The president of the Hollister School District teachers union broached concerns over teacher turnover the past couple of years at the most recent trustee meeting.
Angela Hagins, president of the teachers union, noted how 43 teachers were released, resigned or retired after the 2017-18 school year. That came after 42 departures the prior year, she told school board members at their July 24 meeting.
“These are just teachers,” Hagins said, noting how that number doesn’t include other staff members.
Hagins said when she went talked to teachers last May, morale was one of the biggest concerns expressed to her.
“They felt the morale in the district was very low,” Hagins said. “They felt like the board of trustees does not care about teachers in this district.”
She mentioned issues teachers getting a lack of responses or limited responses when communicating to trustees. In general, Hagins complained about lacking dialogue the past four years.
Trustees Patricia Moore and Robert Bernosky defended the board when reached Thursday.
Moore pointed out how when you dissect the data, and take into consideration the number of teachers who retire, “it’s considerably less” than the 43 number.
“When you’re ready to retire, you’re ready to retire,” Moore said.
Moore said there are additional teachers who don’t meet certain standards each year and aren’t brought back by the district.
“I’m not sure what the actual data is,” she said. “I was going to ask that same question of (human resources official) Erica Sanchez this afternoon.”
Sanchez did not immediately return a call from San Benito Live.
Bernosky, meanwhile, said it’s important to consider the district has a total of 560 employees. Still, he acknowledged it’s always a concern when teachers leave.
“Why did the ones that weren’t retiring leave and where did they go to?” he said.
He understands many moved to out-of-area districts.
“They’re not protesting the Hollister School District,” he said. “They’re protesting the cost of living here in San Benito County.”
Bernosky said the challenge of being able to attract talent with high housing costs “has to be fixed at a legislative level” for a county like San Benito.
“We do the best we can with what we have,” Bernosky said.