MONTEBELLO : School District Plans to Cut Teacher Pay 5.3%

The Montebello Unified School District wants to reduce teachers’ salaries by 5.3% to help restore services that were cut three years ago when the school system was nearly insolvent.

The pay cuts were included in a $128-million district budget approved by the board for the new school year, but the teachers have vowed to fight the plan, said Kathy Kohn, president of the Montebello Teachers Assn. Teachers agreed to a 2.1% pay cut in 1991 and received an increase of 1.4% the next year, she said.

The district is seeking to make money available to restore nurses, assistant principals and high school counselors, and hire additional teachers to reduce class size. The district also plans to restore bus services that had been eliminated.

“The bottom line is, our school board said students have got to come first, and we have to restore some services,” said personnel director Bill Erwin.


Erwin said the district has already cut administrators’ pay by 5.3% and has asked non-teaching staff to accept a 2% reduction. Teachers are the highest paid in the county and should also make a sacrifice, Erwin said.

The two sides are in contract negotiations.

The 31,800-student district serves the communities of Montebello, Bell Gardens and Commerce.