The union representing Sacramento City Unified School District teachers announced Tuesday it's planning a one-day strike Thursday, April 11, in response to what they call unfair labor practices and failed mediation attempts with the district.
The Sacramento City Teachers Association voted March 15 to authorize a potential strike, saying the district had backtracked on a November 2017 agreement to use health plan savings to fund class size reductions. The district released a letter to the union Tuesday disputing that.
In a statement, the district called the strike unnecessary and said it will make a state takeover of the district more likely. SCUSD is currently facing a $35 million budget deficit.
"Our students do not deserve to be put through the hardships that will be caused by this strike," the statement reads. "We will continue encouraging SCTA leaders to work with us in the coming days to focus on saving our schools from a state takeover and finding more collaborative ways to resolve their disagreements with the District."
The move also comes on the heels of high-profile teacher strikes in Los Angeles and Oakland. In both cities teachers received pay raises and promises to reduce class sizes.
"What's happening in Sacramento is part of a national trend of teachers who are exercising their political muscle," said Kent Wong, director of the UCLA Labor Center. "What we saw here in Los Angeles, the second largest school district in the country, was a remarkable public outpouring of support."
A Sacramento teacher strike was narrowly avoided in November 2017, when Mayor Darrell Steinberg intervened to negotiate a deal. Steinberg has called on both sides to continue negotiating and explore all possible options to avoid a strike.
SCUSD has about 40,000 students across 75 school sites. The teachers association represents approximately 2,800 teachers, school nurses, psychologists, speech therapists and substitutes.