La Habra Teachers Go on the Warpath

Angry teachers plan to pack a school board meeting in La Habra tonight to demand a return to the bargaining table.

"With about $3.5 million more in La Habra School District coffers than the school board anticipated at last July's fiscal hearing, La Habra teachers believe it's time now for the board to come back to the table to negotiate a fair contract with us," reads a statement from Danette Brown, president of the La Habra Educators Association (LHEA).

The NHEA comes up with the $3.5 million figure by crunching recent revenue data, including California Department of Education figures on La Habra's share of federal Education Jobs Fund dollars.

"The district's financial picture has changed significantly since the board declared an impasse last November, leading to fact finding this summer," Brown says in the alert. "La Habra teachers are willing to do their fare share to settle a new contract, so why isn't the district willing to negotiate with us?"

Meanwhile, the union has created a poster child for their ire: Superintendent Susan Belenardo, who the NHEA accuses of "spending recklessly on travel, conferences and consultants."

Quick, somebody inform a teabagger! Or, to hear Brown tell it, a grandstanding DA.

"When you compare that to what happened in the nearby city of Bell," says Brown, "the alarm bells should definitely be ringing here!"

The ringing becomes a gong when the board meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the district offices, 500 N. Walnut, La Habra.


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