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Board President Jessie Ryan Cuts Mic on SCTA Vice President, Tries to Silence Accountability

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In clear violation of our collective bargaining agreement which gives SCTA up to fifteen minutes to give a report at the school board meeting, School Board President Jessie Ryan refused to allow SCTA 2nd Vice-president Hasan McWhorter to finish SCTA’s report during the August 1st board meeting. Ryan even cut off his microphone and stopped the audio portion of the meeting as it was being streamed. Ryan’s action was unprecedented.

Why? Because Hasan had the audacity to question why Ryan and Superintendent Aguilar refused to disclose the critical emails from FCMAT that challenged the District’s fiscal mismanagement and potential illegal actions taken in closed session. Hasan also questioned why Aguilar and Ryan kept the blunder about undercounting 730 students—an $8 million per year mistake—from the public for weeks, while purposefully misleading our community that the District was on the brink of insolvency

Additionally, while Hasan expressed SCTA’s appreciation that the school board endorsed the Schools and Communities First ballot initiative that would raise billions of additional dollars for public schools, he warned that unless the District gets it financial administration in order its mismanagement and lack of transparency will be the focus of the corporate opposition to the initiative that will be on the November 2020 ballot.

It’s also worth noting that President Ryan has never cut off SCTA president David Fisher or vice-president Nikki Milevsky when she has previously tried to interrupt them before the contractual 15 minutes had expired.

View the contract language below:

According to Sacramento Metro Cable Channel 14, you can view President Jessie Ryan’s behavior on Sunday, August 4th at 9pm or on Tuesday, August 7th at 11am. SCTA 2nd Vice President Hasan McWhorter begins speaking at about the 29:30 minute mark – click here.

Continue reading below for the entire report presented by our 2nd Vice-president Hasan McWhorter that Board President Jesse Ryan didn’t want you to hear.


 “Good evening.  My name is Hasan McWhorter and I’m the second Vice-President of the Sacramento City Teachers Association.  I was also on the SCTA bargaining team in 2016-17.

It has been exactly 626 days since Superintendent Aguilar signed the tentative agreement at Mayor Steinberg’s house, and 593 days since this school board unanimously approved our contract.  It still has not been fully implemented.

After refusing to abide by the provision that restructured our salary schedule, the District backtracked on that agreement, then took the unprecedented step of suing its own teachers to try unsuccessfully to stop the arbitration.  The law suit was a total failure and the arbitration was a total victory for SCTA.  We estimate the District wasted at least $250,000 of taxpayer dollars—to date the District has refused to turn over the documentation that will allow us all to see exactly how much money the District wasted.  It is worth noting that today that we received a check from the District reimbursing us for our court costs in responding to the District’s frivolous lawsuit. 

Unfortunately, that has not been the end of it.  Despite an ironclad agreement regarding the use of health plan savings to truly bring about equity, access and social justice by using those savings to increase services to students including lowering class sizes, and increase the number of school nurses, psychologists, counselor and other professional staff, the District acts like no such agreement exists and  grossly exaggerated a fiscal crisis to try to subvert the contract and hide the reckless fiscal mismanagement.  Despite PERB issuing a complaint against the District regarding its refusal to honor the health plan provision, the District is dragging its feet on agreeing to expedite the matter before an arbitrator. 

Why?  Because anyone who understands collective bargaining agreements knows that the District is holding a losing hand.  Rather than improve services to students, the District would rather give millions of taxpayer dollars to the for-profit insurance company Health Net. 

And rather than honor our fully enforceable collective bargaining agreement, the District launched a propaganda campaign against its own teachers, a campaign that has been exposed in the recently disclosed emails.  How do Superintendent Aguilar and Board President Ryan—the two leaders of this District who promised time and again to operate in an open and transparent manner—justify their decision to keep the emails from FCMAT’s Mike Fine from the public and even the full school board.  How does Superintendent Aguilar explain confirming in writing to Dave Gordon the fact that the District forgot to count at least 730 students, an $8 million per year mistake, on April 1, 2019, but refused to disclose it for another six weeks (including during the layoff hearing where District staff may have provided false testimony) and only then burying it in a nearly 200 page document.  And how is it that even after it was pointed out to many of you in February and March not one of you thought to question why the District was projecting to lose 1071 students in 2019-20, when for the previous three years the average decline in enrollment was only 60 students per year? 

As you know, the District’s problems with its enrollment projections continue, with no effort to get the numbers right.  As Mike Fine wrote, the District has no credibility.

At the same time, despite warnings from FCMAT, this board, after 7 minutes of discussion, voted to gut the Child Development program and lay off more than 400 certificated and classified staff,, based on faulty data and closed session discussions which were likely illegal.  A legal hearing this winter will make that determination.

With the school year about to commence in a little more than 3 weeks, this board has a choice to make:  honor our agreement and work with us–your educators–to make Sac City the Destination District in California, or face another year of escalating labor conflict.   The choice is entirely up to you.

Finally, while we appreciate the District supporting the Schools and Communities First Ballot initiative to add billions to defend our public schools, we strongly urge you, the school board, to cut our District’s administrative bloat and manage its finances in a honest and transparent way that focusing resources on our students.  Unfortunately, the fiscal mismanagement and secrecy exposed in the FCMAT emails indicate that Sac City’s fiscal mismanagement will be featured front and center in the certain-to-be corporate financed campaign against this initiative.” 

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