a ‘needs improvement’ rating for two consecutive semesters would be eligible to be referred to the program, subject to the mutual agreement of UESF and the district. After leaving the PAR program, if a teacher received an unsatisfactory notice, he could be moved to dismissal. Teachers who wished to improve upon their performance could voluntarily enter PAR. Self-referral would not be subject to the PAR evaluation process. Specific standards are identified to be recognized as ‘proficient.’
Additional funds to improve academic innovation and technology and for teacher salaries at charter schools: Funds would be allocated to provide students, parents, and teachers with access to current technology to support student achievement, and to help raise salaries of teachers at independently managed public charter schools.