More of the same with this bottomless pit consuming tax payer dollars without any positive results (especially test scores) to show for it. The mantra, "It's for the children" (or blueberries as Duquette used to call them) is wearing thin. The three-town residents are beginning to see that it is really for the teachers and their union, especially when we review the over-the-top benefits they receive compared to other area schools, and when we compare the lack of positive results compared to other schools. I love how the school board wants to dismiss this entire Duquette fiasco, while at the same time holding out their hand for more money, on top of $800,000 just got last November! Duquette was their hero just a few days before he became the RSU 16 goat. Nice job school board, no wonder you are all hiding under your desks.
You no doubt noticed that our PRHS teachers were making FAR MORE than most surrounding towns (ie The Merit Pay system Step 15 teachers at PRHS were earning $52,574 compared to $44,471 at Oxford, and $47,881 in Lewiston, and the same discrepancy exists, as but one more example, at Step 25+ too!). You also noticed no doubt that the other area schools have their folks contributing to their health benefits (to the tune of 20%), while ours contribute NOTHING for themselves and their entire families! You also no doubt noticed that the average number of sick days in all of the other schools is 10 while we have teachers with 20 sick days and the ability to get cash if they aren't used! You also no doubt noticed that our teachers are producing poorer student test scores than many surrounding towns. You also no doubt noticed that our teachers are spending less time in classrooms that surrounding towns that are producing far better test scores (Look at Greely as an example). You also no doubt noticed that no new raises are justified, unlike what you are proposing. You no doubt noticed that having but 18+ students in the average PRHS class is totally ludicrous costing lots of money while producing no benefits (see our test scores). Finally, you no doubt noticed that, if you brought our teachers entire salary, benefit and productivity picture in line with all of the other schools in the area that you would save a ton of money and you wouldn't have to raise anyone's taxes at all. Sadly, you folks, all 15 of you, didn't notice any of this at all!
Sorry Jeri, when you look at the facts and figures, you will find that our teachers are among the HIGHEST paid around. As an example, the "Merit Pay" system has a step 15 teacher at PRHS earning $52, 574, while the same teacher at Oxford makes $44,471 and at Lewiston earning $47,881. Additionally, teachers in the other area schools contribute to their health insurances, compared to ours that contribute NOTHING. Yes, the contract granting 20 sick days per year to our teachers, plus "lieu cash" expired, but it is highly doubtful that they will go to the 10 sick days per year considered normal in other area schools. Our schools will be respected for the education they provide when they provide an education that, as an example, equals the student test scores achieved at other area schools. Right now our schools do not deserve to be respected for their efforts as our student test scores are absymal. The last time I looked, PRHS scores were about half as good as Greely's. Who respects that. The solution to our problems is not found in throwing more money in the RSU16 staff pockets.