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Rancho Santa Fe School District teachers receive raises

Teacher Terrie Bacon, who is retiring after 19 years, with Rowe students.
(Courtesy)

Rancho Santa Fe School District teachers will see a 4% boost in pay as the Rancho Santa Fe Faculty Association and district were able to reach an agreement in their contract negotiations for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years.

At the June 8 special board meeting, the board approved an agreement with the Rancho Santa Fe Faculty Association (RSFFA) for a 2% on-schedule salary increase for the 2020-21 school year retroactive to July 1, 2020 and a 2% on-schedule salary increase for the 2021-22 school year.

In April, members of the R. Roger Rowe School staff came before the school board and spoke up asking for salary increases as well as respect in light of an extremely challenging pandemic year. The district was one of the first public school districts in the county and one of the few in the state to have been open for full-time, in-person instruction since August. Teachers taught students in the classroom and students at home in the distance learning program simultaneously.

As part of the agreement, in the 2021- 2022 school year the district will also contribute up to a maximum of $950 per full-time employee per month for current health, dental and life insurance coverage.

“The Association is thankful that the school board heard the comments from the April board meeting and worked hard to look at the finances to make this raise and increase in healthcare benefits happen for the teachers,” said the RSFFA in a statement. “The RSFFA looks forward to continuing positive relations with the board and is pursuing new avenues to keep communication open to begin an improved partnership.”

Rowe teacher Dave Warner is retiring after 25 years at the school.
Rowe teacher Dave Warner is retiring after 25 years at the school.
(Courtesy)

Earlier in the day, the district paid tribute to its teachers, honoring departing teachers Jen Burdis (who had taught at the school for 18 years) and Danika Webber Severino (18 years at Rowe) and retiring teachers Terrie Bacon (19 years at Rowe), PE teacher and coach Dave McClurg, and Dave Warner, who taught science at R. Roger Rowe for 25 years, hired by Dr. Rowe himself.

Superintendent Donna Tripi with teacher Jen Burdis, who is leaving the school after 19 years.
(Courtesy)

The board also recognized Superintendent Donna Tripi for her dedication and leadership in keeping the school open all year.

“She worked tirelessly to get the school reopened and get all the protocols in place so that the staff would be safe and children would be safe,” Vice President Jee Manghani said.

Board to approve budget this week
The board is preparing to approve its budget for the 2021-22 school year at its June 17 meeting. The district is projecting a surplus of about $267,795 due to one-time federal and state funding to help address the impact of the pandemic.

Allison Oppeltz, director of finance, said the one-time funds can hide what is really happening and that without them the district would likely be deficit spending. She warned that the 2022-23 school year may be a “balancing act” due to an increase in expenditures such as special education, retirement contributions and unemployment insurance.


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