Where public education is headed

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Where public education is headed

Postby Dennis King » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:45 pm

Here is the agenda for this "education forum"
http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/914 ... ation.html

Merit Pay? More technology?

How about eliminating tenure, teacher testing, making it easier for the "average person" to become a teacher, competition in schools, elimination of pensions in favor or 401K's, longer school days, no teacher conferences on school days and of course the ability to fire a teacher at will.

Now that plus more charter schools would be a start. Merit pay is their pay, the key is to rid ourselves of those who fail us and our kids. Merit Pay for doing your job? This is all backwards, it is admitting we have these duds and we can not fire them. Let's change that, Tony is right about competition, time we expect excellence as the norm and throw out those who can not perform.
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Re: Where public education is headed

Postby joe179 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:33 pm

From today's Telegraph:
14 in Merrimack School District to get pink slips
By JAKE BERRY
Staff Writer

MERRIMACK – Pink slips are on the way to more than a dozen employees in the Merrimack School District.
Members of the School Board, facing millions of dollars in lost state funding, voted Monday not to offer contracts to 14 workers, including six paraprofessionals, two school psychologists and a high school French teacher, among others, for the 2011-12 school year.
State budget deliberations are ongoing, and administrators could restore the positions later if lawmakers back off the $2.3 million in cuts threatening the district, they said.
State lawmakers have until July 1 to finalize their budget, and in Merrimack, administrators have until April 15 to extend contract offers to district staff for the next school year.
“Hopefully, (the cuts) won’t go to fruition, and we’ll be able to give them a contract,” Jennifer Thornton, vice chairwoman of the School Board, said Tuesday. “But we don’t know what’s going to happen right now. We really have to be prepared for the worst.”
Already planning to cut six teacher positions, among others across the district, the board first considered additional staff reductions last month after Gov. John Lynch introduced his $2.8 billion spending plan.
The governor’s proposal spells out up to $1.3 million in lost revenues for the School District, as well as an additional $1 million in increased expenditures to the state retirement system. But district residents, voting in last month’s Deliberative Session, rejected the board’s motions to eliminate six positions and $500,000 from the local budget to better absorb the governor’s cuts.
“We recognize there might be higher tax bills,” Cindy Thomas, a resident and elementary school teacher, said at the time. “... We’re willing to pay the price because the opposite prices is services that aren’t being met for our children.”
The vote maintained the district’s $65.3 million budget proposal, but it did not eliminate the need for further reductions to counter the state budget cuts, should they be enacted, according to business administrator Matt Shevenell.
Residents, set to vote up or down on the district budget Tuesday at the Town Elections, won’t be able to add money to the spending plan. So, any loss in state funding would force district administrators instead to look to personnel, materials and other costs to limit expenses, Shevenell said,
“Otherwise where are we going to get the $1 million?” he asked Tuesday. “We have to look internally.”
The board members have proposed the reductions in tiers to better respond to the state budget plans. Should lawmakers approve $500,000 in cuts for Merrimack, the board would enact only the first tier, which includes the six paraprofessionals, the two psychologists and a part-time kindergarten teacher, among other staff, furniture and field trip costs. And if the Legislature approves $1 million in cuts, board members will move on to the second tier, which adds about $500,000 worth of office equipment, advertising and two additional positions – a French teacher and reading instructor from the high school – to the chopping block.
A third level of cuts eliminate another $500,000 worth of construction projects, furniture and software from the budget.
“We’re really hoping it won’t come to that,” said Thornton, the school board’s vice chairwoman.
“We’re very, very hopeful that the state follows through with the sort of funding they promised originally,” she said. “But we’re not taking anything for granted. We can’t.”


Looks to me like the School District is grappling with budget cuts as we speak.

While I agree that reforms for public servants are necessary, I would like to see the reforms emplaced in a sensible manner. Our teachers should be afforded an environment of respect as they are the ones who are charged with molding the citizens of the future...
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Re: Where public education is headed

Postby Jeannine Stergios » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:56 pm

joe179

They aren't saints for heaven's sakes. They are mostly people like you and me who got degrees in education rather than business, engineeering, law, etc. degrees. Sure it can be a thankless task but then again which job isn't at times? Are they more responsible for shaping a child's future than their own parents who are forced to pay more and more taxes every year?

At least they get a break every six weeks which is more than the rest of us get. If we have less students then it only makes sense to have less teachers. Like it or not - somebody has to lose their job.
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Re: Where public education is headed

Postby Dennis King » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:44 pm

Why give back the jobs if the state does not whack us as much as possible?
If we can do without them, then we SHOULD do without them. Time to change the way we think about education, what is the worst thing? You reduce taxes! Now that would be a shocker, especially given the 10 million rise in spending for the schools over the past few years while enrollment continues to drop.
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Re: Where public education is headed

Postby RayWhipple » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:40 pm

Dennis King wrote:Why give back the jobs if the state does not whack us as much as possible?
If we can do without them, then we SHOULD do without them. Time to change the way we think about education, what is the worst thing? You reduce taxes! Now that would be a shocker, especially given the 10 million rise in spending for the schools over the past few years while enrollment continues to drop.


What would be the worst case? Not that this is 100% reason to keep any employee but how about that person not being able to pay thier bills? keep thier homes? you harp on it so much Dennis about people in Merrimack loosing thier homes because they cant afford it, what happens to those that cant afford it because they cat find ajob in this tough enconomy just because a bunch of far right wing conservatives think we need to dump a lot of town/school employee's? I was going to ask how well were your kids educated but I can only immagine you would say. The problem with our education and schools in my opinion is federal mandates that don't work here. Now I know we are not soposed to get into federal/state topics but if it were not for those mandates I think everyone could agree there would be a little more freedom for local schools to develop a system that works best for them.
"Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves. " ~President Ronald Reagan.

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Re: Where public education is headed

Postby Dennis King » Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:24 pm

RayWhipple wrote:
Dennis King wrote:Why give back the jobs if the state does not whack us as much as possible?
If we can do without them, then we SHOULD do without them. Time to change the way we think about education, what is the worst thing? You reduce taxes! Now that would be a shocker, especially given the 10 million rise in spending for the schools over the past few years while enrollment continues to drop.


What would be the worst case? Not that this is 100% reason to keep any employee but how about that person not being able to pay thier bills? keep thier homes? you harp on it so much Dennis about people in Merrimack loosing thier homes because they cant afford it, what happens to those that cant afford it because they cat find ajob in this tough enconomy just because a bunch of far right wing conservatives think we need to dump a lot of town/school employee's? I was going to ask how well were your kids educated but I can only immagine you would say. The problem with our education and schools in my opinion is federal mandates that don't work here. Now I know we are not soposed to get into federal/state topics but if it were not for those mandates I think everyone could agree there would be a little more freedom for local schools to develop a system that works best for them.


By this line of reasoning, no state workers could ever be let go. Of course in the real world, you know where you do not have jobs for life and get 1.1 million more in your pension than you put it, well people loose their jobs all the time.

The taxpayers are not put on this earth to support government workers, it is the other way around.

Less students means less teachers and when you can privatize local government, well those workers will have to go.

Happens in the real world all the time.
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Re: Where public education is headed

Postby joe179 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:24 pm

They aren't saints for heaven's sakes. They are mostly people like you and me who got degrees in education rather than business, engineeering, law, etc. degrees. Sure it can be a thankless task but then again which job isn't at times? Are they more responsible for shaping a child's future than their own parents who are forced to pay more and more taxes every year?

At least they get a break every six weeks which is more than the rest of us get. If we have less students then it only makes sense to have less teachers. Like it or not - somebody has to lose their job.


Jeannine,

I didn't say they were saints or that I was happy they had a more liberal work schedule than folks in the private sector.

I simply said they should be treated with a measure of respect like anyone else. Believe me, I'm all for reform in the public sector - reform that is effected in a sensible manner. Remember, lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater here!
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Re: Where public education is headed

Postby Jeannine Stergios » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:19 pm

Joe

Not sure what respect you feel is lacking in the comments but they are no more special than others who have lost their jobs in recent years.
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Re: Where public education is headed

Postby joe179 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:08 am

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Re: Where public education is headed

Postby MissyB » Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:32 am

I picked up a copy of the Bedford Bulletin this week. If Bedford gets less state aid, they are planning on laying off up to ten teachers.

On the bright side, McDonald's will be hiring 50,000 people in one day. :D :D
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