IM this article to a friend!

June 25, 2004

Dutra tries again to increase pay at schools for deaf, blind

From: The Argus - Fremont,CA,USA - Jun 25, 2004

State proposed budget would give a $ 4.7 million appropriation to bring teachers, staff up to par


FREMONT -- Assemblyman John Dutra is making another effort to increase pay for teachers at California School for the Deaf and California School for the Blind.

Dutra, D-Fremont, is urging fellow legislators to approve a budget that includes funds to increase teacher and administrator salaries at both Fremont schools and at California School for the Deaf in Riverside.

Dutra has worked on legislation for the past four years to increase salaries at the state special schools.

The assembly version of the proposed state budget includes a $4.7 million appropriation to bring the teacher and administrator salaries up to par with those in neighboring school districts. The item is awaiting approval in the budget conference committee.

These educators deserve no less than fair treatment," Dutra said. "Although they are required to do additional work and develop sign language proficiency, they are consistently paid less than an equally qualified public school teacher. This negatively impacts morale, leads to high turnover and ultimately jeopardizes the education of our deaf and blind students."

Teacher salaries at these schools average 19.7 percent less than their public school counterparts, Dutra said. At the California School for the Deaf in Fremont, teachers are paid about

$12,000 less than similarly qualified teachers at Fremont public schools, he said.

The Fremont school for the deaf has 18 vacancies. While three of these vacancies resulted from retirements, most were the result of educators leaving for other states or other schools with higher salaries or a lower cost of living, Dutra said.

Dutra's most recent effort to increase pay at the state special schools, Assembly Bill 2394, was held up in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

©2004 by MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers