As teachers across the state plan a "walk-in" for Wednesday, one district passed a resolution throwing its support behind our educators.
The Pendergast Elementary School District gave its teachers a 2 to 7 percent raise using its own funds that will kick in this summer. Last month, many of their teachers used a personal day to march at the state Capitol, demanding more.
"I have a masters and about five years of experience and I can barely afford to put groceries in the refrigerator," said Kassandra Dominguez, who teaches kindergarten and first grade at the Pendergast Elementary School District.
She says, when it came to the "sick out," her focus was her family.
"For me, at least, it was thinking about my son and my family, so we went on a limb and did what was best for us," she said.
"We understood the reasons why teachers decided to take this action," said Martin Quezada, the Pendergast School Board president and also a state senator. But he added they did not endorse or encourage the "sick out."
At Tuesday night's meeting, they passed a resolution to show support for teachers and to urge the state Legislature to come up with a plan to "pay teachers the professional salaries they deserve."
The governor and lawmakers gave teachers a 1 percent raise last year, and plan to give another 1 percent this year. They also extended the sales tax, set to expire in 2021.
But many say it's not enough.
"Extending Prop 301 was a necessary step, but it is literally next to doing nothing to addressing this crisis right now," Quezada said.
We asked whether another Pendergast "sick out" is imminent.
"We hope it doesn’t have to come to these types of actions but we certainly understood their frustrations and why this was necessary," Quezada said.
"We all stand united, and once that call is made, everyone kind of falls in line with it because we’re family," Dominguez said.
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