Wild economy questions - I know - but what if?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by McKennaL, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,378
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2010

    January 13, 2010

    Dear District ### Community,

    The next couple months will be very challenging as our district works to eliminate millions of dollars from the current year and 2010-11 school year budgets.

    The Wall Street Journal has listed Illinois the state with the third worst financial status (behind California and Michigan). As the state attempts to solve its own $13 billion deficit, many organizations that depend on state funding—such as District ###—are left with multi-million dollar deficits of their own.

    Board of Education policy requires the district to have a balanced budget. In September 2009, such a budget was approved for District ###’s 2009-10 school year. However, a large portion of the revenues on which the district’s budget was based, has not materialized. As detailed in recent newspaper articles, the state is behind in payments to the district by approximately $14 million, with no news from local legislators as to when, and even if, that funding will ever be provided.

    To address the current situation, the district has halted many of its planned activities including teacher trainings and curriculum renewals, as well as re-evaluated other activities such as scheduled field trips, until it is determined if the state will meet its $14 million obligation to our students. Even with these efforts, the district is still in jeopardy of ending the current school year with a multi-million dollar deficit.

    As we look ahead to the 2010-11 school year, the financial picture remains bleak. The combination of the state funding debacle and the reduction in property tax revenue at a local level is predicted to result in the district needing to reduce its 2010-11 school year budget by a minimum of $5.5 million—and that’s assuming the state finds the money to maintain its obligations.

    Over the past month, district employees have been working to identify areas for reductions or developing ideas to increase the district’s revenue. Hundreds of ideas are being carefully considered in order to develop a draft reduction list for the Board of Education in February.

    In order to reduce $5.5 million from the district budget, many extremely difficult choices will need to be made. A combination of personnel and program reductions will need to be considered. Although the number one goal is to protect the core curriculum for our students, many valuable initiatives will be lost.

    Without the promised $14 million in state funding identified above, the budget cuts that will be needed to make up the almost $20 million budget hole will have a devastating effect.

    The state needs to meet its obligations to our children’s education. Other district employees and I have been working with local state legislators so they are aware of the crippling effect the state budget crisis will have on education in District ###. If you also want to share your concerns with our legislators, contact information has been provided on the back of this letter. In addition, to read how the candidates for Illinois governor plan to adequately fund schools, use the following link to connect to the Chicago Sun-Times Newspaper’s candidate questionnaires at www.suntimes.com/news/elections/1977439,2010-candidate-questionnaires.article.

    We are headed into very uncertain times. It will personally be difficult for many of us; as well as being professionally challenging to continually improve student achievement. However, as a district we will get through this together. The sun will continue to come up, the students will continue to come through our doors, and we will continue to educate them to the best of our ability.

    Sincerely,
    Dr. ______
    Superintendent of Schools
     
  2. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,713

    Feb 15, 2010

    Does this district have a negotiated agreement with a union? If so, I don't think it would be possible to opt out of that agreement and accept employment for half pay, regardless of your best intentions. The reason that those negotiated agreements exist is to provide fair pay to all employees of the district.
     
  3. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,233
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2010

    We're getting the same type of message here in a non-union state. I just don't think they would hire anyone for half-pay. We're paid partly by the state, which sets the salary. There would have to be all sorts of legal red tape to jump through.

    Are you restricted to Illinois?

    Are you determined that your educational career be in a classroom?
     
  4. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    19

    Feb 15, 2010

    Once again, I'm devastated that the future for my state of California looks so bleak. I was born here and lived her 44 of my 48 years. I've always had confidence in our resources and resourceful people, but now I'm not sure we can recover any time soon. :unsure: Our cost of living is really high, what are we going to do? Even though we have highly paid teachers, thanks to the unions, they are still on the low end of income when it comes to rent and housing prices.

    Most teachers here couldn't afford to work at half pay and be able to pay their rent.
     
  5. cmorris

    cmorris Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2010

    I didn't go to college and take on student loans to barely make more than minimum wage (and less with "off the clock" hours!). I'd walk.
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Feb 15, 2010

    I just asked my husband what he would want or expect me to do if I were asked to work for half of my salary, and he said I should continue working (he has a lofty goal for when the house will be paid off :rolleyes:), but I told him there is no way I'd work so hard for so little. His was response was simple: "Work half as hard...heck, you work too much as is. Do a quarter what you do now." Sounds like a compromise, but how many of us could do that? I know I couldn't, and I'm sure most of you all couldn't either because we care too much about our students.
     
  7. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2010

    There is no way I could survive on 1/2 pay of my 4th year teaching salary (about $30,000)!!! I already have a part time job! Now...If I was in a bigger district with higher pay then I may consider it. I would have to be making at least $20,000 and even then I'm not sure I could survive!
     
  8. lilmisses1014

    lilmisses1014 Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2010

    I'd walk and find something else. I live in an expensive area, so there is no way I'd be able to afford to live and pay my bills. Not to mention, we start paying on my husband's loans at the end of the year... I'm not sure how we're going to afford those on our current income!!
     
  9. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Messages:
    3,544
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2010

    Exactly! Dh is always saying I work too many hours, put too much in, etc. But how can you NOT? Who only puts 80% into their CAREER?
     
  10. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Messages:
    815
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2010

    The only way any of us could put in 1/2 the effort would be to have the schools take some of the expectations away and that is never going to happen.
     
  11. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    3,565
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2010

    :yeahthat:

    Seriously.
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Feb 16, 2010

    I think the point that so many people here are making is that, in this economy, that other line of work may not be all that easy to find.

    Would anyone CHOOSE to go down to half pay? No one I know. But would anyone do it as opposed to being unemployed and losing health benefits for themselves and their families? Or ending up with a job which paid even less than half of what they earn now?

    If it meant that's the only way I could feed and clothe and house my kids-- yes, in a heartbeat. My pride isn't worth nearly as much as my the well being of my kids.
     
  13. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 16, 2010

    Alice, my husband had to do that for 2 years. Even with the job, we were in danger of losing our house but we couldn't have lasted nearly as long without it.
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Feb 16, 2010

    Just for the record, if I had children I would also do whatever was necessary. I don't have children, though, and so long as my husband's job is stable I could choose to be prideful, stubborn, or whatever you want to call it. :)
     
  15. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    2,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 16, 2010

    Alice, that is exactly my point. I couldn't afford not to work at half pay if my choice was half pay or no pay. Or, even if my choice was half pay, or maybe 80% of you pay, without benefits. I love my job, and I love my family, and I would do anything at all necessary to take care of my kids. Even if it meant swallowing my pride.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Feb 16, 2010

    Please know that I didn't use the word "pride" as a shot at anyone. Right now, I'm confident that I could find another job teaching math, so I would opt not to have my salary cut in half.

    But having kids DOES change your priorities. And if push came to shove, I would do whatever needed to be done.

    And, for the record, my husband is a teacher, and we work for the same religous order. The odds are overwhelming that if one salary were cut in half, both would be.

    So I'm really glad that this is all hypothetical, at least in my own case.
     
  17. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 16, 2010

    This is all so disturbing.

    I'm near the end of my career, I've planned, saved, sacrificed, scrimped and saved so I can enjoy retirement.

    I'm looking at all this new technology m district just recently received and think, geez, I'd rather had a raise. The district has spent probably $300 K + on lap tops, Document cameras, Mimios, subscriptions to Internet programs (which no one hardly uses), and no telling what else they've bought.

    I just can't believe it!

    Would I work for half my salary now? Gosh, I sure wouldn't want to. I've raised my kids & have my home paid for but I still don't want a pay cut. They base our retirement on the last three years of teaching, what would that do to my retirement???? Someone mentioned in an earlier post about other government jobs making sacrifices too, well if they all did, I'd be more inclined to too.

    If I was just starting my career I'd beg, crawl, take half pay, or whatever else it took to land a position.
     
  18. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Feb 16, 2010

    Oh, no...I didn't think you did and I don't think anyone would have interpreted that way. :)
     
  19. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,748
    Likes Received:
    1,710

    Feb 17, 2010

    I agree with Hoot. If I was at a different point in my career, I would do whatever it takes. However, if my pay was cut that much, it would be my signal to leave the stress of the job behind. I would go to subbing or just begin retirement a little early.
     
  20. hatima

    hatima Devotee

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,081
    Likes Received:
    2

    Feb 17, 2010

    $15,000 a year when the state is already wanting teachers to pay the state's portion into retirement too. I'm afraid if teachers do accept this they will never get that pay back. But if I had a full time teachig job I can't say I wouldn't take it. I would insist if teachers were asked to take a 50% pay cut the administrators and superintendent take a cut as well. The Superintendent makes over 200 thousand here. I'd find a district asking teachers to make less than the agreed upon schedule would mean he'd have to knock down equally too....say 75% something to let him feel the burn of the pay cut.

    As a sub would I take a 50% pay cut, absolutely NOT. I would end with between 600 and 800 a month. I could do better 40+ hour weeks at a dead end low wage job.
     
  21. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,925
    Likes Received:
    125

    Feb 18, 2010

    Like I said earlier, Why just teachers? Why not all taxpayer paid professions? Teachers already make peanuts compared to ALL of them and then we are asked to work for half?

    My brother in law is in the PD making $72,000 for 221 days of work. I make $34,000 for 185 days. Would anyone think of asking him to work for half?
     
  22. nasimi77

    nasimi77 Groupie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,429
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 18, 2010

    Wow. Good point Rabbitt!!
     
  23. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Messages:
    10,120
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 18, 2010

    Our union voted to take a furlough day so no teachers would be laid off. The whole district (super included) took a furlough day and it saved the district 83,000 dollars. I don't think they would hire a teacher for half the salary. I don't believe our union would allow it. They can hire a half time teacher. I couldn't afford to live on half the pay. I worked as a paraprofessional for four years, along with coaching and working three jobs in the summer. I made about half of what I make now. I had to live with my parents.
     
  24. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 18, 2010

    I thorougly believe in give backs. New York is broke, the economy is down, people are suffering. If the other unions in NY can take a hit--like the prison guards, parole officers, and NYC cops and firemen, I can handle a decrease in pay.

    Would I accept half pay? I couldn't. My kids start college soon, my mortgage, although almost paid, is still a burden, and Long Island is ridiculously expensive. I'd pick up a second job.

    HOWEVER, it still bothers me to no end that LI has a 119 (I think it might be more now) school districts, each with its own superintendent, two-four assistant superintendents, and all those other high-paying jobs. Can you imagine the money saved if every two school districts were combined? Bye-bye $250,000 salary for administrators.
     
  25. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Feb 18, 2010

    Thanks Soccer Dad, that's been my battle cry for years.

    I can WALK to 3 districts other than my own-- and I'm an out of shape 50 year old. It's totally ridiculous!!

    Of course, getting people to agree to the mergers-- some of which would have to include Roosevelt and Hempstead and other similar districts, might take some doing.

    I just don't see why we need 119 (though I thought it was 121!) districts in Nassau and Suffolk, while NYC is ONE district.

    Can't we find some sort of a reasonable middle ground???
     
  26. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 18, 2010

    It could very well be 121, Alice. I live in Sayville myself. Personally, I see no issue combining Sayville and Connetquot. And, if you want to get really radical, add on East Islip and Islip. All of these districts average out with 5,000 or so students. And the demographics are similar in all these places. I do not see the issue with this.

    At the very least, we should all use a common distributor of materials and supplies. Can you imagine the savings? The power would lay with the districts not the company. Instead, every district uses different companies for common supplies like paper towels.
     
  27. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Feb 18, 2010

  28. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,134
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 18, 2010

    :2up: Agreed, SoccerDad and Alice! I would love nothing more than to see Long Island districts combined. The expense is outrageous in these tough times, but really in ANY time it was outrageous and unnecessary. What a simple, effective way to save money and be able to give more to our students. I don't want to see anyone lose a job, but if we could finagle this, it would be a GREAT thing for Long Island schools. Not to mention it might boost morale from our taxpayers, who I'm sorry to say make snide comments to me quite often about teachers and our schools.
     
  29. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 18, 2010

    Geez NY friends! That is crazy. What an outrageous expense in your state. Each district having it's own superintendent and getting that high pay. It would save so much money to merge those districts. I bet people would be more willing to merge if it meant they got to keep their job.
     
  30. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 18, 2010

    Unfortunately, they tried doing it about 20 years ago (I could be wrong here) and it failed greatly. And, we were suffering similar conditions. Remember those consecutive years of failed budgets? But no, people wanted to retain that elitism of having their school district separate from a neighboring district.

    Oh, and that reminds me of when students had no busing if the budget failed. Thank God that was outlawed!

    And TeacherGrl, I know exactly what you mean. I've learned to let go those comments of "Oh you only work 180 days a year and make over 100k." I don't like to speak bad about the Suffolk Police Dept. because I have relatives in it and have the highest respect for them, but they don't need as much education as teachers and work the same number of days AND reach the top of their pay scale within 5 years. It normally takes 20-30 years for that to occur with teachers. hmmm...
     
  31. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Feb 18, 2010

    But, by the same token, their lives are on the line every day. I'm perfectly OK with being below them on the pay scale.
     
  32. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 18, 2010

    I absolutely agree. I was referring to the police officers that are PAID as such but are busy playing PAL sports rather than patrolling. Although since Steve Levy's adminstration, that's been cut down tremendously...

    I could never do what a police officer does and I do not mind their salary, but it irks me that so many people complain about the waste and mismanagement in school districts that they often forget about the other bureaucratic offices. Well, actually, I get annoyed when I get personally blamed by my neighbors and such for the issues done by my higher ups... like those wonderful men up there in Albany.
     
  33. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,134
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 19, 2010

    And Soccer Dad, that's what I dislike as well- my issue lies in people yelling at me for the decisions I have nothing to do with. My standard is response is, "Look, I just work there!"
     
  34. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,484
    Likes Received:
    64

    Mar 8, 2010

    That is something of a fallacy, IMO.
    I'm not saying that technically, there life is not on the line every day. But realistically, the vast majority of cops make it through the day still alive. I too have no problem in being lower on the totem pole than cops, but I just thought I'd point that out.

    I don't know where the OP came up with 1/2 pay; that's certainly too much. But I brought this post back up because, 10% wouldn't be too much pain.

    If you instituted a 10% pay cut across the board, how much would that save districts? Given that salaries are up to 2/3 of a district's budget, I think a lot (of jobs).
     
  35. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Messages:
    10,120
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 8, 2010

    If I took a 10% pay cut I would be losing about 200 dollars a pay check. Which is actually a lot considering.
     
  36. goopp

    goopp Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 8, 2010

    We took a 2% cut this year and then 3 furlough days on top of that. My check gets smaller every month (they just started taking the furlough days out, 3 days over 6 months). I can barely make it on my salary now, I hope there are no more cuts.
     
  37. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,484
    Likes Received:
    64

    Mar 8, 2010

    Well at what cost?
    I mean, aren't we in this to educate? I'm estimating that you make 40k or somewhereabouts (if you get paid twice a month, 10 months). I agree that you would have to tighten your belt a bit, but I'm not sure you're understanding the sacrifice that:

    a) students are making to their futures
    b) young teachers are being forced to make to their careers

    We unemployed (underemployed, subbing) teachers are becoming an angry majority. We are creating a huge backlog of disenfranchment and resentment, from the future teachers of America. Who knows, the very best/brightest may just say ____ it and find other employment. I'm not ready to jump ship just yet, but I will say that when/if I'm ever employed and any concession or whatever is asked of me by administration or the powers that be... I'd say ____ ___ to that! Because of this!

    And students who have now had their education quality cut for the past x many years, will have had x% of their K-12 careers in a compromised (i.e. less than ideal) setting. If you could somehow quantify the effectiveness of the instruction before/after... and let's say it was 10% less effective given the cuts... 10% less every year adds up to quite a bit, if you span it across their entire educational career. It's an embarrassment of disservice to them--the people who it's supposed to all be about.

    At what expense? So that teachers can have their brand new SUV, or their annual trip to Disneyworld with their family? Current (tenured) teachers and administration are exempt from the suffering going on in education. Students and the future teachers are the ones feeling the effects. Beautiful.
     
  38. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Mar 8, 2010

    "The Vast Majority?????"

    The vast majority of women who get breast cancer also make it through the day alive. But I've got to tell you, that didn't make it any less terrifying.

    I stand by my statement.
     
  39. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 8, 2010

    My problem is NOT with the cops that go out and risk their lives in duty--of course they deserve to be compensated accordingly.

    My problem was with the ones that work 180 days, get $5,000 bonuses, GET PAID TO PLAY PAL SPORTS DURING WORK HOURS, and other benefits. This annoys me. And let's not forget that the head of the police union has a Bentley that is paid for BY the public--it was part of his contract as union leader.

    My brother-in-law is a cop in Suffolk and although he has only had to pull his gun three times, never shoot, I still fear for him.

    I could never imagine going to break up a gang fight (which are on the rise... again), arrest drug addicts, etc.
     
  40. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Mar 8, 2010

    Abuse is a totally different issue. Whether that abuse is legal or not-- as with the Bentley-- doesn't matter.

    But if I were married to a cop, I would never sleep another night.

    I'm perfectly OK with them making every dime they can.

    When there's a school shooting, it's instant news all over the country. Seriously-- think Columbine, VA Tech and all the other schools we all feel we know intimately.

    When a cop gets shot, it's a local headline for a day-- if nothing "more important" is going on.

    Cops and firemen can NEVER be adequately compensated for the fact that their kids may grow up without a mom or dad.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Pi-R-Squared,
  2. stargirl,
  3. vickilyn
Total: 188 (members: 5, guests: 160, robots: 23)
test