Santa Rosa public school teachers will receive about half of the $3.3 million annual pay raise they have sought per a 5-0 vote by the school board that limited their increase Thursday night.
School Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick, who had a victory statement prepared in advance, seemed to anticipate the board vote that supported his position at a hearing attended by more than 300 teachers.
“I appreciate the board and their support,” Wyrosdick said in the statement he handed out to the news media right after the vote. “They manage our budget with great fidelity…”
Still, some board members struggled with the decision, including former substitute teacher – now School Board member, Carol Boston of District 3: “Very tough. I’ve spent sleepless nights and done a lot of research.”
In the end, Boston said, the board “will be vilified” either way.
Before the vote, with Wyrosdick looking on, the board heard a dozen or so speakers supporting the teachers, including Milton businessman Jack Sanborn: “Reward these teachers for the great job they have done for the county.”
The raise requested by the teachers union had been supported by an independent special magistrate in arbitration that Wyrosdick had agreed to consider. But neither he nor the school board was persuaded by his reasoning.
The difference in the raise that the school board is offering and the union’s request is about $1,800 a year per teacher—on average, according to figures prepared by the Santa Rosa Professional Educators union.