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The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

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Sidewalk “impasse-able” as PAEA protests over teacher pay and funding

Ava Knapp
Teachers from the PAEA stand on the sidewalk to gather in support before a board meeting with the district. Hunter Reardon, an English teacher at Palo Alto High School, said that PAUSD is known to have top schools and is the reason many families settle in Palo Alto. “If we want that to continue to be the reality through the next generation,” Reardon said, “then we need to respect teachers by paying them a fair wage and a livable wage in this area.”

More than 300 teachers in the PAEA protested over the recent contract impasse on the sidewalk of El Camino Real moments before the Palo Alto Unified School District board meeting Wednesday evening.

At 5:30 p.m., teachers from various schools around Palo Alto gathered to rally over the standstill with the Palo Alto Unified School District. The impasse, decided several weeks ago, is due to a disagreement over how funding should be allocated according to the district’s budget documents.

The financial proposals show that the reason for the impasse stems from the request for higher pay. The PAEA is asking for a 5.5% salary increase ongoing, while the board is offering a salary increase of 3.5% ongoing and a $4,000 off-schedule one time payment. 

According to Gunn High School Math Teacher Kathy Hawes, PAUSD offers a stark difference in pay compared to the neighboring  Mountain View and Los Altos School district (MVLA).

“I almost left for the MVLA and I would have been making 37,000 more dollars,” Hawes said. “They [MVLA] are getting a 15% raise for the next three years. Why should I stay if I could do the same thing over there and get paid so much better?”

The district does not want the impasse to last long, according to PAUSD President Jesse Ladomirak in an email with The Paly Voice. 

“I hope it’s not much longer,” Ladomirak said. 

The first mediation session between PAEA and PAUSD is scheduled for Monday, April 29th.

According to Angela Ambrosio, a Spanish teacher at Palo Alto High School, teachers deserve more recognition for the work they do for students and the community.

“I stand with all the teachers and I feel this is very important,” Ambrosio said. “I know how hard they all work. I know we do work after school, weekends, we do volunteer stuff at prom, I go to the plays, the sport games, the concerts. I’m really a part of the community and just want to feel like I’m being compensated fairly for that.”

President of the PAEA Terri Baldwin said the rally turnout was better than expected.

“We are out here because we not only fight for your teachers, but for our students,” Baldwin said. “We want to keep our wonderful teachers and attract great teachers to our district. And to do that, we need to be near the top pay scale in the area.”

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About the Contributors
Ava Knapp
Ava Knapp, News Editor
Ava Knapp (Class of 2026) joined The Paly Voice her sophomore year. She does cross country/track and field and plays the piano.
Veronica Qiu
Veronica Qiu, News Editor, Webmaster
Veronica Qiu (Class of 2026) joined The Voice in her sophomore year. Outside of journalism she enjoys crocheting and listening to K-pop.

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