Tuesday, March 16, 2010

102.9F - Friday's delayed posting...

(This was written but not posted on Friday)

That may be C's temperature, but it was also accurate for the temperature at the BOE whiner-fest on Tuesday. The newest presentation of the various doomsday tiers (let's face it, there is no good news here, only increments of bad) in the latest game of "what should we cut first?" angered parents and teachers alike.

I stirred the pot and turned my name to mud by stating that I still think the most equitable solution would be an across the board freeze of all salaries top to bottom.


This was not popular with teachers and I was afraid to enter the school the following day!

I also said to the Superintendent that if he thinks there are an average of 18 kids per class, he hasn't been to my kids' schools. None of them have EVER had less than 20 kids in a class. So when he says increased class sizes means "22-24" kids per class he sounds ignorant.... I am assuming that with these cuts my kids will have around 27 in their classes. Not cool!

Then on Thursday, to make matters worse I stirred a different pot. The BOE President, the BREA (local teacher's union) President and the Superintendent were at C's school's PTO meeting. It was usurped by talk of the budget (again with various doomsday slides). This meeting allowed parents to ask the tough questions - and they did! It was less whiny than the BOE winge-out of Tuesday night, but I felt like parents tough questions were falling on deaf ears. I suggested cutting the nurses' secretaries and walked out into the hallway only to be read the riot act by that school's nurse's secretary. OOPS. She showed me a list of what she does and I listened to her.

What I've learned:

There is a certain amount of fear-mongering going on in the BREA. Teachers simply don't trust the BOE/Schilder to reinstate teachers if they cut their salaries.

The BOE has a very hard job these days - there are no good outcomes. Major cuts have to be made, but they are afraid to make the big ones like within the administration. Pay to play is on the discussion table, but they are afraid to commit.

It seems as though all this public input is a moot point. Everything is decided in committee and presented at BOE meetings with no modifications based on the public input portions of these meetings.

We look at other districts - Princeton has a nice ring to it, so does Warren. But BRRSD's cuts are coming from Trenton and all districts are likely to be hit too. Private school?? Well, that's of course an option if I want to go back to work full time (and beyond)... but the way this year has gone, between an injured husband and managing the kids, I can't imagine working full time in order to pay for private school.

And with my professional background, finding a job would be a hat trick! Better go take care of my sick chicadee... I think it's strep. The most important thing I have learned hanging around my kids' schools all these years? WASH YOUR HANDS!

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