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EDUCATION: Union’s funding priorities askew

Letter by David Coutts, Bonney Lake on Jan. 6, 2012 at 9:03 am with 11 Comments »
January 6, 2012 11:03 am

I received an email from Judi Owens, president of the Public School Employees of Washington, that included this statement:

“As the legislative session begins next week, education funding reform – including school employee insurance reform – must be at the forefront of everything lawmakers do. We must see measurable improvement in school funding beginning in 2012.”

Does she really believe that the Washington Supreme Court’s decision on education funding (TNT, 1-6) was to include the out-of-pocket health-care costs of the staff as part of basic education?

We have buildings closing, kids with fewer educational opportunities, people losing their jobs and even more cuts to basic education, yet she felt it necessary to send out this rally cry to employees that insurance reform should be included in basic education funding reform.

This seems rather ill-timed, petty and selfish to me.


Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. cclngthr says:

    I saw your comment on my letter on the same subject. I think the court should have clarified what is basic education and where the funding must go. If the court defined basic education as a knowledge of a certain level on core subjects, reading, math, science, social studies, health/fitness and where this funding must go, we would have a better chance of getting the job done.

  2. The health care package was/is part of the salary negotiations and thus when that was cut, it was in a sense a salary cut. If you want to attract high quality teachers and retain them, you need to give them a reasonable salary. If the teacher lacks affordable medical care, it costs the district and state MORE when they are sick and a sub is called in. You are paying for TWO teachers on ONE day. OR ONE teacher that covers for the class DOUBLE pay. Cost effective? I think not.

  3. And in Post Script: If you take away a teacher’s sick days? You STILL have to pay for class coverage which ultimately is still more expensive.

  4. cclngthr says:

    Healthcare has absolutely NOTHING to do with school funding, and healthcare should fall squarely on the employee, not the public.

    Sub service can be taken out of the employee pay.

    Sub use is actually cheaper than you think. Subs don’t have benefits and cost a fraction of what the daily rate for a teacher.

  5. Fibonacci says:

    “healthcare should fall squarely on the shoulders of the employee, not the public”—-Do you mean this ONLY for public employees? My wife and I both have health care thourgh work and neither work as public employees.

    “Sub service can be taken out of the employee pay”—are you serious, you expect teachers to pay for their substitute when they are sick?

    “Sub use is actually cheaper than you think.”————How much do they make, and by the way, the teacher that they are subing for is STILL getting paid.

    If you were in charge the quality of teachers in this state would be horrible. Only those desperate to get a job would take that one.

  6. Pacman33 says:

    “Only those desperate to get a job would take that one.”

    As if could get worse. Horrible doesn’t begin to describe the return Washington State Taxpayers get for such a massive portion of the state’s budget. You could try almost anything and have a good chance of improvement.

  7. Fibonacci says:

    And you base this on what? Your own personal bias? Today’s students are actually better educated as a whole than they were 30 or 40 yeara ago? I would wager that the percentage of students starting in 1st grade and graduating today is higher than it was in the “golden years” of tghe 50s. Are there some that graduate and are inadequate? es, of course, but they have ALWAYS been there. And for those that fail, I suppose none of the fault goes to the student or to the student’s family right? It is ALL the fault of the schools. I am more than happy with the education all of my own kids have gotten. They were prepared for college and have been very successful. But then, we helped and encouraged them and made sure they took the opportunity to get an education when it was presented to them.

  8. cclngthr says:

    In TSD, subs are paid $125 a day. In districts in Kitsap County, subs are paid about $95 a day.

    I think subs are overused and teacher attendance needs more scrutiny in when teachers are out. For workshops and teacher training, I feel they should have this on their own time and not during school days. There are plenty of days students are not in school to take training. In Puyallup SD, students are not in school every Wedensday afternoon and training can be done on those days without using subs.

    I do believe that when teachers are out, sub pay should be taken out of teacher pay, and when teachers are out more than their sick time, they should not be paid.

    One year several years ago, I worked every day from the very first day of school till the very last day of school as a sub. I generally expected when I went from full time teaching to subbing that I would get work maybe 1-2 days a week. That never was the case. I generally start about 2 days after school started and go all the way till the last day of school.

  9. Fibonacci says:

    When I left public schools I had over a full year saved up in sick leave. I would sometimes go for several years without missing a day. Yes, some teachers misuse sub days, but if the teacher has to pay the substitute (which I think is rediculous) then how many teachers are going to be ocming to school sick so they don’t lose pay? Do you really want to expose kids to that?

    My wife and I both work in the privatge sector and when we are sick we stay home, and since we are salaried we don not lose pay for those days. Now, it either one of us was off for extended time it would be different. It seems for some reason you have a grudge against teachers. I have noticed that many substitutes resent the full time teacher–dour grapes maybe?

  10. Fibonacci says:

    Sorry for the typos, please don’t tell me I must have not taught English because I can’t type.

  11. Pacman33 says:

    And you base this on what? Your own personal bias?”

    And you base your disturbing denial of how American Students compare to their international peers, on being delusional and irrational consistent with many un-educators.

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