Friday, April 03, 2009

A prior Dem school budget vs. the current Dem school budget

Following up on this post, I now see where BOE member Alan Sobol got his number regarding the "additional 23 teachers" in the school system in recent years. He was going from

2004/05 - 389.07
2008/09 - 412.61

or 23.6 additional "certified staff." And for anyone who is unaware, the schools often avoid speaking of teachers and prefer to speak of "certified staff."

But some will charge that the 2004/05 budget is an inappropriate measure. It was often called the "zero budget." So instead, I suggest comparing the current year budget (adopted by a Dem Council) to the year prior to the zero budget - 2003/04. As with the current year budget, the 2003/04 budget was adopted by a Dem Council.

Presumably, the Dem Council put forward a responsible school budget. It paid for 398.43 certified staff. And some comparisons:

In 2003/04, 398.43 certified staff educated 5,165 students.

In 2008/09, 412.63 certified staff educate 4,945 students.

In 2003/04, 223.05 non-certified staff supported 5,165 students.

In 2008/09, 236.05 non-certified staff support 4,945 students.

I know there are a lot of factors to be considered. But on the surface, I see staffing levels increasing and student enrollment decreasing. And that makes no sense to me.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Of course if makes no sense.
That is how Florio has been his entire career here in Cheshire.
I bet when he is done being superintendant he could get a nice, cushy job with the union. They owe him big time!

I get a kick out of all these people who go the the meeting to speak. Most have no knowledge of what is going on. They go because their kids teacher or coach ask them to go. Most don't even realize the economic impact it will have on them.

The bottom line is: We shouldn't have that many more certified staff when we have so many less students.

Anonymous said...

I'm the same guy who has posted here that Florio was a stooge for lobbying for the insane teacher contract in the middle of the economic tsunami.

But there is a reason that staff deamnds might have increased.

a) More special ed students. Class size needs to be thrown out the window here. If you were to put 25 such kids in the same class it would be a warehouse. And if you think a teacher is expensive; try outplaced tuition

b) State mandates. I'm sure that the CMT alone has added to staff demands; and I'm sure that's just the most visible part of it.

There are two ways to make the budget work. We have to freeze paychecks or fire teachers.

Which one does less harm to our students? You don;t need a Ph. D to figure that one out.

I suggest Dr. Florio dine on some crow and reopen the teacher's contract. The kids are more important than the labor union.

tim white said...

More special ed students.

If you look at the linked post, you'll see student enrollment numbers. The numbers are by grade level and have special ed noted.

The October 1, 2003 number of sp ed students was 85.

The October 1, 2008 number of sp ed students was 85.

So the number of students enrolled has not changed, though it did drop and rise during the intervening years.

The more critical issue is the particular needs of those 85 students. Their needs can vary greatly.

A year or two ago the Council was informed of a student who stood to benefit from a particular program located in NYC. The annual cost of the program? $200,000. I presume that would've been a boarding school, such as the one used in VT.

Anonymous said...

At the April 2 budget meeting that was packed with teachers, parents and students who answered Florio's muster, we heard the same unending pleas from teachers that no cuts to staff should be made, and that it would hurt the poor little children, and how so many depended on them. We heard over and over again how each speaker and their fellow staff workered tirelessly to do the best job that they could and to get extra credit they said what a great job Florio was doing. And, they the couldn't understand why cuts had to be made when it would only cost the average taxpayer $153. They laid all of the blame of possible staff cuts on everyone except themselves, they stood tall above it all.

Well, the only reason for having to cut staff is because the teachers for all their crying are not willing to give back any part of their 4.3% raise, or $2,150 based on $50,000 salary. I'm sure people in town would be willing to give their employers $153 if they got $2,150 in return. But it was almost funny that many of the teachers who spoke, don't even live in town and even though they didn't think $153 was a big deal, they weren't even effected by a tax increase.

Face it, the teachers and their union don't really care about the poor little children, the taxpayers, or the staff that will be laid off. If there is any negative effect which is highly unlikely, on the quality of education resulting from layoffs, the responsiblity lies firmly with greedy teachers and their union, and the laid off staff can stop blaming the Board of Education, the Town Council and the taxpayers.

I'm sick of sacrificing for the benefit of this elite group who think they are above everyone else and that everyone should sacrifice for their financial benefit.

The teachers and their union should take some time and look at the all the benefits they are getting. If they are honest with themselves they should realise that they are already over compensated for their 180 day work year. If they believe they deserve more, then they should pack their bags.

Anonymous said...

Some of the teachers would gladly give back their wage increases in order to save positions, but the leadership of the union will not allow it. The leadership cannot be seen as weak in any manner and has made the choice to sacrifice their young teachers in order to keep the tenured staff. A way of thinking that has lead to the demise of unions. The union needs to be eliminated with teaching staff earning raises based on performance and not test scores.

Anonymous said...

5:39 p.m., "The leadership cannot be seen as weak in any manner. . ."

That sums part of it up nicely. As for the individual teachers, I guess they are weak ones unable to stand up to their organization. And in reality maybe their leadership isn't weak but just because it is strong does not mean it is intelligent and learned.

In fact, under the current circumstances a case could be made for branding this form a strong union leadership as quite S-T-U-P-I-D!

As for any individual teachers with no backbone to stand against mean spirited union leadership, maybe they really belong in some other profession where their individual leadership abilities won't have a long lasting impact on impressionable children.

Anonymous said...

This contract should never have been approved, but since it was it should be renegotiated "for the sake of the children". We also should be cutting some teachers due to the lower student population. We keep adding when we shouldn't. During these hard economic times all need to sacrifice and that includes the teachers union. They are willing the throw the young teachers under the bus rather than go back to the table (sad). The taxpayer should not be made to feel guilty because we are usually the ones doing the sactificing. I sincerely hope that the Town Council will approve the lower budget.

Anonymous said...

Why do we need any unions in town? With the amount of departments and leaders we should be able to throw out the unions.

Anonymous said...

"Some of the teachers would gladly give back their wage increases in order to save positions"

There is nothing prohibiting teachers from contributing their raises to the a fund to save new teachers from getting laid off. I suggest that the School Board set up a special fund for the teachers to give back their raises and for anyone who feels that staff cuts will hurt the education of their children.

Dr. Florio could draft up a letter and distribute it to all the school staffs and their supporters.

Let's see how much people really care.