From 14 years of involvement in local politics you get to know people.
In the last three weeks – I have spoken with several people in, on and around local school districts about their funding, budgets and challenges. (Several is defined as more than 3 and less than 10 districts)
The patterns are disturbing… almost all of them have said similar things:
1. Their reserves are nearly depleted. Most districts will be dry at the end of FY 2012.
2. The administrators have agreed to cuts in their pay and benefits.
3. The Custodial and Maintenance Workers (most of whom are unionized) have agreed to cuts in pay and benefits.
4. There are a few teachers in each district that are awful and need to be terminated. At least two districts are planning to bite the bullet and go through the lawsuits, delays and absurdities that the Teacher’s Union got put in to law by Gray Davis. This means these districts will spend $250k-$300K per firing while getting squeezed from all sides, by the state, the Teacher’s Union and absurd laws that are bleeding them dry.
5. The Teacher’s Union is refusing to give any significant concessions and in some cases is refusing to negotiate at all. (Nice.)
The common refrain from the members of the school boards is “The Teacher’s Union does not care about the Children” – it is all about maintaining pay and benefits irregardless of consequence.
Some board members have been threatened with having the Union come after them in the subsequent election – even in Placer County the teacher’s union is shameless. They know they can snow a bunch of parents in to thinking the amoral left-wing moonbats they have recruited are “all about the Children”.
Remember Andy Sheehy on the Eureka Joint Union School District? He bought a seat with the help of almost $10k in union money.
Remember Brain Vlahos, Rene Aguilera and extreme left wing gay activist Gary Miller on the Roseville City School District? The Teacher’s Union does control that district – so watch closely for the train-wreck that is coming there. Oh – and that district does not have a single Charter School within its’ boundaries, imagine that.
At the state level – the Teacher’s Union has a bill winding through the state legislature to limit the number of Charter Schools. Screw the kids – we want them stuck in failing government schools in districts that we are going to bankrupt because we won’t negotiate.
Look closely for threatened strikes next year – a political ploy to put pressure on the fiscally conservative districts to cave with pending re-election campaigns coming up.
Meantime – the janitors take pay cuts, the administrators take pay cuts and the teachers union flips us all off.
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