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‘Mechanism’ is an option

April 28, 2013

Financially troubled cities and schools are breathing a sigh of relief after hearing state Gov. Andrew Cuomo say last week he is ready to join in the discussion to assist “distressed communities....

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(31)

Chuck392

Apr-28-13 9:06 AM

From what I know of school employee contracts, many end up in arbitration and the end result favors the union. The Board is helpless. Correct me if I'm mistaken.

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Truthteller

Apr-28-13 9:19 AM

Pretty loaded language there, Chuck ("helpless"?!) All the districts around here the past 2 years have come to the table with concessions on both sides. At this point, I believe all districts make staff pay into their health insurance, and increasing that is a concession teachers have made. Some districts have also enacted a pay freeze. And some have gotten extra time out of teachers. It boggles the mind that the same people who don't want universal health care--which would cut regular health costs, medicare, and medicaid alike--want to strip away teachers' salaries because of health care costs. There's something grossly hypocritical and unfair in that.

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commentor

Apr-28-13 10:00 AM

The amount paid is not even worth talking about. When they pay 50% let me know. Retirees that I know are paying 80%. On the other side if the state can find millions for a sports team I guess they are in school mode. The most important thing is sports. How about a control board for the State????

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Truthteller

Apr-28-13 12:00 PM

Commentor, you're vague. How much IS the amount paid? And 50% of what? Since single health insurance is about 15,000 now, you say retirees are paying 12,000, or more for family coverage? I doubt it. And "most people" are paying 7,500 or more? First of all, no. And secondly, that's what the exchanges on Obama's plan are designed to correct--affordable care for the uninsured. You will undoubtedly guffaw and pooh-pooh the notion of affordable, but it will be far better than those figures. Lastly, since teachers have it so good in every way, why aren't you one? And why isn't everyone else? Go for it.

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Captain

Apr-28-13 3:56 PM

It all boils down to affordability and whether or not property owners can keep sustaining such high public service costs, especially Public ED. Elected reps (councils, trustees, BOE members, etc) generally cave to public union demands, and when they don't and are overruled by PERB, census figures show residents have responded by moving out of state. Excessive taxes are definitely a relevant factor in why student enrollments have steadily declined, yet Public ED costs continue to rise every year.

Am I in favor of a state control board to do the job that local officials were elected, and vowed, to do? You bet I am.

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Truthteller

Apr-28-13 6:22 PM

Public unions have made huge concessions. Again, I have to ask a question to get beyond your unreasoning hostility--why don't you become a teacher? or a career that makes you one of the extremely wealthy, privileged royalty that inhabits these greedy public unions? When are you going to get your teaching certification? You militants talk about what a wonderful life of excess public union people have. Then do it! Why doesn't every one of your beloved taxpayers do just that? And really--you forget all the time that teachers and public workers pay plenty into the tax base too. I think you are just caught up in this insanity of privatizing everything. Great! Let's try it. We'll find out yet again that corporatizing everything reduces many aspects of quality of life--education, military service, and fresh water, for starters.

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concerned

Apr-28-13 6:50 PM

truth public union concession are a drop in a bucket compared to the losses in the private sector " you know the people who pay your wages and benefits"

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Captain

Apr-28-13 8:02 PM

TT's opinion will never change, but those who do understand what's happening are leaving (if possible). Times have changed dramatically, with private sector unemployment nearing record levels, but you hang in there TT. Adversarial attitudes such as yours, coupled with plenty of selfishness, has clearly contributed to WNY's steady destruction. I really do understand your denial; I bet it helps you sleep better at night.

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DKexpat

Apr-28-13 9:08 PM

Agree with Captain and concerned. Times have changed...and communities must adjust and live within their means.

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Truthteller

Apr-29-13 7:12 AM

Wow, amazing that you pegged me for a selfish S O B--and ASSUMED I'm a teacher--when none of you even know me. You must have gone to one great school to make you all so omniscient. But wrong. This issue is like the minimum wage. Decade after decade after decade, increases will ruin businesses. And teachers have been for decades told that their communities cannot afford them. And that they're greedy and selfish. These complaints are always proven wrong. The question is, can any community afford NOT to pay its teachers a wage that you all think is too high because steelworkers don't make that much, but is really, when you factor in the REAL hours and effort expended, the liabilities, the testing pressures, the discipline issues, and the issues of crime and poverty, etc. teachers deal with--not nearly enough money. AGAIN, I ask all of you--Why aren't you a teacher? Overpaid, underworked--you and the steelworkers should be flocking to the teaching profession.

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Truthteller

Apr-29-13 7:14 AM

Oh yes, and TT will never change his position. So HOW is it you know that?

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Truthteller

Apr-29-13 7:26 AM

The quirky thing about human beings is that our self-image as good people, reasonable people, open-minded people is distorted by our own love of self. Yet we are so eager to see others as not quite as good as us. THEY are opinionated, THEY have negative qualities. I, however, do NOT. I trust you all are good at changing your minds. You've implied you are. (And where's that bridge for sale!?) The difference between you and me is that I AM able to change my mind in the face of overwhelming evidence. You, however, will not even acknowledge the evidence. That is why you resort to hate and vague comments and insults.

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DKexpat

Apr-29-13 8:22 AM

Jes' wonderin' - - TT, are you in favor of doing away with tenure, i.e., letting one's annual performance review determine merit increases and/or continued employment?

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DarkStar

Apr-29-13 2:10 PM

Truthteller,

Wow, what a crock your spewing there my friend.

Teachers used to be paid poorly and were given great benifits, and tenure, to help make up for the low pay.

Back when the pay was low teaching was a calling because you went into it knowing you wouldn't get rich.

Now pay has gone up, and up and up and now many teachers base pay in Dunkirk is over $80,000, and some over $90k, and yet the benifits have only grown over time and are second to none.

Many, including Dunkirk and NY have always listened to the teacher's unions cry of "we need more money" and now we costs more then $36,666 for each student in the School system.

Think about that for a minute, the medium household income for Dunkirk is about $28k but it costs 25% more that that for every student. It even exceeds the median family income for the city which is about $35k.

And let's not overlook that this is all for 183 seven hour days a year, of which a teacher will only teach 2-3 hour a day.

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Truthteller

Apr-29-13 5:10 PM

I wonder if any of you know any teachers. If you did, you'd see things differently. You'd know that the hours you THINK teachers put in are not even close. You'd know that the annual review measures a lot of things--like data analysis--that aren't teaching. You'd know that many districts, including Syracuse, are basing teachers' employment on the opinions of students, K-12. You'd also know that citing the top of the pay scale, which is after about 20 years of service, is misleading. First of all, $80,000 "base" (which is all you get if you don't do coaching or extracurricular) is not outlandish for someone with expertise, experience, liabilities, and the expectation that the person solve all the ills of society. The percentage of people at that salary is very small, and this remains true because regular incentive offers save districts money by cleaning out the top. Most teachers are nowhere near $80,000. If you think that's too high, well, walk a mile...You'll sing a differe

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Truthteller

Apr-29-13 5:11 PM

And again and again and again--if it's so easy and the pay so good, why aren't you doing it? Why isn't everyone?

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Truthteller

Apr-29-13 5:16 PM

Let's try this on: you take away a living wage from teachers. People don't go into the profession because they realize they'll never be able to pay their rent/mortgage and basic expenses, including the student loans they have (and if you think you can go without loans when a UB STATE education is $20,000 a year, forget it. This isn't the 70's, folks). Education doesn't happen anymore. Get your guns ready. Put bars on your windows. Those who would be students are now without education and rudderless. There will be mayhem. But go for it because you've been saying it for decades and finally you got your wish: we can't afford teachers.

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DKexpat

Apr-29-13 6:08 PM

[repeating] Jes' wonderin' - - TT, are you in favor of doing away with tenure, i.e., letting one's annual performance review determine merit increases and/or continued employment?

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Captain

Apr-29-13 7:59 PM

The diatribe that TT offered is just as disturbing as the large number of educators who actually believe it's appropriate, even insufficient, to spend OVER $40 MILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR (in DK) to teach approx 2000 kids. This is part of the reason why the city is doomed.

And please get off the aggrandizing "holier than thou" assessment of teachers. I certainly value their services, but not anywhere near the level you do.

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Truthteller

Apr-29-13 9:14 PM

If tenure is eliminated, here's what happens: whenever a principal or superintendent leaves, re-locates, retires, lots of innocent teachers and aides are replaced with relatives and friends. Why kind of monster would advocate that? So no. APPR--what kind of jerk would support a system in which teachers are graded for test scores of students they don't teach and for students' opinions and for a measurement that is inconsistent from evaluator to evaluator and therefore not objective. So no.

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Truthteller

Apr-29-13 9:14 PM

So now answer my question: why aren't you all teachers?

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Truthteller

Apr-29-13 9:16 PM

Captain--hot air. Where's your evidence? Where's your examples? You don't know what you're talking about. You're just ****** off. No wonder you're not a teacher.

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DarkStar

Apr-30-13 7:10 AM

TT,

We are still waiting for you to list all the teachers fired from Dunkirk due to the scores of their students.

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DKexpat

Apr-30-13 8:51 AM

"If tenure is eliminated, here's what happens..." - - - Why am I not surprised by "we GOTTA keep tenure!"

That's one problem with the education system. (Just like the civil service system.)

If you show up for work, you're paid, regardless of whether or not you do you job, much less do it well.

That'd never fly in the private sector...

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PhilJulian

Apr-30-13 9:35 AM

There can be no question that our area could use some "adult supervision" and a control board would be well advised. Teachers are often blamed for our fiscal problems but who among us would turn down a raise or a great benefit package if it were offered? Maybe we should be asking if local sachool boards are doing their job or are they simply filling a chair because no one else wanted to run for the thankless position. Maybe we should be putting more of the blame on the public employee relations board for their lopsided judgements. Maybe we should simply admit that the system as it exists is simply not working and should be replaced with a system where the state assumes all financial responsibility for the operation of local school districts. Take the burden off the local homeowners and place it on the state where they have huge revenues from sales taxes and income taxes.

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