PFT in the news
Candy                                                          Photo by Sam Hodgson    

by Andrew Donohue

When Candy Smiley talks about the school district, the pronoun she uses subtly belies the unique lesson Poway has to teach.

"We," she says over and over again.

"We didn't spend the $6 million from the feds. We can't control the state budget," she says. "When we got the money, we could've hired teachers. We decided collectively not to, that we would save it so that we could ensure that teacher salaries would return."

Smiley leads the union for teachers at Poway Unified School District. Further south, things aren't so friendly. The San Diego Unified School District has repeatedly made end-of-days financial warnings, only to find a way to put off painful cuts at the last second. Meanwhile, union leaders have engaged in a full-throated campaign to discredit the district's numbers and the people that produce them. Nobody trusts the numbers; nobody trusts each other.

Things used to be like this in Poway, too.  Read more