Wednesday, May 2, 2012

CCSD #FAIL: Teachers Asked to Pay for Idiot Politicians' Sins

Remember when we discussed the desperate situation that CCSD administration have crashed themselves into? Well, it looks like the arbitrator won't be bailing them out of this mess, after all.

The Clark County School District is planning to lay off an untold number of teachers after an arbitrator sided with the teachers union Wednesday on pay raises.

The School District has warned in the past that up to 1,350 licensed positions may be eliminated if the arbitrator sided with the union.

The binding arbitration decision caps a bitter, nearly yearlong contract battle between the School District and the Clark County Education Association. The decision forces the district to pay salary step and education increases as the district faces a $63 million budget gap.

The district is assessing its budget and projected end-of-school-year retirements and resignations to determine how many pink slips it will need to issue, according to a district press release. It must present a balanced budget on May 16.

Now remember, CCSD forced teachers to pay out of their own pockets for college courses in order to qualify for a raise.

These days, Andrew Slocum feels duped by the system to which he has devoted his entire life’s work.

Last year, the Greenspun Junior High librarian shelled out nearly $10,000 on an advanced teaching certificate to further his career.

Slocum scrimped and saved — forgoing vacations and even borrowing money from his in-laws and his 4-year-old son’s college fund — to complete the Center for Teaching Excellence’s continuing education program.

Completion of the courses qualified Slocum, 37, for an “education increase” of about $3,000 under a contract between the Clark County School District and its teachers union. [...]

Slocum dished out $9,900 for three courses, spending more than 500 hours outside of work to earn 54 CTE credits. For completing the program, Slocum’s base salary was raised $3,146 this school year.

However, as the school year started, Slocum was notified that the district was considering freezing salary step and education increases. Slocum was stunned.

He would be losing about $800 in step and about $3,100 in education increases. His wife, Natalie — a Greenspun eighth-grade science teacher who makes $38,652 a year — would give up a $1,500 step increase.

And because of the way the district’s pay scale operates, lost wages from the salary freeze would be compounded for the rest of their careers, Slocum said. He reckons his family would be losing $60,000 over the course of their careers.

“I understand the district is in a tough situation and sacrifices have to be made,” he said “But at least they could have sent out an email warning us they were going to do this retroactively, or at least grandfather people in. Anything that’s more fair than this.”

Who could ever condone something like this? Why are we allowing this to happen? These teachers have come here to fill a serious need, and then they were promised a better life if they just worked on their own education. And now we're spitting on them and threatening them with pink slips?

Are Dwight Jones and the CCSD Board crazy, stupid, or sadistic? Or are they just all of the above?

And why again are we even having this gawddamned conversation again?! While I give Governor Brian Sandoval credit for rejecting complete "tea party" lunacy, I absolutely refuse to praise his cowardice in refusing to acknowledge the crisis in school upkeep. There's absolutely no reason to allow certain "corporate citizens" to pay next to nothing in taxes while Nevada students are suffering.

However, Sandoval doesn't deserve all the blame here. Again, the actions of CCSD Superintendent Dwight Jones and the elected CCSD Board have been downright disgusting. Why are they throwing the limited funds they have at new iPads, new "support staff", and new administrative assistants instead of focusing on ensuring all our classrooms have good teachers? Seriously, they're hurting our case for restoring public education by failing to secure the public's trust.

This whole fiasco has been downright ridiculous and revolting. And it's infuriating to see that teachers and students are again being asked to take the short end of the stick for something that's clearly not their fault.

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