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: BFA SCHOOL BUDGET REVOTE INFORMATION  ( 46681 )
nhibbard
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« #30 : March 27, 2014, 04:44:34 PM »

The debate the age of the tax payer is a non issue. Older generations have always paid for younger generations to go to school. Back when the current older people were in school, there were still older people paying that didn't have kids in school. What about the people that do work and get a renters rebate? You realize that some people are still extremely low paid and qualify for the benefit. They pay rent, which pays the taxes that the landlord passes on. That's the same as the homestead without all the other headaches a homeowner has to deal with.

I agree that there has to be trimming and better use of resources. There should only be one principal, one vice principal and one director for each department. That way it all flows up cleanly to one decision maker. If they feel that they have too many kids for that, then they don't know how to delegate which is a different problem. Like any business, lots of ants and one queen. The Board guides the queen who guides the ants. If you need to cut, look for funding for programs elsewhere and get back to basics. Stop building in computerize whiteboards and ipads and go back to markers and paper.

If they want more money, they should prove that the funds that have gone up track with better outcomes in programming. Not just people saying how much they enjoy something but real outcomes. College enrollments, increased scores, increased attendance, increased community involvement, lower funds spent to serve more students in some area. Anything that speaks to why an increase beyond CPI.
tfence
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« #31 : March 29, 2014, 06:17:51 AM »

 I am sticking with the teachers and administrations salaries and the amount of them as a place to cut. The average salary of a teacher in VT is around 50K per year. The average clocked hours per year for a teacher is 1400hrs (I am not sure what this particular union contract stats for minimum hrs). A 40 hr full time job for the rest of us is 2080 hrs per year (not many make 50K with a full time job). As I was growing up, I remember my teachers doing other things to supplement their income. Fact is, I worked for one of them for a summer who owned a roofing company.
« : March 29, 2014, 06:36:17 AM tfence »

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rod anode
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meathead,: dead from the neck up!


« #32 : March 29, 2014, 12:48:20 PM »

TO ROD OR NOT TO ROD ? THAT IS THE QUESTION!
kpplus2
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« #33 : March 30, 2014, 07:49:40 PM »

Seems to me that they looked at the votes. It only got voted down by  53. So lets cut a little at the students expense and hope we can push it through with such a small margin voting it down. I have a crazy idea. Lets vote this one down as well and force the administration to not threaten our children's education right off the get go and force the top heavy administration to look at administrative cuts on the upper end not the teacher side. When you face a financial problem at your home what do you do? You look at all the little incidental logistical things that run your home. You look at cable, not going out to eat as much, maybe cutting back on the little things that run your home. You don't say to your children "Well kids sorry I cant pay for your sports anymore and by they way can't afford to bring you to School" I noticed the cuts went immediately after the kids sports. I didn't hear anything about cutting art or music. Why is it we cut technology and sports before we ever think about cutting art or music? I believe technology will produce productive innovative youth well before music or art. We have lost our way people. It's time to get it back.
ohhman
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« #34 : March 30, 2014, 09:04:20 PM »

I was at the meeting when they made the cuts; cuts were suggested by superintendent's office, not sure if administration had hand in it also & maybe this is the way it done.  Honestly, the board stated they did not want to cut things from the students, and each may have own reason for that, like things that would directly affect their own. This is NOT a criticism, just an observation.  However there was a board member who pretty sternly stated that this should be presented to the tax payers with an added, if it doesn't go through this is what we cut next attitude; again, not a criticism, just an observation.  The administration offered to take a 2% pay raise over a 3%.  I have heard from a few, cut the IPADS; I remember a few years ago when technology was cut, when students all had to SHARE computer labs & not have their own.....hmmmm, what an idea!  Should a raise go "across the board" for each employee, if they are custodians, paras, etc?? Opinion is it should be done on merit; you deserve it, you own it; you don't, well, step up & next time you will.  I agree with many here: how many taxpayers have gotten raises lately?  Most are lucky to have a job.
Margie
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« #35 : March 30, 2014, 09:08:10 PM »

As a music and drama kid, and a former music teacher, I can tell you that cuts were ALWAYS made in the arts in the past.  And the issue is the kids who are in music and art are generally not in other things.  When cuts happen, those kids are punished far more than the kids who might be slightly inconvenienced by Freshman basketball being cut back.  There seems to be every sport for each and every grade now.  If cuts need to be in what is offered to students, it makes sense to me to find certain areas of the very large sports program to consolidate.  

That being said - I'd prefer there to be no cuts in what we offer our students. I realize people want cuts, and everyone would prefer something different.  I just hope everyone can work together to do what is best for the students and still keep our school as productive and high quality as possible.
Family of 5
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« #36 : March 31, 2014, 07:33:36 AM »

I have been following this thread of debate; with many others!

There is a small consortium of parents who are interested in starting a private independent school in the Fairfax area for K - 5.  We are in the very initial stages and are working with the Vermont Association for Independent Schools and the Vermont Department of Education.  Our goal is simple - to provide high academic and behavioral expectations for all students participating; address the learning needs of the whole child in multi-age settings through a challenging, developmentally appropriate curriculum; identify and develop the interests and strengths of every student through active, personalized and authentic learning activities.

Again, we are in the early stages. However, we are eager parents who are seeking something "better" (which is subjective).  Because there are no alternatives in Franklin County, we have decided to create on our own!

If you are interested in this possibility (in helping or joining), please private message or e-mail me @  degraffmurphy@gmail.com  We are interested in hearing from parents, educators, music, art or foreign language speakers/teachers!

Thanks so much --
« : March 31, 2014, 11:23:58 AM Henry »
AbbeyC
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« #37 : April 01, 2014, 05:45:02 AM »

My understanding of the cuts is the board did not want to make cuts that affect our children. They did not cut sports however they trimmed monies from freshman sports which has not been utilized for some time. So taxpayers arent paying for something they dont use. But they left some money from freshman sports so if needed our children will be able to still play a sport and not get cut from the team.
Stand Alone Defense
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« #38 : April 01, 2014, 07:59:49 AM »

I am sticking with the teachers and administrations salaries and the amount of them as a place to cut. The average salary of a teacher in VT is around 50K per year. The average clocked hours per year for a teacher is 1400hrs (I am not sure what this particular union contract stats for minimum hrs). A 40 hr full time job for the rest of us is 2080 hrs per year (not many make 50K with a full time job). As I was growing up, I remember my teachers doing other things to supplement their income. Fact is, I worked for one of them for a summer who owned a roofing company.

I agree with you Tom.  When you look at the 2012 median household income for VT it is around 54K.  I don't want to start a teacher bashing session or anything but we have all had to tighten our belt, I for one have not gotten a raise in 4 years.  Time to start cutting the fat and holding people acountable.  If you don't preform you shouldn't get a raise or have a job for that matter.  I know a lot of people that would work their ass off for 50K a year with a 3 month vaca.

A veteran is someone who, at one
point in his life, wrote a blank check
made payable to 'The United States of
America ' for an amount of 'up to and including My life.'
Papi
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« #39 : April 01, 2014, 11:17:52 AM »

 Stand Alone Defense---if you "know a lot of people that would work their ass off for 50K a year with a 3 month vaca," maybe you should encourage them to get degrees and become teachers.  I agree with you that "If you don't preform you shouldn't get a raise or have a job for that matter."  I hope that is not why you haven't received a raise in 4 yrs.  As for Tom and others, are your children currently attending school in Fairfax?  Did you support these same cuts when your children were attending school?
mkr
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« #40 : April 01, 2014, 11:38:59 AM »

Stand Alone works for the Federal Gov. and is a worker like the rest of his family Papi.

I pay a nice chunk of money to the school, to the federal government and the state since I work my a$$ off and I am single. I was a graduate of BFA Fairfax. So to be clear my opinion of cuts is not based on whether I have kids or not but what is best for the children, school and town. 

My problem is they cut the kids programs as their way of cutting every time. Like Margie said Music, Arts, Sports seem to leave quickly off their budget. And the idle threat in the post that more will be removed from the children if this doesn't pass. I don't like to be bullied.

I think the revamp of the administration and a chat with the union again on the guaranteed raises are my issue now. We have some great teachers who deserve more and others who deserve nothing more than what they are getting. 

"Life is too short, so love the one you got!"
Margie
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« #41 : April 01, 2014, 11:53:12 AM »

May I just comment on the "three month vacation" comments?  If you have ever been a teacher, you would know that just because school ends at 2:45, that does not mean your work day has ended.  You have after school duties, chaperoning games and dances, and then correcting papers, tests, etc.  Summer "vacation" is usually spent in other classrooms, as teachers must maintain their certification which requires taking classes the rest of their careers.  Do they get more time off than many people?  Perhaps.  I cannot speak on the actual days.  But these people are not sitting back, eating bon bons for weeks on end.  They are working very hard to remain current and relevant in their area of teaching so they can teach your children.  Many schools are now requiring all new teachers to have a plan in place to acquire their Masters Degree in a set period of time.  If you aren't clear on what the life of a teach is like, I'm sure any one of them would be happy to talk to you about it. 

Teaching is not an easy job.  And it certainly doesn't help to be undermined by comments and beliefs that you don't work very hard. 

End of rant.

Stand Alone Defense
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« #42 : April 01, 2014, 12:29:47 PM »

Stand Alone Defense---if you "know a lot of people that would work their ass off for 50K a year with a 3 month vaca," maybe you should encourage them to get degrees and become teachers.  I agree with you that "If you don't preform you shouldn't get a raise or have a job for that matter."  I hope that is not why you haven't received a raise in 4 yrs.  As for Tom and others, are your children currently attending school in Fairfax?  Did you support these same cuts when your children were attending school?

My child is too young to attend school at this time "Papi".  However I did graduate from BFA in 2001 and I know for a fact there is plenty of overpaid dead weight there, as there is in most work places.  I have not received a raise because no one in my office or any other office across the country has.  Mind you if you feel that the school should receive more money and teachers should be paid more.... you could always pay more yourself??? Nothing is stopping you from paying more... apparently you are well off and not concerned about spending more.  That's awesome for you!! Hopefully my lazy ass with 3 jobs can get there some day.

Why do you assume that the people I was talking about don't have degrees???  I have 2 people that work for me that have Masters Degrees and they don't make 50gs for 9 months of work....  You say "maybe you should encourage them to get degrees and become teachers” I think maybe it should be explained that you aren't going to become a millionaire being a teacher.  Maybe if a teacher wants to make 80 or 100K a year they should get a law degree and become a lawyer?? The average teacher in Vermont makes about 35 dollars an hour.  Mind you I know it is an average and there are teachers like my sister that make 16 bucks an hour.  All I'm saying is maybe they should have to tighten their belt the same way we have had too.  Or better yet the ones making over the average should not get their increase??  As the young ambitious teacher making 14 dollars an hour needs the increase more than the older less ambitious teacher that is making 40 dollars and hour???

Like I said before, I don't want to start a teacher bashing session but the logical place I would make cuts would be with the staff.

A veteran is someone who, at one
point in his life, wrote a blank check
made payable to 'The United States of
America ' for an amount of 'up to and including My life.'
Stand Alone Defense
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« #43 : April 01, 2014, 12:40:09 PM »

May I just comment on the "three month vacation" comments?  If you have ever been a teacher, you would know that just because school ends at 2:45, that does not mean your work day has ended.  You have after school duties, chaperoning games and dances, and then correcting papers, tests, etc.  Summer "vacation" is usually spent in other classrooms, as teachers must maintain their certification which requires taking classes the rest of their careers.  Do they get more time off than many people?  Perhaps.  I cannot speak on the actual days.  But these people are not sitting back, eating bon bons for weeks on end.  They are working very hard to remain current and relevant in their area of teaching so they can teach your children.  Many schools are now requiring all new teachers to have a plan in place to acquire their Masters Degree in a set period of time.  If you aren't clear on what the life of a teach is like, I'm sure any one of them would be happy to talk to you about it. 

Teaching is not an easy job.  And it certainly doesn't help to be undermined by comments and beliefs that you don't work very hard. 

End of rant.


Yes Margie, I am aware of what they do as my sister in is a teacher and I also have 2 close friends that are also teachers.  Mind you most Jobs don't run from 7-2:45 on the other side either.  I'm not trying to say teachers don't work hard, I know for a fact that many do.  I also know a few that don't though, yet they still recieve their raise every year.

A veteran is someone who, at one
point in his life, wrote a blank check
made payable to 'The United States of
America ' for an amount of 'up to and including My life.'
7F24
Sr. Member
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: 253


« #44 : April 02, 2014, 07:13:49 AM »

It bothers me when people don't live up to their contracts.  We have a contract with the teachers that I believe we should uphold.  If we feel things need to be changed, negotiations on the next contract is where that should happen.  I've been watching kids in and out of the school, and I have a real problem with the whole Ipad issue.  My opinion is that the Ipad is toy for most of the kids, and a babysitter for teachers that want quiet time.  How much money have we spent buying Ipads and laptop since the beginning of that program?

I wasn't given the option to "renegotiate" my contract after I enlisted.

con·tract

noun

noun: contract; plural noun: contracts

/ˈkänˌtrakt/

1. a written or spoken agreement, esp. one concerning employment, sales, or tenancy, that is intended to be enforceable by law.
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