School District Policy Feedback From Other Teachers/Administration

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Normally I do not rant & rave about the nuisances of school politics- and there are many! And I won’t go into a huge amount of detail since I do not want this to be a politically correct/incorrect blog, but a fellow teacher friend in our county shared with me the newest information that our school district is proposing. I personally think it’s absolutely absurd and do not possibly know how they can actually take this proposal to the state court (which they are doing). What do you think? Has your school district every proposed anything like this?

Background info:
*Teachers received a 1% pay raise last year, nothing for the 2 years before that (this includes steps).
*Our county is one of the lowest paid counties in the state. Our county is also one of the poorest and most illiterate counties in the country per capita.
*The superintendent makes almost 7 times what the average teacher makes, with a raise of $50,000 last time I checked. After 6 years as superintendent he/she will retire with a bigger pension than a 30+ year teacher.
*Our health insurance premiums PLUS max out of pocket expenses for a family (of 4) for 1 year ranges from $11,000-$15,000- that’s PER year!
*The district is proposing below that they have complete control of the finances without the PEA (an organization but NOT a union- we are a “right to work state” so a teacher cannot go on strike or will immediately lose their job….thus we don’t have unions) negotiations or any sort of accountability “in case of an emergency”. This proposal includes all things monetary (budget, salary, etc.)

Here is the proposed changes that have just been published:

The district is proposing:
*Furlough all employees without pay for up to 10 days
*Reduced salaries by up to 7 percent
*Reduce the number of paid work hours on designated nonstudent contact days
*Assign employees such as deans, guidance counselors and media specialists to teach classes for up to half the work day
*Increase the cost for including a spouse on the insurance plan an additional $174.80/month
*Increase the cost of child health coverage to an additional $43.70/month per child
(this would increase the cheapest insurance plan from $11,000 to $14,447 max/year per family of 4)
Does this sound like a bit of a stretch to you? Is this even a feasable concept to hold up in court? If this happens we will have to immediately relocate and cut our losses, but I honestly don’t think this idea can hold any water in the state courts. Any feedback?

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  1. We did most of that last year: 15 days of non-paid furlough; lost all of our prep days and half of our grading days; pay cut; 20% Reduction In Force district-wide(teachers, aides, bus drivers, cooks, administration); paying all insurance premiums for spouse and kids; plus a major hit on insurance coverage.
    It sucked and we lost lots of really good folks.

  2. I think some times you have to weigh the good with the bad. YES I'd be pulling my hair out if I were you, but where I live they just decide to close schools down or rid of teachers instead of pay cuts.
    The first school I worked in was 1 of 10 that closed in my area and a lot of other teachers got the boot the following year……………
    That aside, your post points out some hard cuts. Do you have unions? Typically, the schools around me that do thrive very well. I'm interested to know where this goes….. keep me posted classifiedmom1 at gmail dot com

  3. The Teacher's Wife says:

    WOW Kayenta- how in the world did you manage? We are already scraping to make by most of the time- I can't imagine it getting worse! I just think it would wreak havoc in the district!

    @Aimee- messaged you but I do agree. Closing schools would be bad- but the kids have to have somewhere to go. Our state law limits the amount of children in the classroom, and our county is growing so much they are actually building schools just to house the need. I fear if they cut budgets as proposed the majority of teachers in the district will leave and cause quite an upheaval of already upset teachers. Where does that leave the children?

  4. Alicia C. says:

    Maybe I shouldn't have read this. I'll have my bachelor's in elementaary education next winter. How on earth will I pay back my student loans and continue on to the master's that nearly every district now requires???

  5. The Teacher's Wife says:

    LOL- Sorry Alicia. There are a lot of really great districts out there. My husband's siblings work at schools as 6 yr teachers and make $60K+ and all sorts of raises & bonuses. I would just say do a lot of research before you settle in a district! 🙂 Some states also have different types of grants and forgiveness programs for master's loans as well……

  6. The "L" in ELF says:

    I just stumbled across your blog and I am so pissed for you! I have similar (although not quite as drastic) as yours going on right now. Our district wants to freeze our pay and decrease their contributions to our insurance next year. So in essence, we'll be making less money next year. Really? That's absurd! Don't even get me started on the cost of insurance. For family insurance (we either have individual or family – doesn't matter # of people) I would have to pay out $1000 of my own check every month, on top of the $600 they already contribute! Who on earth pays that much for insurance?!?! Needless to say, I have individual insurance (that's covered), my husband has his own policy at work, and my son has a separate policy from both of us from an independent source. That's so ridiculous! Please keep me posted as I'm curious to see what happens with this. Oh and I'd love to know where you teach if you're willing to disclose (if you don't want to do it publicly, feel free to email me). I really hope that doesn't pass, but I've heard of crazier things happening. Good luck!

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