Teachers not the problem

To the Times of Ti:

In last week’s letter to the editor the headline was “Teachers are the problem.” That headline was not written by me or part of my letter. The Times of Ti must have taken the liberty to add that headline.

Teachers are not the problem. The problem is teacher high compensation and benefits as a result of a pro teacher board of education and a strong teachers union.

The issue I have is that school taxes keep going up every year. According to our superintendent 47 percent of our students qualify for free lunches yet these families keep having to dish out more taxes. Older people here struggle to make ends meet yet the compensation of our teachers just keeps going up. This is the “Great Recession” yet our board of education and superintendent keep pumping money into teachers’ pockets.

Last year they extended the 2010-2011 teachers contract with a 2.8 percent pay increase! They did not negotiate anything. Why would our board of education do that when they knew this year would be a challenging year because of the 2 percent cap? Why didn’t the public know about it? I asked these questions to our board weeks ago by e-mail. I know they received it because the school confirmed they did, in fact they said they had passed it on to our superintendent! Why did they do that?

As a taxpayer and voter I wanted to address the board, not the superintendent. Anyway, didn’t matter, never got an answer. I’m not sure of this, because they haven’t answered, but I think the extension was done under executive session and, if it was, I say it isn’t legal because it done not meet the requirements of subjects to be taken to executive session according to New York school law. Maybe the discussion belonged in executive session, but the actual vote didn’t. The teachers have given up the 2.8 percent this year, but what about next year?

Tom Allen


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