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Fayette BoE splits 3-2 on budget

Presberg, Smith, Smola vote to use reserves to balance budget

The Fayette County Board of Education Tuesday night gave preliminary approval to the 2012-2013 budget that totals $177.34 million by using the entire $15 million fund balance from the current year that ends June 30.

The vote was split 3-to-2, with board members Marion Key and Bob Todd opposed. Chairman Leonard Presberg and members Terri Smith and Janet Smola voted in favor of the proposed budget. The final vote will come on June 18.

Comptroller Laura Brock at the May 31 budget workshop said the revenue projections for the 2012-2013 school year have not changed. Those revenues are expected to total $163.14 million, with $78.9 million coming from local ad valorem taxes, $81.39 million from the state and approximately $2.8 million from other revenue sources.

Expenditures in the proposed budget total $177.34 million. That represents $14.2 million in expenses over revenues for the 2012-2013 school year that begins in July. With a projected fund balance of $803,000 as of June 30, 2013 that leaves the school board with less than $1 million to offset the $14.2 million shortfall this time next year. Superintendent Jeff Bearden has noted on past occasions that it will likely take reducing staff to make up the difference.

If approved as it stands, the budget will be balanced by using the estimated $15 million fund balance expected to be available on June 30.

Having been discussed on May 31, the meeting Monday included essentially no discussion on the budget and went forward with a motion to give preliminary approval. It was in the run-up to the 3-2 vote that brought some discussion between board members.

Stating several reasons, Todd noted that he would not vote in favor of the proposed budget. Todd said preliminary information on the budget had been requested in November to give the board adequate time to study the proposal and respond to recommendations.

“We will spend all of our ($15 million) fund balance (adopting the proposed 2012-2013 budget) and there won’t be anything left for next year,” Todd said. “We don’t have preliminary projections on what it will take to make up the $14 million shortfall. I hope we can work on the process after July 1 so people will be informed.”

Todd also referenced the consensus agreement from the May 31 meeting to eliminate the school system’s contribution to employees’ life insurance and long-term disability policies. Those, along with the recent decision to eliminate other benefit supplements to employees as a cost-saving measure, amount to shifting the burden for a balanced budget on lower paid employees who are least able to afford those reductions, Todd said.

Key followed, also noting concerns that preceded her vote in opposition to the budget approval. The current proposal contains no school closures, no cost-cutting, no reserve fund and no projected plans for 2013-2014, she said.

Presburg disagreed, saying that Bearden, “Has been making suggestions all along,” adding that the board had gone through a six-month process of hearing issues. “I would have thought I would have heard something specific (from Todd and Key) before tonight.”

Bearden entered in the discussion at that point, referencing $6 million that had been added to the fund balance during the past year through measures such as not filling vacated staff positions.

“That strategy will continue over the next year,” Bearden said.

Bearden also noted other cost-saving measures impacting the 2013-2014 school year such as the upcoming decision over the closure of up to five schools and the possible outsourcing of custodial and transportation services. The largest cost-saving measure of them all, as Bearden has mentioned but has not elaborated on, is the elimination of a number of current staff positions.

“Our budget is 91 percent people. There’s no question that we’ll have to look at staffing across the board and tuitioning students (from other school systems),” Bearden said.

Bearden also referenced the reduction of approximately 80 staff for the upcoming school year while avoiding a reduction in force and the significant cuts in benefits.

“I believe the budget proposed in front of you is the way to go,” Bearden said.

Board member Janet Smola entered the discussion, saying, “We’ve been talking about this budget since last August.” Her comment was echoed by Presburg who said the board had been talking about the budget for months.

Key responded, saying the information pertaining to the budget had been provided in a piecemeal fashion.

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Comments

I have/will continue to look elsewhere for employment! Fayette continues to spend frivolously and then makes cuts, cuts, and more cuts. This year, compared to any other, I know of more teachers that are planning on leaving Fayette county schools for better paying districts. You can only endure so much in cuts before you have to say enough is enough.
This county is flat out losing the ability to attract high-quality teachers because of their inability to maintain fiscal austerity. Here are the cuts that we have endured so far just this year:
1. 2.5% reduction in pay.
2. Eliminating the monthly $72 the county has paid toward health insurance.
3. Eliminating the monthly $22 the county has paid toward dental insurance.
4. Eliminating county paid life insurance benefits.
5. Eliminating county paid long-term disability insurance.
How much more can the good teachers of this county take before they start exiting in flocks? My prediction....not much.
Whether the public can see it now or not, your highly achieving education system is now losing great employees and it will not be long before this has a negative impact on student achievement in the classroom.
I write this post not to whine or complain…..I have a job and am happy. I just want to clarify just how much the county is/has taken from us to make sure the public in fully informed.

Concerned Citizen

Family coverage for health insurance for a Fayette County school district employee is presently $182.72 a month to $245.72 a month (depending on whether a HRA or HMO is selected). The new cost (effective July 31st) will range from $253.86 to $308.72 a month. The $71.14 per month increase is just a PART of the compensation reductions the Fayette school district is implementing.

Add to that $71.14 per month increase for health insurance, the following: the loss of $22 a month currently paid for dental coverage; the loss of all life insurance coverage previously paid by the county; and the loss of long term disability coverage paid by the county.

The reduction in the benefits noted above and the reduction in salaries mean that Fayette school employees will lose between 5.25% and 14.0% of their compensation (depending on their present income). Don't forget that Fayette schools was already paying its employees below the metro average.

So, tell us GRIZZ (see ill-informed post below), how much do you pay a month for health insurance? How about dental insurance? How about other fringe benefits you receive? Also, what is your salary? How many degrees do you have?

The salary of every employee in Fayette County Schools (and all public schools) is available online. Share YOUR information with us.

Family coverage for health insurance for a Fayette County school district employee is presently $182.72 a month to $245.72 a month (depending on whether a HRA or HMO is selected). The new cost (effective July 31st) will range from $253.86 to $308.72 a month. The $71.14 per month increase is just a PART of the compensation reductions the Fayette school district is implementing.

Add to that $71.14 per month increase for health insurance, the following: the loss of $22 a month currently paid for dental coverage; the loss of all life insurance coverage previously paid by the county; and the loss of long term disability coverage paid by the county.

The reduction in the benefits noted above and the reduction in salaries mean that Fayette school employees will lose between 5.25% and 14.0% of their compensation (depending on their present income). Don't forget that Fayette schools was already paying its employees below the metro average.

So, tell us GRIZZ (see ill-informed post below), how much do you pay a month for health insurance? How about dental insurance? How about other fringe benefits you receive? Also, what is your salary? How many degrees do you have?

The salary of every employee in Fayette County Schools (and all public schools) is available online. Share YOUR information with us.

Fortunately for GRIZZ he works in the private sector and doesn't have to. A 5%-14% loss in compensation sucks and is truly unfortunate, especially for teachers whom I have a great deal of respect for as I was fortunate to have some pretty damn good ones going through school back in the day. But 5%-14% pales in comparison to the damage that employees in other sectors of the economy are having to endure. How would you like a 25% + pay cut? Remember when Delta was going through hard times and pilots had to take pay cuts up to 40%? Times are tough these days and very few are immune, teachers included. Perhaps you should have paid more attention when the power hungry housewives on the incompetent BoE were getting us into this mess. And let's face it, odds are you won't be relocating to another school system anytime soon. You really want to teach in Clayton, Fulton, or Dekalb schools?

I have friends who are pilots. I truly felt for them when Delta was making horrific cuts. But really, can you compare a pilot making $150,000 or more and taking a 40% pay cut to a teacher making $40,000 and taking the compensation cuts mentioned here. Can you compare a lunchroom working making $12,000 a year and taking a 14% cut to what happened to pilots?

No, Fayette teachers won't likely flee to DeKalb or Clayton counties. However, north Fulton (with some of the best schools in the state), Forsyth, Cherokee, parts of Cobb, Coweta, Henry, and others probably would be quite appealing to the best Fayette teachers.

NUK_1's picture

I doubt anyone in FC wants to lose good teachers/personnel, but the BOE doesn't have any choice but to cut and cut heavily. Years of absolutely horrid fiscal management and poor internal financial management have led to a the millage rate being maxed-out and expenses way above incoming funds. Blaming the state and its reductions is rather meaningless since every school system in GA also has to deal with that situation as well.

Besides using 15mil in reserves and exhausting that all in one year(absolutely stupid) in order to put-off the tough decisions yet again, what does Bearden and the BOE do from here? Hope for a miracle in that state revenues will suddenly rise? That the FC student population won't continue to decline in raw numbers as MOST knew was going to happen except the BOE while they were buying land(????) and building Rivers?

They can't increase "revenues" so the only option is to cut. Why they don't start at the BOE itself first, I don't know, but there is a lot of pain to go around and I'm afraid no one will be exempt. This is what happens when complete idiots are elected to the BOE and can make decisions that seriously threatens the quality of the school system in the future. The future has arrived, and it's going to be ugly.

As far as those saying "can't balance the budget on the backs of employees," exactly how do you propose it be balanced then???? By state statute, the BOE cannot go above 20mils and they already reached that maximum a few years ago and many seemingly didn't realize then what a disaster was brewing.

. . might be the answer

[quote]complete idiots are elected to the BOE and can make decisions that seriously threatens the quality of the school system in the future.[/quote]

Veritas's picture

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Veritas's picture

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Veritas's picture

First let me say this is not a p****-ng contest.
I personally know many teachers in Fayette county whose current health insurance costs are currently 400.00 PR month after FCBOE pays 71.14. So private sector health care and FCBOE health care costs are virtually identical.

If the FCBOE continues to balance the budget with reserves and on the backs of the employees, the employees will have no choice but to move on. When this happens, everyone will suffer, from the children in the system to all who own property in Fayette County.

Geez Grizz. A bus driver making $11,000/year cannot afford any pay cut. Would you be able to live in Fayette County making that pay?
Nevertheless, for the coming year, they will have to.

Will there be any employee pay or benefits for the FCBOE to cut next year?

Heard on the way into work this morning regarding what other local BOEs were doing in regards to cuts. It was stated that Gwinnett was cutting 50 jobs from the county office. Do not know what % that would be for them...I know they are a very large school system, but my point is, has anyone heard of ANY cuts at our county office? In addition, what about the BOE tv channel (24 on Comcast). How much does that cost? Who watches it? The background music is horrible...just asking...

G35 Dude's picture

[Quote]I know they are a very large school system, but my point is, has anyone heard of ANY cuts at our county office?[/Quote]

Nope just teachers, custodians, lunch room ladies and bus drivers. You know, the people that don't matter.

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

Where are the staffing cuts at our very bloated county level? Why do we need the equivalent of three deputy superintendents? We aren't that big a system. Why weren't schools closed for 2012-2013? Oh wait, that would require timely work at the county level. Why has nothing been done about the 200+ out of county kids at the Jenkins Road complex? That'll give the county attorney something productive to do.

Anyone want to place a bet on Bearden responding to this?

Veritas's picture

Along with Smith , Smola and Presberg are to cowardly to reply.

Why should you worry about those on this forum? It's a little thing called "personal pride"--and I''ll tell you a little secret--it'll cause readers to pay more attention to what you write, rather than say to themselves "Oh, here's dumbo writing again" and ignore what you say. I'm not a teacher but having lived with one for many years, let's just say I'm very familiar. She had a Master's Degree and when she retired in 2004 was making in the neighborhood of 50k and thought it was good compensation. The "bennies" weren't important because, as a Federal employee, I had better and therefore she was covered that way. But seriously, you should work to clean up your writing--it's a horrible example to set for a teacher.

Why should you worry about those on this forum? It's a little thing called "personal pride"--and I''ll tell you a little secret--it'll cause readers to pay more attention to what you write, rather than say to themselves "Oh, here's dumbo writing again" and ignore what you say. I'm not a teacher but having lived with one for many years, let's just say I'm very familiar. She had a Master's Degree and when she retired in 2004 was making in the neighborhood of 50k and thought it was good compensation. The "bennies" weren't important because, as a Federal employee, I had better and therefore she was covered that way. But seriously, you should work to clean up your writing--it's a horrible example to set for a teacher.

Why should you worry about those on this forum? It's a little thing called "personal pride"--and I''ll tell you a little secret--it'll cause readers to pay more attention to what you write, rather than say to themselves "Oh, here's dumbo writing again" and ignore what you say. I'm not a teacher but having lived with one for many years, let's just say I'm very familiar. She had a Master's Degree and when she retired in 2004 was making in the neighborhood of 50k and thought it was good compensation. The "bennies" weren't important because, as a Federal employee, I had better and therefore she was covered that way. But seriously, you should work to clean up your writing--it's a horrible example to set for a teacher.

Many 'newcomers' to Georgia are/were attracted to Fayette Countys' outstanding school system. The foundation of this system is outstanding teachers! Let's hope that not filling vacant posts will save teacher salaries and benefits. There are other 'neighborhoods' outside of Fayette County that have good schools. Let's don't hurt FC economy further by losing our teachers!!!

[quote=renault314]You all need some perspective!
I chose this job and the consequences for having the job falls on my shoulders. I could have been anything else, but I was drawn to this proffession for lots of reasons and I really love what I do. If I didn't, I'd go do something else. Now, if my salary is sometimes subject to the vagaries of a worldwide economy, so be it. Everyone elses salary is in some way, why should I be protected when no one else is? The fact is that my salary will be $53,172.00 next year for a t-5 masters degree with 9 yrs exp. you can look up salary schedules here http://www.fcboe.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=163:hu...
and I get that for working 175 days. Which is about $38/hr. How many other people out there can say that they make $38/hr in this economy? I feel super extra lucky just to HAVE a job in this economy with great benefits. So I have to pay a little more for them? I think I still pay less, even after the increase, than most people do for the same bennies. Who exactly is going to sympathize with me if I start to whine about it?
Now, I dont think I get paid too much money, but I dont think I get paid too little either. I didn't become a teacher bacause I though it was going to make me a billionaire and anyone who took this job to get rich is an idiot anyway.
Let me also say that NO ONE teaching in FayCo has lost their job since these cuts began. Saying that their has been lost jobs is an outright misstatement of the facts. ALL cuts have been made though attrition, meaning that when someone moves/leaves/quits/retires on their own, that position is simply not filled with a new employee.
I hate to throw PATKEBB under the bus here but I really dont think she understands what its like in the private sector or how good we have it as teachers. One of the others said she was applying in 5 other counties. Good luck, youre going to need it. Between Gwinett and Cobb alone they have slashed over 500 teaching positions. And new kids are graduating every year. Why would they hire you for a job at 50K that they can give to a new bachelors degree for 20K/yr less? In todays budget conscious world do you really think school boards arent taking that into consideration? My advice? If you have a job right now teaching in this county, be grateful, and hang on to it for dear life.[/quote]

Renault 314 posted an item at 8:53 am today (see above) that is riddled with problems. Renault, if you are really a teacher in this county, PLEASE resign immediately. Our children deserve much better!!

First, your post is full of grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. When I first read it, I counted 16 of them. There are probably more, but I was SO disgusted that I did not count them a second time. People like you should not be teaching our children.

Second, there are numerous factual errors in your comments. For example, your salary will NOT be $53,172 next year (as you stated). You looked at the wrong salary scale. Furthermore, you will not be working 175 days next year, but 185. Though, actually I hope you will be working 0, because you do not belong in any classroom. Where did you get the figure 175? Students will attend 177 days and teachers have 8 workdays.

Also, you will not be earning $38 an hour (evidently, you were trying to calculate your hourly rate by dividing your daily pay by 8 hours, but you figured incorrectly). Furthermore, your premise is that teachers only work 8 hours a day. IF this is true for you, again, PLEASE resign. Most good teachers work a minimum of 60 hours a week, while many work more. We do not need teachers who merely do the minimum required.

By the way, I have a good friend who earns $90 an hour as a computer analyst/programmer. I have friends who are pilots that earn that much or more. They EARN their income and I am happy for them. But it is a disgrace that our teachers are not paid what they truly earn.

In addition to your numerous other mistakes, you are wrong in stating that a school district can hire a teacher for $30K a year. That is lower than the state mandated salary scale.

You mention paying "a little more" for benefits. Paying as much as $150 a month more for benefits (on top of a substantial pay cut), is not exactly "a little."

In summary, Renault, you are an idiot. Surely, you don’t really have a master’s degree (as you state); however, if you do, you are highly educated idiot. If you are a teacher, you are a disgrace to the profession (by the way, that is one of the words you misspelled).

Thanks for being so mature and debating me on my ideas and not resorting to ad hominem attacks like calling me an idiot, or pointing out petty irrelevancies like bad grammar. Oh wait, you did both of those things.
Let me clue you in. This is a forum for the free flow comparison of ideas, not grading each others editorials according to the latest edition of the MLA. Seriously, get a grip. Do you count everyones spelling and grammar mistakes on here? Or just mine since I'm a teacher? I didn't realize that meant I was supposed to be perfect. Or, maybe what I DID realize (and hopefully one day you will too) is that no one on here except you appears to give a flip. You dont really expect me to worry about grammar and punctuation on this forum do you? Why would I? Especially at 8:30 am? Like I said, this place is about sharing thoughts and opinions, not writing research papers.
Now I admit I made a mistake with the 175/185 day thing. I knew we were working 5 days less next year and just took % off of the 180 day figure, which is the one most mentioned on here. My bad.
But, having said that, I did NOT look at the "wrong salary scale." As a master degree T-5 with 9 years exp. I will make $53,172 when adding state and local supplements. What scale are YOU looking at? Even then, adjusting for the 185 days, the hourly wage figure I gave (which was just a guidline for comparison btw) gets adjusted down from 38/hr to 36/hr. And THAT doesnt change my premise at all, that most people in the private sector dont have it as good as that, especially when factoring in the high quality bennies we have. I noticed you didnt debate that point at all, just counted my spelling mistakes.
What does you buddy making 90/hr have to do with anything? I feel like teachers do make a good living relative to the number of days they work. That was just my opinion. You can disagree, but that doesnt make me an idiot.
Next you said my anecdote about hiring a new teacher for less was wrong, but it wasnt. I never said they could hire them for 30k/yr. I said they could hire them for 20k less. I make 53K and change. A new teacher makes 33K and change. A difference of.....anyone? Anyone? Thats right! 20K! Ta da!
Lastly you criticize my choice of words for saying $150 a month is a "little." Being a relative term, I dont see how that makes me an idiot either considering a lot of people pay a heck of a lot more than for insurance as nice as ours but oh well. Ask for a show of hands how many people on here wish they could get insurance for that price and ask them what constitutes "a little."
One last thing, I know some teachers who work 60 hrs a week, but I dont know why. It's not required, and it doesnt make you a better teacher, although all the ones that do it seem to think it does. Heres a little secret. If it takes you 60hrs to do a job everyone else gets done in 40hrs, you are doing it wrong! The kids should be tired at the end of the day, not the teachers. Working longer hours to educate the same number of kids doesnt make you better than them, it makes you worse. I know nothing in the world will convince you of the simple truth in that, but its true nonetheless. Try mopping floors or fixing cars 50% slower than everyone else and see how long you keep your job. Then tell your boss how many spelling mistakes there were in the e-mail he sent telling you you're fired and see if he lets you stay! Gimmie a break. And before you get all noble and sacraficial and "oh its for the children!" on me, I work right down the hall from FayCos teacher of the year and let me tell you something. She doesnt work 60hrs a week either.
In summary, youre never going to get anywhere on here bragging about what a great speller you are and calling others idiots. I hope thats not how YOU teach kids. They might deserve better than me, but I doubt ANYONE deserves YOU.

[quote=renault314]Thanks for being so mature and debating me on my ideas and not resorting to ad hominem attacks like calling me an idiot, or pointing out petty irrelevancies like bad grammar. Oh wait, you did both of those things.
Let me clue you in. This is a forum for the free flow comparison of ideas, not grading each others editorials according to the latest edition of the MLA. Seriously, get a grip. Do you count everyones spelling and grammar mistakes on here? Or just mine since I'm a teacher? I didn't realize that meant I was supposed to be perfect. Or, maybe what I DID realize (and hopefully one day you will too) is that no one on here except you appears to give a flip. You dont really expect me to worry about grammar and punctuation on this forum do you? Why would I? Especially at 8:30 am? Like I said, this place is about sharing thoughts and opinions, not writing research papers.
Now I admit I made a mistake with the 175/185 day thing. I knew we were working 5 days less next year and just took % off of the 180 day figure, which is the one most mentioned on here. My bad.
But, having said that, I did NOT look at the "wrong salary scale." As a master degree T-5 with 9 years exp. I will make $53,172 when adding state and local supplements. What scale are YOU looking at? Even then, adjusting for the 185 days, the hourly wage figure I gave (which was just a guidline for comparison btw) gets adjusted down from 38/hr to 36/hr. And THAT doesnt change my premise at all, that most people in the private sector dont have it as good as that, especially when factoring in the high quality bennies we have. I noticed you didnt debate that point at all, just counted my spelling mistakes.
What does you buddy making 90/hr have to do with anything? I feel like teachers do make a good living relative to the number of days they work. That was just my opinion. You can disagree, but that doesnt make me an idiot.
Next you said my anecdote about hiring a new teacher for less was wrong, but it wasnt. I never said they could hire them for 30k/yr. I said they could hire them for 20k less. I make 53K and change. A new teacher makes 33K and change. A difference of.....anyone? Anyone? Thats right! 20K! Ta da!
Lastly you criticize my choice of words for saying $150 a month is a "little." Being a relative term, I dont see how that makes me an idiot either considering a lot of people pay a heck of a lot more than for insurance as nice as ours but oh well. Ask for a show of hands how many people on here wish they could get insurance for that price and ask them what constitutes "a little."
One last thing, I know some teachers who work 60 hrs a week, but I dont know why. It's not required, and it doesnt make you a better teacher, although all the ones that do it seem to think it does. Heres a little secret. If it takes you 60hrs to do a job everyone else gets done in 40hrs, you are doing it wrong! The kids should be tired at the end of the day, not the teachers. Working longer hours to educate the same number of kids doesnt make you better than them, it makes you worse. I know nothing in the world will convince you of the simple truth in that, but its true nonetheless. Try mopping floors or fixing cars 50% slower than everyone else and see how long you keep your job. Then tell your boss how many spelling mistakes there were in the e-mail he sent telling you you're fired and see if he lets you stay! Gimmie a break. And before you get all noble and sacraficial and "oh its for the children!" on me, I work right down the hall from FayCos teacher of the year and let me tell you something. She doesnt work 60hrs a week either.
In summary, youre never going to get anywhere on here bragging about what a great speller you are and calling others idiots. I hope thats not how YOU teach kids. They might deserve better than me, but I doubt ANYONE deserves YOU.[/quote]

Renault,

Yesterday, I thought you were an idiot. Today, based on your most recent post, you have clearly confirmed my suspicions. A few thoughts are given below.

•I had noted your numerous spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Your reply criticizes my “pointing out petty irrelevancies like bad grammar.” Little wonder many students do not see the importance of applying their education to daily life (by writing and speaking in an appropriate, logical, and educated manner). You, as a teacher, seem to place no value on this.

•You can keep thinking that you will make $53,172 next year (as you state twice in your comments), but you are still looking at the wrong pay scale. Hint: the next school year is NOT 2011-2012. Perhaps NOW you can determine your new salary.

•Evidently, you have no idea how much employees pay for insurance. MANY companies in the private sector offer insurance for less than Fayette County will now charge its employees. The $150 per month that I noted is the INCREASED cost employees will pay. Monthly charges of $308.72 for HMO family health insurance; $58.75 for family dental coverage; and approximately $50 for some life insurance and disability coverage (for the employee – not family) amount to quite a strain on the budgets of most teachers, bus drivers, and cafeteria workers. Yes, SOME (certainly, not all) people in the private sector pay more than these amounts, but many of those people make significantly more than school district employees. Fayette County schools pays its employees below average salaries (when compared to other metro counties). A good benefit package often helped attract employees in spite of the lower pay. That will no longer be the case.

•I am appalled that you still think teaching is a 40 hour a week job. But then again, if you write poorly; access information incorrectly (such as looking at the wrong charts); and spew inaccuraries, I suppose that would not require as much time as doing a thorough job. If the low standard you have set in your posts is indicative of what you expect from students, I am sure you grade essays (if you even assign them) quite quickly.

_________________

You and I can agree on one matter - you absolutely do NOT deserve to be paid any more than you will receive next year. However, I want my children to have great teachers, not average ones. I want my kids to be transported by dedicated bus drivers and to be assisted by concerned, helpful cafeteria workers, not those who are just interested in collecting a paycheck.

Your posts have clearly confirmed what others have been saying on this forum – Fayette's best employees will begin to seek positions elsewhere. The mediocre, like you, will be content to stay.

patkebb is such a blithering wench and her thought process obviously is a product of spending too many years in the government sector. Her posts are completely meaningless to people that live in the real world. She most likely voted for Obama and too thinks the the private sector is doing fine.

Twice you have mentioned that I probably voted for Obama. I have laughed hysterically about that comment. My political views do not even remotely coincide with his ideas.

I am still waiting for you to tell us how much you pay for the benefits at your job. It would help us understand if you can relate to the problems facing Fayette County employees. Also, what is your income?

You blabber quite a bit on this forum, but it appears you know very little about the school system and the current issues. If your concluding that I am a Obama supporter is indicative of your reasoning ability, then you have no idea how few brains you possess. I am still laughing.

It must have been hard scraping off the "Obama 2008" sticker off of your Volvo. Hey, if I voted for him, I wouldn't want to admit to it either so I understand.

You can wait all you want - I've stated several times now that I will not be sharing my salary or benefit information with you. Are you completely daft, wench?

You wield this grammar/spelling/punctuation thing around like its the vorpal sword or something, believing that pointing out the improper use of a semicolon will vanquish my ideas or the point i was trying to make. Well, guess what sugar, it doesnt.
As i have pointed out, i write blog posts and editorials on here fast and dirty, i dont check spelling and i dont worry about perfect grammar for several reasons. 1) only you care. 2) the point here is sharing ideas and opinions, not calling each other idiot for some spelling errors. 3) I daresay the majority of people on here arent english professors and are therefore liable to make mistakes of their own, and are understandably hesitant to throw rocks in glass houses. 4) only you care.
I humbly bow low to your uncanny ability to diagram sentences. All of us mere mortals on this forum recognize your greatness at brokering subject verb agreements and are well and truly jealous of your abilities. Let no man state that you are not master of the colon and all great things that flow from it.
To get to the point. You claim that i place no value in things like spelling or grammar. This is not true. I, however, possess a skill that clearly you do not, which is the ability to discern when it is necessary and when it is not, to turn it off when i dont need it. My masters in Ed. was, like most peoples, 90% writing papers. i finished that degree with a 3.91 gpa. I got an A on my 50+ page masters thesis. I assure you, that does not happen without knowing the difference between a comma and a period, or doing a little proofreading. Now, for the last time. I dont worry about that stuff here because its infinitely slower for me to write that way, since its not my specialty. I know HOW to do it, i just dont bother with it here.
Do you not have enough papers to grade during the year? Its summer vacation lady. Chillax. If you spent 1/10th as much time polishing your own ideas and arguments as you do LITERALLY couting other peoples spelling mistakes more people on here might be interested in what you have to say. Man. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. By all means, if you want to debate ides with me, cool. But if al youre going to do is count spelling mistakes, keep it to yourself. no one else cares.
I keep quoting the $53,172 figure because thats the only salary schedule that was easily accesible on the website. Again, the $36/hr figure it generated was just a guidline i was using to make a point. Even if its off by a few %, it doesnt change the POINT i was making, a point CLEARLY lost on you, since you chose not to debate that at all, you just keep pointing out that its not the current #.
The POINT for you, is that at $36/hr (plus or minus a few %) and only working 175 days a year for a 50Kish/yr job with excellent benefits, teachers like me have it pretty freaking good in this obummer economy and I for one, am not going to complain, being thankful that I, unlike 10% of my fellow countrymen, have a damn job.
Now as far as the insurance increase goes. You told me i was wrong because the $150 is the increased cost, not the total we will have to pay. I never disagreed with you on that, just worded it a little differently. As previously stated, the approx $150/mo comes from the portion of various coverages the county paid for us, but will not next year. If you dont have a family and took only the minimum options for coverage, you would have had zero out of pocket expenses last year. next year, you will have to pay the $150 yourself. So, for this hypothetical person, they will have to pay $150/mo next year. Exactly like I said. Which, all things considered, I think it relatively little. My opinion, but not "wrong." Everyone else who opts for more coverage will have to pay $150/mo more. Still, to me, a small price to pay for keeping my job. My opinion, but not "wrong."
You are so eager to point out where i'm an idiot you even state that i'm wrong when i say essentially the same thing as you.
As far as not being able to attract good teachers because our bennies package is not as nice anymore, what a load. This, more than anything else, shows how disconnected you are from how things work in the real world. It doesnt matter if a new teacher is attracted to FayCo or not, we arent hiring teachers right now anyway, regardless of relative salary and benefits. The county cut what? 70-80 positions this year, and as many the year before that? So what if ClayCo has a better benefits package, they arent hiring new teachers either! That goes for ALL the metro counties. They are ALL cutting back. Thats why the school board knows they can get away with this increase. Theres no where for us to run to. When (if) the money comes back, I have faith they will return our bennies to us, they have been pretty good about trying to return pay to us when they can, even though they take a lot of flak in the public for it.
Lastly, the 40hr/week thing for teachers. Clearly, your sense of self and your identity as a teacher is so committed to this idea that if youre not in the building 55-60 hrs a week you must not be a good teacher. What an incredibly arrogant thing to say. I pointed out in my last post that i know the FayCo teacher of the year personally, and noted that she doesnt work those long hours you seem so adamant about. are you going to say she isint a good teacher? I promise you MOST teachers do come in a little early and leave a little late, just like i do. But before 7:30 and after 4:30, my school is a ghost town. and even those hours are only 45hrs/week darlin. I shouldnt have to tell you this, but lots of stuff factors into hours. Like how many preps you have, when your planning period is and how long youve been teaching your particular subject. It just so happens that I have my s##t together and can do what needs to be done in 40ish hours. If it takes you 60hrs, well, bless your heart for hanging in there, but it doesnt make you a better teacher. I coach 2 sports, one of which i dont even get a supplement for. How about you? if it took me 60hrs to get my school stuff done i wouldnt have time for coaching. There are more ways to be there for a kid than to make them memorize the MLA guidebook. In the 6 yrs ive been at this particular school, ive had at least 1-2 other faculty members and dozens of parents ask for their kid to be in my class every year, regardless of subject. There is no better endorsement or a higher compliment than a fellow teacher asking guidance to schedule their kid to be in your class. And you dont get those kinds of compliments by being a paycheck player/worksheet hand outer. maybe you know what im talking about and maybe you dont, but you have NO standing to question wheather or not i should be a teacher in this county based on some hasty spelling errors in blog post.
You are welcome to you opinion that I am a medicore teacher based on your exhaustive analysis of my career....oh wait you didnt do that. you just saw some puctuation mistakes and noted that i dont work 60hrs a week. But i will look to my exemplary performance reviews, the esteem of my peers and the constant requests by fellow teachers (you know, the people i actually know and work with) to teach their kids as evidence that you are incorrect.

I talked to two people today who know you well. It was not hard to figure out where you teach and who you are (based on who you said teaches down the hall, the fact that you coach two sports, etc). After all, you DO blabber on and on.

Wow, it seems you are not nearly as well respected as you think. Seems you are fairly well known for your ego. I can understand that assessment. Also, I hear logic is not your strong suit.

You "hear" that logic is not my strong suit? Do you think that making rediculous blanket statements like that sways the others reading this blog? Or that it props up the merits of your arguments? Oh, but you werent really doing that this time were you? Once again, you choose to insult me personally instead of discussing ideas. Why so insecure that you feel the need to act this way towards someone you dont know, you just disagree with? Is it that hard for you to be civilized?
I may have different opinions than you, but i do take the time to try to explain the reasons why i think the way that i do. You cant even be bothered to actually attack my opinions, or give reasons why you think theyre wrong. You simply call me an idiot and SAY that im wrong as if that clears the whole thing up! Its laughable.
You claim to know my name, and you might, but trust me, you dont know who I am. You also say that you talked to two people who "know me well." I find that statement to stretch credulity to the breaking point. I can count on one hand the number of people who "know me well" at that school and none of them would say the things about me that you claim. Everyone else in that building is a hello/goodbye cordial working relationship at best and none of them could claim to know me well. Teachers of course are notorious gossips, myself included, but gossip does not equal truth.
I find it very telling that when youre not pointing out a spelling mistake or nitpicking a tiny math error in an anecdote, you have very little to say. My! I wonder.....if we took away your ability to anonymously hurl insults at someone you dont even know, would you have anything to say to me at all?
Whats even funnier is you saying how poor my logic skills are, but it would seem the best you can do to counter my claims and arguments is to call me names. What are you, a politician? Rimshot!
Surely if you disagree with something im saying you have enough gas in the tanks to debate my ideas with your ideas, my reasons with your reasons?
Why dont you give it a shot. Just to try it, see how it feels. Pick an idea ive written about in the past few days that you vehemently disagree with and explain, without pointing out grammar or spelling mistakes and not insulting me personally, why my IDEA is wrong. Then ill reply with MY ideas and we can go from there. OK? great.

S. Lindsey's picture

to continue to try and probe those that wish to remain anonymous...(shocker like you) and then expose them here is against the Policies of posting here and Cal does so love to come down on those that do.

I am sure you yourself has a few skeletons in the closet I somehow doubt you would not like them exposed here now would you?

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

I love your point regarding working forty hours a week. Show me another job where get paid for only 40 hours, but the expectation is that you must work 55-60? It doesn't work that way.
Just because a teacher puts in 55 hours a week doesn't make them a good teacher. It is not about the hours put in and more about the quality of education and level of relationships that you are able to offer the students.

Concerned Citizen

One should never confuse 'effort' with 'results'. In my 42 years of work, I knew many who could accomplish more in 6 hrs than others who "worked" 10 or more hrs.

That is exactly my point. I agree with you.

Concerned Citizen

Rather than acquire information from this biased news source, I hope those interested in the budget discussions will go to www.fcboe.org and listen to the Board Meeting podcast from June 4. And all the time, actually. Sadly, this forum is so loaded with false and slanted information, it doesn't help our community through this financially difficult time.

I Heart Fayette

NUK_1's picture

[quote=I Heart Fayette]Rather than acquire information from this biased news source, I hope those interested in the budget discussions will go to www.fcboe.org and listen to the Board Meeting podcast from June 4. And all the time, actually. Sadly, this forum is so loaded with false and slanted information, it doesn't help our community through this financially difficult time.[/quote]

It's not this forum that is the problem; it's the BOE and years of incompetence from both the BOE and the BOE Finance Dept. Simple, really. The results are right in front of everyone and easy to see.

You do not get into this kind of chaos overnight and the pathetic attempts to fix it aren't cutting it either, unless you think spending every last dime of a 15mil reserve to balance the budget this upcoming year is a "smart choice" while putting off which schools to close or worrying about elections is a higher priority.

The BOE has been pathetic since around the mid-1990's. The parents and their better-than-average offspring have helped to create an environment to where the best schools in FC SLIGHTLY exceed the NATIONAL AVERAGE. To say that our schools are "outstanding" is a joke, but if you are comparing it to the rest of GA, I guess they look "outstanding."

When all else fails, simply lower the standards to the very bottom and proclaim huge success in comparison to total suck.

Why has an intelligent, well educated community like Fayette County allowed this environment of only slight success continue? All schools in Fayette County 'passed' the No Child Left Behind mandate (which was mediocre at best )- <strong>but exceeded many districts in the country - let alone Georgia</strong> Our international academic achievement ranking tells the story about our public education system in 2012. Putting our resources behind improving our educational K-12 program for all AMERICAN children should/must be a priority in maintaining our standing in the world. There are students today in other countries who speak English as a second language who could outscore our students on a grammar test (Not just young students - but old adults as well - right?)

Rather than acquire information from this biased news source, I hope those interested in the budget discussions will go to www.fcboe.org and listen to the Board Meeting podcast from June 4. And all the time, actually. Sadly, this forum is so loaded with false and slanted information, it doesn't help our community through this financially difficult time.

I Heart Fayette

Having never seen the actual participants in this budget discussion, except for the Superintendent, - I 'heard' a very different discussion than the one that was reported. I hope others will take the time to listen to the discussion - and form their own conclusion on how our BOE is operating. Thanks<Strong>I Heart Fayette</strong>

NOTE: In fairness to the reporter - the information was accurate - but the ending appeared to be slanted IMO. I felt after listening to the podcast that two of the members did not have any concrete alternatives to their disapproval of this budget at this time.

Veritas's picture

.

Cutting FCBOE employee health benefits versus instituting an across the board cut in pay was a highly inequitable decision. There is an inherent disparity in taking the same dollar amount from each employee, with no regard to the fact that there is quite a significant range of pay throughout the system. For example, the health benefit cut for an A-76 Level 1 Administrator (Assistant Superintendent) amounts to 1.3%; however, a cafeteria worker’s cut equates to 10.3%. Simply put, the slashing of the employee benefits are felt more by those who are least able to absorb such cuts. The lower the pay, the deeper the cut. The Board really messed up … again!

I spoke at the Board of Education meeting tonight. They listened attentively, nodded politely, and then did exactly the opposite of what I asked them to do.

The board voted tonight (3-2) to bankrupt the Board of Education. They voted to spend $14 MILLION more than revenues next year after spending $11 MILLION more than revenues this year.

There is virtually no money left at the end of next year and the board will have to get a "payday loan" to cover expenses in July, August, September, and October 2013. Local taxes (about half the board's revenue) are not collected until November.

An entity with a $163 million dollars in revenue should not be allowed to operate like the most destitute among us. They call it a "tax anticipation warrant." Really? It's just a payday loan and it is irresponsible IMHO.

-Barry Marchman
www.barrymarchman.com

NUK_1's picture

It IS highly irresponsible and it's also pretty damn STUPID. Glad to see someone running for a BOE position that has a brain and isn't afraid to use it.

Has anyone heard this rumor? I've heard that the new chairman is harassing some of the board members to extend Dr. B's contract for another year? Rumor has it that Dr. B wants it done NOW as the three amigos are his buddies and after the election....well....things will probably be different. If anyone knows anything (and what we can do to prevent this from happening) please post it. I lost respect for Dr. B when he asked us all to reschedule our winter break vacations (to make up snow days) but he and his paramour (that somehow landed a job when there were none to be found)did not. Where is the leadership by example? The solidarity? I canceled a Girl Scout trip to swim with the manatees and disappointed some sweet kids. What an idiot I am. Never again.

NUK_1's picture

You are referring to Dr. Bearden as DrB, the FC superintendent, but BOE candidate Dr. Bryan Marchman uses "DrB" to post here. We don't want people getting confused :)

I too have been thoroughly unimpressed with Bearden and his recommendations the past two years to use every bit of the reserve fund and put off the tough decisions until later, which reeks of poor leadership and simply kicking the can down the road.

PTC Observer's picture

He is from Maine, is he not?

Have you taken a look at how Maine is doing?

In the latest "Quality Counts" survey it ranked 49th in quality of academic standards.

Maine runs a state with a $5.3 billion debt and is 11th in the nation in debt accumulation. It's school system is running a $82 million shortfall against budget or 2.7% of the 2012 budget.

In the MSAD Marshwood district Maine where Dr. Bearden was Superintendent before arriving in Fayetteville County, the NCLB report card shows that in Writing, Reading, Math, and Science students ranked, in a three year average 2009 - 2011, partially or substantially below proficient 50 to 60% of the time. Naturally spending more money than you bring in gives you much better results. That's why Dr. Bearden supports spending all our cash reserves, next year it will be worse you can count on it.

The fact that we have fiscal novices running our school system and those that ignore the realities of the economy should not surprise us. The fact is we have a liberal school board that will ignore things until there are few options left. This will impact not only the quality of our schools but the value of the property that supports the schools. Spending priorities should be based on the quality of the academics before all else. This will require leadership that does not exist on the current board and certainly not with the current Superintendent.

Veritas's picture

Yes it's true.... And our illustrious mental midgets on the Board voted to approve this absolute failures extension for another year ... Before his evaluation . Unanimously (5/0) LAST NIGHT ... Unflippen believable !!!

....I have heard (just this morning as a matter of fact) that he is trying to "define the roles" of the board members. What? Is this so he can have control when the 3 amigos are gone? I feel a c&w quote coming on...."don't you think this outlaw s*#! done got out of hand?" Anyone able to verify?? Please, if you know something, share.

Veritas's picture

All too true!

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