I would like to respond to Friday's story regarding plans to restore teachers' salaries in the Denair Unified School District. I believe it is important for your readers to have the District’s perspective in order to have the complete context and an understanding of the strategy behind the District's financial recovery plan.
At a special board meeting on Oct. 6, the Denair school board unanimously voted to approve a negotiated one-time 2.37 percent salary bonus to all teachers who were on staff in 2015-16 — including those who have retired or left for other reasons. These payments are worth $110,861 and will be paid at the end of October.
At the same meeting, trustees also indicated their intent to begin restoring teacher salaries based on Denair's enrollment growth. We have consistently informed staff that fiscal recovery and salary restoration are dependent on developing and maintaining high quality educational programs and increasing enrollment. A restoration schedule was shared with all in the audience and provided to the teachers' union that lays out how the district can responsibly raise salaries as enrollment increases. It was explained that once the October enrollment number is finalized with the state Department of Education, trustees will be in a position to consider salary restoration — probably as soon as their December board meeting so pay raises could go into effect in January.
Based on our current enrollment of 1,309 students, teachers would be in line for salary restoration of about 4 percent. And as enrollment continues to grow, the district is committed to additional pay increases based on the restoration schedule.
The district values and appreciates all its employees and the sacrifices they made when Denair faced financial crisis. We are grateful for their loyalty and their support. Fortunately, the worst is behind us and DUSD is once again on a positive trajectory. We are growing programs and adding talented staff. We are committed to creating a college-going and career-ready culture at all grade levels. Most of all, we are respectful and appreciative of the families who entrust us to provide the very best education for their sons and daughters.
— Aaron Rosander
Superintendent, Denair Unified School District