With the New Haven Teachers Association (NHTA) recently stating that they will go on strike beginning May 20th, I want to take this opportunity to share with you the District’s point of view.
First of all, I am truly hoping NHTA reconsiders its position to strike. Although they are the highest paid teachers in all of Alameda County, there is no denying that we agree with their point of view that their hard work warrants additional compensation. As a former teacher, I know first hand the passion and commitment that goes into making the classroom experience into one that will provide our students with the foundation for success in the future. For that, I thank them for all of their efforts, and we truly appreciate them.
The fundamental truth is that for too long, the California legislature and Governors have not funded education to the necessary levels that actually allow school districts to pay teachers and staff what they are truly worth. Instead, our state has conveniently stood on the sidelines as teachers unions and districts have been forced to fight it out for investments that should be made by California as school districts do not have sufficient funding.
As superintendent, and an educator, I will not play into that divisive narrative. A strike will have major repercussions in our community from a practical standpoint, and worse yet, I fear, will create an environment that further separates our community. It does not have to be that way, as I truly believe in what our community can do when we come together.
As we get closer to the strike date, you have my commitment that the District will keep you updated on this matter. My hope is that by my next communication to you, NHTA will be open to continuing our conversations as we recognize the value of our teachers.
Dr. Arlando Smith