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.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Elimination of School Board Salaries in Florida a Real Possibility

This afternoon shortly after 1:00PM in Tallahassee-a committee will decide the future of a proposed Senate Bill that would eliminate salaries for elected school board members in Florida.

The committee will be comprised of three Republicans and One Democrat.  A 2-2 vote will stop this bill in its tracks.  With a 3-1 vote, the bill moves forward.

The author of the bill, a lame duck serving his last term in the Senate, apparently has an issue with part-time elected  constitutional officers earning a salary  (except for part-time legislators like himself, part time city councilmembers, part time county commissioners, part time utility board members, etc.--which are all apparently okay to receive a state paycheck for part-time service in this senator's opinion)

This Senator (that many do not take seriously, by the way) apparently has a long standing beef with the executive director of the state school boards association--and now that this senator will term limit out and is a LAME DUCK, the word is that this bill is an attempt at settling a score on his way out the door.
  If true, what a petty, small minded, and weak way to get even.

But the unintended consequences of this bill are huge.  This bill will consolidate power 100% to superintendents around the state, with no real backstop to challenge their every proposal.  A volunteer board simply will not have the credibility and/or courage to challenge anything a superintendent (elected or appointed) puts forth.  Example--"Superintendent Recommendation--today will be the sky is purple day.  School Board votes 5-0 to accept the purple sky recommendation, adjourned" 

A volunteer board will not attract the same caliber of person, period.  Slowly, statewide, boards will lose talented individuals that will seek employment elsewhere.

Let's just put the Booster Clubs in charge.

But this Senator will get his jab in the backs of the 355 Sitting School Board members as he walks out the door, while he collects a STATE PENSION for his many years on the public dole, the last 14 of which have been as a PAID, part-time, legislator working 2 months per year.

What a hypocritical piece of work this guy is.


Anonymous said...

Do you honestly think you deserve more than a full-time teacher who's in the classroom each and every day?

Jeff Bergosh said...

I believe our current salary is reasonable--being that of a first year, 10 month teacher in Escambia County. 100% of Escambia Teachers make more than or as much as we do. Last year, I understood the 12% cut we took in our board member salaries due to the budget crunch. But taking 100% of our pay? Seems like someone in the legislature is going after us.

Anonymous said...

Way to dodge that question, simple yes or no, do you think you deserve more or "as much" as a teacher who is in their classroom each and ever single day ?

Simple yes or no plz

Escambia County Parent said...

Your assertion that eliminating a salary for school board members will result in attracting members of a different caliber (presumably you mean a lower caliber), I think you're wrong.

I know well an exceptional school board member who served for zero salary (in another state of course) for ten years. Most of those years included additional service on the state school board...again without any compensation at all. And I can tell you for certain that this uncompensated board member, and many more like him, actually gained courage and credibility.

If those people currently serving decide to "seek employment elsewhere," I say let them. Service on the school board should be just that, service, not employment.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting. In your OWN introduction, you say...I am a part-time school board member... I guess that answers the question.

You get $30,000 for a part-time job. Teachers get $32000 for a full-time job. Big difference.

Jeff Bergosh said...

Further discussion of this issue is pointless, I stand by my answer that I gave earlier on this string, the way I gave it there; Not every question is answered with an easy yes or no--I mean, what if I asked you to answer this question with a yes or no reply:

"Do you think it unfair that your ignorance of many issues is your own fault?"

Yes or no answer PLZ

Anonymous said...

So no you have started deleting my comments...lets try this again, this time with screen-shots :)

Don't you find it strange, that whenever someone disagrees with you that they are "ignorant and uneducated"?

This is your podium, your place to voice your stance on issues and educate us to why. If we are "ignorant" it's because you have failed at your job, to educate us on your position. After all, its our "Ignorance" that has placed you where you are now. You are out of touch with your district..

The questions are totally different, my question to you defiantly has a simple yes or no answer,

"do you feel that you deserve more or as much as teachers that are in their classroom each and every day?"

Yes I do, because .......
No I don't because .......

your question on the other hand, is by design meant to insult and insinuate that your intelligence and knowledge is far greater than us lowly "ignorant" peoples. Yes that's right, we need you to make the important decisions, that only you, and not us ignorant people, can possible understand to make.

No I do not think its unfair that my ignorance on any issue is my own fault, its certainly fair, if I fail to educate myself on any issue, then yes its my own fault. I do think its fair that your salaries should be eliminated or at least brought WAY down. And I would vote for an initiative like this,

I will also take note, of how you treat and speak to your own constituents, when it becomes time to utilize my "ignorance" in the voting booth

Anonymous said...

Do you think its unfair that your ignorance of your constituents views make your ineffective?

Do you think its unfair that you don’t have one comment on this entire blog that actually agrees with you? Maybe you can get Godzilla (your no so super-secret split personality ) to pop by here too, and post some "Bergosh is GGGGGREEEEAT!!" Comments

Do you think its unfair that your district is full of us "ignorant" people while other districts have smart people ?

Jeff Bergosh said...

Anonymous--I gave you an honest, magnanimous reply to your question. That was not good enough and now you go for the jugular? Why can we not simply agree to disagree? Perhaps you should run for the school board then you could develop a credible answer to the question you posed to me--only your turgid, inflexible, and pugnacious disposition might preclude you from being effective in that capacity! Lighten up, why don't you?