The continuing and increasingly bitter dispute between the El Centro Elementary School District and the El Centro Elementary Teachers Association in my opinion is not the badge of honor that board members and administrators apparently believe it to be.
Rather, it is an advertisement for failure and distrust. The board is elected to lead and has failed to do so, choosing to abdicate its responsibility to the very people, teachers, who make its product, education, possible and to the public they both serve.
As ECETA president, I want to make sure the community understands that our members are only asking for a fair and reasonable salary and benefits package and any suggestion to the contrary is simply false. The truth is both sides know the money to get the deal done is there, thanks to the Legislature, which released it as unrestricted funds to school districts statewide in the latest budget. While most districts have come to some resolution with their teachers, a relative few have not, deciding instead to siphon off as much of this unexpected (and unearned) windfall as possible for "administrative" purposes — which basically translates into anything other than teachers' salaries.