Looking back, looking ahead for BRRSD

As you may have figured out - we have been away. It was strange to be away on Christmas - in a warm place (Aruba) - and actually both kids agreed they would rather have a traditional family celebration than even be swimming in the sea.

When I came back, reality was in my in-box. One of my friends had sent me this link about the BOE and next year's budget. As I was writing this blog, the Messenger showed up in my driveway with this article. I had originally planned to make the board meeting on that Tuesday night, knowing there would be important information, but, if you read my blog, you knew I was visiting a friend instead. My priorities are in check - sick friends trump BOE meetings any Tuesday night! (Most Tuesday nights I'm driving my daughter home from Tae Kwan Do which conflicts with BOE meetings too).

Still, that doesn't mean I don't have an opinion on the 0% raise as planned in the budget.. if you're interested here it is:

I feel the Superintendent has underestimated the negotiation skills of the unions and overestimated the skills of the BOE - if recent history is the working model. But I'd love to be proved wrong. Isn't unrealistic to think the teachers and supervisors will work with no raises over the next year? And when they win the fight to keep raises, perhaps with smaller percentages, where does that leave us when the budget doesn't include the obvious. It's feels like me saying I'm going to Wegmans to get dinner for the next three days, but I'm only bringing $50 in cash. Oh, and we are planning on having steak (Latin), scallops (Forensic Science) and lobster (hockey). Of course there are costs associated in having a great program - we need to budget for them. There are also consequences in raising class sizes to the numbers mentioned in the Messenger's article. They are not acceptable numbers if you ask me!

I am not up for a long war between the board and the unions. I really, really like my kids' teachers this year and would like to keep it that way. The animosity I experienced last year is something I don't want to repeat in Spring of 2011. But I guess even close friendships need to weather storms from time to time - and I might have to deal with the grumbles as I fight to keep the board's attention on academics, and keep the teachers' focus on the kids.

And the kids' focus on school.

But for now we can just basque in the break. I'm going to get my knitting and sit by the fire for a while. It will all be there waiting to be dealt with in 2011.


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