The teacher strike in Capo Unified has been caused by a refusal of the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) to engage in reasonable negotiations and give the teachers the same deal other public school teachers in Orange County got: a temporary paycut and temporary furlough days.
This deal is good enough for other public school teachers in Orange County, but not good enough for CUSD. The CUSD board has to go one further and make the paycuts permanent. The board also wants to cut the number of work days, permanently.
Why, when others in Orange County are agreeable to temporary paycuts and temporary furloughs, would the CUSD board want the teachers to take worse terms?
First, the Capistrano Unified school board is lead by members of the Education Alliance. Ellinorianne does a great job explaining the issues and exposing the hand of the Education Alliance Attack on Public Education - Education Alliance - A National Issue on the Daily Kos. The Education Alliance believes public schools are broken, English should be the only language of instruction, and wants more charter schools.
This deal offered to the CUSD teachers would make their pay not attractive to new teachers. Also, the lower pay would encourage experienced teachers to move to other districts where they can get a more "industry standard" payscale. The long term strategy here is to lower pay, get experienced teachers to leave, get less experienced and less desirable teachers to take the jobs, and then, when academic performance goes down, point at the schools and say, "Look public education doesn't work."
If the CUSD board doesn't really intend to do this, they will negotiate in good faith the the teachers. CUSD will agree to a pay reduction package which has the same terms and conditions as similar pay reduction packages for comparable districts in Orange County. They can do that this Friday afternoon. It should take about 30 minutes to present the idea and come to an agreement. Then, the attorneys can hammer out the language over the weekend. On Monday, the language written by the lawyers for the temporary paycuts and cuts to workdays can be reviewed and agreed to.
And then the strike is over on Monday.
And seniors can get ready to graduate.
And students can get ready for their STAR tests.
And high schoolers can get ready for their AP Tests.
This is do-able by Monday. CUSD, do it and show you actually care about education, not ideology.