Dear Editor – Voting for Karlo

Dear Editor,

I am voting for Karlo Silbiger because he stands for decent wages for classroom aides which resonates with my family history. I grew up in Mar Vista, where my two brothers and I were raised by a single mom. For 28 years, my mother worked as a front office secretary at a Los Angeles public middle school. At the time of her retirement nine years ago, she was earning $29,000 a year. Our family got by because of her union salary and health benefits.

I believe that all our classroom aides in Culver City schools deserve a decent salary and benefits so they make enough to meet their family’s basic needs.

Culver City parents work hard to raise funds for classroom aides. I greatly appreciate their efforts and contribute to the aides’ fund at my daughter’s school, Linwood Howe, because I value the contributions the aides make to the students’ education.

But there is a cost to every service and that includes a decent wage and benefits.
Karlo supports raising the pay of the classroom aides from $9 to $11 per hour, a worthwhile investment.

I believe our community should value the wellbeing of our classroom aides and their children as much as we value the wellbeing of the kids in our school district. My mom was fortunate to be part of a union that helped her secure a decent wage and health benefits. Our classroom aides deserve no less.

Karlo has my vote.

Gayle Haberman
Culver City

The Actors' Gang


  1. Gayle:

    I respect your opinion as a visible and active parent volunteer, but I’d like to clarify something for you and others on the topic of parent funded Instructional Aides at Linwood E. Howe.

    If you are concerned about the pay state of Linwood Howe’s Instructional Aides, we agreed to pay them $13.28 an hour, same pay grade as any other Instructional Aide in CCUSD. As the source of funding, we discussed the economic impact it would have on our pilot program, and decided that in the long term the right thing to do, even though it cost us two additional aides in the first year. This year, we moved two of our returning aides up to salary step B, after two years of excellent service. That rate is $14.13 per hour.

    As an active parent at Linwood E. Howe, you’ve already done your part by donating to a fund that pays our aides at the standard Classified Employee rate for that job description, even steven. That’s the same deal and opportunity every school has, under the Memo of Understanding with CCUSD, as agreed to by ACE.

    Would I like our aides, AND our teachers, AND our classified employees paid more? Without a doubt. But if there are Instructional Aides being paid $9, they’re not at Linwood Howe. And if they’re regular District employees, then it’s kind of amazing that Karlo didn’t find time in his busy calendar to make this a priority in his first two years as a School Board member.

    Thanks for your involvement, Gayle. The Boosters could not have instituted this successful program without early advice and advocacy from Board members Kathy Paspalis and Scott Zeidman, and the donor support of active parents like yourself.

    Best regards,

    Paul Walsleben

  2. Yes, Mr. Walsleben, you are correct–the $9.00 per hour aides are not at Lin Howe–they are the adjuncts at El Marino and are not district employees, they are employees of ALLEM. While all of our other schools comply with the provisions of the district policy regarding parent funded positions, the board granted ALLEM an exemption.

    With all due respect, while I am not sure what “early advice and advocacy” you may have received from Ms. Paspalis and Mr. Zeidman, I can say with certainty that it had nothing to do with your booster club’s ability to hire their instructional assistants.

    The aides at Lin Howe were hired solely due to the willingness of the Association of Classified Employees to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the district. If it had not been for our desire to facilitate those hires and work out all of the details in the agreement, it would not have mattered what advice you had been given by Ms. Paspalis and Mr. Zeidman, it would not have happened.

    And after we signed the first memorandum and you felt it was not possible to move your aides up to Step B on the salary scale in their second year (thus giving them an $.85 per hour increase), it was my agreeing to accommodate your request to keep them at Step A for one more year that made it possible….not the board.

    It concerns me that you want to give Ms. Paspalis and Mr. Zeidman credit for facilitating aides at Lin Howe–yet you don’t think the cooperation of the union is worth mentioning.

    I’d also like to take a moment to clarify another misconception that is out there. A few weeks ago, I read your letter in this blog stating that “union demands” were the reason you had to cut by 40% the number of aides you hired in your first year(and I quote: “… on behalf of the Classified Employees union, whose demands resulted in an initial 40% loss of parent-funded staffing at Linwood E. Howe).

    You allude to it again in your letter, above, when you mention that doing the right thing cost you “two additional aides in the first year”. Yet, it is my understanding that you had enough funding to hire 5 aides, but out of those 5 possible hires, one changed their mind about applying, and one couldn’t pass the basic skills test, leaving you with 3.

    I don’t think that can be fairly characterized as the result of “union demands” by any stretch of the imagination, and I would respectfully request that you discontinue putting that out in the community. You were asked by the district to comply with their hiring policies and procedures regarding parent-funded positions and the union played no adverse part in that process.


    Debbie Hamme
    Association of Classified Employees–Culver City

  3. Magnamanous of your union Debbie to allow parents the opportunity to supplement the districts budget and hire willing individuals to assist in classrooms. Why, though, are guaranteed raises even necessary? Who gets a gauranteed raise anymore? Oh….nevermind. 😉

  4. I can always count on you, Alan, to find fault even when the union does something that benefits the students of our district. Keep up the good work.

  5. Should parent paid for aids/personnel desire to be members of a union they are within their rights to seek such affiliation. Why then should a union require such individuals be required to become union members and/or be subject to union rules?????

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