Wednesday, June 27, 2007
One of the many sticking points in the contract negotiations is the Health Care issue. We obviously want to contain cost. One of our illustrious teachers has just presented me with some articles in the D&C about how, many industries are suffering as a result of cutting back on their employees health plans. Seems that the companies save money up front but are now spending even more that they saved because of absent, unhealthy employees. All of this traced directly to the reduction of health care. The implication is that less health care, more costly doctor visits, and more expensive drug plans has a direct effect on the health of the employees. NO. Once again, we are being mislead. The cost saving to this district is very large and our teachers are very healthy as evidenced by their records. I don't think we member of the board will be giving in on this issue.
You may have read the headline this week about how the NYS Education Department is going to send Million of $ to various school districts to help bolster their level of teaching. Midlakes won't be applying for the additional funds for several reasons. #1 We would have to agree to spend it on expanding or enhancing our existing curriculum. Here we are, trying to save the taxpayer money and the state wants us to spend more. #2 We would have to submit our teachers contract to the state for their review and that's not going to happen because we don't have a contract. #3 The state wants more help for the lower achiving students. We've been striving for several years to decrease the number of identified students by delaying the identification process. Most parents in this area aren't aware of their childs rights and don't advocate for intervention. We all know that the earlier the intervention is, the more successful it will be. But, this all costs money that we, school board members, want to save everyone.
Monday, June 25, 2007
The graduation hoopla is slowly fading. The retirements parties are likewise fading as are the "old guard" teachers. The new New York State standards are going to require teachers who are more creative and inventive. This gives us a great opportunity to complete our project "Out with the old, in with the new". This program will give us new blood in teachers at a cost saving to the taxpayre. More and more of the older teachers are finding it difficult to adapt and we have several new teachers who would love a position here. Enjoy your summer.