Common Sense Solutions For Common Community Concerns
No it isn't!!! It is in the hands of overpaid school district employees and unions that want a raise at any cost. The school district officials, over the years have chosen to tie budget passage to our children's programs. For some reason, the amount of money appropriated for last year's program is never enough to cover this year's programs, even when NY State aid increased or remained the same. The school boards, in all their ignorance, have chosen to sign these ridiculous contracts that guarantee increases based on number of degrees, number of credits earned after a degree, regardless of whether it has any bearing on the position held by the educator. Getting two masters degrees will not make you a better elementary or high school teacher(and neither will three)!!! What these school boards need to do, if they really cared about our children, is to tie passage of the budget to whether school employees get raises, instead of threatening our children's school programs.
I agree with Anonymous. I'm tired of our school boards blaming Albany for all of our budget problems. Albany didn't mandate that our school boards agree to these ridiculous contracts over the years. Salaries make up approximately 60% of the total budget, and school boards have no one to blame but themselves for that part of the equation.As for pensions, which make up roughly 20% of the total budget, that will be an issue that hopefully gets addressed in November's election.In the meantime, our school boards need to learn the art of negotiation. If they don't know how to negotiate (which they've clearly shown so far), then they should find someone who does.
I think often the problem is not so much that school boards can't negotiate effectively, it's that they choose not to do. In my district for example, we have multiple school board members who are supported by and receive campaign contributions from the local teachers' union. Just as with the guys in Albany who get contributions from the CSEA and the like, it's pretty clear that union support is a quid pro quo for a generous contract.