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After an on-again, off-again delay, Dublin teachers welcomed the raise that the teachers union had ratified and signed on May 11, thanks to an agreement between Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature on June 22 that will provide the money enabling Dublin to make the raises.

The school board passed it with unanimous approval at its June 30 virtual meeting. Effective July 1, 2020, the salary schedule shall be improved by 3.125%, the major pay raise in the contract.

Some of the teachers’ pay boost is retroactive to earlier dates. For example, teachers will get a 0.5% salary schedule improvement, and there will be a one-time, off schedule payment — a bonus — equal to 0.5% of that person’s base salary for the 2019/20 school year.

The raise agreement, however, saw a shaky start.

Back in January, Newsom’s initial budget message looked like it would have enough money to cover a pay increase in the district. But after COVID-19 struck in March, plummeting state revenues forced Newsom to cut so much from the state’s school budget that Dublin’s promised raises were rejected 3-2 by the board.

The majority board members — President Dan Cherrier and trustees Gabi Blackman and Catherine Kuo — stated the new state budget reality was too challenging to support a raise at that time. But Board Vice President Megan Rouse and Trustee Amy Miller stuck to the teacher agreement as a commitment that was important to teacher morale. Dublin Teachers Association President Robbie Kreitz further added that a failure to remain financially competitive with nearby districts could mean losing teachers.

But working with the Legislature, Newsom agreed on June 22 to take money from the state’s rainy day fund, which will result in offsetting much of Dublin’s projected $28 million shortfall created by the COVID economy.

However, Dublin still will have to find a way to shrink the remaining $6 million shortfall, said the district’s director of fiscal services, Chris Hobbs. Decisions on how to balance the budget are still underway.

Upcoming Board Meetings

The board was scheduled to meet in closed session at 4:30 p.m., and at 6:30 p.m. in open session on July 7. The only action item on the agenda was whether or not to approve a contract for an acting superintendent, Daniel Moirao, who was announced at the June 30 meeting as the candidate for that position, after the board met in closed session.

Dave Marken, who announced his retirement from the district at the board’s June 23 meeting, is still the district’s superintendent, said Rouse, who chaired the early portion of the June 30 board meeting.

Marken gave the board his 60-day notice at that June 23 meeting. His last day will be Aug. 22. He began a vacation July 1, but will be available to help with the transition, if requested.

Moirao previously was an administrator in the Dublin district.