By Marianne Favro, NBC News
Hundreds of parents pulled their kids out of school Monday in the San Lorenzo Unified School District and are calling on others to do the same thing on Tuesday.
The move was the latest effort to get the district to increase pay for teachers. In addition, about 150 parents and students shouting “pay our teachers!” protested Monday in front of the school district office.
“My whole point is to make an impression to the district so that they negotiate and the teachers do not go on strike,” said Renee Ybarra, who pulled her 10-year-old daughter out of school on Monday to take a stand. “I don’t think substitutes are qualified to teach my daughter for any length of time.”
More than 1,200 absences were reported in the district on Monday, including 650 at San Lorenzo High School. The absences amounted to a $44,000 loss for the San Lorenzo Unified School District in attendance funding.
Many parents said they are worried the teachers will strike if they do not get a decent raise.
The San Lorenzo Education Association said a strike could happen soon.
“I think a strike is definitely a possibility,” said Donna Pinkey, teachers union president. “We want a 6.2 percent increase and they are offering 1.5 percent, so there is quite a bit of distance between us.”
Superintendent Fred Brill said the district is already operating in the red and said pulling kids out of school will only hurt the district’s efforts to increase pay for teachers.