The Racine Unified School Board failed to approve a new pay schedule for educators after more than 100 people packed into a meeting this week to protest it.
Educators said the proposed new pay schedule did not provide enough incentive for continued professional development or future salary reassurances.
The Racine Journal Times quoted Pam Harris, a 41-year teacher, as saying that the new pay plan would fail to attract new teachers to the district.
“We can’t survive without young, new teachers … why should young people go to college and come out with loan debt and know that they’re going to make approximately 40 percent less than many other professions?” she asked.
Racine Educators United President Angelina Cruz presented the board with a petition signed by more than 800 people asking the district to provide a budget “that attracts and retains the best and brightest public education workers to work directly with RUSD students and families.”
“Rather than metal detectors and the further criminalization of black and brown students, we should hire more social workers and psychologists,” Cruz said. “We should provide professional development and trauma informed care, culturally relevant pedagogy, racial bias training, and we should desegregate our schools, particularly our middle school.”
She also called for reducing high-stakes standardized testing and eliminating top-heavy administration.
“Instead we should look at attracting and retaining the highest quality and experienced educators to work directly with our kids,” she said. “We should ensure that the very least of students are receiving the most.”