Collective Bargaining Agreements in California School Districts
Moving Beyond the Stereotype
In a new PACE Policy Brief, Katharine Strunk from the University of California-Davis analyzes the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) negotiated between school districts and local teachers’ unions in 464 California school districts. She shows that CBAs vary widely across districts, which suggests that school boards and unions are taking advantage of the flexibility inherent in contract negotiations to develop creative solutions to specific local problems. She also shows that CBAs in school districts educating high-need students are the least likely to include provisions that depart from conventional policies. She concludes by identifying three policy levers that the state can use to ensure that increased local flexibility is used to advance the interests of students: dissemination of information about ‘best practices,’ incentives for innovation on matters covered by CBAs, and sanctions for districts that abuse increased flexibility.