The Usual Ommission from School Budget Fights

Anchor Rising readers shouldn’t have any trouble guessing (let alone discerning) what’s missing from this report out of Cranston:

Wednesday night, on what was the first chance for the public to speak on the proposed budget, students, coaches and parents flocked to Cranston West’s auditorium, where the School Committee budget hearing was moved to accommodate the expected crowd.
Many donned team jerseys (revealing a clear home-team advantage) and defended the value of sports and the added push that rivalry brings.
“Don’t expect us to give up without fighting for what we have worked so hard to build up,” Deanna Archetto, a senior who swims for Cranston West, told the School Committee.
“There have to be other options that don’t involve chopping from the bottom,” she said.
The $1.1-million in proposed cuts — which include the elementary school enrichment program along with strings, band and chorus, following the recommendations of a court-ordered performance audit — follow the state Supreme Court ruling last month that found the district ignored the financial reality, continued to overspend its budget and then sued the city for additional money.

For readers who may be new to the site, I offer this clue:

At a time when the executive director of the National Education Association of Rhode Island is playing games with an application for nine-figures of federal assistance so as to keep his union’s members above accountability,* residents who wish to protest cuts to sports and other services should target their ire where it belongs.
* Which is not to say that I support the continued federal takeover of our educational system. I’m merely pointing to the clear priorities of the teachers’ union.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
8 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
11 years ago

The classic “Washington Monument Defense” in which an government agency facing budget cuts threatens to reduce or eliminate the item that will most raise the public’s ire and bring pressure on elected officials to restore funds … such as threatening to close the Washington Monument to tourists on weekends because of “budget cuts.”
It is disheartening that the public in RI STILL seems to fall for this shell game and not make the connection between bought-off Democrats in the General Assembly, the teachers unions and their exorbitant property taxes and low=quality public education systems.
Rhode Island seems to embrace high taxes and low-quality. It’s weird.

Over-taxed
Over-taxed
11 years ago

Justin,
Didn’t you get the memo from the NEA’s Patrick Crowley telling us all that cost of teachers had not kept up with inflation?
It was similar to the memo telling us that taking money from your pocket to put into public employees’ pockets for their pesion provides an economic stimulant equal to a factor of 4+.
The misinformation, propaganda and lies are endless when it comes to the NEA / teachers union.
You are exactly right. When we reach the point that we are cutting sports and music, school committees should tell the complaintants to go complain to the teachers union, as they are the ones siphoning all the available resources with their outlandish pay (year-over-year salary increase that range from 4+% to 15% for everyone below Step 10) and benefits (free or near-free healthcare; healthcare buybacks; ludicrous pensions, too many sick days, etc.).
Tell the parents to go ask the NEA-RI how its actions and outright lies regarding salary increases, teaching costs versus inflation, etc. is at all helpful to the education of the children.

Over-taxed
Over-taxed
11 years ago

Justin,
Didn’t you get the memo from the NEA’s Patrick Crowley telling us all that cost of teachers had not kept up with inflation?
It was similar to the memo telling us that taking money from your pocket to put into public employees’ pockets for their pesion provides an economic stimulant equal to a factor of 4+.
The misinformation, propaganda and lies are endless when it comes to the NEA / teachers union.
You are exactly right. When we reach the point that we are cutting sports and music, school committees should tell the complaintants to go complain to the teachers union, as they are the ones siphoning all the available resources with their outlandish pay (year-over-year salary increase that range from 4+% to 15% for everyone below Step 10) and benefits (free or near-free healthcare; healthcare buybacks; ludicrous pensions, too many sick days, etc.).
Tell the parents to go ask the NEA-RI how its actions and outright lies regarding salary increases, teaching costs versus inflation, etc. is at all helpful to the education of the children.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

“tell the complaintants to go complain to the teachers union, as they are the ones siphoning all the available resources”
The ire is still misdirected. The teachers union can’t get all those resources without the one who signs the check agreeing to it. Who agreed to the “outlandish” contracts? School committees. That’s where the blame needs to go.

Pat Crowley
Pat Crowley
11 years ago

overt taxed must be talking about his ability to read and comnprehend data. Not surprising if this site is your source.
Justin’s misleading little chart will show that teacher salaries have not kept up with inflation. This is true BTW even though he showed it in an skewed way.
For the first 9 years of their career teachers are paid below market rate. I know Justin would like to keep them there, but most fair observers understand that step systems save districts money, are a creature of managmenet creation, and serve to defalte teacher pay.
Want a better solution? One step, the current step ten. Market rate for a full career.

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

Pat makes a completely unsupportable claim. We know what “market rate” is only when schools are privatized and compete for labor and students, and when right-to-work laws put non-union and union teachers on a level playing field.
Until then, Pat’s claim is meaningless.

Justin Katz
11 years ago

I wonder whom Pat believes hasn’t caught onto his game, yet. Just as in every other career, market forces would set different rates for teachers of varying value. The difference would be that it would do so based on merit, which would align to some degree with longevity, but not entirely. A teacher fresh out of college is not worth the same as a teacher with ten years of experience.
On the inflation claim, it’s difficult to know which if his lies he wishes to imply. For example, sometimes, when he brings up inflation, he lumps teacher remuneration in with the entire “instruction” category of spending, which includes other expenditures (such as technology) that teachers have been draining (see here). Sometimes, as is likely the case here, he lumps teachers together in one pool so that the lower salaries of younger teachers appear to counterbalance the higher salaries of retiring teachers (see here).

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
11 years ago

–“For the first 9 years of their career teachers are paid below market rate.”
Since the stated raison d’etre of labor unions is to establish compensation above market rates, apparently Crowley is asserting that his union fails in its mission.
Do those teachers get a waiver, or at least a discount on their union dues for the first nine years?
And if the teachers union makes it up after those 9 years and teacher pay is above market, then the discussion of keeping up with inflation is a sideshow.
If not, the teachers union is a failure for all of the rank and file. Good for Bob Walsh, Pat Crowley and all of the other six-figure representatives of “working families” though!
–“but most fair observers understand that step systems save districts money, are a creature of managmenet creation, and serve to defalte teacher pay.”
Oh really? Step increases are imposed by the teacher union lackeys at the General Assembly:
§ 16-7-29 Minimum salary schedule established by community. – (a) Every community shall establish and put into full effect by appropriate action of its school committee a salary schedule recognizing years of service, experience, and training for all certified personnel regularly employed in the public schools and having no more than twelve (12) annual steps. The term “school year” as applied to the salary schedule means the ten (10) calendar months beginning in September and ending the following June.

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.