Monday, April 19, 2010

Starve The Beast

Governor Christie has suggested that school budgets in towns where teachers unions have not agreed to a pay freeze should be voted down. Education Commissioner Bret Schundler has suggested that voters take other factors into account as well.

Here are some other factors to consider:

1) If the average class size in the district is less than 25 students, vote the budget down.

2) If the superintendent makes more than $136,000 per year, vote the budget down.

3) If any teachers buy classroom supplies out of their own pocket, but administrators do not, vote the budget down.

4)If the principals, assistant principals, superintendents, assistant superintendents and/or deputy assistant superintendents don't teach at least one class, vote the budget down.

5) If the Executive Director of the NJEA makes more than the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, vote the budget down.

6) If any school board employee has more job protection than a private sector worker has, vote the budget down.

7) If your school system is budgeting to spend more money than they did last year, vote the budget down.

8) If your school calender has weekdays set aside for the NJEA convention, vote the budget down. Let them convene during the summer or a holiday break.

9) If your school calender has more holidays than your private sector job does, vote the budget down.

10) If your school system has a defined benefit pension plan and the company you work for does not, vote the budget down.

11) If the employees of your school system are not paying at least 25% of their own health insurance premiums, vote the budget down.

12) If the superintendent of your school system has a car provided by the system, or a car allowance vote the budget down.

13) If any employee of your school system ever earned an online degree, vote the budget down.

14) If your children have come home from school complaining about Governor Christie's budget, vote the budget down.

15)If the per pupil cost of your system is more than tuition at a local private or parochial school, vote the budget down.


Feel free to add to the list.

15 comments:

stopthesocialists said...

Looks like I'm voting the Middletown school budget down. I see a lot of "yes" answers and probably more that I'm not aware of.

Anonymous said...

Good one, Art. Thanks for exposing what many people were actually not aware of.

Maybe now more folks will realize that the people on your local school board have more control over your tax dollars than your councilmen and committeeman. So when a mayor says he has lowered taxes, it really means he/she has just lowered THEIR COMPARATIVELY MEAGER PORTION of your ever-growing property tax bill.

Who you elect to your school board actually holds more power over your money than your local politicians....unless, of course, there is the rare occasion that the budgets do not get passed...and then the politicians get hold of that sum.

Question is, Art....do you think local pols are eager/reticent to have the authority to chop away at the school budgets if they fail??

Art Gallagher said...

Question is, Art....do you think local pols are eager/reticent to have the authority to chop away at the school budgets if they fail??

I think most of them are scrambling to balance their own budgets that they haven't thought about it yet.

Historically, I don't think they have been eager to deal with school budgets. While turn out is low for school elections, often turn out is high at the council meetings dealing with school budget cuts, with those arguing against the cuts bringing their kids to the meetings pleading that the mayor and council not to kill the marching band or football team.

If the council takes the political heat and cuts the budget, the county or state often overturns their decision and reinstates the spending anyway. Thus, they paid poltical capital to do the right thing, but to no avail as spending is approved anyway. Why bother?

Hopefully this year will be different.

Anonymous said...

"If the council takes the political heat and cuts the budget, the county or state often overturns their decision and reinstates the spending anyway."

REally? Years ago the school budget went down here, and the council made their cuts, and that was the end of it. Are you sure the county can overturn the council's decision?? Where and when has this ever been done around here?

Anonymous said...

some of these are good and some of these are stupid, superintendents should NOT be teaching classes and who cares who makes more money the ED of chamber or the njea, these are just dump and irrelevant to what the real problems are.

The teachers nor the administrators should be taking out of pocket money for books.

M Laffey said...

Art, I disagree with some of your points such as class size (20 to 23 is the optimum range0, superintendent salary ( it is not unreasonable to pay many superintendents more then the arbitrary number you pick), on line degrees (most major corporations recognize on line degrees and it is the wave of the future) for policy reasons.

Some of the things I agree with like schools should not be giving superintendants a car.

However many of the things you list prove I point I have been trying to make with everyone I speak to. A lot of what people do not like about our school systems is not within the control of the local Board of Ed. It is forced on us by State legislators who are now turning around and trying the blame School boards and teachers for problems they created.
tw3o god examples.


6. If any school board employee has more job protection than a private sector worker has, vote the budget down.
Tenure rules are controlled by the legislature Not the local school board

7.If the per pupil cost of your system is more than tuition at a local private or parochial school, vote the budget down.
Consideringt all the mandates that a catholic School does not have to comply with The 10 thousand dollar a year tuition is not such a bargain over the 12 or 13 thousand most districts cost per student.

Then this one really baffles me.

5. If the Executive Director of the NJEA makes more than the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, vote the budget down.
FIRST off that has nothing to do with the budget as that person is not paid by tax dollars and your local school district has no control over that.


The fact of the matter is that if your district has taken real steps to reduce costs and is doing a good job educating children voting down the budget for these arbitrary reasons will hurt Children.

I urge everyoneto educate yourself about what really ngoes on in your school distrcit and make an informed decision.

Anonymous said...

The County gets involved when the suggested Township/Borough dollar amount of cuts are not agreed to by the Board of Ed.

ambrosiajr said...

Maybe we should have voted Christie down...with all the budget cuts, you would think he would have had more sense...

Gov's office payroll goes up $2M under Christie
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS • April 19, 2010

TRENTON — Nearly twice as many people are making $100,000 or more in Gov. Chris Christie's administration than were in former Gov. Jon S. Corzine's.

An Associated Press analysis has found that while Christie has proposed laying off 1,300 state workers, he is spending nearly $2 million more on annual salaries than his predecessor.


Under Corzine, 17 people made $100,000 or more in 2009 compared to 34 making six figures so far under Christie … including the governor himself, who makes $175,000.

Corzine's payroll was $7 million last year. Christie's is $8.9 million.


Earlier this month, Christie's office posted a list of his staff and their salaries. It does not include Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who also serves as the Secretary of State and makes $141,000.

Anonymous said...

It's Simple ... Just Say NO!

Anonymous said...

M Laffey makes more sense than anyone else posting on your site.
The rest of the comments are either stupid or uniformed.
Tell us more Mike!

Anonymous said...

we need to start being proud when the dopey Dems whine that we're the "party of no".. the public is screaming for someone to finally learn to just say NO, NO, NO!.. no to budgets, no to more administrators, no to union contracts that give them what they got 5-10 yrs. ago, no to "spenders," no to all bond isues, on and on.. it's been so easy for the "yes-es" that everyone finally realizes mean, one way or another, it's OUR money, and OUR bills!!..if we don't be consistent from now on, everywhere, they'll go right back to their old ways!!..

Anonymous said...

NO,NO,NO that's your answer to everything. You sound like a spoiled 2 year old!

Anonymous said...

The Average "per pupil" cost in Middletown is over $12,000. In other words, it is more expensive to send a 3rd grader to school in Middletown ... than it is to send your son to CBA!

Anonymous said...

Mike Laffey does make more sense than any of the other posters here. A whole lot more sense. He also has experience as both a BOE member and is an attorney who is informed and well educated!!

Some of this verbose ad nauseam from others is enough to rot one's socks. A whole lot of maturity is needed in this debate that escapes most of the people posting this nonsense !!

Anonymous said...

hey, 9:43, you can keep bankrupting yourself, your kids and grandkids if you want,go ahead- it's our right to say "no" and try and halt some of the overspending, at this point!. it's obvious that it's little babies like you who never were told "no" that became the "spoiled" ones who are costing us all WAY too much money every day!.. too many years of voting "yes" to all those bond issues and taxes are what got us to this point, so, yeah, we will proudly say "No", until these jerks at all levels recognize it isn't their pots of gold to throw around,just so they get to stay in charge!..