ABCUSD neglects equal pay for CTE teachers


Fatima Durrani

The ABCUSD will be holding a board meeting on Feb. 15 from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. Those who care and are able to make it should show up and demand a higher pay for CTE teachers.

Fatima Durrani, Opinion Editor, Online Editor

CTE pathways aim to prepare students for their future careers, and enable them to develop not only industry skills, but also academic ones. However, the ABCUSD refuses to update an outdated contract of over two years to help CTE teachers adjust for their cost of living – which could lead to a strike by the teachers and potentially end CTE within the district.

Risking the termination of CTE courses is one of the many mistakes that the ABCUSD is partaking in. This specific school district dismisses the value that CTE teachers bring to the table by constantly ignoring their request to be paid fairly in comparison to single subject teachers.

Does the future of students who aren’t interested in STEM matter to the ABCUSD? Why is it that the ABCUSD is sitting back comfortably when their own CTE teachers struggle to make ends meet?

CTE teachers, who have the same amount of training, experience and credentials as single subject teachers, are being put down for no reason- even by petty teachers at their own schools. By teaching CTE career pathways to the youth, we are broadening their horizons on picking a career and increasing their likelihood of graduating.

CTE teachers work hard in every district such as the ABCUSD to provide quality education by self-designing their own curriculum while using their own resources such as time and money. Single subject teachers have everything easy to the point where they rely on readily-available resources, but will get paid way more than CTE teachers (according to the low compensation rates on their website).

*Sean Baker, a CTE teacher in the ABCUSD, mentioned that the district has about a 14% surplus for operating funds (which is 4% more than the standard amount on a scale of 4% – 10%). Baker says this further proves that the ABCUSD has a surplus amount of money that they’re simply refusing to distribute to their CTE teachers- which is very suspicious (and makes it look like they’re embezzling the money).

“If you can’t pay 18 people a regular salary,” Baker said, “what are you doing with that money then?”

If we care for the future of the creative youth who will bring light into this world with their talent in CTE, we must demand the ABCUSD at their district board meeting on Feb. 15 from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. that we will not tolerate inequality towards CTE teachers. It’s time to stop treating these highly qualified teachers with disrespect, and demand their salaries to be adjusted according to the cost of living.

I stand as one of the many examples of someone who benefitted from a CTE teacher. If it wasn’t for the CTE pathway I took in high school, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I’m a student writing for a newspaper in Cerritos College, successfully transferring to a university as a journalism major who’s beyond content with the opportunities I have ahead of me. I wouldn’t have even known about my love for journalism if it wasn’t for my CTE teacher at Cerritos High School.

ABCUSD should think twice before repeatedly neglecting the hard work CTE teachers do to successfully shape the future of individuals. School districts like this one shouldn’t be taking advantage of these teachers by paying them less than what they work for.

Without these brilliant CTE teachers, who will shape the future of the youth who don’t see their future in STEM? Not everyone is cut out for STEM majors/careers.

*Sean Baker is a given name for a CTE teacher in the ABCUSD who wishes to keep his identity anonymous.