Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Too Early to Panic

If the 2008/2009 school year budget was cast in stone now, the average homeowner would see a $287 tax increase. But the budget is far from final at this point, and it is standard operating procedure to include worst case scenarios in these early rounds of review. As the budget cycle continues through 1Q08, you’ll start to see some of those expenditures come down (most likely).

Unfortunately there’s a limit to how much we can cut under the current teacher’s contract. For the moment, we cannot make any new assumptions regarding salaries, benefits, class size, etc. Once the new contract is in play, the board and the district should have significantly more latitude in managing expenses. Hopefully that will occur before the 2008/2009 budget is voted on by the Board in June 2008.


You can learn more about the preliminary budget by reading this Courier Times article.

9 comments:

concerned taxpayer said...

From what I understand teachers don't pay into their healthcare. Is that correct?

If they don't-or it is an amount lower than the average worker-the contract should have them start paying.

William O'Connor said...

Dear Concerned Taxpayer:
Yes it's true, our teachers do not currently contribute towards their health insurance premiums. If I'm not mistaken, we're the only district left in Bucks County where that's the case. Since many of us contribute to at least 20% of our employers' cost for our insurance, that is why this is such a controversial issue.

MPMom0663 said...

I want our teachers to pay for benefits but I also do not want to see them strike. People have to realize that you have to pay to get good teachers. Most of our teachers in the elementary and middle schools are pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Teachers and administrators make way to much money and it's forcing to many people to move out because they can't afford there homes. Let them go on strike because I can't take any more increases to my taxes.

concerned taxpayer said...

I think there is something going through legislation (or trying to go through..not sure) so that teachers can't strike.

I don't want teachers to strike either,and I agree that a majority of our teachers are doing a great job. However, they are very well compensated for their hard work in my opinion. They should be asked what the rest of us get asked...help pay for their healthcare.

With gas prices going up and cost of living going up (and paychecks not keeping pace) we just can't afford the paid healthcare luxery anymore.

pianomom1980 said...

I understand why we should control our costs but I'm afraid there is too much taxpayer revolt right now and that will hurt our education programs. I agree teachers should pay for benefits, and the salaries in Neshaminy are relatively high. At the same time, some of the board members seem like they will do anything to cut the budget without regard to the students.

Anonymous said...

If you look at the budget, the largest part (maybe 70%) is for staff. So to control costs you either reduce staff or reduce salary and benefits. There is some website that lists what every teacher makes and ours make a lot! We should be asking ourselves how come ours make so much...do most have advanced degrees? Paying for smart people is a wise investment, but there needs to be a return for the investment.

William O'Connor said...

To the most recent anonymous post:
You make a good point about current salary levels and ROI. I don't think the problem in Neshaminy is that we have many teachers with advanced degrees. The issue is our current salary matrix (governed by the existing teachers contract) which catapults teachers through income levels without asking for much in return. The fact that a teacher has been in the district for a few years and has taken a few related educational courses shouldn't justify getting a $70k+ salary. If the current matrix stays in place with the next contract, even if 100 teachers retire and we get all new teachers, we will be in the same boat 5 years down the road.

Student at Neshaminy said...

Teachers are paid what they deserve. I am a student at Neshaminy and I am proud of the education I am getting. Where would our society be without our teachers? If they are paid less, they will not work as hard, and students will not care as much about school. They will not spend as much time doing homework and will be more likely to be trying drugs and crime. Teachers at Neshaminy cannot stop it completely, but they are definitely touching the lives of a majority of the students who attend the schools. I can understand that you are concerned about money yourself, but you cannot disagree that teachers are working very hard because they are being paid for the extremities that they do, and they deserve every cent for what they have done for myself and for my peers. I hope that you can understand this through my point of view.