Tuesday, April 07, 2009

It seems we always have more teachers than are budgeted

Following last week's public hearing, I started publishing some information about the reality of the history of staffing levels at our schools.

For example, I documented the reality that between the time when the BOE adopted the 05/06 budget in June 2005 and teachers were hired in September 2005... the total number of teachers grew by 3.28 teachers (a.k.a. certified staff).

And today I stumbled across this May 5, 2007 NHR article by Luther Turmelle:

May 5--CHESHIRE -- The school system will add four new full-time teachers and one parttimer next fall, the Board of Education has decided, despite the district's continued shrinking enrollment. The board finalized its 2007-08 budget at $55.7 million Thursday night, a little more than two weeks after...

But by the time staffing levels were determined in September, the schools had added 6.83 new teachers for the 07/08 school year:

And of course we all know that (between the 03/04 Democratic school budget and the 08/09 Democratic school budget) staffing levels have risen by 14.2 teachers while student enrollment has dropped 220 students.*

I applaud Board member Alan Sobol for his efforts during the budget this year. Unfortunately, he needs a few more votes. Anyone interested in running for BOE? Please though, no more Rubber Stamps. Cheshire's Political Class is already well-populated.

Tim White

* Or by 23.54 teachers, if you measure from the 04/05 GOP school budget to the 08/09 Democratic school budget.


Anonymous said...

With about 4,945 students and 408.63total certified staff it would seem that there is one certified staff member for each 21.1students.

Add in the non-certified staff and picture gets even more amazing. 4,945 students and a total of 645.18 staff (certified + non-certified). This is just 7.67 students per staff member.

You just have to wonder about those numbers. They seem pretty amazing. Of course I'm just one more college educated professional with a professional degree and a number of school aged children so I'm not anti-education. I can do the math and I'm wondering if there isn't a more efficient way available.

It would seem that our particular school system model just might benefit from an overhaul including fresh new management.

Anonymous said...

Tim, Florio says that this years budget includes eliminating 5 teachers and 10 staff positions. I have a feeling when all the dust settles the staff levels will remain the same or maybe even increase. Let's see!!!

Anonymous said...

8:09AM It has always bothered me when someone who questions the BOE budget is classed "anti-education". No one is against education. I have lived in Cheshire a number of years and my children were educated in the local schools. I have a problem when money is waisted and not accounted for wisely (adding teachers with declining enrollment). I also have a problem when teachers receive a 4.4% raise, guaranteed for three years when people are fearful of losing their jobs and maybe their homes. I feel Cheshire students deserve a quality education at the best possible cost. That to me is both pro-education and pro-fiscal responsibilty.

Anonymous said...

12:59 p.m.- - don't forget that the people having about 6 hours of face time daily with our children are mostly either greedy excessive wage hike types or alternatively too meek to stand up against the teachers union excessive wage demands.

What civics lessons will our children be learning from watching these overpaid highly politicized municipal employees?

Robert DeVylder Jr. said...

Fire all the teachers and rehire those that truely want to help the kds without being unionized.

What the town and BOE hasnt realized yet is that we are in an employeers market. If someone is doing a bad job or is overpaid/underperforming, there are thousands of people that would take that job at a lower rate and do a better job. They would also do as they are told and keep quiet out of excitement of getting a check for working.

Anonymous said...

Mr devylder brings up an interesting point. I too have often wondered why local CT school boards continue to run up the salaries of school superintendents. As an example Wallingford just re-mortgaged its financial future by bringing on a new super for almost 200 thousand including benefits.

Competitively filled superintendent positions can draw many qualified candidates all eager to leave their current job for a new one. Why is it that school boards can't use this very large surplus of willing candidates to maintain salary level or even reduce it?

If supply is high and open positions low one would assume salaries would be flat or decreasing but of course in the government sector that is clearly no longer true. Something more goes on with government positions.

On a local level it's pretty amazing that local citizens just don't do a better job picking school board members who are willing to stand up against government business as usual.

Oh, I forgot, the superintendents all know it is for the children. No salary expense is too stupid for the children.