Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Will Teachers Union Try to Save Lynwood Elementary?

The Teachers Union will be meeting again today with the MSD Decatur Township administration to try to reach an agreement on job cuts and wage reductions.

The administration is proposing a 5% salary and benefits reduction and hope for 17 early retirements. They say that up to 60 teachers would be laid off if the cuts and retirements are not agreed upon. The proposal is unclear if another 17-20 teacher layoffs will occur even if an agreement is reached. (see my blog entry - Cliff Notes for Decatur School District Plan).

I have suggested that by putting excess property up for sale - the Southwest Pavilion Office Building (former Concentra Building) being the lion's share of the value of these excess properties -- and other cuts (see How to Minimize the Impact of Decatur School District Cuts), AND by redistricting as suggested by former School Board member Mike Kugelman, we can avoid closing Lynwood as an Elementary School and thereby increasing class size.

In that scenario, the teachers would have to agree to the cuts, but teacher layoffs could be avoided with as few as 5 retirements. The teachers and the administration got a 3.5% increase last school year followed by a 4.5% increase this school year. In addition, last school year Decatur teachers were the 4th highest paid in the entire state of Indiana.

The administration should be asked to give up more than just 5% of salary - especially if the teachers are being asked to give up 5% of salary plus benefits.

Hopefully the Teachers Union will only agree to the cuts with the stipulation that Lynwood remain open as an elementary school and no teacher layoffs happen. The full $9.8 million in cuts can be achieved without that happening. But, it will take some effort on the Union's part to make it happen.

Protecting the students' education from increased class size should be everyone's main objective.

[edited on Feb 11, 2010 to add : I have made a mistake. The school board minutes on 7-10-07 show approval of a new contract that gave a 3.5% raise in 2007-2008 and a 4.5% raise in 2008-2009. I slipped the dates by mistake. I apologize for the error and I thank the teachers for sending me back to my notes to double-check the information.]

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

The superintendent was quoted in the Indianapolis Star as stating that if 17 teachers retired and the remaining teachers took a 5% paycut that no teachers would be cut. I agree that the state data shows Decatur teachers to be 4th highest in the state with an average salary of $57,428 per year. So the 17 retiring if only at average salary would be for a total of $976,276 and there should not be any unfunded liability since they settled that several years ago. This would save them a lot money but why would a teacher retire when Jeff Baer is going to receive 5 years of corporation paid teacher retirement fund years of service, insurance until age 65, 1/3 of this years pay as severance, and other benefits costing at least $150,000 which would pay for 3 teachers???? And they have already hired another administrator to replace him??? The teacher raises have been very good for 10 years but the administrators received the same percentages. If they close the DDA and DEC what are they going to do with Pietrzak and Leineman??? Why don't they have room to move the technology people back to the central office??? Why is Susan Adams still at the administration center with a truck?? Why is Stinson's salary still more than $200,000 greater than a teacher?? Why don't they sell the excess propery? Why don't board members take a 5% paycut? Why the favored still get their cake??

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 2:23 -- I surely do not think that the teachers should carry the burden of these cuts alone. Nor should the bus drivers or cafeteria workers.

I have suggested that Stinson take a 20% cut and all other administrators take 15%. Plus, the ranks of administrators in the Central Office should be pared down substantially. The current situation is inadequate - only 15% cut for Stinson, 5% cut for administrators, and only 1 administrator cut from the Central Office - one that was leaving anyway.

But, the hole that Stinson and Baer dug is so deep, that I can't see any way around the Teachers having to be involved. I'd rather see everyone take the 5% cut, than to lay off teachers.

Anonymous said...

At an average of $57,428 per year, teachers are paid an average of $310.42 per day for 185 days. Could administrators work for 225 days per year at an average of $400per day for a total of $90,000 per year since their jobs seem harder. Teachers and administrators should pay the same for insurance which is happening a lot of places. This would save as much money as laying off teachers.

Anonymous said...

Baer probably would not have left if he thought he would have the same Board to work with. I agree that if there is a board change then Stinson will retire since he has such a large package. I also do not want to see Lynwood close or class sizes increase. Some of the teacher reductions might be such things as the two at the Challenger Center who will go back to the classroom and then two beginning teachers will be laid off and the school district will pay unemployment. It is a very deep hole. The kids are innocent victims and there are others.

Anonymous said...

Teachers should not be the one's giving up pay! They are at the bottom of the payscale. We need them more than a lot of those other postions. Just FYI I am not a teacher!

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 3:01 -- looking at the State Board of Accounts salary report, it would appear that in the 2008-2009 school year the teacher salaries ranged from about $39,000 to about $80,000 - and that was before the 4.5% raise they got this year.

Anonymous said...

Offer the teachers the exact same retirement benefit package that was given to Jeff Baer and they will retire.

Anonymous said...

If you look at the report yes Decatur teachers are #4 but look close 2,3,4 are all the same so really that means they are tied for the #2 slot.
http://mustang.doe.state.in.us/TRENDS/universe.cfm?corp=5300
But still that is not where the cuts need to be done at. That is something you look at with the contracts not now! The schools have already agreed to that and the teachers could plan on that.

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 4:28 -- the reality is that there has to be a little giveback from all teachers or some of the younger ones have to be laid off. Teacher salary is the biggest expense.

So, given that choice, I'd like to think they'd all give a little so some don't have to take the hard hit. Can't be many teaching job open about now.

Plus, we need the teachers to keep the class sizes down.

Anonymous said...

The students need Lynwood to stay open. The teachers need to give a little. The administrators need to buy their own gasoline and cars. No one needs free cake.

Anonymous said...

The problem is the teachers are not willing to give when you have an administration that spends on everything under the sun. They want to ask the teachers for money but do not want to give up their free dinners and cake!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Feb 10,2010 4:23PM said...
Offer the teachers the exact same retirement benefit package that was given to Jeff Baer and they will retire.


Ha ha ha. Good one.

Oh - were you serious?

I know several teachers just in one school who would retire except the need the insurance. It's too bad that health reform won't happen in time - if people knew they had health care, a lot of people (not just teachers) at the top would be able to retire, and that would get people off unemployment.

But have they actually talked to the possible retirees to see what they NEED to retire? Of course not. The generals can't be bothered to talk to the soldiers on the front lines.

Anonymous said...

Teachers should get the same retirement package as Jeff Baer. If they cannot do that they should have given Baer a pink slip. He would not have chosen to work in the classroom - bet on it. The Board can decide today that there will be no more retirement packages like this after this year and you will see administrators retire immediately.

Anonymous said...

Teachers were not given a 4.5% increase during the 2009-2010school year. That was for the 2008-2009 school year. They received 3.5% for the 2007-2008 school year. This year, no raises were given to teachers with the exception of increments for years of experience to those not at the top of the pay scale.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this info. That is also my memory.

Anonymous said...

Stinson should take 33% decrease, his assistants should take 15%, teachers should take no decrease, and everybody should pay the same for insurance. Just a suggestion. Nobody should get gasoline, cars, or cakes. The Board should not be paid.

Anonymous said...

How much should teachers be willing to give?

We once gave up instructional assistants for the older grades to keep teachers & keep class sizes down. And then they took them away from the younger grades. Our insurance cancels out any COST OF LIVING pay increases. We work about 60 hours a week, go to school or workshops or do lots of planning in the summer but the public insists that we are hanging out at the pool. We buy posters, supplementary books when the adopted textbook doesn't meet the standards. We buy pencils (and pencils, & more pencils), notebook paper, Kleenex, antibacterial wipes & hand sanitizer. We buy pencil sharpeners because the one on the wall in every room never worked. We buy equipment & supplies for science after being promised the district will get what we need to do the experiments that help kids learn the standards. We buy dice after kids steal them & protractors after the kids break the $6 math templates. We buy calculators because the district won't, but then next year the district buys them for everyone else. We spend hundreds of dollars on books that kids will actually read & book cases or boxes to organize them in. We buy clothes & coats & gloves & backpacks & have the social worker give them to our students in need. We buy pizza & ice cream to reward kids for improvement in behavior or academics when the school only rewards for attendance. We buy transparencies when the office runs out & colored paper to make sure important information stands out in messy backpacks (only the office gets to use the colored paper). We donate to Dollars for Scholars, the Challenger Learning Center (real problem based learning already happening in our district, by the way) Relay for Life, families of students who get shot or injured, United Way & Riley to help the less fortunate & so Stinson can have a plaque on the wall. We buy recess equipment when the district won't provide playground equipment & games for indoor recess. We buy air fresheners because the district is too cheap to properly ventilate the adult bathrooms. We buy special pencil grips for kids that have trouble writing, & stress balls for kids with anger management. We buy nametags to prevent kids from getting lost on field trips (well, back when we had field trips). We buy batteries for flashlights in case of emergency & sometimes rubber gloves & band aids. We buy chapstick & feminine supplies for students that don't have any. You know the 21st Century Tools that Stinson keeps rambling about? It's called computers, software & the internet (and they were 20th Century tools a few years ago). Well, back when we could actually be trusted to load our own educational software on the computers, we often bought the software. Now we just buy the speakers & sometimes the headphones. We buy canned goods so our poor & academically challenged students have a snowball's chance in hell of winning a contest against the teacher that the principal gave all the rich gifted kids to (balanced SES schools my ass!). We create & fund a whole curriculum for our gifted or special ed classes because the district will get all the books & workbooks for the kids in the middle, but rarely gets even teacher's manuals for teachers that have to teach a grade or two above or below. We sponsor kids for academic summer camps because we see that the child has a gift that is not being addressed by the school or the family.

continued…

Anonymous said...

…continued

But stuff for the classroom is tax deductible, right? If you are a teacher - only up to $200. It seems that the tools of teachers don't count as much as the tools of other trades.

Below is a sample of data on salaries of workers with only a bachelor's degree. The number on the left is their starting salary. The number on the right is the salary they can expect in the middle of their career. This data came from payscale.com & was the subject of a New York Times article.

41,500 marketing 81,500
46,500 accountant 77,600
49,400 IT 75,200
40,000 philosophy 76,700
37,400 hotel restaurant mgmt 66,400

Teachers were 2nd from the bottom. Average entry level salary 33,000. Mid-career 54,100. Social workers came in last.

We give our blood pressure, sweat & tears to our career, our calling. And then we give & give & give from our checkbooks. God forbid we should defend ourselves or demand what is in the best interests of students & learning.

You'll get what you pay for (superintendents notwithstanding!). If Mitch Daniels has his way, more & more highly qualified, experienced teachers will run, not walk, away from education. Your children's classrooms might as well have revolving doors. Those who can, will do something else & get paid more. Those who can't will have to settle for teaching. Our kids shouldn't have to settle for anything less than the best.

Anonymous said...

SCHOOL BOARD MEETING

THURSDAY
FEB 11
7 PM
Decatur Central High School

AGENDA
http://decatur.schoolfusion.us/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/138407/File/BBrodhacker%20Files/Microsoft%20Word%20-%20Regular%20Meeting%20February%2011,%202010%20Agenda.pdf?sessionid=cfd282dac58dcae7ddbaaa1f4a6a3ea6

Get there early to sign in if you want to speak.

Wear HAWKS apparel or BLUE or GOLD/YELLOW. Show them it is YOUR community!

Anonymous said...

In recent history the leadership of the union is good at stabbing teachers in the back. So you might get your wish.

Anonymous said...

That you for being a dedicated teacher. I appreciate your efforts greatly!

Anonymous said...

Firefihgters in Lawrence township took a 20% pay cut to keep there jobs...Would you?

Anonymous said...

I could not understand at first why a teacher would not take the 5% cut to keep their job or to help a co-worker keep theirs. But, then it was brought to my attention that even if they take the cut, there is no guarantee that a teacher's job will be saved. If there are not enough teachers retiring cuts will still be made. Why would anyone (teacher or not) agree to a pay cut when they don't know for sure that it is helping to save any jobs. I am sure that there are several teachers who would like to retire, but do to the current economy can not. I am sure that if the pay cut that those teachers agreed to did not effect what their pension would be based on they would agree to retire. To make that more clear. Teacher's pensions are based on their last five years (give or take a couple) of their career. If they agree to the pay cut, this will lower their retirement amount. Why would they agree to this when we are currently buying years for Stinson? It would be different if the Administration went in and said we have 17 teachers who will be retiring. If you agree to this pay cut we will not have to cut any teachers, but they are not making that guarantee.

Anonymous said...

If it wasn't for the children no one here would have a job so why make them pay....they are our future they are going to take care of us we want them educated.Put discipline back in the school and grades will improve

Anonymous said...

They have never admitted their errors that evolved into this mess. They always bame somebody besides themselves. Now, they blame the teachers. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. They need to clean up their own house.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:42 & 9:43... Thank you for enlightening a lot of people. You are one of the teachers I hoped my children would have each year! You are a teacher that actually teaches for the love of teaching and not for the paycheck itself. I wholeheartedly agree with you! I have two very intelligent great adult kids, one is out of college now and the other is in college. My first was an honors student that lost the honors last semester of her senior year and had to settle with a Core 40 due to struggling with that last math course. Yep retook the course 2 more times and never could pass with the acceptable Honors grade...was told by administrators that they would get a tutor and all the help needed to be sure she would get the needed grade...never happened. No help...fell through the cracks...no one cared because after all, she WAS graduating...and with a Core 40! Devastated! There is no extra help at Decatur, no assistants, they've been cut, no tutors, can't afford them, etc. Now my second is very intelligent but struggled with a processing deficiency... tested twice and was medically proven. No disability, but a deficiency, so he is intelligent, just processes information a tiny bit slower and differently. Was told he didn't qualify for "special" help and no tutors or assistants were available so we paid $300 a month for him to take an online math class with a tutor, in order to pass it an receive his Core 40 so that he didn't suffer similar to what happened with his sister. Unfortunately, we "fought" with the schools & administration for years with him because he was the kid that fell through the cracks. Teachers tried to the best of their abilities to help him, but unfortunately they are spread too thin and can't dedicate the time to just one student. All these ridiculous cuts are hurting our kids. You are right! Teachers are paying the price as well as the students. Why does MSD of Decatur think that we have to be the pilot of so many new programs when the ones we have don't work? Why do we think we need to start all these new "schools" and "charter school" when what we have doesn't work and we don't have the money to help the kids now? Why do we constantly have to "one up the Joneses", per say? Yes, kids need alternate ways of learning, but cutting assistants, tutors & classroom items is not the answer! Cutting the frivolosities is the answer! Both of my kids flourished (are flourishing) in college. Why? Because the resources are there and their professors want them to do well and are available to them; because of small class sizes! There are so many things that need changed at Decatur, but like in government, there will never be a consensus on any one subject. Keep on chugging. I was always told that we are doing this so that next year...etc, etc.. and you know what?... my daughter graduated in 2003 and my son in 2009 so WHEN will Decatur "get there"? My kids never saw that help that was promised so long ago...mine aren't the only ones. So I agree that cutting teachers isn't the answer when they are doing the work of the teachers and assistants. Now, perhaps if each teacher were assigned an assistant, yep I'd sure agree to teacher cuts, but not for the work they do now!

Had Enough Indy? said...

There is a way to save teacher jobs and preserve the class size - sell excess property, especially the Southwest Pavilion (former Concentra Building), big cuts in Administrator numbers and salaries, and unfortunately, a 5% cut in teacher salaries. But, it can be done and Lynwood could stay open as an elementary school.

I find it hard to believe that even Stinson and Baer don't have solid numbers to share with the Teachers Union.

Anonymous said...

PARENTS!!DID YOU KNOW THAT J. BAER WANTS TO CUT BUS DRIVER WAGES 41% BY CUTTING HOURS FROM 7 A DAY TO 4HOURS A DAY?INSTEAD OF 3 ROUTES THEY WILL HAVE 2 ROUTES WHEN THEY CHANGE DILC TO GRADE SCHOOL. NOW TO DO THIS THEY ARE HIRING AT LEAST 10 NEW DRIVERS AND REQUIRING PRINTER, SECRETARY,AND MECHANICS TO HAVE PP CDLS SO THEY CAN ALSO DRIVE BUSES. THIS ALSO INCLUDES TRANSPORTATION DIRECTOR AND ASST. TO DRIVE. WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU AS PARENTS IS THAT THEY ARE SHUTTING DOWN PHONES IN THE AFTERNOON AND YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO REACH THE BUS GARAGE IF YOUR CHILD DIDN'T GET OFF OF THE BUS OR DIDN'T MAKE IT HOME FROM THE BUS STOP.NO ONE CAN CALL THE DRIVER ON RADIO TO SEE IF CHILD WAS ON THE BUS OR NOT. OF COURSE THERE WILL BE NO SECURITY ON DUTY BECAUSE THEY ARE DOING AWAY WITH SECURITY ON THE 3-11 SHIFT. DO YOU REALLY THINK THEY CARE ABOUT THE SAFETY OF YOUR CHILD OR THE SAFETY OF EMPLOYEES WHO ARE THERE UNTIL MIDNIGHT OR LATER.? {CONTINUED}

Anonymous said...

BACK TO BUSDRIVERS PAY. IN THE LAST 8-10 YEARS BUSDRIVERS HAVE WENT FROM 4 HRS A DAY TO 6 HOURS A DAY ,SOME 7 HRS AND NOW BACK TO 4 HOURS A DAY. THEY ARE DOING AWAY WITH EXTRA EVENING RUNS AND TRIPS SO NO WAY TO EARN EXTRA MONEY THERE. THEY ARE ALSO CUTTING THE 4:00 AND 5:00 RUNS TO TAKE YOUR CHILDREN HOME FROM STUDY TABLES AND EXTRA CURRICULAR. THE ONLY EXTRA RUNS WILL BE NORTH DISTRICT RUNS TO TAKE THESE CHILDREN HOME AFTER PRACTICES AND GAMES....THEY COULD PREVENT HIRING 10 NEW DRIVERS AND NEEDING MORE BUSES BY STAGGERING ELEMENTARY START TIMES SO SAME DRIVERS COULD RUN ALL RUNS WHICH WOULD PREVENT AT LEAST SOME DRIVERS FROM LOSING SO MUCH MONEY. DRIVERS DID NOT GET ANY RAISES LAST 2 YEARS SO THEY WERE REALLY FLABBERGASTED TO FIND OUT EVERYONE ELSE IN TWP GOT RAISES{ NOT SURE ABOUT CUSTODIAL STAFF}. DECATUR TWP.DRIVERS DO SO MUCH MORE THAN DRIVE AND KEEP YOUR CHILDREN SAFE. THEY LOVE AND COMFORT, WIPE NOSES, GIVE THEM MONEY WHEN THEY FORGET LUNCH MONEY, LISTEN TO THEIR PROBLEMS AND TREAT THEM AS THEIR OWN.THERE IS NO DOUBT WE WILL LOOSE EXPERIENCED DRIVERS BECAUSE THEY CANNOT LIVE ON THESE WAGES...HOW MUCH IS AN EXPERIENCED DRIVER WORTH WITH YOUR PRECIOUS CHILD ON BOARD. HOW MUCH WAS AN EXPERIENCED DRIVER WORTH ON THESE ROADS THEY WERE SENT OUT ON THIS YEAR?

Anonymous said...

You bus drivers are wonderful. Have they said how much money they are saving??? This is just typical of this administration.

Nicole said...

Why is everyone posting anonymously? If you have something to say use your name. I find it cowardly if you are going to voice an opinion but not be named to back it up.

Valerie Carter said...

Ok Nicole...I didn't realize I could do that without "creating an account", until you pointed it out. I'm new to this blog thing. No problem!

Had Enough Indy? said...

Nicole - There are some folks posting here who work for the District and to identify themselves would put their job in jeopardy. I don't think it cowardly for folks to leave their comments anonymously.

I am glad they have a way to tell the rest of us what is happening and what their views are.

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 11:22, 11:44 - thanks for bringing up the bus driver situation. I have been concerned that no information is being released on your jobs. Even Stinson's proposed plan doesn't really address transportation in any detail.

Have these changes been announced? Do you know if they will be voted on or if the Administration will just make the changes without the Board discussing it? It looks to me like a way to not only knock down your takehome pay, but also to remove any benefits because you will no longer have the required number of hours per week.

Any info would be appreciated.

I have to say, bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers, security -- these people are always taking cuts and being treated poorly in this District. Its not like your salaries are what put this District in this financial mess. Nonetheless, Stinson will protect the Administrators and mistreat all of you. IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Very well said! They always cut from the bottom up, but what good does that do? These people make the least and it takes alot more of them to layoff before making a dent in the monies we need to save! I can also understand letting one of the after school bus runs go but not both. That will have alot of middle and highschool kids walking the roads. So the first time a kid is killed because a car was not paying attention and the District gets sued, How much will that cost?

Anonymous said...

We did not get a raise this year....increment make but not for those at the top of the scale

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 6:32 -- I have made a mistake. The school board minutes on 7-10-07 show approval of a new contract that gave a 3.5% raise in 2007-2008 and a 4.5% raise in 2008-2009. I slipped the dates by mistake. I'll make an addition to the main entry so that it is there as well.

I apologize for the error and I thank you and another teacher for sending my back to my notes to double-check the information.

Anonymous said...

yes,
the bus drivers do alot for the students, BUT lets be real, some drive for only 4 or 5 hours but get paid for 7 hours of work, some only drive for 2 hours but are getting paid for 4 hours of work those are the contract drivers, now on the other hand there are about 16 sub-drivers who show up at the garage (just in case) and are paid for 4 hours of sitting in the lunch room. all garage staff should be able to drive a bus, if they can not then why are they working in a bus garage. MECHANICS TO HAVE PP CDLS I sure hope so, how can they test drive a bus after they work on it if they dont have PP CDLS.
DRIVERS DID NOT GET ANY RAISES LAST 2 YEARS SO THEY WERE REALLY FLABBERGASTED TO FIND OUT EVERYONE ELSE IN TWP GOT RAISES
that is wrong the sub drivers and the part time police/security officers last raise was in 1995,
I know things are really messed up in the township but lets make sure you/we are telling the truth

Anonymous said...

REPLY TO 8:00PM POSTING
THE TRUTH IS THAT DRIVERS WHO HAVE 2 HOUR RUNS AND GET PAID FOR 4 ARE NORTH DISTRICT DRIVERS AND THEY ARE REQUIRED TO TAKE ANY EARLY TRIPS THAT LEAVE BEFORE OTHER DRIVERS FINISH ROUTES.I DO NOT KNOW OF ANY DRIVER WHO DRIVES 5 HOURS AND GETS PAID FOR SEVEN. MOST 7 HOUR DRIVERS LEAVE AT OR BEFORE 6:00A.M. AND FINISH AROUND 9:30A.M IN MORNING AND LEAVE AT 1:30P.M. IN THE AFTERNOON AND GET BACK IN AT 4:30 OR 5:00 IN THE AFTERNOON. NOW THEY ARE ALSO REQUIRED TO PUMP THEIR OWN GAS, SWEEP THEIR BUS EVERY DAY,RUN THROUGH THE BUS WASH, WASH WINDOWS,MOP THEIR OWN FLOORS, EMPTY TRASH,SCRAPE GUM OFF OF FLOOR, CLEAN UP PUKE AND ANYTHING ELSE THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO KEEP BUS CLEAN AND WARM UP BUS IN MORNING AND COOL DOWN IN EVENING BEFORE SHUTTING OFF.THIS IS DONE IN THE EXTRA 15 TO 30 MINUTES THEY MAY HAVE LEFT. YES SOME HAVE A FEW MINUTES BETWEEN RUNS WHEN THEY GO TO RESTROOM OR GET A DRINK OR HAVE TO WAIT FOR KIDS TO BE RELEASED BUT THEY SURE CAN'T GO HOME DURING THIS TIME .I REALLY DON'T KNOW ABOUT PART-TIME SECURITY PAY RAISES BUT USUALLY SUBS GET A REGULAR ROUTE WITHIN 2 YEARS IF THEY WANT ONE AND THEN THEY GET CONTRACT DRIVER PAY SO NO SUB HAS WENT WITHOUT A RAISE SINCE 1995.THIS IS THE PAY YOU ACCEPT WHEN YOU DECIDE TO BE A SUB- DRIVER KNOWING YOU WILL SOON BE A CONTRACT DRIVER. MY POINT ABOUT OFFICE STAFF AND MECHANICS DRIVING WAS THAT NO ONE WOULD BE THERE TO ANSWER PHONES DURING CRITICAL HOURS THAT CHILDREN ARE GOING HOME SHOULD ONE OF THEM GET LOST OR KIDNAPPED A PARENT WOULD HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING IF THEIR CHILD WAS ON THE BUS OR NOT....TRY DRIVING WITH 65 KIDS BEHIND YOU TRYING TO KEEP THEM IN THEIR SEATS ANDKEEP THEM QUIET ENOUGH TO HEAR SIRENS AND KEEP YOUR MIND ON THE ROAD.NOW ADD ICE AND SNOW TO THE PROBLEM..ONE SMALL MISTAKE AND YOU CAN KILL OR INJURE MANY BABIES..... DON'T TELL ME BUS DRIVERS DON'T EARN EVERY DOLLAR THEY MAKE AND MORE!!!

Anonymous said...

WHY ARE WE STILL BUYING DIESEL BUSES?

Administration has known for at least 10 years that diesel fuel contains many cancer causing agents.They discussed adding some type of filters to cut down on fumes at one point but this was never done.Their new remedy to protect our children and busdrivers is to turn off buses when not moving which is no remedy at all. The children are still riding in these vehicles and inhaling fumes not to mention drivers inhaling them up to 7 hours a day or more. Drivers and children have to sit in cold buses while waiting for bus release in morning and afternoons. These vehicles take forever to heat up and cool down very fast. I don't suppose anyone will freeze to death during this amount of time but my point is " WHY ARE WE STILL BUYING DIESEL BUSES WHEN THEY CAUSE CANCER AND DIESEL FUEL COSTS MORE THAN GASOLINE A GALLON"

Anonymous said...

sorry I was only half awake last night, the last pair raise for sub drivers and part time police/security was in 2005, I lost 10 years some place again sorry people,
BUT
USUALLY SUBS GET A REGULAR ROUTE WITHIN 2 YEARS IF THEY WANT ONE AND THEN THEY GET CONTRACT DRIVER PAY
thats still up to two years getting paid as a sub driver just to show up at work
THEY ARE ALSO REQUIRED TO PUMP THEIR OWN GAS, SWEEP THEIR BUS EVERY DAY,RUN THROUGH THE BUS WASH, WASH WINDOWS,MOP THEIR OWN FLOORS, EMPTY TRASH,SCRAPE GUM OFF OF FLOOR, CLEAN UP PUKE AND ANYTHING ELSE THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO KEEP BUS CLEAN AND WARM UP BUS IN MORNING AND COOL DOWN IN EVENING BEFORE SHUTTING OFF
its your bus i should hope you take care of it and maybe the township could hire some one to sweep and pump fuel for you GEEEEE
again sorry about the 10 year lost between 1995 and 2005, it 2005 on the raise part

Anonymous said...

There are many enlightening post...the very long one about teachers is all true....as administrators get dinner and cake teachers are buying supplies and rewards for students. As administrators get very attractive retirement packages, teachers must work in the district for 20 years to be fully vested for their health care account. As administrators are paid for speaking about the small learning communities the teachers are doing all the work to make them "work". Teachers SHOULD NOT TAKE one penny pay cut so long as the administration continues to not give spread sheets with actual dollar amounts. Teachers feel there is not longer any trust with the administration. Everything is secret. The DEA union leaders were not included in any collaboration (see new mission statement on web site)about the needed cuts. Cut teacher jobs and then move forward, wait for current administrators to retire bring in a new person who promises to include the most important people,teachers, in to the process. This is the biggest mess I have ever seem but brought on by self serving administrators who obviously really don't care about the children of Decatur Township. The teachers will continue to work as hard as ever....they are for kids.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 9:34

I am the author of 9:42-9:43. I'm so sorry to hear about the struggles your kids have had. It confirms what I've often heard - that many slip through the cracks (or in some cases, are shoved down into the cracks) at the middle school and high school.

I am grateful that you, as a parent, are aware of the district constantly changing things - Keeping up with the Joneses as you aptly put it. It wastes money, time that technology staff could use to fully implement good programs, teacher planning/grading/setup time, staff meeting time, etc. We never have time to follow through with The Wheel 6.0 because we have to go to a meeting about The Wheel 7.0. It's probably in the top 3 frustrations of every teacher in the district.

It's very sad. The administration is pitting:
-young teachers against old teachers (retire and save my job)
-young teachers against all teachers (take a pay cut and save my job - who cares about your car payment?)
-all teachers against principals (take a cut so I don't have to, take a cut and save my job, who cares about your house payment? who cares that you don't have a union that fights for you?)
-teachers against support staff (you don't teach-what DO you do anyway?)
-taxpayers without children (I'm on a fixed income) against taxpayers with children (Would you like your nurse to be able to read the label on the medicine bottle?)

We should all be united for our children/students and united against anyone who gets in our way. But I doubt that's going to happen anytime soon. (sigh)

Anonymous said...

Are the percents for raises before or after the increase in health care costs to employees?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:08. VERY good question. Teachers got their raises before the increase in insurance. Administrators got their raises plus they got the $ for the increase in insurance. The administrators got a higher percent than teachers. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Anonymous said...

The school board voted to take $3 million from the teachers (in some combination of pay cuts, layoffs/retirees, and reduced benefits).

Seems only fair that the teachers get to take $3 million from the administration: pay cuts, reduced benefits, elimination of perks, eliminating redundant/unnecessary/ineffective staff, and ending funding of all district reinventions (no pun intended) of the wheel. (insert acronym of least effective district busy-work program here).

Anonymous said...

If they cut teacher positions, Stinson should teach band at leasts 4 hours/day, Sullivan should teach PE 4 hours/day, Baer should teach study hall 4 hours per day, Rather should teach construction trades 4 hours/day, and Adams should wash buses 4 hours per day. This might not be as good for education as buying them out.

Anonymous said...

"Why do we constantly have to one up the Joneses"



Coming from you......That's too funny.