Budget Committee decides nothing

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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby MattPublicover » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:59 pm

I was the member of the school budget committee that proposed restoring the funding for transportation for the middle school field trips. This has nothing to do with the Washington DC trip, which somehow manages to be handled completely outside the budget.

The funding I was looking to restore was for the standard one-day academic field trips such as Odiorne Point, the Statehouse, the Currier Museum, places like that. It only covers transportation, not admissions or meals, which are paid for by parents.

My argument was that it is inequitable to the families of the kids in the middle school that we pay for transportation for the field trips for the elementary and upper elementary schools, that we paid for the middle school field trips prior to this year, and that (according to the superintendent) we will return to a policy of paying for middle school field trips beginning with budget that gets prepared next year. So therefore it is only the parents of kids in school now that are getting taxed (my term, don't blame anyone else) for the field trip transportation while all other parents in our schools have the transportation paid for through the budget. I also felt it was contrary to the intent of a public school system that we have field trips that we know some kids will not go on because of family finances, despite the fact that we try make funding available through the parent-teacher groups.

My motion was voted down by a vote of 1 in favor, 10 opposed. I won't pretend that I thought there was support for my motion going into it. I made it because I thought it was the right thing to do.

But I want to reiterate, no attempt has been made, by me, by anyone else on the budget committee, by the administration or the school board, to fund the middle school Washington DC trip through taxes. The idea was not even mentioned. Not going to happen.
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby MissyB » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:37 pm

Thanks, Matt. I watched the meeting. I know how it went down. I got confused. I thought the DC trip was referred to as a "field trip". I actually don't have a problem with day field trips paid for with taxes . I agree with you that if all the other grades are paid for then MMS should be paid for. I was worried that you thought the DC trip should be paid for with taxes. Thanks for clearing that up.

RD, If you knew me, you would know I tend to downplay. :D I don't think think field trips are a "need" to be well educated, they are more of a "want"; however, if taxes pay for all the other schools, then they should pay for MMS as well. My household operates more on "need", than "want" these days.
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby TonyRichardson » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:39 am

RD wrote:

Nope. Wrong. It shouldn't take a genius to understand that if the field trip was cancelled, the teachers would still be working at school, and therefore get paid. So grumpy tightwads who would like to see the kids deprived of this type of field trip would not be saving the taxpayers a penny; but would only be taking a great experience away from the kids.

Please, take a deep breath, smile, and try to be happy. Educating our kids is something we should be proud of, not bitch about. Enjoy the game all.



It also doesnt take a genius to understand that if some teachers are in DC they are not in their classrooms, yet somehow the consesquences of that sailed over your head.

Not every kid in their classes will be going on the field trip, there are always kids that don't go for whatever reason.
The kids not going have to be accomodated too, this means substitute teachers (extra cost) for those kids or they get shorted a day of schooling.
No matter what way you look at it, a cost to the taxpayers.

As to the tightwad label, given the financial situation the counry finds itself in now, I will wear that with pride.

We need more people reining in spending.
Liberalism - What happens when emotional reactions are confused with and substituted for facts and reason.
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby andysinnh » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:26 am

TonyRichardson wrote:
RD wrote:

Nope. Wrong. It shouldn't take a genius to understand that if the field trip was cancelled, the teachers would still be working at school, and therefore get paid. So grumpy tightwads who would like to see the kids deprived of this type of field trip would not be saving the taxpayers a penny; but would only be taking a great experience away from the kids.

Please, take a deep breath, smile, and try to be happy. Educating our kids is something we should be proud of, not bitch about. Enjoy the game all.



It also doesnt take a genius to understand that if some teachers are in DC they are not in their classrooms, yet somehow the consesquences of that sailed over your head.

Not every kid in their classes will be going on the field trip, there are always kids that don't go for whatever reason.
The kids not going have to be accomodated too, this means substitute teachers (extra cost) for those kids or they get shorted a day of schooling.
No matter what way you look at it, a cost to the taxpayers.

As to the tightwad label, given the financial situation the counry finds itself in now, I will wear that with pride.

We need more people reining in spending.

Actually, the 8th grade runs two separate and formal programs over the same week in May. Part of the 8th grade students and teachers attend the trip to DC (funded by each individual student who is attending), and the remaining 8th grade students participate in a parallel program local to NH (with some trips around the state). The goal is to have all 8th grade students learn aspects of government and history whether it's in DC or in NH. The staff is divided between the groups, and to the best of my knowledge no one group is made up of substitute teachers, thus not incurring that incremental cost during that week.

Whether the DC trip occurs or doesn't occur - the school district budget would not change, and as such there is no incremental cost to the taxpayers.

andy
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby tim dutton » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:49 am

Thanks Andy
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Jeannine Stergios » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:19 pm

In response to Tom Mahon

Our goverment is broken and the fact the Budget Committee did NOTHING to prevent an additional $2million dollars in raises to our tax bills over three years is somehow OK with so many of you. What is wrong with you people?

Too many school FANS on that Budget Committee and not enough objectivity.

What a ridiculous way to run a town.
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby andysinnh » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:38 pm

Jeannine Stergios wrote:In response to Tom Mahon

Our goverment is broken and the fact the Budget Committee did NOTHING to prevent an additional $2million dollars in raises to our tax bills over three years is somehow OK with so many of you. What is wrong with you people?

Too many school FANS on that Budget Committee and not enough objectivity.

What a ridiculous way to run a town.

Jeannine - just some points:

- The contract is for 2 years, not for 3
- The net salary increase is just about $630k per year as an overall "cost" to the district
- The net increase of teacher contribution in healthcare cost from their their paychecks is $450k for the first year, and similar in scope for 2nd year (depends on actual increase in healthcare rate)
- The net-net (actual incremental cost) $$ amount to raise by taxation for this agreement is $180k for the first year, similar in scope for 2nd year ($630k-$450k)
- The percent salary increase the teachers get is 2.75 % per year of the 2-year contract. The "net" percent raise teachers get (when taking into account their increased healthcare contribution) is 1.8% per year. The "net net" amount of money teachers walk away with in their pockets is less than that 1.8 percent, in that the copays for services and prescriptions has gone up across the board. (certainly not the "cadillac" healthcare some believe they're getting...)
- The contract was negotiated by the school board, school administration, and the teachers' union

To say that there are too many "fans" of the school isn't a fair statement, in that there was a ton of discussion about this (over an hour on just this warrant article on the CBA). While salaries did increase (no arguing that), the fact that healthcare contributions increased significantly, and that their out-of-pocket costs are also increasing, is what we should make sure we don't forget. And the fact the contract is only for 2 years means that all parties can revisit this sooner than the last contract timeframe.

andy
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Stan Heinrich » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:53 pm

I am not looking to start a pi**ing contest but,
the job of the budget committee is not to "just cut the budget".
It is our job to make sure there is enough money recommended for the prudent expenditures of the school district.
This year there have been no adjustments made to the operating budget request.
There were a number of proposed adjustments but a vast majority of the committee did not approve them.
Most votes taken were very lopsided with only 1 or 2 members voting in favor of the proposed adjustment.
Over the years the school department heads, administration and school board have listened to the committee comments/suggestions and
fine tuned their budget requests.
I applaud the school department heads, administration and the school board for the hard work they did on this budget request.
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Jeannine Stergios » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:47 pm

YEAH Stan - great job. What do you care - you don't own property. While our taxes increase by $300

The teachers got a raise so they could absorb the increase to the health insurance premiums. Bottom line - they still come ahead of the taxpayers. You can spin it anyway you want - the taxpayer loses.
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Stan Heinrich » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:42 pm

Jeannine you are correct I do not own property.
I rent and my rent goes toward property taxes, and yes my rent changes when taxes go up.
And if I didn't care why would I be on a school budget committee when I don't even have children in the system anymore.
My 5 kids all graduated MHS, the last one in 2007.
Your insults are not welcome, I do not recall insulting you before.
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Dennis King » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:02 pm

Stan, I for one do not care if you rent or own or if your kids are in school or not. You and I have always been civil to each other even when we disagree. Respect is something you and I have always given to each other as most people in this town sit and watch things go on and both you and I have taken stands and actively debated the issues and done what we can to make the town a better place.

I simply disagree with the budget as a whole and do not feel the BC has done their job when we are paying over $15,000 to educate kindergarteners!

I already posted the college tuitions on another site and have to wonder how a college can spend 1/5th the money we are paying to educate our kids. Something is very wrong here. How about joining Keith on the Privatizing bandwagon. He saved over a million dollars just by outsourcing. Why hasn't the school done the same. It just seems our taxes keep going up and up, just look at the tax bills from 5 years ago, the increase is staggering. We must stop this now.
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Jeannine Stergios » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:02 pm

Stan

Fair enough - I will apologize for my remark but I do tire of your excuse making year after year and patting yourselves on the back for doing a lousy job. It is really tiresome to go through this year after year while we try to survive on the same amount of salary while giving others raises that the people paying their salaries cannot afford for themselves. It's morally and ethically wrong.
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Ken Coleman » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:06 am

I already posted the college tuitions on another site and have to wonder how a college can spend 1/5th the money we are paying to educate our kids.


Pleazzzzeeeee tell me where this college is? Tuition less that $3,000 year.

Oh and BTW states that provide most of the funding to colleges do not count. I want to know where real total Tuition cost is under 3,000 dollars!

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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Dennis King » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:59 am

Ken, The school is the Manchester Community College, I posted links to it, UNH, Catholic schools, etc. Just go back and look at my post before you PLEAAAASE me. These are facts and public schools get federal tax dollars too. I recall a study done that showed for every dollar we sent to Washington for "education" we got 30 cents back. It seems the 70 cents was spent on salaries for local people to write the grants (ie beg for our own money back) and for the fed workers who decided which of us is "worthy" to get our money back.

Ken, you really feel spending over $15,000.00 to educate kindergarteners is reasonable? This is why we are now spending over 65 Million to educate our kids, 65 million, it is a staggering number and still, I know many out there who feel it is totally inadequate.

It is not a money problem, it is a spending problem. Lets put out an RFP to run our schools on 40 million, bet that would buy us a first class education for our kids but of course, no great pensions and most likely a full 8 hour day for the kids but no homework when they go home. Time to rethink how we educate our kids! We can do much better!
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby RD » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:27 am

TonyRichardson wrote:
As to the tightwad label, given the financial situation the counry finds itself in now, I will wear that with pride.



Oh please, it has nothing to do with the our current financial situation. Everyone knows it's always the same people complaining about funding for our kids' education, regardless of the economic climate.
"If you think teachers are your enemy, you should probably reassess who you think your friends are." - Chris Larson
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