To support Compton teachers in their fight for higher pay, the president of the nation's largest teacher union will appear today at a press conference and a general meeting of the 1,200-member Compton Education Assn. Mary Hatwood Futrell, who leads the 1.8-million-member National Education Assn., is also scheduled to tour schools and attempt to talk with officials of the Compton Unified School District.
"She's concerned about quality education," said Wiley Jones, CEA executive director. "Excellence is what everyone wants to have (in Compton), but at this point in time the district is not willing to do what it takes to get it."
Since last summer, Compton teachers have been seeking a 7% raise over each of the next three years. But district negotiators say they can only afford a 5% increase next year plus a 1% bonus, to be followed by raises of 2% and 3% in subsequent years.
In November, the teachers began a series of intermittent walkouts to pressure the district. But in March and April, a Superior Court judge ordered them back into the classroom because the 16 days of striking had caused "a total breakdown" of Compton's state-mandated public school system.