Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Governor’s New Plan, Part II

As more detail of Governor Strickland's new school funding plan comes to light, it's becoming clear how significantly different it is from the current funding system.

The full set of documents of his proposed 2010-2011 budget can be found here, at the website of the Office of Management and Budget. I've skimmed the various documents, and have to admit being confused about what all of this will mean for our school district.

Yesterday, the Columbus Dispatch published an article on the new school funding plan, including a table showing the projected funding changes for central Ohio districts. The punch line is that they see us getting just shy of $700,000 more in 2010, and another $2.6 million more in 2011. I don't know at this point whether that $2.6 million is a one-time spike, or that our funding will be permanently raised by that amount.

While $2.6 million/yr is a nice chunk of money, we have to remember that the operations budget for our school district for 2011 is $170 million, so it represents only 1.5% of our annual budget. I imagine that these numbers are a little disappointing to our school leaders, who were no doubt hoping for much more. Meanwhile, our cost of personnel (salaries + benefits) will increase $8.2 million from 2009 to 2010, and $8.4 million more in 2011.

After spending several years gaining an understanding of the current funding system, this is going to be like starting over. Right now, things sound pretty complicated, but I suspect that more comes to light the core concepts will become clearer, and our ability to model future state funding trends will improve.

One of the more technical aspects of this plan is the so-called 'Conversion Levy,' and I will admit that for right now, the details overwhelm me. The purpose of these levies is to allow a school district to neutralize the Ohio law commonly referred to as HB920, which causes the dollar amount collected by a levy on a piece of property to be kept constant even as property appraisals rise. For example, the 6.9 mill permanent operating levy we just passed caused our property taxes to increase $210 for each $100,000 in valuation. With the HB920 protections, if your property is reappraised at $120,000, your tax remains $210.

It has been the custom of our school district to fund operations with permanent operating levies. This just means that once the levy is passed, it stays on the books forever (or until rescinded by public vote). We have a pile of such levies in force, each one generating a piece of our total local funding amount.

As I understand it, we have a window of a few years during which we can pass a Conversion Levy, which allows us to replace all but 20 mills worth of these permanent levies with what amounts to Emergency levies, which do have an expiration date. By doing that, we engage other aspects of Ohio taxation law which allows the tax collected to rise with property values.

If that's true, then all indications are that our current School Board will be in support of going the route of a Conversion Levy. After all, this is the Board which supported the Getting It Right for Ohio's Future amendment, of which a key concept was the repeal of HB920.

But it may also be true that we would be exchanging permanent levies for levies which expire. That means that every once in a while, we'll have to vote on not just additional taxes, but whether or not to renew taxes already being collected. New Albany/Plain Local had this situation in 2008, when one single temporary levy of about 25 mills representing half of their funding came up for vote. Had that levy not passed, it would have gutted their school district. While there is something to be said for having the public reaffirm their support of the schools on a regular basis, that much exposure seems to be a bad idea. It would be better to have a portfolio of temporary levies which expire at various dates stretched out into the future (analogous to a 'CD ladder'), so that if the public decides to dial back local funding by choosing not to renew a temporary levy, it could be done in small chunks.

This is the time when the Board could use the help of a community Strategic Planning Team. We need to do some modeling of what various scenarios might look like: with and without a conversion levy; with and without a couple thousand new homes and new kids; with and without growth in property values; with various rate of increase of salaries and benefits. There are probably a handful of variables we need to play with. You can't just do this by the seat of the pants – you have to run the numbers and see how they come out.

Then the alternatives need to be brought to the public for discussion. While I am personally opposed to the concept of removing the HB920 protections, I'll have to see the numbers to make my final decision. I think many in the community feel the same way. This is no time for a "do you love your kids" debate.

But if we keep to our pattern of poor communications from the school leadership, and a public which largely doesn't have any interest in trying to understand and evaluate this stuff, we'll find ourselves on some Election Day in the near future voting on a conversion levy that will change things radically if passed, without a clue what those changes will be. The effects will surprise us, and then the complaining will begin.

Meanwhile, we need to understand that the Governor's proposal is just that. There is still a good deal of politicking to be done before anything gets enacted into law, and the tweaks may or may not affect us. I'll keep posting new information and analysis as I understand more. Meanwhile, if you have any insights into what all this means to Hilliard City Schools, please post a comment, or send me an email. The only thing I ask is that you are clear which things are fact (reference links are good), versus opinion. Both are valid, we just need to know which is which.


  1. I'm much less concerned about whether Hilliard wins or loses under the Governor's plan than whether this will concentrate more power in the Statehouse and less at the local level (see the principle of subsidiarity.)

  2. I agree.

    My preference is that we go all the to the individual level, perhaps with an approach like this.


  3. Paul:

    The Governor's plan will be phased in over 4 or 5 biennial budgets. When it is fully phased in, Hilliard's allocation can be found here:


    It works out to around 18 million dollars or, more correctly, would be 18 million dollars next year if all provisions of the plan were in place.

    Of course, one can argue the validity of solving a systemic problem with one time money, but the legislature will have plenty of time for that discussion.

    In the meantime, Eire has hit a key point in this discussion. With the money comes the mandates (all day Kindergarten to high school class sizes and everything in between). Local control, already a myth for the most part, might suffer the biggest hit.

  4. Thanks Marc. Those are some interesting numbers indeed. Do you know if anyone has laid out the actual "SF-3"-like calculation for the proposed system?


  5. Paul:

    I called the Office of Budget and Management and asked that exact question. Clearly, the formulua exists or they couldn't have done the calculation. They told me it will be included in the legislation to be introduced next week. I may get a preview.

    It is a completely different formula, which is why the 23 mill to 20 mill chargeoff is unimportant, at least until you answer the question - chargeoff from what?

    The formula itself appears to be child based which makes sense, and calculates the number of teachers you need based on the number of kids you have with state recommended (mandated?) class sizes. There is an extra $25 for gifted services, money for principals and other administrators and so forth. The devil is in the details and the details are in the formula.

  6. All you need to know about the plan can be summed up by the fact that the OEA and the Ohio Coalition for school funding praised Strickland's proposal.

    Good legislation makes all sides uncomfortable. This doesn't. The taxpayers will continue to get the shaft while the union gets the goldmine.

    There is no way genuine education reform, let alone belt-tightening, can occur with the school teachers union's applause.

  7. The school funding proposal again shifts the tax burden increase to the individual tax payer. Under this program, heavily supported by the
    OEA and its members, residential taxes will increase with appropriate home value, versus the business
    assessment that will not go up.

    Of course to many of you this is just being cynical.

    Given the economic environment I
    can see why our employee groups are not outraged and dont feel the effects of this recession with
    7% increases coming in. Now with the added proposals, all day kindergarten, extended days, more teaching days, will the HEA not ask for additional compensation

    In the private sector we have had our workloads added on to significantly with pay freezes and pay cuts. We dont get snow days
    holidays off .

    It would appear the increases in contribution will continue to come from the individual homeowner

  8. How many of you worked 20 days in your profession, or former profession, without being paid? I imagine the answer is ZERO.

  9. Anon. I think you are unaware if you are in the education area of what is going on in the private sector.

    Personnally I have taken a pay cut in the last two years along with no increase for this year and probably the next. Also we have in the private sector huge medical contributions that the HEA does not have, and am confident that very few have received 7% raises.

    Also in the mix are working holidays that in the past you had off. Elimination of MLK, Presidents Day, Day after Thanksgiving., loss of personal days.

    All of us are asked to do more, and the compensation module does not increase.

    When the contract, time off, medical contribution become a bit more reasonable in the schools I will be more than supportive in other adjustments needed.

    Many of us dont have the ability
    to "work to the contract" and have it affect adversly the product it is supposed to be supporting !

  10. ... and you would be wrong.

    Throughout my career, the only constant was that I was expected to complete my assignment in exchange for my next paycheck. Nothing past that was guaranteed. I worked plenty of Saturdays, came in early, left late, brought work home, and took work on vacations.

    What I got paid had nothing to do with my years of service, my educational credentials or even how hard I worked. It was simply "did I get the job done." There were some suck years. And there were many very good years. That's a big part of why I stayed.

    Should teachers get a bump for extra 20 days? Probably. How much? To be negotiated.

    But isn't the question this: "will the kids benefit from it?"

    Why didn't you ask that question?

    Why didn't you say "if your kids got 11% more educational value in a school year, wouldn't you be willing to pay for it?"

    It's because your first concern isn't the kids. It's the paycheck.

    Will each and every teacher sit down with their lesson plans and rework them to put more content in the extra 20 days? Or will there be a purposeful effort to use the extra time to give more depth to the subject matter?

    I don't know the right answer - I'm not an educator. But there has to be commensurate value delivered in the extra time, or it won't be worth paying for.


  11. Anon - most professional positions require you to "get the job done" in order to keep your job, so I have to agree with Paul's response. Not trying to be insulting in any way but your post
    reminds me of the "work to the contract" mentality during the last contract negotiations. At the same time I am not naive enough to think that we can ask teachers to work an additional 20 days without being compensated in some way. My problem is that I don't see what the extra 20 days are supposed to accomplish - if kids are not learning in 180 days, what difference is 200 days going to make? My daughter dropped a HS class this semester because the lesson plan involved 8 in-class movies - is that what we are paying for - a babysitter at the movies? Make the current 180 days
    more focused because I almost hate to see what will occur in the classrooms with those additional 20 days.
    I'm glad to see the governor addressing the deficiencies in education but do not believe his plan truly addresses the "funding problem" in any positive way, at least not for the HCSD. And that is about what I expected - we are still going to be forced to learn how to do more with less. That is our challenge.

  12. Paul, pretty much covers it and well said.

    The compensation module which I have talked about all along, but criticized as being cynical, hurting our kids etc is going to skyrocket.
    Hidden behind the cuttingthe busing,
    theatre, sports, program campaign, is that we are going to see the same rate of increases in the future contracts as we have now, perhaps more. Those in favor of
    these skyrocketing costs, as it is for the kids, havent brought forth any suggestions on how the individual homeowner, taxpayer is going to have the financial resources to pay for these huge increases.

    When the HEA and its membership come out publicly to renounce this working to the contract stuff then many of us will be convinced that is really about the kids and not about the increase and the great medical program.

    In the meantime how many seniors will be affected this year on their scholarship and award needs paperwork wise and needing the proper back up from the schools and its employees? More loans versus awards and scholarhips. ?

    So if 20 days are added which is
    about 10% in days so are what we hearing is the district entities want a 10% raise. Just where is that money coming from ?

    If anyone feels the state will fund any of this on an on going permanent basis then you should consider a drug screening.

  13. Its enough to make your head swim. Thanks for making it less complicated.

  14. I got the first school district "glossy brochure" since the last levy in the mail on Friday. Call me cynical but to me that is the first signal that they are starting to position for a levy in early 2010. I will vote for no incumbents to the board in the fall.

  15. Rick,

    When I was in fifth grade I swore that Mrs. Dougherty at Avery Elementary spent nights and weekends in the closet at school, coming out only in the mornings to teach us. That was until I saw her in a restaurant with her family, which REALLY threw me for a loop. I was afraid to talk to her, I didn't know what she was doing outside of school.

    In reality, teachers don't live in closets, and they DO get what is happening in the real world.

    -They read the paper, watch the news

    -Many are married to people in the private sector they are assumed to not understand. Those spouses have taken pay cuts/freezes, or have been laid off, just like you

    -Many have children in the private sector; see above...

    You time and time and time again make inaccurate and insulting comments about the hard working teachers of our school district, and it makes you look foolish. You cannot generalize over a thousand teachers based on the actions of a few.

    I will now make a short list of exemplary members of the private sector:
    -Bernard Madoff (Ponzi Master)
    -Bernard Ebbers (World Com)
    -Jeffrey Skilling (Enron)
    -John Thain (Merrill Lynch)

    Should I hold YOU responsible for their actions? If I do, then you must be a real creep, Rick. That ponzi scheme you allowed to occur is terrible. And HOW COULD YOU let John Thain put a $35,000 toilet in his office. Terrible...

    I would MUCH rather be associated with teachers than with those bozos. These teachers have committed no crimes or fraud.

    I find your arguments commendable, and would be tempted to agree with them if your tact wasn't so insulting, offensive, juvenile, and tasteless.

    Sorry for the rant, I'm going to head back to my closet now, I've got school in the morning.

  16. I have actually had a conversation with Bernie Ebbers, back when Worldcom bought CompuServe and Bernie was my boss's boss. And I do believe he knew exactly what was going on as far as cooking the books.

    But folks forget that he didn't own a controlling interesting the company. He was an employee and a minority shareholder, and his compensation was set by the Board of Directors, who were supposed to represent the shareholders.

    But in reality, the Board gave Bernie everything he asked for, because he was making all the investors a lot of money. When Bernie drove pricing down to the point that no one in the telecom industry was making money, things got ugly. Remember, AT&T, MCI and Sprint got sucked into his vortex as well. In fact, both MCI (which was bought by Worldcom), and AT&T ceased to exist (what we know as AT&T today is really SBC, who decided to take the AT&T name after buying them out).

    Bernie and Scott Sullivan resorted to some extremely aggressive accounting to try to buy some time. It turns out that what they did was judged to be illegal, even though they had the approval of their auditing firm, Arthur Anderson (and I tend to agree with their logic by the way). Of course Arthur Anderson told Enron what they were doing was okay too. Same problem, AA was making so much money off Enron and Worldcom that they didn't want to tell these folks they couldn't do what they wanted, and risk losing the account. Instead they lost their whole firm, and thousands lost their jobs.

    I don't have a problem with the teachers' unions driving a hard bargain, as long as they leave the kids off the battlefield.

    But I do insist that the School Board come to the table equally motivated to drive a hard bargin, including a plan for what to do if a strike is called. One of these days, that bluff may have to be called. There can't be only one side with nuclear weapons, or the other side will get bullied every time.

    It's a lot like the Cold War. We fought the Soviets for 40 years without ever launching the nukes. Lots of pushing and shoving, and occasional skirmishes under the guise of being 'advisors' to little countries around the world.

    The Cold War ended not because one side or the other had superior weapons. The exposure I had to the military taught me that it was not clear that in a conventional war, we might be the sure winner. The Soviets had good equipment and good troops. It would have been incredibly violent and bloody. In fact, we might have had to use nukes first to prevent being overrun.

    But here's the lesson - the Soviets didn't fold because we beat them on the battlefield. It was because we outspent them. The Soviet economy could not support the enormous sustained investment in weapons and a standing military. Our military is magnificent, but we beat them with capitalism.

    I fear that the relationship between the teachers' unions and the community is taking on some aspects of the Cold War. Skirmishes occur, but the main battle hasn't happened yet because the Board keeps capitulating. I think the union doesn't understand that it's putting an economic burden on the community which is unsustainable.

    And that could force us to use the nukes. Negotiations come to an impasse, and the teachers take a strike vote. The Board says go ahead if you dare.

    We are left with a scorched earth school system, and the primary casualities are both the kids and the teachers - not the leaders who let things get out of hand.

    Both sides need to develop a sense of empathy for the other. Right now, that seems to be lacking. It can be fixed only with honest, open communications and the development of trust. We can't just keep on doing business as usual.

    I'm not sure the current leadership is up to the task...

  17. Paul,

    As usual, you speak from a position of thoughtfulness. I don't disagree with what you say, other than the part that the union doesn't understand the hardship. Well, I agree with that, but only if your definition of "the union" does not include average teachers not involved with the day to day operation of the HEA.

    My post to Rick was to highlight his unfair attacks and accusations on teachers, not to disagree on any of his philosophical positions. All of those people mentioned do not represent the private sector as a whole, and neither do the big wigs in HEA.

  18. My criticism has always been directed at the leadership of the district and the union, not the rank & file teachers.

    But the teachers and the general public are guilty of the same thing - not holding their leaders accountable. The same problem that let the management of Worldcom and Enron get out of control.

    Just as there are a very small set of people who can push the button to launch an exchange of nuclear weapons, there are just a dozen or so people who hold control of the economic buttons of our district.

    We need to deliberately choose whether we want them to be the leaders going forward.

    I think it's time for a change.

  19. Musicman

    Perhaps when we get better answers to our questions, or any answers for that matter things can easily change for the better. The working to the contract issue was engaged by many, not just a few.
    The contract was narrowly passed not by a vast majority as noted here before. All one can reasonably say is that obviously the economic challenges dont affect those dramatically who just received a huge contract increase for consecutive years. Sorry if you disagree. A 50.00 per month premium is vastly different than a
    55.00 per week payment. A 7% raise is vastly different than a pay cut or freeze. Time off for various holidays, snow days, spring breaks, winter break, summer break is vastly different.
    Are increases and benefits necessary .......yes ! We just supported and voted for another levy. The community as well as probably everyone on this blog have done so. We arent the ones who started " you are hurting the kids" "a blantant you dont get it from Union leadership"
    to the community. Fact, reality
    so deal with it.
    This all the while a potential strike ( actual feedback from board members ) for minimal contributions to medical, offset
    by 7% increases.

    I dont think anyone on this board
    has not gone along with the program and supported the teachers
    You are disingenous to suggest that, and even question our support for the teachers our children have had. I will be glad to introduce you to any number of them, including principals.

    Proposals made by well meaning,and professional people like Paul have been met with...................
    Some of us started being involved years ago, asked those early questions about tax shifts. What we got then as we do now, cynical
    dont understand, etc. from the district and its employees. They had a nice laugh just over 6 years ago. Some of us who actually took
    the risk to speak up then are not laughing now. We would have been better off not getting involved.

    Have you spoken up in support of an adjustment in spending publicly.
    Have you asked in public forums tough questions to your state elected officials, school board, citizens to ask about tax shifts,
    unfunded mandates, contract challenges.?

    With the Governors new school funding proposal, supported by
    your union organization, when approved, the tax shift will continue as increases in property and business value will be seperated. Business tax will stay the same, and the homeowner will see graduated increases in their taxes, without a vote of the people. We have so many taxes that are allready raised without our votes. If we lose local control of our schools we might as well go the charter school route which I am not in favor of.

    I will gladly take responsibilty for Bernie and the Boys. I have had no direct contact with them
    but my work experiences are that you band together and work as a team to get things done, and you
    band together to make things right and insure everyone in your organization is on board. It is called teamwork,

    Given circumstances, again, please tell us where all this increase in cost is going to come from. If 90% of cost is tied to personnel why can we just get after this
    RIGHT NOW, TODAY , get a plan NOW to address our spending. Make an effort now to resolve this with reductions in increases not cuts.

    Musicman, you asked about the cuts
    that were not reinstated at middle school level, and we had Mark report on the theatre progrma.
    Should we have voted for an even higher levy at a time when things are challenging. Minimally a .5
    percent adjustment from 7%to 6.5% could have saved these programs
    Whether it is a paradigm or not, perception is everything. The unwillingness to make even a small adjustment and place the entire burdern on the community is crystal clear.

    I think you should remember that as an individual citizen, we have one vote, and NO financialcontribution clout with our elected office holders. Your union whether it be OEA, NEA local contributions by HEA have significantimpact by the campaign dollars they influence toward office holders and school board members. Most of the curreent board was supported by the HEA

    Mark and Paul have made a valiant effort along with the members of their group to again try and make a difference. Does the HEA and your colleagues support real dialogue and simple adjustments.

    Your comments about not caring about the teachers, district, being insulting does not wash with our involvement within the schools and the consistent financial support through passage of significant levies.

    Adjustments have to occur across the board, not just from the same party all the time.

  20. The problem with unions is that they often do not look at what is best for the "company" in the long term, only what they can get for their members right now. I suppose the same thing could be said of some of the CEO's mentioned. The difference, though is that poor short term decisions eventually lead to plant closings and the loss of jobs in the private sector, where in the educational sector, it results in repeated levy request for more money. The taxpayers can't go the route of "we'll build it cheaper somewhere else". Therefore the individual teachers must hold themselves responsible to the taxpayers, not the union. And the last vote did not indicate to me that they get that, at least not the 40-some percent who voted against the contract offer, unlike the Firefighters union in Columbus who voted to forgo raises of any size in order to keep their current level of service and staffing. Seems quite the paradox.

  21. Paul,

    Another NY Times piece contained this interesting line:

    "It is entirely possible that when businesspeople sitting on school boards all over America begin comparing teachers’ pensions with their own depleted 401(k)’s there will be a backlash at the negotiating table."

    Link here:


  22. Both sides need to develop a sense of empathy for the other.

    It's very difficult to be emphatic given that tax levies have passed six times in 10 years while at the same time teacher pay has drifted upward at a rate much higher than my own pay has.

    It seems like the taxpayer has been far too emphatic for far too long, though I could be wrong.

  23. Rick,

    You mistake my call for civility and decorum for blanket agreement with all things union. I urge you to read my posts, instead of just assuming my position based on my employment as a teacher.

    I agree with you on most things, Rick! I'm not a fan of unions, Rick! I HAVE stood up to the union in my district, Rick! I DO believe the HCSD has given us a raw deal, Rick! I AGREE WITH YOU!

    I also think that "rank and file teachers", as Paul calls them, deserve a little more respect than you give them. Not as professionals, but as people. You paint a picture of greedy selfish teachers, and that is patently untrue.

    I am not disagreeing with your opinion in this case, I am disagreeing with your approach to the discussion. We should be working to bridge the gap, and your comments are inflammatory and offensive to the very people you demand change from.

    How could these teachers possibly feel they are working together with you when you write things as you do? Any concession they give is not enough. Insurance being paid for the first time in YEARS! Not enough for you. A contract that did indeed pass, which means more than half of the membership agreed to it. Not enough for you. All they here from Rick is how terrible they are. Wouldn't make me want to reach across the aisle.

    Of course, none of this matters if you are shouting so loud that you can't hear what others are saying.

    If you actually read what I have written over the past several months, you would see that we agree on many things. You seem intent on pegging me as an ignorant, greedy, and selfish teacher who walks in lock step with any union, and supports their activities without a thought.

    Someone needs to call BS when you speak about teachers how you do. They are people. They are members of our community. They are your neighbors. They pay taxes just like you do. They work every day to make our children successful.

    You may not agree with their parent union, but don't treat them like second class citizens. They deserve more than that.

  24. Musicman, I dont believe the word
    greedy ignorant, second class has every entered into the picture.

    The word adjustment and slower spending gets lost in the shuffle perhaps.

    One could simply counter that after all who started the process in holding the community singularly responsible for our budget mess.

    I simply have made some suggestions
    and asked some rather tough questions

    I will repeat my offer to introduce you to any number of educators in the district to reaffirm my support for this district.

    Having taken the risk to ask questions of our elected leaders p
    relating to school funding while most stand on the sidelines, is
    somewhat challenging. Simply asking about standing up in the participation arena is legitimate.
    The retribution factor in the district is what it is. I think that is why many fail to speak

    While a small contribution has taken place in the medical contr.
    it is dwarfed by everyday costs
    to the individual. While offset
    by a large increase in regular and step raises, I simply believe we could hang on to more programs
    by making a slight adjustment
    to the compensation module, especially given current economic circumstances. I would have rather seen a one time contribution to keep those middle school programs going and the theatre group funded. As I noted
    a 1/2% change from 7% to 6.5 would have saved these programs. I believe in a well rounded program, have allways voted yes.

    There is simple disagreements with which group bears current and future financial risk for funding our schools, many in the community are struggling.

    However if we can only call out the individual taxpayer, and not
    bring the district and its employees to scrutinization on
    activity, spending, and expectations then things will be one sided. It will put levies in jeopardy long term.

    Sorry you feel threatend or demeaned, as that is not the intention.

  25. and you would be wrong...

    Your reply makes the assumption that I am a teacher. I am not. I own a business so I know what it means to work all day, all evening, on weekends and do without many vacations. I also know what it means to make less profit, and working harder, so I can avoid laying off some of my employees. Many younger workers trying to support a family.

    I am married to a teacher. She comes home from school and soon after dinner begins to do her work. You know, the things teachers don't have time to do during the school day. Grade papers, plan lessons, call parents on the phone about her students that aren't doing well in class, etc. Often on weekends she plans special projects for her classes. Goes to the store and buys the supplies out of her own pocket. Sometimes that bugs me but she reminds me "it's for the kids".
    Doesn't really sound like someone worried only about her paycheck, does it?

    My point in the previous post is that most people wound not thing of working for 20 days without pay.

    On another subject, I saw a news story where in another state, a school district was faced with laying off teachers. The superintendent and teachers came up with a novel solution. They donated a days pay back to the district. Enough people did that to allow the district to keep the employees that were to be laid off. A great solution in troubled economic times and a time when tax payers are maxed out.

  26. I don't know how:

    "How many of you worked 20 days in your profession, or former profession, without being paid? I imagine the answer is ZERO."


    "My point in the previous post is that most people would not think of working for 20 days without pay."

    Besides, I never said they should work the extra days without pay. I said:

    Should teachers get a bump for extra 20 days? Probably. How much? To be negotiated."

    I think the HEA leadership pushed compensation too far too fast, and there's likely to be a backlash and overreaction by the public in these tough times we have before us.

    That's a good solution you describe, and it's a way I would hope the leadership might respond given the choice between sharing the pain, and dumping it all on the young teachers.

    I have a teacher in my family as well - my daughter, who is just starting her career. I fear her heart is going to be broken by folks who she looks up to, yet would rather put her on the street than knock a few percentage points off of their pension.


  27. Anon,

    In Pauls defense I believe he did make mention of some sort of an adjustment increase acccordingly.
    What some have pointed out is that the "working to zero" has allready happenend to many people. Holidays eliminated, reductions in personal, sick, vacation.

    EX: After 10 years
    Before 3 weeks vacation 3 personal days, 8 sick days

    Now: A total of 10 days total.
    So somehow I believe that a good number of people would question
    another huge increase is all some are saying.

    Paul made a proposal to "freeze"
    for one year our compensation module. I also simply asked
    for a 3% or somewhere near there
    limit on spending growth, not cuts !
    The responses from all parties has been......................

    The question remains where is this new money for raises to cover the
    Governors plan going to come from
    We just worked and passed a new levy amount, and one would expect next Feb. 2010 we will have another.

    Given the challenges we had with the last contract and the affect on the students, it would seem the proper way would be to address the situation with ALL parties. Somehow this only stays between the district entities, admin, and
    HEA. The public does not have input into this process as noted the two suggestions above.

    We are going to have another increase in Feb. and the issue is
    we are looking at all of the Gov.
    proposed increases, plus another new contract.

    Are these increases sustainable for
    the everyday taxpayer who isnt getting 7% increases and a very favorable benefit package.

    Hopefully somewhere some dialogue between all parties intiated by the district leadership,HEA, and include the regular everyday citizen will start soon.