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Putting Employees First

introduction

Maintaining high performing schools is a priority for our island community, but in order to keep our schools strong, we need to continue attracting and retaining highly-qualified teachers who can provide exceptional support to our students.

Currently, AUSD teachers and staff are among the lowest paid in the county. Many of our employees have to take on second or even third jobs to support themselves and their families. Less than half can afford to live on the Island, with many commuting from faraway communities each day. That’s compared to nearly 80% who lived in Alameda less than 10 years ago.

The reality is that, every year, AUSD loses nearly 20% of its teachers and staff to other school districts, largely because our neighbors offer higher compensation and stronger benefits.

AUSD has explored a number of different options to improve compensation over recent years and continues to look for every way possible to give our employees the salaries they rightly deserve. This page provides an overview what we have done so far and what further efforts we are making.

ausd salaries: 2012-19

Over the last seven years, AUSD has raised employee salaries by about 18%. 

salary increases table

Most recently, the Board of Education approved $3.2 million in cuts to programs for the 2018-19 school year in order to provide a 4.5% salary increase to AUSD employees. Programs reduced or eliminated included all-day kindergarten, English language coaches, District Office services, deferred maintenance spending, and various software licenses.

Despite this, AUSD salaries are still about 11% lower than the average of districts in Alameda County.

county comparison

potential parcel tax

One option for increasing salaries could be a local parcel tax entirely dedicated to teachers and school employees. Although no final decisions have been made, a March 2020 ballot measure is being considered at a rate of $0.28 per square foot of building area per year for 7 years. This would provide $11 million annually in locally controlled funding, enough to bring teacher and staff compensation in-line with the county average.

Specifically, this local funding could be used to:

  • Attract and retain excellent teachers and employees
  • Sustain strong instruction in core academic programs like reading, writing, math, arts
    and sciences
  • Support teachers and counselors in keeping struggling students on the right track
  • Make teachers’ and employees’ salaries and benefits competitive with neighboring districts
  • Support music and arts teachers and staff
  • Help teachers and counselors prepare students for 21st-century jobs and careers

For more information, please see our FAQ on the potential for a parcel tax for salaries in AUSD.

MLS librarian talking to student

EMPLOYEE HOUSING

Since 2017, AUSD has been exploring the idea of building affordable housing units  at Alameda Point, the former Naval Station, for district employees. The current proposal is to build 70 apartment units at Site A, each of which would be 1 - 3 bedrooms. The hope is that supplying affordable housing on the island will help us retain more employees.