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Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 4:00 pm

School officials say the Beloit district may have to trim $3-4 million from its 2013-2014 budget if Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget passes through legislature.

That could involve eliminating 30-40 positions — primarily teachers — through attrition, according to Superintendent Steve McNeal.

“We will continue to do the best we can for the students of Beloit but this will be the most devastating blow yet that will affect a bunch of good people,” McNeal said.

McNeal will meet with the Board of Education today at 5:35 p.m. to discuss what cuts could be made. The discussion will be in closed session as potential positions to be eliminated will be discussed.

“I’ve got to start making some of those moves in the next couple of months,” he said.

McNeal said he will try to make any cuts through attrition as people leave, by not filling positions.

“We’ve tried not to put people out of a job,” McNeal said.

According to Melissa Badger, spokesperson for the district, certified general state aid for 2012-13 was $57 million. The 2013-2014 state aid won’t be certified until October. The district anticipates aid pressures in the governor’s budget due, in part, to a zero percent increase in per pupil allocations contained in the plan. The reimbursement of 2012-2013 expenses to be paid in the 2013-14 school year is less than the reimbursement of the 2011-2012 school year which was paid out in this current school year.

“The way the state funds education in combination with the massive cuts from a couple years ago has created this cycle of cutting expenses leading to less reimbursement each year,” Badger said.

She said the district can't wait until two months into the year to get confirmation of a need to cut positions. 

“It's better to prepare for this now, in case reassignments don't work out, or someone would have chosen to retire, that was eligible, than take a different position. Not to mention, being reassigned at that point is a waste of a summer for a teacher who could have spent that time prepping for the school year,” Badger said.

The district rolled back spending plans by $3.9 million last year, 2011-2012, and $11.5 million in 2010-2011, for a total of $15 million over the past two years. McNeal said only $4 million of those cuts were offset by employees’ contributions to healthcare and retirement benefits, the tools cited by Gov. Walker.

Forty-six positions have been cut over the last two years. McNeal said he expects a large amount of teachers will be retiring this spring due to Walker’s Act 10.

McNeal said the defunding of public education has been devastating to the district, teacher morale and ultimately students.

“We try to do better academically, but it’s pretty difficult. We are dealt different cards than different districts. We are the highest poverty district in the state of Wisconsin,” he said.

Teachers in the School District of Beloit haven’t received a raise in two years and have had their take-home pay eroded by the required contributions to their health insurance and retirement package, he noted.

“Walk a mile in the shoes of some of our teachers or some of our reading specialists. These people are good people. They have their heart in the right spot. We’ve demoralized them. Not only are we not giving raises, but we have taken more out of their pay with the bigger employee insurance and retirement contributions,” McNeal said.

Because of the defunding of education, McNeal said fewer students will pursue a career in education.

He said the starting salary in Beloit for a teacher is $32,000 to $34,000. The average employee lost $8,000 a year in benefits, McNeal said.

He added the price of healthcare and dental services is going up as the cuts keep getting made.

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37 comments:

  • Delavan Mike posted at 9:13 pm on Tue, Mar 5, 2013.

    Delavan Mike Posts: 1295

    1bad,

    It is easy to vent on the internet. I agree that is the nature of the beast. I have done so many times.

    Why did you call me "Data"? Or were your questions for someone else? If they were for me I will have to disappoint you. I have not seen the Lincoln film that portrays him as a vampire hunter, so I have no opinion on it.

    As for most teachers getting into their professions for their love of kids, that does not mean they should not look to protect their interests at the bargaining table. Teachers do not get into the profession to get rich, but they also do not enjoy having absolutely no say in their working conditions or having money taken from their pockets when they already don't make much. I do not agree with everything unions do or stand for and I am not even a member of WEAC (we have our own small "association" where I work), but teachers are entitled to a union as much as anyone else is.

    Now I am interested in your opinion: Why do you believe extreme bias is leaking into the schools?

     
  • Hot Shot Pete posted at 5:50 pm on Tue, Mar 5, 2013.

    Hot Shot Pete Posts: 2

    I know McNeal somewhat, I would say he is doing the best at the job as he sees it. He rules the roost and that is his style, my personal message to Steve: the Bears suck!

     
  • FaceTheFacts posted at 5:24 pm on Tue, Mar 5, 2013.

    FaceTheFacts Posts: 327

    But, what "McNeal" did not say with =

    "He said the starting salary in Beloit for a teacher is $32,000 to $34,000. The average employee lost $8,000 a year in benefits, McNeal said. He added the price of healthcare and dental services is going up as the cuts keep getting made."

    IS that the "Benefits" are 16k plus...which is? Twice what a minimum wage job pays...IF? There were jobs in this town.

    Just think? Entertaining Employers first to hire workers...to work and contribute to the Tax Base? This issue would not be happening possibly.. (Here's one for you, Beloit51...rest in peace)

    As for the Chicago/Milwaukee increases? I wonder with the influx, how much crime has went up? Beloit makes a "perfect triangle" almost.. to those cities..[beam]

     
  • DanG posted at 12:18 pm on Tue, Mar 5, 2013.

    DanG Posts: 89

    Anyone who believes anything Steve McNeal says is a fool, plain and simple. He's just speculating and using extremely remote possibilities just to get people fired up so they will come out against the propose vouchers. He's afraid that if Beloit has the vouchers, then the real problems with the Beloit School system will be revealed. What if there were more minority students that could afford to go to private schools? How would they do in those schools? The good thing with private schools is that they don't coddle anyone regardless of their race or income, the standards are the same for all their students. Public schools stopped being for and about the students a long time ago, private school systems have been able to keep their focus on the student, where it belongs. Beloit vouchers are worth a try. If it means having more families move into Beloit that is a good thing for all us tax payers.

     
  • 1badbubyu posted at 8:00 am on Tue, Mar 5, 2013.

    1badbubyu Posts: 1311

    I get carried away sometimes myself. I guess that's the nature of the internet beast. It's so easy to do so. I have to admit the protests and the recall effort made me furious and I began "venting" with posts. I try to listen to other points of view but we all know how hard it is when you have certain beliefs. Beliefs you will not compromise.

    My honest opinion is that I feel the teachers union has removed the pride from the profession. I could be way off I'm just trying to explain my point of view. I always thought people became teachers because of the love of kids, their ability to lead and instruct. I'm just afraid extreme bias is leaking into the classroom and it's wrong no matter if it's prog. or conserv. slanted.

    Since you are a history teacher Data, I have a couple questions. I assure I want your opinion, I'm not trying to be a [censored]

    1. What do you think of the movie that portrays Abraham Lincoln as a "vampire hunter"?

    2. Do you feel shows like this are harmful/harmless?

    Like I said these questions might seem silly, but I'm seriously interested in your opinion.

     
  • Hot Shot Pete posted at 6:06 am on Tue, Mar 5, 2013.

    Hot Shot Pete Posts: 2

    A couple of things, Beloit has high poverty and high unemployment true. Last year Beloit passed a 70-million dollar referendum for building and expanding schools in the District. "The cost breakdown of the proposed $70 million referendum is as follows: $32 million for the two newly constructed and renovated intermediate schools; $31 million for the six primary school renovations; $5.9 million for Beloit Memorial High School’s pool; $500,000 for the new high school tennis courts; and $600,000 for renovation of the existing pool site into a fitness center, according to Superintendent Steve McNeal."

    The plan at the time was being promoted as a good deal for Beloit's property taxpayers because State and other aids would be paying for 70% of the 70-million. I am always skeptical about such claims for a couple of reasons, that other pool of money is provided by the taxpayers and there always can be changes in school aid formula or declining enrollments that make such claims mostly pipe dreams. Would have the referendum passed if it stated, "the costs incurred by this referendum will be borne by property taxpayers and nobody else?" Probably not.

    A looming problem in Governor Walker's Budget Proposal is not a reduction in per pupil aid to School Districts but rather the expansion of school choice vouchers from Milwaukee and Racine School District's to Beloit, Madison, and Green Bay. The idea of vouchers is to create competition with an eye on failing schools (DPI-Report Card) which came along with Wisconsin's "waiver" of No Child Left Behind the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Some District's have failed to close gaps that NCLB attempted to eliminate. The good of NCLB is the recognition that all school aged children gain an education and that earning a H.S. Diploma meant that the individual could perform at a level of expectance so would either be ready for post secondary education or work. No Child Left Behind came about in 2001 and was supposed to guarantee all students be 100% proficient by 2014 and of course that 100% is an impossibility but 90% and more is achievable. That in a nutshell is the good of NCLB.

    A huge problem developed in Wisconsin when the began to allow collective bargaining for Public Employees. The Unionization of teachers over the years teachers unions became less concerned about being a "professional" organization with students actually learning into a "job description" nightmare for School Boards with Union Dues being funneled to leftist political interests. True, teachers started to earn more, get more benefits, but students ended getting the shaft.

    Not all of Beloit's schools will suffer, the proposed budget and vouchers should be a boost to Rock County Christian School and other private schools in Beloit. There will be many that will say public monies should not be going to private schools and they have a point but I believe that with 12-years invested into No Child Left Behind and having failing schools and large gap, more of the same doesn't cut it anymore.

     
  • Delavan Mike posted at 3:03 pm on Mon, Mar 4, 2013.

    Delavan Mike Posts: 1295

    That's okay. I overreacted. I am sorry for that. No harm no foul.

     
  • 1badbubyu posted at 10:05 am on Mon, Mar 4, 2013.

    1badbubyu Posts: 1311

    Points taken D. Mike. Obviously I offended and for that I apologize. I'm sure you're a fine history teacher. I don't think teachers are evil in fact I'm sure the majority are very good. I'm also aware that the "other" category outnumbered the teachers at the recent protests. I guess I should have left it at agree to disagree...

     
  • Blah-de-Blah posted at 1:34 pm on Sun, Mar 3, 2013.

    Blah-de-Blah Posts: 140

    Rising health care costs will certainly be a great problem, for all of us. It's unfortunate that we have been saddled this way, and it's even more unfortunate that our government is actively manipulating us to get their way. I suppose there is nothing we can do about it right now, unless the Republican party changes their stance on illegal immigration. Then the Democrats will really be shaking in their shoes. Then again, illegal immigrants will get ticked off anyways at the loss of their free health care. I can at least thank Obama for that one [lol]

     
  • Delavan Mike posted at 1:31 pm on Sun, Mar 3, 2013.

    Delavan Mike Posts: 1295

    You guys are funny. Or scary.

    I never said 1bad was teacher bashing.

    I also never denied there were students at the protests in Madison two years ago. I called into question your reckless baseless proof-less claim that those students were somehow forced to be there by their teachers. You still have failed to prove that. You mention "footage". Does that mean you "assumed" those students were there only because they were forced to be or they were brainwashed by their evil teachers or do you have some mind-reading skill that works via TV without even having any contact with the actual students in question? You question (and then answer falsely) if the students were told the truth about the situation they were marching about. Who's truth? The real truth or your version of it? Of course you believe the students were lied to and that was the only reason they possibly could have been there. You clearly demonstrated your closed-mindedness in this post.

    Which students were there on school time? I find it very hard to believe a school district would have okayed a field trip to the capital to participate in the protests. You do know field trips must have administration approval, right? Or maybe you believe students were told by teachers to skip school to attend the protests. Sure they were.

    People showed up at the rallies claiming they didn't care why they were there? They were only there because they hate Walker? Were they all teachers? Not all of them were. Clearly more than just teachers do not like Walker. I saw many people there who were not teachers.

    I agree with you that the teachers who got fake doctor's notices set a bad example and should not have done that. How many did in comparison to those who showed up on their own time?

    My "precious teacher's union"? I don't even belong to WEAC! You now what they say about assumptions. You have proven that multiple times in this post. Even so, I do not deny that WEAC is left-leaning. So what? How many right-leaning organizations lined up on the side of the governor? Why is that okay? Oh, I know, they share your point of view.

    I am a history teacher. Please share with me how WEAC is trying to change the way history is taught? Social justice programs? Where? Indoctrination? I disagree. Giving kids BOTH sides of the story and not just yours? Yes. The kids can use that information to form THEIR OWN OPINIONS. You are just mad because some end up having different opinions than your own. How awful!

    I agree that the costs of health care should be front and center. Everyone keeps sidestepping that issue and just looking for ways to deal with the ever escalating costs instead of finding a way to keep those costs from going up. Maybe if that was done we could find a real long-term answer. As long as we continue to avoid this issue we will continue to struggle to afford health care.

     
  • 1badbubyu posted at 9:51 am on Sun, Mar 3, 2013.

    1badbubyu Posts: 1311

    Hold it.....I thought Govt. run healthcare was going to "ease the burden on the middle class"? Teachers are middle class aren't they? Notice how the mention of rising healthcare costs is the last sentence in the article? Surely the healthcare costs have more to do with this subject, yet the entire article is devoted to bashing Gov. Walker..... Interesting. But don't worry, these "reporters" don't have an agenda...just ask em.

     
  • 1badbubyu posted at 2:57 pm on Sat, Mar 2, 2013.

    1badbubyu Posts: 1311

    Apparently D. Mike missed the miles of footage of high school students marching in lock step with teachers on our St. Cap. How many of those students do you think were told the truth about Gov. Walker? exactly...none. Some of them were there because they got out of school for saying they would go. Others were there shouting insults and threats, while others openly admitted the didn't know or care what was happening they just knew they hated Gov. Walker. Those teachers who falsified doctor excuses were a fine example to our kids weren't they? Mr. D. Mike whether you wanna believe it or not the political left has deeply infiltrated your precious teachers union and is hard at work to change text books, change the way U.S. history is taught, install "social justice" programs, and indoctrinate kids with climate change, and reverse racism (white guilt).

    Have you ever had a BMHS student give you a piece of his mind because you drive a classic car and that those evil classic cars are bad for the planet?....I have.

    Agree to disagree....you got that right!

     
  • billtinder posted at 8:35 am on Sat, Mar 2, 2013.

    billtinder Posts: 4791

    Heh,heh,heh, poor Delavan is choking on his own words AGAIN!

    Maybe in the future he'll be more specific in his accusations, instead of making generalizations about everyone who has an opposing view!

    That in itself might result in less teacher bashing, since he is one.

    Just don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.[beam]

     
  • Delavan Mike posted at 9:36 pm on Fri, Mar 1, 2013.

    Delavan Mike Posts: 1295

    1bad, if you were referring to me, I never said you were "bashing" teachers. I understood completely your criticism was of unions and I didn't agree with it. Still don't. That's okay, we can agree to disagree.

    As for the examples you cited, I agree that should not happen and wonder if they actually have or if you are making them up or exaggerating them. I never heard of any teachers "making" their students attend any rallies. How would that even be possible? Are you suggesting they bused them to Madison during the school day to attend a rally or somehow required the students on their own time to attend a rally? Cite your sources on that one!

     
  • Blah-de-Blah posted at 7:12 pm on Fri, Mar 1, 2013.

    Blah-de-Blah Posts: 140

    Well said bill. Unfortunately, I cannot see a time soon where we can finally get some fair laws into the picture globally. With China's professional base collapsing and its industrial base still growing and booming, they would never submit to something that would hurt them. Walmart and other big interests control that country now, and their lock on it will not be easily breakable, unless UN action demands it.

     
  • billtinder posted at 5:24 pm on Fri, Mar 1, 2013.

    billtinder Posts: 4791

    As usual, Blah-de-blah's observations strike right to the heart of the situation.

    Ever since the big bi-partisan push for globalization, good paying privately unionized jobs have been swapped out for cheap foreign labor. What was once a thriving middle class, wholeheartedly embraced this process because every time a good paying job was outsourced the stock market (and their 401k) reacted favorably. Never mind the fact that revenues would be lost or that their jobs might be on the chopping block next.
    We have become a society that's only worried about our own selfish interests....
    And that weakness continues to be exploited.
    Our leaders continue to promote an illusion of economic recovery, while simultaneously working to prevent one.
    I think our public sector unions are blind to the economic realities...
    They waste precious resources on useless recall efforts, that would bear little fruit, even if they were successful. You cannot finance public sector prosperity on a private sector devoid of it.
    It does not surprise me that there is so much hate for the republican party by the public unions, since after all, they would be expect them to look out for the interests of the wealthy, What surprises me is the fact that the lemmings turn a blind eye to the democrats who gleefully betrayed them when they did precisely the same thing.
    It's true that unions are a dieing breed in this nation, but that will all change when the everyday people of this country demand that trade laws become representative of more then just multinational corporations.
    And that requires an effort from BOTH parties.

     
  • PWC posted at 5:00 pm on Fri, Mar 1, 2013.

    PWC Posts: 741

    This is from district:
    "The cuts we are making for 2013-14 will of course reflect less reimbursement from the State in 2014-15, and so on, until the State decides to stabilize funding levels. For example, if the state would have announced a per pupil increase of around $225 for next year, our estimates show we would not have to make cuts for next year. "
    I feel bad for those in the position of having to make millions in cuts next year. But the math in the above quote does not add up. If we have around 7000 kids in the district and if Madison decided to allow the extra $225 per pupil, that would only be about $1,575,000 in additional funding for our district, not 3-4 million.

     
  • 1badbubyu posted at 4:43 pm on Fri, Mar 1, 2013.

    1badbubyu Posts: 1311

    I would like to say also that that same standard applies to a conservative leaning teacher having to avoid slanting his/her classroom, unless of course it's a political science class, then the key would be to balance the conversation. The history teacher at BMHS is a perfect example of an inept teacher completely protected and able to say whatever he wants because it fits the unions agenda.

    I wonder how many teachers are union members against their will, but do the job anyway because they love to teach? [ohmy]

     
  • Blah-de-Blah posted at 3:46 pm on Fri, Mar 1, 2013.

    Blah-de-Blah Posts: 140

    For me, I have always approached the subject of teachers and teacher's unions with caution. Given the severe liberal attitude of the city of Beloit, one should be careful in expressing viewpoints that are even slightly Republican in nature.

    I can say from observation and word of mouth that the problem of teachers yelling with their students over political issues is very real, especially at Beloit Memorial. The union leader has been relatively good, along with a few others. However, I know of others who have not been so, such as the history teacher who said "f*** you Scott Walker" and talked about assassination. Although Joshua Schenck has been infamous for expressing his sometimes extreme viewpoints, he has been known to encourage thinking separate to his own and in turn create discussion. This I would be more accepting of, as long as no students are being persecuted for their viewpoints.

    When it comes to unions, I would be all for dumping a bad teacher if one exists. However, the only way to tell if a teacher is good or bad is by how they prepare their own material. Even then, where one class is unteachable, another is. In the end, judgement of a bad teacher can only be done through the personal conduct of the teacher, which we only figure out through word of mouth, friendships, or the newspaper.

    Unions have been avoiding a harsh reality that they still refuse to see, no matter how many times it explodes in their face. To simply put it, unions are dying. Globalization is eliminating the jobs where unions were once the most powerful in, and those companies that have simply had enough of the unions are simply closing their doors to make a point. Look at Hostess. Even though they were already in bankruptcy, the strike, as they announced, was their last straw. Another huge killer of the unions is their own successes. After they won everything they did, they ran out of big things to fight for. Now, they are simply degrading without any true landmark achievements. The Walker victory probably did more to cripple unions than it did to encourage them to fight more. Most likely, though, they will try to use Michigan as a way to respark their cause, but only time will tell if that falls apart too. If it does, then we shall truly see the death of unionism in America.

    In the end, I would say that memberships should be entirely voluntary. If a teacher has no desire to be in the union, they should not be forced to be a part of it. And that is all I have to say on this issue. [blink]

     
  • 1badbubyu posted at 7:42 am on Fri, Mar 1, 2013.

    1badbubyu Posts: 1311

    Teacher pay is and should be based on performance and experience. I find it hard to believe that the school boards would ravage the system if it weren't for big labor protection. My point about society understanding is that if the unions were no longer involved I don't think the educational system would suffer, in fact there would probably be more money to go around. My other problem is that unions have a political agenda, those influences do not belong in the classroom. Teachers yelling at students who disagree with their political views??...seriously? Or a teacher belittling students who support Gov. Walker? How can anybody say that type of stuff belongs in a classroom. The same goes for teachers that make students attend protests. Do you think those "teachers" are being honest with the students? Or are they just preaching slanted hatred to your child? The teachers union is divisive, dishonest, and bilks its employees for campaign funds (dues).

    Stop saying I'm bashing teachers. I'm bashing the teachers union...there is a difference.

     
  • Delavan Mike posted at 9:48 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    Delavan Mike Posts: 1295

    All I know is that I have lost much since unions were made powerless. That is all the evidence I need of how unions have benefited me in the past.

    You say other professions do not grant automatic pay increases for taking classes. Do they require that extra classes be taken? Teachers are required to take continuing education classes to keep their teaching licenses current and pay for them out of their own pockets (some districts reimburse some of that, many do not). That could be why they are rewarded with more pay after taking them. Of course that is one more thing that can be taken away in a future edition of a "handbook".

     
  • Mike_Zoril posted at 7:40 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    Mike_Zoril Posts: 2770

    The standard textbook takes for granted that what is good for unions is good for workers - even though the whole purpose of a modern union is to exclude people from a trade in order to raise the wages of union workers. The facts say otherwise...

    In a study published jointly in late 2002 by the National Legal and Policy Center and the John M. Olin Institute for Employment Practice and Policy, economists Richard Vedder and Lowell Gallaway of Ohio University calculated that labor unions have cost the American economy a whopping $50 TRILLION (with a T) over the past fifty years alone. "The dead-weight economic losses are not one-shot impacts on the economy. What our simulations reveal is the powerful effect of the compounding over more than half a century of what appears at first to be small annual effects."

    Not surprisingly, the study did find that unionized labor earned wages 15% higher than nonunion counterparts, but it also found that wages in general suffered dramatically as a result of an economy that is 30-40% smaller than it would have been in the absence of labor unions.

    When unionism was numerically negligible (3% of the American labor force), real wages climbed an incredible 50% in the USA from 1860-1890 and then another 37% from 1890-1914. Additionally, American workers were so much better off than their much more heavily unionized counterparts in Europe.

    Regarding getting paid for taking classes - teaching is the only profession I'm aware of that gives automatic raises for that (although in the private sector, advanced degrees can help achieve a promotion, but the raise doesn't happen if there is no promotion). How has taking the courses made your services as a teacher better than your counterparts that have not taken the classes? Is the improvement subjective or is there an objective way to measure the improvement?

     
  • Delavan Mike posted at 3:18 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    Delavan Mike Posts: 1295

    1bad, I will agree seeing "what unions bring to the table" for education alone may be difficult, but unions have protected the interests of workers for years. What has happened in the last two years to public employees is evidence of that. We no longer have any voice or way to stop school boards from taking things away. Some would argue that is a good thing, but the value of unions to public employees cannot be denied considering all they have lost since they became powerless.

    Based on the many anti-teacher comments I have read online in the last two years I can only hope society in general has a better view of teachers than that. If unions were useless why have we lost so much since they became powerless? Workers in education deserve just as much protection of their interests as any other labor group.

    Teachers can designate that the dues they pay do not go to the political purposes you speak of. I can see the argument of making due payments voluntary but then some workers have the benefits of union protection without having to pay for it. I see both sides of that coin.

    Mike Z, I do not know specifically about Beloit's pay scale, but I do know from other districts that the system you speak of is an endangered species. I, for instance, have not had a raise based on years of experience for four years. I do get more pay for completing graduate classes. Why shouldn't I?

     
  • Mike_Zoril posted at 12:17 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    Mike_Zoril Posts: 2770

    Is anybody on this forum familiar with the specifics of teacher pay raises in Beloit? Based on my understanding of how my wife gets paid (teacher in a different district) as well as how it's been described to me by some of my former teachers (different district), pay is a function of years of experience and education. As you increase in experience each year, you get paid more, regardless of the individual teacher's performance...it looks like a matrix. You just need to figure in your education and experience and the pay is right there on the chart in the union handbook.

    Are the raises discussed in this article referring to all raises - including the raise a teacher gets for more experience/education or only raising all the pay rates within the matrix?

     
  • 1badbubyu posted at 9:57 am on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    1badbubyu Posts: 1311

    I have nothing against good teachers. In fact many of them deserve pay increases. I just feel the union does not belong in the educational system. I know a few people that have worked for the public school system for many years, I know they do not make much and I honestly don't see the advantage the union brings to the table. I think as a whole society realizes how important quality teachers along with quality schools are. Therefore rendering the union useless. I understand the labor unions, the electricians, the plumbers, all the trades, those types of organizations i get, but the union involved in education? It just seems wrong to me. Call me crazy. I don't think the educational system would suffer one bit if it de-certified. The problem there lies in the dues issue. Dues directly fund campaigns and the politicians who depend on those would never let that happen. That alone should make dues voluntary for teachers. Remember, teachers are there to educate not prop someone up in Madison. Sorry...I just can't see why organized labor should be involved in public education.

     
  • Concerned Citizen posted at 1:09 am on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    Concerned Citizen Posts: 736

    JB - Teachers have not gotten a bonus or a raise in two plus years now. Not complaining, everyone in the community is in a similar position, just stating the answer tour question. I have worked in the SDB for over ten years and the only bonuses ever granted have been given to principals and the superintendent.

     
  • billtinder posted at 11:16 pm on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    billtinder Posts: 4791

    I agree with "Concerned citizen", teachers cost less and are far more crucial to education then administers are. So why are teachers the first place the cuts are planned at?
    Another thing to consider is, perhaps approaching professional sports venues to contribute something towards the school resources that provide the athletes that fill the ranks of pro sports teams. Even colleges entice talent from high schools, that they turn into huge cash cows. Perhaps they too should be kicking something back to the schools that lay the ground work towards the next superstar. In these troubled times, I think that the schools will need to think out of the box, to remain viable; and maybe that's not all bad.

     
  • Delavan Mike posted at 3:43 pm on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    Delavan Mike Posts: 1295

    Why is there no talk about cuts other than teaching positions? Because there is nothing left to cut. School districts already cut to the bone last year. Despite Governor Walker's "tools", school districts all over the state are still finding it impossible to deal with the biggest cut to education in the history of the state. A few weeks ago Walker promised to modestly increase the aid to education. Where did that go? I don't think he kept even that promise.

    Mr. McNeel is bought and paid for by WEAC? Where is the evidence of that claim???

    Tax hike? Maybe. You can only cut so many teachers. Then what?

    Walker promised his "tools" would enable municipalities and school districts to deal with cuts in state aid. Doesn't sound like that has happened. Walker promised his "tools" would help school districts avoid laying off teachers. So far there have not been layoffs, but not filling 30-40 positions is just as bad. Class sizes will go up. Morale will go down. No one is hiring, so when we finally get to the point where layoffs are necesssary (and we will) where will those people find work? Just replying that that is what people in the private sector face is callous and mean-spirited. We should all work together to solve our problems, not jealously welcome others to our own misery.

     
  • jbsback453350 posted at 3:34 pm on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    jbsback453350 Posts: 70

    Didn't we just have some extra money that went to giving the teachers a bonus?

     
  • marcan1 posted at 3:09 pm on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    marcan1 Posts: 28

    Gee... I don't know.

    Sounds to me like McNeal is getting us ready for another tax hike. Watch and see.

     
  • jdowd posted at 11:53 am on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    jdowd Posts: 15

    Teacher bashing need to end. This idea that spending is cut for the sake of cutting without any serious and long term results considered has to stop. How WEAC is brought into this discussion is just partisan politics and political talking points. Bottom line is that without a strong and excellent school district and a strong public educational system, educational growth is not going to happen. Business looks at the community and how well that community is educated and the educational structures in place to provide intelligent and employable employees. If you want to cut your taxes, eliminate all the useless projects in state government. Reduce the size of the governor's staff, consolodate government agencies. If taxpayers and citizens and both political parties were serious about providing tax relief, we would be pushing for a unicameral state government (eliminating the state senate or state assembly). We would eliminate the Lt governor, secretary of state and the state treasurer. We would stop spenidng money on "issues" that are only issues to gain re-election and actually demand our state elected officials work together and pass legislation that actually benefits citizens. Public employees, teachers and those working each day to make our community better are not to blame. it is the uneducated, partisan citizens who do not understand government and lack the simple premise of voting for those who not necessarily agree with our positions - but have the character and ability to make tough choices that are unpopular but are in the best interest of all. Blaming and picking different groups to blame for our own lot in life is partisan garbage. Lets focus on issues and stop blaming and whining how teachers are the downfall of civilization and unions arer destroying America. This focus on rhetoric is destroying America and dividing the country - not teachers or any other group of people.

     
  • Concerned Citizen posted at 9:29 am on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    Concerned Citizen Posts: 736

    Wow, 1badbubyu, I am not sure how you got this out of the article. WEAC's power has been severely depleted since Walker came into office. This won't get "the union" fired up any more. Remember, this is the same "union" that agreed to furlough days to save the district money when they didn't have to. This is the same "union" that stayed in Beloit when so many other districts had to cancel during the protests. Why you would jump all over teachers from this article is amazing to me.

    The easy answer in a budget crisis is to cut staff. At some point this had to go beyond cutting just teachers though. The district needs to ask itself if every administrator at Kolak (or at the schools) is necessary. Can positions at that level be cut? How much money is spent on new curriculum and workshops? Let's not always go after those that directly work with kids 6-7 hours every day.

     
  • 1badbubyu posted at 8:51 am on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    1badbubyu Posts: 1311

    Mr. McNeal is bought and paid for by WEAC. He will never be in favor of cuts or reductions because he, much like the rulers of WEAC are all about the cash.So what are the taxpayers supposed to do, just throw millions of dollars year after year after year at the public school system, increase after increase with the same results with no questions asked? Oh no! don't you dare question WEAC! Mr. McNeal jumps to the conclusion that teachers will be the first to go knowing that will get all the union people fired up. The bottom line is this, the teachers union once again proves they're concerned with the money and not the kids. So sick of this "oh the poor teachers" attitude. It's the first thing people like Mr. McNeal say just to stoke the fires in the "hate Walker" machine. How much are we allotting for each student now? $6000-$7000 each? Ridiculous. Does anybody else see the way WEAC manipulates through emotion instead of discussing the issue? It's always about how evil Gov. Walker is, it's always about those "education hating" republicans instead of real solutions.

    I have a good idea....why don't we stop feeding every child in the city 3 squares a day! maybe that would save ya some cash Mr. McNeal. Then you could dream up and fill all the positions you want!

     
  • Mike_Zoril posted at 7:36 am on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    Mike_Zoril Posts: 2770

    I never said they were complaining, but if they did complain, I would find it certainly understandable. It bothers me that government is run the way it is. It seems like the only time you get cuts are when they are forced - and when that happens, there is not an adequate amount of time to make good long-term cutting decisions.

    Here's an example of a ridiculous way a school district (not Beloit) is wasting money. I know somebody that was hired on as a specialist to work one-on-one with a special needs student. Unexpectedly, that student moved out of state about 2 weeks after this specialist was hired, effectively eliminating the entire reason she was given a job in the first place. Despite this, the school decided to keep her on anyway.

     
  • Concerned Citizen posted at 10:20 pm on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    Concerned Citizen Posts: 736

    Mike - You will find very few teachers complaining about their salary. We understand that pay cuts and reduced benefits are realities that everyone is going through. What is difficult is the fact that teaching positions seem to be the target whenever budget concerns come up. Nearly 50 positions have been cut in the last two years with another 30-40 on the docket now....not to mention the forecast for the following year when the district is even greater financial turmoil.

    We have to get smarter with the way we spend taxpayer money. Eliminating those who work directly with children on a daily basis seems like the last thing that makes sense. We throw money around for new curriculum when it's the delivery by the teacher that is most important.

     
  • PWC posted at 8:39 pm on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    PWC Posts: 741

    How is it there is no discussion of cuts other than teachers?

     
  • Mike_Zoril posted at 7:09 pm on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    Mike_Zoril Posts: 2770

    “Walk a mile in the shoes of some of our teachers or some of our reading specialists. These people are good people. They have their heart in the right spot. We’ve demoralized them. Not only are we not giving raises, but we have taken more out of their pay with the bigger employee insurance and retirement contributions,” McNeal said.

    It's disappointing, but this is the reality for people working in the private sector too. Inflation is eating away our standard of living as a society, regardless of profession.

     

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