Landmark Legislation to Raise Educator & School Worker Wages to Transform California’s Education System Passes Key Committee
Sacramento, CA — The Assembly Committee on Education today approved CFT-sponsored AB 938 by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) to raise educator and classified professional pay in all public schools by 50% over the next 7 years. The bill passed unanimously following a press conference where educators and classified professionals shared devastating stories of struggles educators are facing to do the work they love as the cost of living in California soars.
“AB 938 is a big and bold idea, but that is exactly what is necessary to tackle this problem. Because our teachers and classified professionals deserve a wage that enables them to build a long and successful career in our schools. And our students deserve educators who are not stressed and strained and at the end of their rope, but solid on their feet, focused, and working together to give them the education they deserve,” said Jeff Freitas, CFT President.
CFT members from across California met with their local representatives in support of the measure and provided testimony in the hearing.
Elena Royale, a special education teacher in San Francisco shared with the committee, “Our school has found it almost impossible to recruit teachers and paraprofessionals. In fact it has gotten so bad that we have two paraprofessionals teaching classes this year even though they don’t have credentials. To meet the letter of the law, one teaches in the library, with a credentialed librarian present in the room who is not directly involved in instruction. And in my school alone, because of intense pressure and the high cost of living, 11 staff are going to leave my school next year, about half of the entire school. Seeing incredible educators leaving is heartbreaking, but it is going to devastate our students right when skilled educators are needed most.”
“We need to pay our teachers and essential school staff what they deserve,” said Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi. “Schools across the state are facing a workforce shortage, with many teachers and school employees unable to afford to live in the communities they work in. Moreover, there is a growing wage gap between teachers and comparable college graduates in other fields. That is why I introduced AB 938, to set the goal of giving teachers and staff a 50 percent pay raise by 2030, to not only pay them what they deserve, but also to get more young people to aspire to become educators.”
“The teacher and staff shortage crisis has a direct impact on student achievement. Across the state, school districts continue to struggle to recruit and retain teachers in large part because they are not fairly compensated for the work, time, effort and emotional commitment they give their students each and every day. We commend the members of the committee for their support today,” added E. Toby Boyd, CTA President.
AB 938 now heads to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.
CFT – A Union of Educators and Classified Professionals represents 120,000 teachers, faculty, and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. It is the statewide affiliate of the AFT.