Letters to the Editor
September 18, 2019

To the Editor:
I’d like to tell my story as a FUSD Teacher and member of the community. I had two emergencies with two of my daughters that required me to visit the hospital. My district provides me with the lowest paid PPO. I’m grateful I have insurance, but taking both to the emergency room gave me a $500 bill for each daughter, one with a 102 fever and the other with a head injury that led to a mild concussion.
My problem is why do others in the same district I work for, not have the same healthcare plan and not have to worry about ending up with these bills. How is this a unified school district if we all are not in the same plan? Unified? I don’t think so.
As a parent, I have a great concern. We are not retaining teachers. Last year alone, we lost more teachers in this district than what was hired. Teachers are leaving to much better paying districts with better healthcare plans. I can’t blame them. I have stayed with Fillmore because I believe I need to give back to the community that shaped me. Even if I’m paying the price. The last few years, I’ve been forced to look to other offers of employment, something I never thought I’d do. It’s becoming too expensive to work in my community with the current healthcare plan, and the income we are receiving.
FUTA has asked for a fair 5% raise and better healthcare (same as others in our district) with no cap. Our District presented us with only 2.5% raise and no cap on insurance. This would be great if everyone in our district got the same raise right? This is not the case. Unified? I don’t think so.
Since being a teacher here, minimum wage has gotten a raise at a much higher and more alarming rate than our FUSD teachers. We have taken pay cuts to help our district during budget cuts. The offer given to FUTA members does not fix the problem for my children being educated in this district. We will continue to say goodbye to teachers leaving to other districts. We will continue to get the short end of the stick, while administration whom usually have about 5 year stay get the raise and the committed teachers/counselors continue to be not valued. Why do we always give money to short termed leadership? Why not invest our money in the classroom?
How will children including my daughters benefit as students in this district? Will they benefit from getting new teachers yearly? Will they benefit from teachers that don’t feel they are valued? Will they benefit from a non-unified district? Will they benefit from Leadership getting a much greater raise? 17% will never equal 2.5% This administration has been given a higher raise by percent in the last 4 years than I have gotten in my 19 years with the district. Unified? I don’t think so.
You can keep my 2.5 percent. I rather fight for what is right. Fight for retention of teachers, for the sake of the kids growing up in the same streets I bleed for, cried for and competed for all my life. 73 teachers gone in the last 4 years is not what’s best for kids. This is a pattern that needs to be corrected. Our community deserves better; our children deserve better. Unified? I don’t think so.
Jr Lomeli