News

Ravenswood teachers get 10% raise, bringing salaries on par with neighboring school districts

The boost comes with a new evaluation system to help successful teachers rise through the salary scale more quickly

The Ravenswood School District's administrative offices, located on Euclid Avenue in East Palo Alto. The district's board recently approved a 10% raise for teachers. Photo by Veronica Weber.

Ravenswood City School District teachers are receiving a 10% pay boost this school year, bringing their salaries on par with other nearby school districts.

The raise, approved by the district's governing board with a 5-0 vote at a Nov. 18 meeting, is their first since 2019. The pay bump also comes with a new evaluation process. The system will allow teachers to "move more quickly up the salary scale based on their performance evaluations," according to a district press release.

Ravenswood Teachers Association (RTA) President Ronda White called the raise "huge" in a statement. At the meeting, White said she is grateful district administrators and the teachers union have moved past their previously contentious relationship.

"There was a time when we sat across from the table and yelled," she said. "Now don't get it twisted -- the teachers are a little nervous. It's change. But we're all up for the challenge. We're here because we love these kids. And some of these kids are our own kids. They are personal to us."

The raise, retroactive to July 1, will cost the district $1.3 million, according to the district. It will be offset by a grant from the Ravenswood Education Foundation, according to a press release. The contract runs through June 2022.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Almanac Online for as little as $5/month.

Join

Longer term, the district plans to lease two properties to cover the majority of the cost of compensation increases, the release states.

Superintendent Gina Sudaria called the contract "a major step toward correcting a longstanding, inequitable gap between teacher pay in Ravenswood versus other local districts, which previously could be $10,000 to $30,000 per year."

A new teacher will now be paid a starting base salary of about $60,000, and experienced teachers can earn up to $133,950, according to the contract.

On average, a new teacher in the Menlo Park City School District earns $67,459. An experienced teacher’s salary caps at $133,788.

In the Las Lomitas Elementary School District, which has one school in Atherton and one in Menlo Park, the base salary for a new teacher is $62,805 and experienced teachers can earn up to $98,730.

Stay informed

Get the latest local news and information sent straight to your inbox.

Stay informed

Get the latest local news and information sent straight to your inbox.

In addition to the raise, Ravenswood teachers who completed the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years are receiving a one-time payment of $2,000. Each teacher employed on May 28, 2021, will receive a one-time payment of $1,827.

The final proposal was ratified with support from 83% of RTA members, according to the press release.

New evaluation process

The new compensation system offers the opportunity for teachers who demonstrate mastery of their skills to advance up the salary ladder more rapidly.

"The system is designed to be flexible and fluid, reflecting the growth of unit members throughout the year," Sudaria said in a statement. "It will help us retain high performers — keeping our best teachers in our classrooms year after year. And it will help us recruit for all positions, especially those hardest to fill."

Staff will create portfolios of evidence throughout the year, including professional goals, informal and formal observations, self-reflection and student and family feedback.

The process differentiates between staff members who are still developing their skills and those who have demonstrated strengths and are "integrating and innovating on their craft," according to the press release.

Previous raises

The district last gave teachers and classified staff raises in 2019. The raises included a 2% salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2018, and a 5.5% raise that went into effect July 1, 2019.

The salary increases in 2019 came after two years of budget cuts and discord amongst some teachers and staff who had voiced dissatisfaction with the district's former superintendent, Gloria Hernandez-Goff, who ultimately resigned.

Watch the full board meeting video here.

A front row seat to local high school sports.

Check out our new newsletter, the Playbook.

Follow AlmanacNews.com and The Almanac on Twitter @almanacnews, Facebook and on Instagram @almanacnews for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Your support is vital to us continuing to bring you education news. Become a member today.

Ravenswood teachers get 10% raise, bringing salaries on par with neighboring school districts

The boost comes with a new evaluation system to help successful teachers rise through the salary scale more quickly

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Fri, Nov 19, 2021, 3:28 pm

Ravenswood City School District teachers are receiving a 10% pay boost this school year, bringing their salaries on par with other nearby school districts.

The raise, approved by the district's governing board with a 5-0 vote at a Nov. 18 meeting, is their first since 2019. The pay bump also comes with a new evaluation process. The system will allow teachers to "move more quickly up the salary scale based on their performance evaluations," according to a district press release.

Ravenswood Teachers Association (RTA) President Ronda White called the raise "huge" in a statement. At the meeting, White said she is grateful district administrators and the teachers union have moved past their previously contentious relationship.

"There was a time when we sat across from the table and yelled," she said. "Now don't get it twisted -- the teachers are a little nervous. It's change. But we're all up for the challenge. We're here because we love these kids. And some of these kids are our own kids. They are personal to us."

The raise, retroactive to July 1, will cost the district $1.3 million, according to the district. It will be offset by a grant from the Ravenswood Education Foundation, according to a press release. The contract runs through June 2022.

Longer term, the district plans to lease two properties to cover the majority of the cost of compensation increases, the release states.

Superintendent Gina Sudaria called the contract "a major step toward correcting a longstanding, inequitable gap between teacher pay in Ravenswood versus other local districts, which previously could be $10,000 to $30,000 per year."

A new teacher will now be paid a starting base salary of about $60,000, and experienced teachers can earn up to $133,950, according to the contract.

On average, a new teacher in the Menlo Park City School District earns $67,459. An experienced teacher’s salary caps at $133,788.

In the Las Lomitas Elementary School District, which has one school in Atherton and one in Menlo Park, the base salary for a new teacher is $62,805 and experienced teachers can earn up to $98,730.

In addition to the raise, Ravenswood teachers who completed the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years are receiving a one-time payment of $2,000. Each teacher employed on May 28, 2021, will receive a one-time payment of $1,827.

The final proposal was ratified with support from 83% of RTA members, according to the press release.

The new compensation system offers the opportunity for teachers who demonstrate mastery of their skills to advance up the salary ladder more rapidly.

"The system is designed to be flexible and fluid, reflecting the growth of unit members throughout the year," Sudaria said in a statement. "It will help us retain high performers — keeping our best teachers in our classrooms year after year. And it will help us recruit for all positions, especially those hardest to fill."

Staff will create portfolios of evidence throughout the year, including professional goals, informal and formal observations, self-reflection and student and family feedback.

The process differentiates between staff members who are still developing their skills and those who have demonstrated strengths and are "integrating and innovating on their craft," according to the press release.

The district last gave teachers and classified staff raises in 2019. The raises included a 2% salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2018, and a 5.5% raise that went into effect July 1, 2019.

The salary increases in 2019 came after two years of budget cuts and discord amongst some teachers and staff who had voiced dissatisfaction with the district's former superintendent, Gloria Hernandez-Goff, who ultimately resigned.

Watch the full board meeting video here.

Comments

Dawn1234
Registered user
Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 22, 2021 at 12:42 pm
Dawn1234, Menlo Park: Belle Haven
Registered user
on Nov 22, 2021 at 12:42 pm

That is great news!


Jennifer Bestor
Registered user
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 26, 2021 at 5:14 pm
Jennifer Bestor, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
Registered user
on Nov 26, 2021 at 5:14 pm

This is actually a tragedy. Why do hard-won REF donations have to go to fund locally competitive salaries, rather than enrichment?

Last year, $306 million of property tax allocated for Ravenswood and the other state-funded school districts in San Mateo County was dismissed as "excess" to educational needs.

Why does Ravenswood have to close and rent out neighborhood schools--when neighborhood schools are crucial to the development and well-being of at-risk kids and communities?

All because an obscure mechanical adjustment in the Tax & Revenue Code--inserted in 1995 to solve a small problem in Napa--quietly handed 78% of that $306 million to San Mateo county government, 18% to cities, the rest to special districts--already among the best funded statewide.

Ravenswood squeezes blood out of a turnip for $1.3 million--while our County supervisors make a $39.7 million payment, on top of their regular pension payments, to reduce their unfunded pension fund obligations. $39.7M out of education-allocated property tax. Why?

The County relishes its untraceable pot of money while Ravenswood kids suffer--along with those in Daly City, Pacifica, Redwood City and across state-funded districts in this county ... and in San Francisco, Marin and Santa Clara Counties, where another $700 million slides off.

Who could change it? The Legislature. How? By reflecting the high local cost of living in funding to local schools. (This would claim this revenue -- already collected and allocated for schools.) Let's stop dismissing "excess" Educational Revenue Augmentation created by the 'new' and 'improved' school funding formula, which, since 2013, has caused 'excess' property tax to treble, to over $1 billion ... while Ravenswood kids suffer a sub-par education.

Sources: San Mateo Property Tax Highlights reports (p. 12-15 for 2020); California Dept of Education Special Education apportionment reports (P2 for 20-21); SamCERA CAFR (p. 52 for 2021).


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.