SCTA Organizing Committee Weekly Update
Week of March 19, 2012
Governor Brown announced late last week that he had reached a compromise with the California Federation of Teachers (sponsors of the “Millionaire Tax Initiative”) to combine key pieces of their respective tax initiatives to place before the voters in November. As explained by the Sacramento Bee:
The new deal would raise the statewide sales tax by a quarter-cent rather than half-cent per every dollar of purchase (as the Governor had wanted). It would retain the governor’s three higher tax brackets starting at $250,000 for single filers. But the last marginal tax hike – at $500,000 for singles and $1 million for couples – would increase by 3 percentage points rather than Brown’s original 2 percentage points.
The income tax hike on the rich would also last longer than Brown’s proposal, going for seven years instead of five. The sales tax hike would still expire at the end of 2016…
…Based on Brown’s more optimistic assessment of capital gains, the plan would raise an additional $2 billion for the upcoming 2012-13 budget because it relies more heavily on the income tax increase… The money raised would also count entirely toward the state’s general fund, helping reduce future cuts to areas other than K-14 education, such as health and welfare, corrections and higher education. (Bee 3/14)
The California Teachers Association has been a major supporter of the Governor’s initiative. CTA will formally consider support for this compromise measure later this week. Initiative gathering is expected to take place on a fast-track beginning in April. It will be necessary to gather about one million signatures in four to five weeks. Please stay tuned for more important information.
Kara Synhorst, who teaches at Luther Burbank HS, wrote a brilliant letter published this week in the Sacramento News and Review in response to an earlier writer who condemned teachers’ salaries as excessive. Kara shows how it’s done!
Re “Teachers are not royalty” (SN&R Letters, February 23):
I just want to make sure that everyone understands what “per capita” means. Derek Link is being deceptive if he’s trying to lead people to believe that teachers make extraordinary salaries above those of other employed adults in theSacramentoregion.
“Per capita” income includes people under 18, over 65, and unemployed; there are ample numbers of all of those. It is an apple-to-oranges comparison to hold the average teacher salary up against the average income of a group that includes 8-year-olds, retirees, welfare recipients and inmates.
The median family income of households with one or two earners is quite different: $37,670 for one earner and $76,060 with two earners (source:www.city-data.com/income/income-Sacramento-California.html).
Thus teachers, who have a bachelor’s degree and a teaching credential, make about $25,000 more than average for wage earners in a city where 91 percent of people have less education.
Also, Link’s phrasing that teachers “would earn” an amount that includes benefits is intellectually dishonest since he compares that number with actual income—not income plus benefits—of others.
I agree that teachers are not royalty, but I disagree that $40,000 a year for someone with a B.A. and an additional degree is “royal” wages. Most first-year teachers I know share an apartment with a roommate and have crushing student debt.
I don’t believe teachers are underpaid, but I also don’t believe in putting out misleading information and letting it appear to be true.
A Friend in Need
Finally, we’re sharing this opportunity to help a SCUSD colleague in desperate need. Barbara Weeks is a cafeteria worker at Pony Express Elementary School. Barbara had returned to work recently from an extended leave to care for her cancer-stricken mother. Until last Wednesday, she shared a home with her mother and daughter. That morning a house fire killed her mother and destroyed her home. When Barbara returned to the fire scene to salvage whatever she could, she found that looters stripped the place bare. Barbara and her daughter have lost everything.
Barbara’s friends have established an on-line site where people can make monetary contributions in any amount. Pony Express school is also taking donations of household goods, clothing, bedding, gift cards…just about anything to help Barbara and her daughter rebuild their lives.
Please consider donating to a colleague and friend:
- Drop off goods/gift cards at Pony Express Elementary School 1250 56th Ave. Sac 95831