Teachers and classified workers rallied at the Redlands Unified School District board meeting to stand for higher pay.
On Tuesday, Sept. 10, the Redlands Teachers Association (RTA) and Redlands Education Support Professionals Association (RESPA) stood in front of the school board and made their case for why RUSD teachers and workers need a raise.
Citrus Valley High School paraprofessional Cindy Van Horn received a standing ovation from the audience after speaking to the board during the public comment portion of the meeting.
“I have known you to be fine people, but with all due respect I do not think you see paraprofessionals as professionals. The work that we do is vital to the health of our most vulnerable,” said Van Horn.
Chrissy Fitch, a parent of RUSD, spoke in support of RTA and RESPA.
“My children have been blessed with paraprofessionals who protected their weaknesses,” she said.
Fitch also spoke in favor of the district and feels hopeful the three parties will come to a solution.
“I appreciate the board for keeping RUSD financially healthy. The board’s desire for student success is evident. I am confident they will reach a fair agreement.”
Kingsbury Elementary parent Shannon Bailey told the board that RUSD’s high-quality teachers deserve compensation.
“My son is excelling and that is due to excellent teachers,” said Bailey. “I want RUSD to retain the best teachers and that is done by having competitive wages.”
RTA President Teresa Steinbroner spoke in front of the board as well.
“Redlands is a premier district that continues to win awards every year. We appreciate the praise from the superintendent but it is time to pay us,” said Steinbroner.
School board Vice President Alex Vara shared how he was impressed with the dedication of RTA and RESPA and commended them for getting up to speak.
“We are listening and we hope that things continue to go well,” he said. “If it was up to the board we would be the most paid district in the world.”
RUSD Superintendent Mauricio Arellano also expressed his care for RTA and RESPA and thanked them for being passionate.
“This is a darn good district with darn good employees. I am confident that a resolution will be solved soon,” he said.
Arellano ended his address by reminding everyone that RUSD is a community and “kindness should be the most important element in any community.”