Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Board Prez weighs in on FF Recommendation

*** BREAKING NEWS ***

The Neshaminy School Board issued this press release a short time ago . . .



13 comments:

Jake said...

There is your explanation Danielle why the board rejected the fact finder they requested. Let me see if I have the math right on this. We can take the fact finders suggestion and save $3 million over 3 years or we can outsource support staff functions and save over $30 million in 5 years.
I am not taking any pleasure in seeing you or anyone possibly losing their job, but do you honestly expect the average person to struggle over this decision? We may like you but nobody is worth a difference of $27 million.
I have to ask you a question Danielle. When the board first said they were going to look at outsourcing, Mindy Anderson had to know there was substantial savings there. Why didn't she do something to drastically improve her counter offer immediately? Did she just not think the board would go through with it?
I know you can't answer for her, but I'm curious what you think.

KIDSFIRST said...

The board will choose to outsource and cut programs while the Teachers Union continues to wait it out so they can keep their expensive benefits packages. We cannot allow this to happen.

JS said...

Kidsfirst, there's nothing legally the Board can do. The teachers can hold on to the old contract as long as they like (I believe) They won't get raises, but they won't pay for benefits either.

acs said...

Bravo William and the board. Great decision and the right one. Greed is not good as Mindy now knows.....I wonder what kind words her members have for HER now?? All these people could have had a GREAT deal and she personally destroyed her rank and file. A real shame and frankly should never have been permitted by her union. Oh well on to $32M in savings.

KIDSFIRST said...

It is unfortunate for the kids who will be cheated in this situation by program and service cuts. There is something wrong with our education system when 75% of the budget goes to salaries and benefits.

Many of Neshaminy employees (teachers) have been there for years so we are paying them over $80,000 a year plus health insurance and other benefits (which can add another $15-$35,000). Everyone feels entitled after years of dedication to their jobs but we cannot afford this anymore! There should be a salary cap in place, a more gradual pay increase, and most of all contributions to health insurance plans that are more in line with the general public.

It is unfortunate that we are stuck in this situation and there is nothing legally the Board can do? It is absurd that we have allowed ourselves to be controlled by the teachers union.

RVN6869 said...

Kidsfirst,

I fault myself for not paying attention over the years. I mentioned this before. I basically had my head in the sand, because I had no one in the system and was trying to make a living.

I quietly simmered at home, but did not get involved in the meetings. In past years, there has been 6-8% tax increases per year. Only 3 times since we moved here, has there been no increase. Recently, the increases have been 2.5-3.5 which may not seem like allot. But it is, on top of the already high taxes we pay.

The paper may post that the average pay for a teacher is 80,000or so, but you will see that the amount of teachers in the 90's is fairly high. Our district is top heavy in the pay scale. I am not blaming them ( the teachers ) because any one of us want to better ourselves so we can earn more money for our families. Their pay scale was agreed upon by prior boards in the past.

What has happened in the past is exactly just that, the past. This board is working to control the out of reach taxes that will be on our doorsteps in the future.

Our taxes have doubled since we moved here. I hope to be alive doubled the amount of years that we have lived here, which would put me at 80. But, I don't think I could remain in our home if our taxes double once again in the same period of time.

In a recent post of mine,I stated that I would not be surprised if the unemployment went back up to 10%. A couple of days later on the news, they said it went from 9.7 to 9.9, even with nearly 300,000 new jobs recently.

Mr. O'Conner stated it best the other night. " There is no money "

KClarinet said...

KIDSFIRST said:

"There is something wrong with our education system when 75% of the budget goes to salaries and benefits."

Well, that's what a school is in essence - teachers and students. Then, when you add buildings and need a large enough teaching staff you need support staff to take care of the non-instructional work of maintaining and organizing the buildings and administrators to supervise it all. Except for what's needed to maintain the building environments themselves, that's all labor (salaries and benefits). Where else would you spend the bulk of a school budget, putting aside the actual size in dollars (which is by nearly unanimous agreement among the public too large) of the budget itself? Why would 75% in salaries and benefits, whatever their actual dollar amount, be so wrong?

KIDSFIRST said...

KClarinet,
Because not only do we need teachers, we need teaching materials,up to date technology for all schools, children's programs such as music, aquatics, sports etc. and it takes money to keep up with all of this. It seems that when we have the money we keep giving it towards higher salaries and more benefits. Even when we don't have it we still do that while programs are slated to be cut.

KClarinet said...

KIDSFIRST,

It's a bit of a digression, but I disagree that schools need the latest, greatest technology to teach effectively. Computers (if they're what you mean by technology) and their continual need to be upgraded are a bottomless money pit that we've been seduced into trying to fill for the better part of thirty years. Effective instruction depends on good teaching practices from staff and receptive learning attitudes from students. All the rest are tools that can make learning easier (or more "fun") but are not in themselves worth a dime without the people to use them intelligently. I feel pretty strongly that the education I got in the public schools 50 years ago was in many ways stronger and more useful that what is dispensed today, even though it was mostly done with chalk, blackboards and printed textbooks.

The main cost of sports and music (I don't know about aquatics, where pool maintenance may be more costly) is still stipends for staff. The cost of equipment needs (as distinguished from wants) are relatively much smaller and at least some of it is covered by booster organizations who already raise the funds independently.

KIDSFIRST said...

KClarinet:
OK. You are 100% correct that effective instruction depends on teaching practices from staff and student attitude (plus parental support). My middle school child has earned straight A's every marking period this year and has received highest academic average awards for several subjects. So there is learning going on but I don't know if what is being taught is as strong or as useful as what is being taught across the nation today. I think computer instruction is important especially at the high school level. My children have also gained alot from the music programs at Neshaminy which I think are outstanding. They also learned how to swim from the aquatics programs. I did pay fees for the swim lessons (which were affordable). My kids have wonderful teachers but I still don't think we should be paying for their health insurance.

KClarinet said...

KIDSFIRST said,
"...but I still don't think we should be paying for their health insurance."


Well, I don't think there are many who disagree with you on this last point, including me. The issue is how much of the premiums should be the teachers' share, and that's really something the board and the NFT should be talking about.

CF009 said...

Mr O'Connor stated that there is NO MONEY, whose fault is that?
Based on this evening tv news it stated that the teachers have been without a contract for TWO years. Therefore no pay increases...is that correct? And the board new this new contract was due so why did the board not be proactive and plan?
I think that the BOARD owns a lot of responsibility and needs to be held accountable!

William O'Connor said...

CF, I appreciate the contrasting perspective, honestly I do. And I realize you're new to this blog but I just don't have the strength to address again the "where is the money?" argument. If you read other posts on the blog I'm sure you'll find an explanation, or perhaps one of the board regulars like JS will be kind enough to do me a solid here.