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Funds, staff keep shrinking

May 19, 2013

For some, it was an unsettling tone....

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May-19-13 7:30 AM

If they want music so badly give up the fat salary and benefits. Over 100k per teacher to teach how many music students? How can you be so bold as to ask to keep this program? What planet do you live on to think taxpayers should support this outrageous program? Teachers and administrators are destroying education with their greed. Let's hear it again...."it's for the children" Really??????

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May-19-13 8:24 AM

$386,000 for salaries and benefits. Gee,I wonder where the problem is. We are the victims of our own greed and stupidity and our kids are paying the price.

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May-19-13 9:07 AM

Let's keep some perspective here. Ripley's budget goes down 4% with the shift to Chautauqua Lake. For someone paying $2,000 in school taxes, that's $80 a year or $7 a month. How many teachers will be let go? Six? Eight? Twelve? My point is that even with drastic change, the price doesn't drop a whole lot. I wish it did as mergers would be happening left and right. But they aren't, and they aren't nationwide. Why? It doesn't have the positive financial impact that many seem to think will appear. That said, we'll see mergers happen slowly, just out of necessity to keep operating. Will we see big (50% or more) savings? Not likely.

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May-19-13 9:49 AM

remember the official line is that NY is open for business ! really, where ? All I see is decline. It is a shadow of what it used to be. remember teachers are not greedy, the taxpayer is when they start complaining.386,000 for 3 teachers ? we need cronig to say how cheap that is. The parochial schools operate on a cheaper pay level and even they are in trouble due to declining population. I cant wait to see what is left in 10 yeras. It will be next to nothing, no kids, just aging, dying people. A democratic success story for sure.

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May-19-13 10:21 AM

Well said Observer. I've been throwing this out for quite a while now. These School Districts just seem to want want want and have no clue about reality. It's hard to imagine they are so detached from the real world. CVCS is a District that just shut down a School & laid off a bunch of people. Right before that vote they gave their highest paid employees (Administrators) a 3% raise. Three percent when you are shutting down and laying lower level people off? The 3% went to people making $140,000/Yr +. They obviously have no clue or simply don't care up there.

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May-19-13 10:52 AM

Consolidation won't make one bit of difference if spending isn't changed. Chautauqua Lake is proof positive of that. All they are doing is making non affordable schools bigger. Like it or not you need to break teacher's unions. Oh how dare I suggest such a thing. The costs killing education are administrative and teacher salaries and benefits. Until they are under control nothing will change. The only thing that will happen is schools will go bankrupt.

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May-19-13 3:15 PM

Chuck -- your analytical approach to the issue is spot on...every one wants to demonize salary costs, etc, but when you come down to it -- $7 on a per taxpayer basis??? -- the amount isn't nickle-and-diming, its red-herring nano-microscopic.

But of course, why let a little math get in the way of the cost-clueless' ignorant ideology??? I can hear the church lady gaggle honking and crapping all over the place....

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May-19-13 4:27 PM

Save this story as it will be repearted. As they said on DRAGNET " only the names will change.........."

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May-19-13 8:14 PM

dcron the over paid teacher found a friend!

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May-19-13 10:32 PM

First of all, let's start by saying that this is the most uninformed "opinion" these morons at the Observer has ever written. Let's talk about what the real problem is in school districts, the SPORTS programs. Its funny how nobody ever talks about how much money is ****** away by district providing the students these NON MANDATED activities. The Observer should do it due diligence and find out exactly how much money schools spend on their sports and I can say, as an educator of over 12 years, that it is MUCH more than the salary of 3 teachers. Music is a STATE MANDATED subject, whether the people posting on this blog like it or not. If you did your research, as a "credible" news source, you would have easily found that. NO WHERE does the state mandate sports in schools. Sports are EXTRA CURRICULAR and since most schools spend millions on coaches, equipment, transportation, etc. it should be the first thing on the chopping block, not hard working educators.

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May-19-13 10:34 PM

Dcronlg always has input.....especially when it doesn't directly concern her. More blah blah blah. Atypical ideology from a wannabe tea partier. Most obsequious poster on this site lolol.

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May-19-13 10:41 PM

Don't try to shift the focus "MUSICadvocate". Sports or music.....enough $$$ is enough. $386,000 is wayyyy overboard. If I read this correct they will still have 2 with the position cut. Two Teachers making a ton more money than I could ever hope to make. And I should worry and be concerned about this? Are you slow? No thank you genius. If I lived up that way I would rather keep the small amount of tax money for my family instead of giving those teachers more. You people just shut down a school and laid a bunch of people off. People who lost their jobs and you want to spend more for "music"? Are you serious? WOW get a clue "advocate". LOL.

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May-20-13 8:22 AM

Mr. Bear, you are the one who obviously has no clue about how schools work or what is involved with funding, staffing (state mandated/non mandated), and other factors that contribute to a tax hike in a school....So until you do your homework and can intelligently defend your position, do us all a favor and shut the*****up...

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May-20-13 8:40 AM


Wow, your a nasty piece of work aren't you?

Should sports be looked at? Sure they should, but that doesn't negate the fact that the 3 teachers in question have an avergage salary of just under $92,000 a year, and of course that doesn't include the roughly $37,000 in benifits for each of them.

Oh and all this for 185 7 hour work days a year, during which they might have as many as 3 or 4 classes a day for a total classroom time of 2-3 hours a day.

Teaching music to kids is a good idea, but unfortunately it appears the teachers and their union are trying to make these programs to expensive to continue.

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May-20-13 10:01 AM

The thing I don’t understand about NYS and – especially – rural school districts with both declining enrollment AND a shrinking tax base is why anyone (union or not) receives automatic +/- 3% annual raises, with corresponding increases in benefits accruing additional costs to the districts.

Yes, taxpayers must pay for schools and services, but instead of living within their means, too many communities come back to the taxpayers time and time again instead of prudently managing costs.

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May-20-13 10:10 AM


The reason is actually the reason I opposed public workers being able to unionize and that is because taxpayers have no choice in the matter.

I was looking over the Fredonia Schools proposed budget yesterday, and if you voters vote down on the budget of just under $29 million the board can put a contingency budget in place that is only about $340,000 less, which is a bad joke, and taxpayers will have to pay under force of law.

If you don't like the way Ford operates you can choose not to buy thier products and support the company, but when it's government you have no choice, and that is the difference that should disallow government workers unions.

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May-20-13 10:13 AM

DarkStar, Your statement that its a lot of money to be paying a teacher for only working 185 7 hours days with only 2-3 hours of class time in each day shows me how out of touch you are with how a music teacher works. Being a music educator myself, I wish I only worked 185 days for 7 hours like all the "core" subject areas, but music teachers work year round and pull 12 - 17 hour days doing marching band, jazz ensemble, All counties, weekend/night rehearsals etc. All to benefit YOUR child. Music teachers come in early to setup and stay late. Most of us don't even get a moment to sit down for lunch on a daily basis. Working 9 class periods over the span of 8 class period. We work outside the contract and pay for equipment, music etc. out of our own pockets again to benefit YOUR kids. And just to clarify, all 3 music teachers at CVCS have 30 years or more of experience entitling them to their salaries. This is a small price to pay for dealing with the students/parents of today

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May-20-13 10:30 AM

Did you SERIOUSLY just say you are "Entitled" to that salary? Now who's out of touch? I think we have a winner here folks! Entitlement mentality at it's finest. This is a prime example of the problem with these schools and their budgets. The Teachers and their Unions actually feel they are "Entitled" to large salaries simply because they have put in the time. Your seriously trying to defend that? LOL

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May-20-13 1:57 PM

There's a recent article in Business Week about the New Haven (CT) school district, where the union, superintendent and mayor “got on the same page” in 2011 and agreed teacher evaluations would replace tenure and that the union would not contest firings of teachers deemed substandard.

Those who receive superior evaluations are rewarded with things like lighter class loads; those who are rated poorly received career coaching, and if no improvement, are fired.

The district’s concession was that principals be judged by similar standards. (I think over 60 teachers and 7 principals have so far been shown the door.)

The graduation rate and test scores are both up over the past couple of years. In December, the union president ran unopposed and was reelected by the teachers union.

Dunkirk in a national publication - - The same issue has an article asking where all the jobs went. It begins with “Joey Griffiths grew up in the western New York town of Dunkirk and left home at 17."

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May-20-13 4:18 PM

By 2020 India will be graduating four times as many college graduates as the United States - - and India already graduates as many computer science/engineering students per year as the entire US college graduating class for ALL majors. By 2030, China will have 200 million college graduates — more than the entire U.S. workforce.

Visa restrictions are coming down – at the behest and lobbying of large corporations (like mine, in fact) – so that more foreign graduates can work or stay in the US after grad school. Earlier today, I walked over to our IT area to talk to some folks about a data storage and streaming problem - - and I’d wager 80% of them – all with at least one MS – weren’t born here.

As much as I enjoy music, that’s what we need to prepare our kids to compete against when they enter the workforce. How about more STEM courses instead?

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May-20-13 5:08 PM

CassadagaHiker - Just an FYI, teacher's in NYS are REQUIRED by law to earned a Master's Degree just to step foot in a classroom. Now I am assuming because you fail to see the fact that getting said degree puts many teachers into debt, that you yourself don't have a Master's Degree or can fully understand how one would pay back loans in order to teach in this god forsaken state. So I'll make this plain for your logic then, doctors who earn doctoral degree shouldn't get paid their ridiculous salaries either. Neither should our elected leaders then. I guess getting a good college education in order to get a good paying job, isn't the American Dream.....

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May-20-13 8:04 PM

Dark Star, it's not that simple. There are so many corporations under one umbrella, you can't really tell who owns what product or company. You couldn't boycott if you wanted to. You may think you're boycotting Nestle only to find out they're owned by someone you're NOT boycotting (just an example). Bottom line is, some of you will just hate teachers no matter what, blissful in your ignorance of what you're even ASKING of teachers, because it's "tax money" and "I have no choice." Why don't you direct your anger toward the real greedy people--CEO's whose gap between them and workers grows bigger, bigger, bigger, bigger...Blame GE and their ilk for getting a free, tax-less ride.

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May-20-13 8:07 PM

Do you know anything about opportunity cost? If you did, you'd be more worried about NOT paying teachers a decent salary for the work they do and the education required. You'd be worried because nobody in their right mind would teach for what you would pay. And don't even say "merit pay" when one teacher has students who DON'T have to pass a standardized test and another has students who do. And stop this ridiculous 5 hours a day...etc., baloney. You are clueless. Utterly without awareness. And just plain mean and nasty.

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May-20-13 9:47 PM

You're correct Music....I do not have my Masters as I only needed a four year for my career. However, quite a few of my friends work in careers where they had to obtain their Masters and they certainly don't pull in what you do Joe. Perhaps move to a different State besides this "god forsaken one" you seem to dislike. Perhaps you have reached the burnout stage in your career (sounds like it). Maybe you should head out to pasture and let someone in who WANTS the job? People are not "Entitled" to a salary because they have put in the time on the job like you said...pure and simple enough for you? Maybe retire and volunteer for the church choir director? Not going to get that $100,000 salary but not everything is about money is it? ;)

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May-20-13 10:28 PM

I have a choice not to buy a Ford or Chevy if I think it's been built by lackadaisical workers who, basically, have jobs for life plus a pension.

I do not have that choice for schools unless I want to pay for private tuition on top of my school taxes.

Would teachers here be in favor doing away with tenure in exchange for more money? Of being "graded themselves" just like most salaried employees in the private sector? Or, given longevity these days, exchange their pensions for more money when accuaries say a NYS teacher pension is the equivalent of a $1.2 million annuity?

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