Agree! Shifting money from municipal budgets onto the schools may only drive our tax rates higher. It doesn't matter which budget the money comes out of--it's still our pockets in the end! I'd much rather see extra tax dollars be put into actually educating our children!
She is talking about the assault on someone who has an obligation to care for this person who sought medical treatment. The general public can turn their heads and walk away. She is holding herself to a higher standard than that.
I also encourage all of the parents of children in the RSU 16 system to stay knowledgable and involved in this process as we move forward. Financial struggles are unavoidable, as we continue to lose federal funding. When you came to the polls on election day, you demonstrated that you support our schools. Due to the timing of the budget process, these votes can't be held only on Election Days. When you get flyers or see signs, pay attention and make the time to show your support! It greatly affects your children and you can't rely on someone else to advocate for them!
Great letter Kimberly! You are well on your way to being not only an RN, but a great advocate for the profession!
I agree the process is ridiculous, but much of that is attributed to the crazy RSU legislation that we were forced to adopt. The school administration and committee has listened to the people though. They have cut approximately $500,000 from the initial budget! Any more means that we incur cost overruns and end up back at the polls sometime this winter to somehow fix this problem. We have only basic programs, pay that is on the low side of average and all other standard costs for running a school district. Imagine if our school leaders hadn't been proactive and consolidated middle schools last year--the burden would be higher! Amopng others, that was a major proactive move to save us tax dollars. My kids are in crowded classrooms because they have tried to save tax dollars. At the end of the year in the schools supplies are hard to find because they are trying to save tax dollars. The list could go on.
Our town governments see this budget as reasonable and has already set the tax rate based upon it (something they were not willing to do with the initial budget). Poland and Mechanic Falls see no tax increase, and Minot, again due to RSU legislation and cost sharing formulas sees an increase this year. We elected groups of leaders in our towns based upon their knowledge and expertise, and its time to listen to the message they are sending!
Yes, the law is poorly written. I wish the people of our communities would understand that and that I would stop hearing that it is our local process. We live in the constraints and effects of the RSU legislation. Our school committee, administration and teachers have compromised about $500,000 since this process began. That's pretty significant. I think it is time for the townspeople to compromise and give our system and communities what it needs in order to run a quality education system!
Oh, and don't forget that our taxes are NOT increasing in Poland and Mechanic Falls, so there really is no logical financial reason for voting this budget down in those towns!!
I have requested and reviewed that information, and they are not the highest paid. I firmly believe that if we can pay reasonably well and attract the best, that it translates into results. Teachers are not martyrs. They too, have families to support. They didn't go into teaching because they wanted to be rich. They went to college and have bills to pay. Starting pay in our towns is just about what they would make at WalMart minus the college loans! That's absurd! They care for our kids deeply, and deserve to be compensated for all they do in and out of our buildings, which is more than anyone who doesn't spend time there can even imagine. I'd bet that many of the people against paying them fairly (leveling out the pay in the district) don't spend half the time they do working outside of their regular hours! 1.3% of low pay is not much. For the teacher making $35,000 (mid pay range), that's only $8.75 a week BEFORE taxes. You can't say they are getting rich off that today!! And don't forget that many are getting nothing, as it is truly just a leveling of contracts across our district. It seems like spite to me when people stand up and say that the teachers don't deserve to have their contracts leveled as we promise just because they themselves didn't get a raise this year. That's just bad luck, and I don't mean that in a disrespectful manner...it does stink, but it's a responsibility that we have to fulfill as a community.
Also, a vast majority of the money being requested is going into increases in fuel, food service, and supplies. Inflation doesn't just hit our homes...it is everywhere. I say make transportation cuts...let the parents using the system be responsible for getting their kids to a mass bus stop or to school. It doesn't affect education, or the valuable extra curricular activities that our kids need.
I know the sick day issue keeps coming up. I have spent a great deal of time in our schools and I can assure you that it is an extremely RARE instance that our educators use nearly all of the days they are granted. They merely serve to protect their income in the event of an emergency illness considering that we don't provide short term disability. Our teachers go above and beyond to get to school whenever they can. They are professionals who see the need to be there in order to provide the best for our kids. I have even had teachers who are indeed sick actually email me from home with questions or concerns that they didn't want to fall through cracks because they were too sick to come in. That being sad, sick days in a contract don't cost us a dime when they are not being used, which is indeed the case.
Since we already spend less than the state average per student in our schools, I would be interested to see what Greely spends in comparison. I know the Freeport area spends about $2,000 more PER STUDENT than we do...that's an investment in future test scores that can translate into a better future for the students of the district.