Recruit & Retain the Best Teachers for SMUHSD - Make Salaries Competitive & End Penalties

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Our students deserve the best teachers we can get, and from day 1 of the school year.  The state teacher shortage is magnified in the Bay Area with teachers leaving the area to live in less expensive places.  It is becoming harder to find experienced and skilled teachers, and it is taking longer to fill teaching positions.  I have had one child go through a district school and I saw first hand how hard this can hit the students and the staff. I have another child soon to enter high school, and I don't want the same thing to happen to my child, or anyone else's children.  In San Mateo Union High School District over the last few years we've seen issues with turnover (retirements and non-reelection of teachers), and in some cases schools have had to start the year with substitute teachers while they find someone (sometimes anyone) to take the job. 

Part of the reason for this is the salary restriction.  In most districts throughout the Bay Area school districts give up to 10 years experience credit on their salary schedules, but San Mateo Union stops at 5 years.  In many instances some of the best teachers would have to take pay-cuts of up to $20,000 to work in the district. Sequoia Union High School District, a neighbor, has NO EXPERIENCE CAP.  

There was a time when that restriction made sense.  When the district paid MUCH higher than many of our neighbors, there was no restriction on experience credit, and the goal was trying to keep people near retirement from coming being hired and only staying a couple of years then retiring and having to be constantly replaced (turnover).  That time is over - the district pays comparably in the later years to our neighbors, but the restriction has become a handicap, with some teachers not leaving their districts because they can't afford too, and newer teachers to the district having to leave because they are not able to afford the area at the lower pay. 

This petition seeks to do 2 things, in order to improve teacher recruitment and retention and better serve the needs and interests of our students.  We ask the San Mateo Union High School District School Board to adopt resolutions to:

1)  Join the rest of the Bay Area and move the salary experience cap from the crushing 5 years to at least 10 years like most others.

2)  Teachers hired within the last 10 years that had more than 5 years experience be given credit for their experience in education commensurate with a retroactive 10 year experience cap. For example: an educator with 15 years experience in an office and/or classroom, hired within the last 10 years, that had to start at year 6 and build up on the salary chart would advance 4 steps or years of credit of longevity pay to equal the 4 years lost.   

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