Bill Cunningham had on a superintendent from Clermont Northeastern that has been very successful at saving his district money by thinking “outside the box.” Listen to that interview here.
Here is a link to the district website: http://www.cneschools.org/
What’s interesting about that interview is the superintendent is actively pursuing innovative cost savings as opposed to the approach at Lakota where they spent over $50,000 just searching for a new superintendent to replace the retiring Mike Taylor. The Lakota method is the “old” way, where inflated costs are built into every step of the process, and the footprints most always lead to organized labor.
The superintendent of tomorrow will find ways to save money at every turn, including the elimination of such extraordinary candidate searches as Lakota participated in. The School Board elected to spend $40,000 looking for a treasurer, and $50,000 looking for a superintendent that they haven’t yet hired.
The superintendent of tomorrow will not be bullied by union leaders as what happened at Lakota on the last Thursday of October 2008 where the teacher’s union of 1,200 members threatened to walk out on all 18,000 students they profess to think so much of. What was the primary issue in that proposed strike? Pay!
The superintendent of tomorrow wouldn’t have paid into the union system for 25 years or more and then take a passive position at the negotiating table as what happened when both sides, the LEA and the Lakota officials sat down after school that memorable Wednesday just before Halloween and finally hammered out an agreement at 12:30 AM Thursday morning, the day the LEA was ready to walk off the job.
I know quite a few teachers around the country. Specifically, in Oldham County, KY, which is one of Kentucky’s most exclusive communities, there is a teacher with a master’s degree in science that teaches geology, and his rate of pay is just shy of 50K. Doc Thompson a few weeks ago had on another teacher that was from Atlanta that was making wages in the mid-40’s, and I thought he had some valid arguments.
At Lakota, the LEA has been successful at convincing the School Board and the Superintendent that teachers should be paid on average over 62K per year, which is what they are currently being paid at Lakota. In fact, Mike Taylor is quoted saying, “I don’t think teachers are paid enough.” Such superintendents have recklessly encouraged the extraordinary wage rates that are occurring at Lakota.
And the economic disaster that is being described which is hitting Lakota is caused by these same wages that are too high if it is considered that state money is not a factor and that the communities must fund the budget on their own. The superintendent of tomorrow will help keep wage cost in line to protect the communities they serve and still maintain great teachers for a good price.
The superintendent of tomorrow will reflect the community, and will build an administration that does the same, and not be lap dogs for powerful unions, that takes the union dues collected from each teacher and applies those funds to progressive political candidates that only exacerbate the situation further at the state level. When it’s said that our tax money stays local, it does not. Those union dues work in a way to support democratic and progressive candidates, and are only a cleaver way invented by organized labor to prop up the candidates they support. The money originally comes from the local tax payer that just wants to have the community schools teach their children.
When we find this superintendent of tomorrow, we can begin to solve some of the problems of today, but not until then.
Now for those of you that want more information check out this press release from from the Buckeye Institute. I’m not the only one saying this stuff. Feel free to check the link at the end of the press release. Oh, and you YesLakota people, I’m for education too. Keep it under our 160 million dollar budget and we’ll all get along. But don’t ask the community to pay for your poor business understanding. Go ahead, check the link below.
Buckeye Institute News Alert
Where Transparency Is More Than A Slogan And Ideas Really Do Matter
PRESS RELEASE January 18, 2010
Contact: Matt Mayer,
2010 K-12 Teacher Salary and Estimated Pension Data added to Searchable Database along with Search Counter
COLUMBUS – The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions today released on its website the 2010 K-12 salary and estimated pension data for all Ohio public school teachers. Unlike the data collected for previous years, the 2010 data includes salary and pension information for many superintendents, principals, and other administrative staff members. The pension data includes each teacher’s salary based on a 2,080-hour year (40 hour work-week, 52 week year) so users can properly evaluate teacher pay, as most teachers are contractually limited to working 1,350 hours per year.
In 2010, approximately 1,800 school employees earned over $100,000 per year. Due to increasing staffing costs, Ohio’s 613 public school districts are expected to face a $7.6 billion funding deficit by 2015, with personnel expenses consuming 96 percent of tax revenues.
In the last election, citizens used the Teacher Salary Database to hold their school districts accountable for spending choices, citing that average teacher salaries had grown at rates that, in many cases, far outpaced inflation.
In addition to the new data, the website now contains a search counter which records the number of searches performed in the eight database tools (State Salary, Federal Salary, Higher Ed Salary, Teacher Salary, Local Salary, School Data, County Data, and State Lobbyists). Since the website’s launch on April 30, 2010, visitors from 473 Ohio cities, the 49 other states, and 119 foreign countries have spent over 20,000 hours conducting almost 1.5 million data searches.
Buckeye Institute President Matt A. Mayer stated: “With so many school districts under financial duress, it is now even more important than ever that taxpayers know how school districts are spending their money. Instead of cutting staff positions, sports, bussing, and other programs, most school districts could balance their budgets without raising taxes through cutting staff compensation packages by a small percentage.”
The Teacher Salary data tool is available at www.buckeyeinstitute.org.