ATTITUDE – How to Save Your School

Teachers’ association presents alternatives to school district
• Scott Stanfield, cialis 40mg Record staff – Feb 22, order 2016

http://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/news/369701281.html

severance package - exit pocket money
The Comox District Teachers’ Association has suggested a number of reductions to help SD71 balance next year’s budget.

The proposed cuts — from eliminating the assistant superintendent position to reducing vice-principals — are largely at the administrative level. However, prothesis it appears the proposal would wind up costing the district about a million dollars.

“We were hoping that it (suggested cuts) would add up to about a million dollars in savings, but the district has informed us that it would cost about $1.1 million,” CDTA president Nick Moore said. “We are surprised and disappointed that that’s not an option.”

Acting SD71 supt. Tom Demeo said the situation isn’t cut and dry.

“You can’t just say, ‘this person goes’,” he said. “Contracts have clauses and stipulations, and those have to be honoured. Same thing with administrators. By law, if an administrator loses that gig, they’re offered a teaching job.”

In light of recent discussion about an alternate instructional week, the CDTA listed 16 possible measures to trim the budget.

Suggestions include reducing trustee stipends by 10 per cent, and freezing new administrator hiring.

“This is all a proposal,” said Moore, noting recent rumours of a four-day school week. “There’s actually no four-day school week on the calendar. It’s actually a 4.6 day.”

Secondary teachers, he notes, instruct seven classes of students in a year. Under an alternate instructional week, they would teach eight classes a year.

“By re-arranging the weekly schedule so that all the prep time is happening at once throughout the entire district, they (SD71) can eliminate about 18 teachers,” Moore said. “In the end, the district is going to have a tough decision.”

In recent years, Moore notes a “systemic underfunding” of public education in B.C. The main problem is declining enrolment.

“We’re not fighting administration here. We have to work with them to make the best of a bad situation. The district is given money from the provincial government. It’s not enough to keep doing things the way we’ve been doing them…What’s going to happen is what happens every year. There’s going to be a reduction of staff. Ninety per cent of the school district budget is human…The one thing they can’t cut is teachers in the classroom.”

Though it hasn’t started the budget process for the next school year, Demeo said SD71 is facing about $1 million in lost revenue and is about $2.3 million in arrears, mostly due to an expected enrolment decline of 143 students. Funding protection is also a factor.

“What we’re hoping is to get our facts and figures together from the government asap, and present that as quickly as we can to all our partners so that people can see the actual facts and figures and then start the process,” Demeo said.

“You’ve got to look right across your system,” he added. “The problem is we’ve been in a deficit situation for so many years. When you look at the nature of our business, it’s people heavy…How do we keep supports for students, how do we keep supports for teachers, and how do we keep programs? Those are the hard ones.”

Moore notes the CDTA’s proposal to cut vice-principals in elementary schools with less than 500 students would “have a terrible impact on teachers.

“They help us manage difficult children.”

Another suggestion is to eliminate busing district-wide — which Demeo notes has been implemented in some Alberta jurisdictions.

“It’s another huge expense,” he said, noting the stress it would place on families.

Puntledge recommendation on agenda

The next school board meeting is tonight (Tuesday, Feb. 23), 7 p.m. at the district office at 607 Cumberland Rd. in Courtenay.

Demeo is scheduled to deliver a recommendation about the proposed closure of Puntledge Elementary to trustees at Tuesday’s meeting. The district is considering relocating Puntledge to Lake Trail School.

The public will have an opportunity to address the school board at a March 8 meeting at Puntledge from noon to 1 p.m. The school is located at 401 Willemar Ave. in Courtenay.

The board then meets March 15, when trustees could consider a motion.

 *** NOTE THE MEETING TIME STATED ABOVE FOR TUES. MARCH 8th IS INCORRECT. THE MEETING IS 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.

 

KPAP Analysis:

How much of the above is actually true?

As this article points out, senior admin contracts come with expensive severance packages. We can reduce costs by eliminating some of these high-end positions, but savings off the top will be limited because of the buy-out packages.

But, not every admin position may come with severance – our Trustees should take immediate steps to identify and reduce whatever they can. Do we need District Principals?  Do we need a Director of Innovation?

Wonder how much our current senior staff pocketed on the way out? 

Senior staff are not governed under the teacher’s collective agreement, and their contracts are designed by a public sector association.  See page 6 of this Sept 2015 document, a disclosure of benefits paid to our top 3 positions (Elwood, Horswill, Demeo) – note this applies to salaries above $125K:

http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/psec/disclosuredocs/sddisclosures15/sd71_15.pdf

 Previous decade of disclosures:
http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/psec/disclosure/index.htm

And:  Executive Compensation – Disclosure Statements – Public Sector Employers’ Council – Ministry of…

“Exempt staff” in the BCPSEA (BC Public School Employers’ Association): http://www.bcpsea.bc.ca/exempt-staff/overview.aspx

Public Sector Employers Act 2012 policy Doc Compensation and Employment Standards for School District Employees Not Subject to a Collective Agreement:  http://www.bcpsea.bc.ca/documents/About-PolicyDocs/95-06-2012.pdf

Teachers’ association presents alternatives to school district

Scott Stanfield
Record staff

http://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/news/369701281.html

The Comox District Teachers’ Association has suggested a number of reductions to help SD71 balance next year’s budget.

The proposed cuts — from eliminating the assistant superintendent position to reducing vice-principals — are largely at the administrative level. However, page
it appears the proposal would wind up costing the district about a million dollars.

“We were hoping that it (suggested cuts) would add up to about a million dollars in savings, but the district has informed us that it would cost about $1.1 million,” CDTA president Nick Moore said. “We are surprised and disappointed that that’s not an option.”

Acting SD71 supt. Tom Demeo said the situation isn’t cut and dry.

“You can’t just say, ‘this person goes’,” he said. “Contracts have clauses and stipulations, and those have to be honoured. Same thing with administrators. By law, if an administrator loses that gig, they’re offered a teaching job.”

In light of recent discussion about an alternate instructional week, the CDTA listed 16 possible measures to trim the budget.

Suggestions include reducing trustee stipends by 10 per cent, and freezing new administrator hiring.

“This is all a proposal,” said Moore, noting recent rumours of a four-day school week. “There’s actually no four-day school week on the calendar. It’s actually a 4.6 day.”

Secondary teachers, he notes, instruct seven classes of students in a year. Under an alternate instructional week, they would teach eight classes a year.

“By re-arranging the weekly schedule so that all the prep time is happening at once throughout the entire district, they (SD71) can eliminate about 18 teachers,” Moore said. “In the end, the district is going to have a tough decision.”

In recent years, Moore notes a “systemic underfunding” of public education in B.C. The main problem is declining enrolment.

“We’re not fighting administration here. We have to work with them to make the best of a bad situation. The district is given money from the provincial government. It’s not enough to keep doing things the way we’ve been doing them…What’s going to happen is what happens every year. There’s going to be a reduction of staff. Ninety per cent of the school district budget is human…The one thing they can’t cut is teachers in the classroom.”

Though it hasn’t started the budget process for the next school year, Demeo said SD71 is facing about $1 million in lost revenue and is about $2.3 million in arrears, mostly due to an expected enrolment decline of 143 students. Funding protection is also a factor.

“What we’re hoping is to get our facts and figures together from the government asap, and present that as quickly as we can to all our partners so that people can see the actual facts and figures and then start the process,” Demeo said.

“You’ve got to look right across your system,” he added. “The problem is we’ve been in a deficit situation for so many years. When you look at the nature of our business, it’s people heavy…How do we keep supports for students, how do we keep supports for teachers, and how do we keep programs? Those are the hard ones.”

Moore notes the CDTA’s proposal to cut vice-principals in elementary schools with less than 500 students would “have a terrible impact on teachers.

“They help us manage difficult children.”

Another suggestion is to eliminate busing district-wide — which Demeo notes has been implemented in some Alberta jurisdictions.

“It’s another huge expense,” he said, noting the stress it would place on families.

Puntledge recommendation on agenda

The next school board meeting is tonight (Tuesday, Feb. 23), 7 p.m. at the district office at 607 Cumberland Rd. in Courtenay.

Demeo is scheduled to deliver a recommendation about the proposed closure of Puntledge Elementary to trustees at Tuesday’s meeting. The district is considering relocating Puntledge to Lake Trail School.

The public will have an opportunity to address the school board at a March 8 meeting at Puntledge from noon to 1 p.m. The school is located at 401 Willemar Ave. in Courtenay.

The board then meets March 15, when trustees could consider a motion.

*** NOTE THE MEETING TIME STATED ABOVE FOR TUES. MARCH 8th IS INCORRECT. THE MEETING IS 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.

roadsign to care or neglect

Attitude

article from a book well worth the download:

Save Your School Handbook (PDF DOWNLOAD LINK)

source: http://parentsagainstschoolclosure.davesinfocafe.com/

This is very important. I’ll say it again. This is very important. The attitude of your action group is key to your success or otherwise.

Why? I’ll tell you. As I’ve said before, public health
you are in a fight, visit web
usually with the council. It or some other organisation is trying to close your school. Your action group may be the only thing preventing them getting their own way.

But you’re ordinary people who have never really been involved with the council in any deep and meaningful way before. You don’t have the knowledge. How do we tackle something like this? Surely, remedy the council will listen to reason. Let’s wait and see what the council does. If you are thinking like this, it will be music to the council’s ears.

The council will think you are going to be a pushover. It will carry on regardless without valuing your (very valid) reasons for not closing the school. It has its own rationale and it will not match with your point of view. It will think it is bigger, stronger, have more expertise and can bulldoze its way to what it wants.

A timid action group is not going to be effective. Politeness will not work.

Firstly, the action group has got to get over any possible inferiority feelings it has. You need to develop a righteous sense of grievance and let that fuel your working group. How dare they try and close our school? They are not going to get away with it!

Secondly, treat the council as if it were a person – a schoolyard bully. Challenge it as often as you can. Don’t retreat into a corner and hope that it will come to its senses. Don’t give it any respect. It is not giving the parents of the school any respect.

Believe me, you can challenge it effectively. You can make life hard for them and make your presence felt. You can punch above your weight if you know how.

Thirdly, don’t make the action group a mini council. By that, I mean don’t let internal bureaucracy divert your focus from the main target – taking effective action against a council who doesn’t care about your school.

Fourthly, don’t procrastinate. Keep taking action. Keep the campaign ideas flowing. Do things now rather than later. Keep the council guessing about what the action group will do next.

Let them fear you.

Your action group must be assertive and active. It must have a confidence born of righteous grievance. Don’t be afraid to try things even if they don’t work. The action group needs to set the agenda rather than follow the script laid down by the council. The group must prove itself a worthy opponent. Discussion has its place but action speaks louder.

A better term for the group is a pressure group. Your group is there to pour pressure on to the council. Try and make it see sense. Carry out actions that create pressure for the council by exploiting its weaknesses.

Nice and polite and doffing your cap does not work. Make the council wish that it had never followed its course of action. Make them understand that there is a high price to pay for trying to close your school.

This type of attitude is very  important for galvanizing the group and will sustain your campaign over the long months while you are trying to save your school. Don’t let the council have an easy ride.