Simi Valley Teachers Screwed

Interestingly, it seems the same teachers union that’s supposed to protect the employment rights of teachers is screwing the ones without seniority, despite whether or not they have exemplary employment records.  It’s true, in the City of Simi Valley, teachers without seniority are at risk of layoffs even if they outperform senior teachers.

My son attended a public Simi Valley school and we had a very hard time with his teacher.  He faced some behavior challenges in class and his teacher was in her last year before retirement and frankly, didn’t want to deal with him.  She plopped him in a corner and waited for the school year to end, much to our horror.  The next year, he was taught by a much younger, much more passionate and caring teacher who was proactive in turning him around and worked with us to turn him into a star student.  She was exceptional… and she could very well be at risk for losing her job, while the first teacher we experienced ultimately would have kept her job.

THAT is wrong, and Simi Valley students deserve better!

I read this snippet in an article in the Simi Valley Acorn.

“I’m (probably) losing my job when I know I’m putting in 110 percent and somebody else is not,” Snodgrass said. “That’s a hard pill to swallow.”

Moving out of California?

Snodgrass and three other teachers at Royal were hired in August 2005. She was the only one to receive a pink slip, she discovered, because she lost a tiebreaker.

For teachers who were hired at the same time, the district follows seven tiebreakers, including prior tenure and multiple degrees.

“I don’t feel confident at all,” Snodgrass said about her job stability.

Snodgrass has two children, ages 1 and 2. Her husband, Bryan, is an assistant director in the movie business but, she said, his job doesn’t provide a steady stream of income.

Now Snodgrass is thinking about moving her family to New Mexico—a tough decision for the Simi Valley native and Royal High graduate who was thrilled to find a job teaching in her hometown.

“We would not want to move,” she said. “If the situation doesn’t change for us, it might be necessary.”

On May 15, Cameron, Snodgrass and other teachers who received pink slips will learn for sure whether or not their jobs have been eliminated. By state law, that’s the last day SVUSD can terminate positions for the 2009-10 school year.

Since experiencing a bad teaching experience at a Simi Valley school, we’ve been very invested in who teaches our children early in their educational career.  This budgetary crisis and seniority versus performance issue has me concerned as the parent of Simi Valley students.  I suspect many feel the same way.

3 thoughts on “Simi Valley Teachers Screwed

  1. The content of this article is all too familiar. I find it frustrating, in general, whenever I hear about a qualified individual losing a job to someone who is deficient because of seniority only. I get even more frustrated when I learn that there is a union involved. My comments below are ONLY about the scenario mentioned above.

    Back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, unions served a purpose. Unions were responsible for better working conditions and establishing salary standards which were livable, to name a couple of examples. Since that time, federal laws are in place that address many of the issues these early unions fought so hard for. With the exception of very few examples, have unions outlived their usefulness? If not, have unions moved to a more corporate mentality where revenue (acquisition and retention of union dues) is a higher priority than the protection of their membership and the continued long-term viability of the enterprises that employ their membership?

    As an economist and a staunch capitalist, I believe all employers, public or private, should have the power to keep the strongest performers and eliminate the weaker without fear of lawsuits, strikes, or protests. So long as entities are able to manipulate employers (through intimidation tactics) to pay elevated salaries for menial jobs or prevent the termination of inferior employees, these entities not only damage the enterprise for which their membership works but also the enterprise’s ability to provide exceptional service in the most efficient manner. A secondary effect is the creation of widespread apathy in an enterprise.

    I hope these educators are able to find an appreciative school district that will value their skills. I also hope there are school districts out there who are willing to do right by their own standards of educational service to retain these qualified teachers and not bow down to the intimidation of entities who protect the deficient instructors.


  2. I agree, My daughter has had the same with a teacher at her school. In fact when I asked to meet with the teacher she came back with a email yelling at me…… so much for help. This is a old bitter government teacher. I say bring on the young ones that want to teach our kids, and want to spend the time with them if they dont understand they will take the time to help them.


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