I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Employee Raises 2010?

The News Journal has a story today on the Union Proposal for employee salary increases for this school year.

Last year, there was no money for increases and the budget picture is not getting any better as far as I can tell. I would like to be able to vote for a salary increase, but where is the money going to come from?

I have pushed to get merit pay back for our district teachers, but I have been told over and over that the district simply "cannot afford" to spend the $134,000 necessary to get $2.1 Million in state awards. In fact, I have been told that to spend $134,000 to get merit pay---this would cost someone in the district their job, because we do not have any spare money at all--not even $134,000 (out of a budget of $612Million).

I sincerely hope that the financial picture is getting better and that we as a district will be able to give employees some sort of increase------but given that we "cannot afford" $134,000 to get $2.1 million---how in the world will we be able to afford the $4.5 million proposal put forth by the union in the PNJ article?

Ideally, it would be good if we could give a small increase or bonus to all employees, while at the same time reserving $134,000 (of this raise money) to spend on the administrative costs associated with acquiring $2.1 in additional state money for performance bonuses.

I will support a salary increase for employees if the money is available and we will also re-initiate the MAP awards as well.

I would be delighted to support raises, but I won't vote for blanket increases which will cost the district $Millions in general fund dollars while at the same time being told we "can't afford" the $134,000 necessary to award $2.1 million in performance pay to outstanding teachers.


Anonymous said...

Merit pay bonuses are based on teachers meeting requirements that usually have little to nothing to do with what they do in the classroom. They just work to meet the requirements. The time teachers spend to meet merit pay requirements could actually take away from classroom preparation. I mean there are only so many hours in the day. Merit also decreases moral and causes resentment among teachers. Teachers usually do the best they can so treat them all equally and let God sort them out. Merit pay sounds good and I've benefitted from it in the past, but it is not a sound practice. Having said all this, I still support you.

Jeff Bergosh said...

I appreciate your comment and support--however I strongly feel that the issue (Merit pay for teachers) is too important to ignore. Our MAP plan was developed in conjunction with our teachers based on state guidelines, and is based on a number of factors. As a country, the US spends more money than any other nation in the world on K-20 education, to simply fall behind countries like Greece, Armenia, Singapore, china, and many others. Our system lacks accountability, we do not adquately assess our teachers, and in many instances we cannot or do not take student achivement into account when we are evaluating teacher effectiveness. This has brought us to where we are today--and the taxpayers deserve more for the dollars they are spending. I have tremendous respect for great teachers and I agree we need to pay great teachers more--while at the same time finding a way to show the door to poor performing teachers.