Rome, NY Sucks

But At Least We're Not Utica

Sunday, March 20, 2005

School Roundup

The Daily Sentinel reports that the school superintendent plans to close Lake Delta School (yet again) and put most elementary school students at the same grade level in the same building. The plan is to consolidate the elementary students at the old RFA building by 2008. This would be the old building, of course, since the administration managed to screw up the new building. Beyond that, 29 teachers will get pink slipped added to the 44 who took early retirement and will not be replaced.

In some ways I consider this to be somewhat good news. However, the retirement package will mean paying people who aren't working for the district for years to come. Also, the movement and closure scheme is dubious, since RFA was not sold for the last five years and the superintendent is sure that the old buildings will have to be torn down before the property will become desirable. Then there is the issue of the 29 teachers who were laid off. Last year 50 teachers where 'laid off' until the board decided that they would get a massive windfall from the state and hired all but one back. Now there is a deficit that we will all be paying for in massive property tax increases.

One also wonders what the chances are of these plans passing given the pending fight with the Rome Teachers Union. The union is pretty well funded, considering first year teachers make more than the average income of the city. In fact, every one of the hundreds of teachers in Rome costs one dollar per tax payer in salary alone. That's leaving out both benefits, administrator pay and the 20% of the budget that does not actually go to salary. Union kingpin Pat Mungari criticizes the flexible time students will be given for extra help and extracurricular activities because teacher who are not required to work after school hours may not have time to help.

If Mungari gave a damn about students, maybe the city wouldn't have to initiate cost cutting measures. Salary and benefits are outpacing the rest of the country (and the state) by a considerable margin. I think it may be time to negotiate a teacher contract with pay cuts and benefit freezes. In a city where people are lucky to work for half the salary a teacher gets (working 9 months a year) we might have to consider whether we can actually afford the budget.

Remember: School Budget Meeting Wednesday, March 23 at 7pm in Strough


  • At March 21, 2005 10:13 AM, Blogger Ruthie said…

    So my mom teaches for Rome and she says that this is all because it is contract year. It's very likely that every teacher who gets pink slipped will be hired back shortly before the school year but long after the new contract is signed. Screwing the teachers once again.

  • At March 21, 2005 10:15 AM, Blogger Ruthie said…

    Also, my mother has been paying into a retirement fund her whole career and her retirement salary does not come from the education budget. Get your facts straight!

  • At March 21, 2005 6:31 PM, Blogger RomeHater said…

    It's really too bad that Rome is 'screwing' the teachers this year. I do expect they will be hired back somehow. Was last year a contract year also? Because that year 50 teachers were pink slipped and all but one were hired back. And just exactly how does that affect contract negoriaions?

    As far as retirement goes. Considering everyone else in the country has a 401K or IRA that they have to pay into to some extent, I don't think it's unreasonable that teachers might have to do the same. I speak mostly of the 100% medical that most of us would have to pay $5,000-$10,000 a year for in the non-public sector. Besides, if you didn't know, 'early retirement' means that teachers who leave early are paid off. That is what I meant by being paid for not working.

  • At March 21, 2005 7:29 PM, Blogger Craig said…

    I suspect that Ruthie's mom has been paying into a retirement fund to supplement that which is guaranteed to her through our taxes. While I don't advocate breaking a contract with Ruthie's mom, I'm pretty eager to put new teachers on a 401K and leave us out of their retirement.

    The public sector pensions are killing us and will take decades to pay for -- we must stop them now for all new hires.

  • At March 22, 2005 10:28 AM, Blogger Ruthie said…

    Maybe if teachers were paid like high level executives they wouldn't need public funding to support their retirement.

    Too bad you don't value the free education you got. Too bad you don't value the future and want to pay teachers a real salary.

    Some Erie County executive paid his driver an $81,000 salary. Why don't you bitch about excesses like that, rather than under-paid and over-worked teachers?

  • At March 22, 2005 12:55 PM, Blogger RomeHater said…

    There are already blogs that mentioned the driver situation in Buffalo. I don't live there and there are dozens of Buffalo blogs already.

    My education wasn't free. People who live in the district have to pay taxes to fund education. I was taught by parochial school teachers who earn half the salary public school teachers make.

    It would be nice if everyone could earn a real salary. The school board is the one that's rotton to the core. The teachers are just trying to make as much as they can. The problem is that government may not be able to afford it.

  • At March 22, 2005 9:56 PM, Blogger Martin said…

    My mom works for the school system to but shes not a teacher. With the work she does she could use a little more in her paycheck. Im not syaing this becuase the school ditrict is over paid but what she has to deal with is very chalanging work. She comes home sometimes bitten, hit, and har pulled. The kids she works with are difficult.

  • At March 23, 2005 12:09 AM, Blogger RomeHater said…

    I do understand that some people deserve more money than others. There are a lot of jobs out there where people make way more than they should. I think teaching (and support staff) is important, but the money just is not there.


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