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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rally/hearing on school district budget

Members of the public will have their first chance to speak out Wednesday regarging a $95.1 million budget for the Enlarged City School District of Troy.

The public hearing is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. on May 6 in the Doyle Middle School auditorium.

On April 1, the Board of Education unanimously adopted the budget, which included plans to remove a total 62.8 fulltime equivalent positions by the end of June to balance the district's finances.

In addition, members of the Troy Teacher's Association will hold a rally outside of the auditorium beginning at 5:30 p.m, according to TTA President Seth Cohen.

"The idea is that it’s not a protest, but it’s for support of the 50-odd members of our association that have been laid off," said Cohen.

Residents will vote on whether to approve the proposed budget on May 19.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Save the jobs! Who pays for it? Thats right me and you do. Raise the taxes, raise the taxes.
If they gave up the raises they would not lose there jobs.

May 6, 2009 at 11:22 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The teachers are selfish... all they have to do is give up their increases for next year and all will be good. Ironically the picketed when they didn't have a contract and now that they have a contract the district cannot afford they picket again for the layoffs. Where do the teachers want this money to come from?? Do any of the teachers live in Troy? Of the 450 teachers there are probably 20-30 that actually live in troy and all they want is for the taxpayers to keep taking the brunt of this. We can't take it anymore!!! I applaud the Board and Superintendent for what they are doing!!

May 7, 2009 at 10:29 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Troy School District is top heavy in administrators. In the Special Ed Dept. the have two administrators doing the job that was done by one administrator previously. One of these administrators was on the 5/6/09 BOE agenda for extended probation. That tells you the person isn't meeting the standards of doing the job. Let that person go and keep three teachers on who are doing their jobs. TSD is hiding out administrators who can't do their jobs, get rid of them and keep the teachers.


May 9, 2009 at 11:24 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So far you never hear the teachers' side of this, and I am not accepting that the teachers are "selfish" and greedy. They may not all live in Troy (and I checked---a huge number of them do) but they are all taxpayers and have kids and homes to worry about. I actually talked to teachers to find out what the issues are, instead of just railing at them or making assumptions based on Jason Schofield's often-repeated accusations in the press. I don't get why

a) the superintendent approved the recent teacher contract just this fall, and then immediately asked for the freeze. If there's not enough money for the new contract, then why sign it in the first place? Not very good money sense to me. A teacher told me they would have been better off with the old contract than a wage freeze, because the extra costs of health care wouldn't have been figured in til the new one. There is a feeling among the union that the superintendent deliberately did this to make the teachers look bad.

b) at the board meeting(did you go to it? I did), Mr. Atiba-Weza said that if the budget isn't approved they have 360,000 dollars in contingency money. If they have that money in the first place, why do they have to lay off so many jobs??? If it's some kind of a "rainy day fund", hell, it sure is pouring now. Plus, the guy seems to hate teachers, from the way he talked at the meeting, and was pretty nasty to the students who were brave enough to stand up and voice their thoughts.

c)what does a wage freeze do to those teachers who already didn't benefit from the new contract--I have heard that there are teachers who actually lost money, between the health care hikes and the "smoothing out" of large pay bumps at certain seniority years. I could see why the union wouldn't want to hurt those folks any more than they are being screwed already. There are plenty of teachers who would have gone along with a freeze except for that. They mentioned that many of them have spouses who have lost their jobs already, and taking a cut in pay would make things even worse. We are *all* being hit by this economy.

d) what does a wage freeze do to retirement benefits, the final average salaries, of those within 5 years of retiring? If it affects retirement, then it's not just a one-year freeze, it's affecting their entire retirement futures. The administration could not explain that to the union leaders to their satisfaction. Teachers feel that the adminstration doesn't seem to really have a handle on what exactly will happen if the wage freeze went through, and teachers were very uneasy about that.

e) will a one-year wage freeze actually be the end of it, or will it become a knee-jerk reaction, a past practice, that the administration will use every time it screws up the budget? The district has a history of bad money management....and the superintendent does, too (see web articles on why he left the Central Islip district)

If I'm sending my kids to this school district, I want enough teachers and programs. If cuts have to be made, so be it, but not because nobody knows what the hell they're doing with the district money. I don't like paying the taxes any more than the next person, but I don't like seeing good people being dragged through the press without being able to respond, either. I know a lot of dedicated teachers who care about kids in Troy more than some of their own parents do. We all need to make a living.

May 10, 2009 at 5:37 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps before applauding the superintendent people would be wise to google what happened to the finances in the last district he ran. If teachers are laid off, the quality of Troy schools will suffer along with property values. There are other ways to save money besides laying people off, but that would take more effort than just slashing 10% off most of the budget.

May 11, 2009 at 8:06 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Giving up raises is a short term fix. The board does not have any long term solutions- what will they do next year? Neither the board nor the superintendent could not guarantee if the teachers took a pay freeze there would not be layoffs. If the district could not afford the teacher's contract, why did they agree to it? This is another example of the current board not taking their job seriously. Will they ask the teachers to give up their raises every time they cannot balance a budget?

May 11, 2009 at 8:11 PM 

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