Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cut These From The Budget, Mr. O'Rourke

  
The items listed below are ALL redundancies and should be eliminated ASAP!!

BoardDocs ~~ They are using paper anyway!

Renting a PO Box in North Greece ~~ Each school bldg can send/recieve its own mail. Use Apollo DO for the district's official address.

Non-emergency courier mail service to BOE members ~~ Email their packets to them on those GCSD laptops we paid for ... or let them pick it up, their choice. Reduce the use of all other courier services by at least 50%.

The items listed below could be instituted without impacting instruction.

Reduce the number of stipends by 50%. ~~ These are out-of-control!! Let each bldg decide what stays, what goes. Better yet, let them recruit volunteers!

Use more centralized bus pick up/drop off locations ~~ Sending buses down the side streets in most neighborhoods is a ridiculous waste of money. Examples: Harvest Dr., Black Walnut Dr., Straub Rd., Tait and/or Benjamin  Ave. should all have centralized pick-up locations at side street intersections.

Institute the three high school neighborhood transportation boundaries in 2011 ~~ for those using babysitters, there's no reason to wait to start saving!
Reduce legal fees by 50% ~~ Under Achramovitch, these expenses skyrocketed and must be brought under control. (Nov '06 - June '07; Fiscal Yr. '07 - '08; Fiscal Yr. '08 - '09; Fiscal Yr. '09 - '10 )

Eliminate any existing early/late bus runs. ~~ If the kids want to participate, make the parents step-up. This should be the type of "parent involvement" the district asks for.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Close/sell Barnard by Sept 2011

Close/sell Two additional elementary schools by Sept 2011

Close/sell Old District Office on Latta Rd. by Sept. 2011

Keep only one elementary and one secondary school of choice. This is strictly as a safety value for population changes to prevent boundary changes every 3-5 years.

Stop all elementary Signature schools next year and close one elementary School of Choice next year.

Hire new Supt. for under $200,000.

Staff buildings to the legal min. limits by NYS and GTA contract.

Change walking distances to NYS limits.

Use reserve/rainy day funds

Use fund balance funds

10% reduction in staff ACROSS THE BOARD: District Office, Administrators, BG, Bus Drivers, Cafe, Teachers, Teacher Aides.

Sincerely

Doug Skeet

SCATS said...

To Doug ~~ All are good ideas. Sadly, most of them are off the table. (If you can believe they were ever up to be considered in the first place.)

Anonymous said...

SCATS:

These are useful points for discussion.

I wonder about the late buses though. I know many families with very odd work schedules who might not be able to pick up thir kids. They don't do this because they don't care but they have to work odd hours to make a go of it in this economy.
I don't think we should punish them or students for the economic conditions they have to face.

SCATS said...

To 8:27PM ~~ By leaving these kinds of items alone, we will end up punishing Greece taxpayers with a 15% tax hike. Sorry, but changes must be made and no one said it was going to be easy or painfree.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain how we could possibly close two elementary schools?
There are 25 kids in my kids class and they raised class size last year.
If you close a school, where will those kids go?
Do we really want 30-35 kids in a class?

SCATS said...

To 9:52PM ~~ Class sizes were raised to cut teachers and reduce the budget. It has nothing to do with the design capacity of the school building. FYI, several schools are under-subscribed by large margins, most notably Parkland & Brookside. And you might also like to know that by playing with class sizes over the last several years, Pinebrook's enrollments were reduced from their ability to house 625 pupils.

Anonymous said...

How can we cut legal expenses when the district is facing two Federal lawsuits and from what has been posted earlier there are two more coming?

SCATS said...

To 7:03AM ~~ They can start by stopping with consultations before approving EVERY FOIL REQUEST received!

Anonymous said...

Save money and achieve success: See the D and C editorial page 2/14/2011. The Dave Fergusson letter has a simple solution to the Rochester City School's problems. Dave is my new hero!

Anonymous said...

Doug,
They cut the janitoial staff 10% this budget year. Who is going to clean if another 10% is cut? Teachers? No way.
How can a budget gap that big be closed by cutting janitors! That is foolish.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the BOE should "pull a Kodak" and look to outsource some services. Kodak used to run ESL, the cafeterias, IT, all the trucking and distribution, etc. Now lots of it is outsourced where ever they can. Outsourcing can replace (at a lower cost) some of the vacancies that exist in janitorial services and cafeteria staff without needing to [ay the union contract wages built into the current work plan.

SCATS said...

To 3:27PM ~~ Thanks for the heads up. What a great & simple idea!

Here's the editorial:

Follow example of top performers

The recent graph of the racial differences among the City School District students said it all. ("City schools fail to prepare students," Feb. 9 story) The best group (Asian/Pacific Island) is over six times better than the worst group (African-Americans). The best group does not have teachers of their race. They do not have bilingual classes. They do not have a curriculum related to their culture. The solution is to ask them what they do differently. Then just do it.
—DAVE FERGUSSON

SCATS said...

To 5:20PM ~~ Another excellent idea!

Anonymous said...

What they "do differently" is have parents who stress academics, work with their children at home on their school work, and don't accept anything less that their best effort at school... (see the "Tiger Mom" controversy that has been in the news lately).

So make all the parents like Asian parents and we'll be all set.

Anonymous said...

SCATS:

RE: outsorucing

In all seriousness: Why should people work for crap wages from outsourcing firms
Why should people forsake pensions and benefit which provide ecomomnic safety and security. These provde dignity.

Why should workers sacrifice while tax benefits are extended for the most wealthy in our society.

even the catholic chruch understands the dignity of everybody who works.

SCATS said...

To 6:36PM ~~ Why can't Greece teachers put out the same message in unison in the schools? I'm not devaluing the parents' roles but teachers need to step up and ay "We expect your best effort. We accept nothing less. Now go try it again." That was the message when I was in school. It certainly is NOT the message most make clear in GCSD.

To 7:02PM ~~ You said: "even the catholic chruch understands the dignity of everybody who works." That's much different than including union wages & benefits in the discussion. It's a gloabal economy. There's a lot of competition. If you want a job, you will do what it takes. If union workers get left out in the cold for not budging, they have no one to blame but themselves.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, it was an Asian parent who was persecuted at a Greece school last year (Brookside, I believe). Yes, the majority of them do seem to stress academics in their homes. Too bad our Greece schools don’t do the same. As I recall, a teacher was made to feel uncomfortable by this parent wanting to ask questions.

SCATS said...

To 7:45PM ~~ Good point. I almost forgot about that. How dare a parent make a teacher uncomfortable by questioning her accountability ...

I think it speaks volumes that the only ones who are NEVER to blame for anything that happens in the schools are the highly paid public employees staffing them.

Anonymous said...

SCATS:

Re: Gloabaloney

There is little evidence to support the notion that global competetion is at the heart of wages cuts. This huge increase in the percentage of our own country's wealth being held by the most well off is a major cause.
Is this huge increase in disparity a necessary result of globaloney?

Is the tax cut given the rich by Obama and the congress a necessity for Amreical to succeed the globaloney economy? is it true that our economy can only work if it gives huge amoununts of benefits to the well off and claws back the hard won advances of the middle and lower middle classes, That is truly pathological thinking.
Political power not economics is at work here.

If the economic arraingements we have can only function by impoverishing people who work, perhaps they need to be reformed not accepted as inevitable or beyond control.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that parents trying to bully a teacher into raising grades that a student didn't deserve would qualify as "accountability." Nor would a school requiring said parents to stop verbal and physical aggression when they didn't get their wish fall under the label "persecution." But I could be wrong ;)

Involved parents who push their children to achieve academically are great. Parents who use any means necessary to get the grade that their child didn't earn are not (and that includes parents of all races these days... so called "helicopter parents" who go to job interviews with their adult children and all the rest).

SCATS said...

To 8:50PM ~~ The most important word in my comment that you failed to use in your response was "union." Your omission speaks volumes.

To 10:44PM ~~ I think it's interesting that any questioning of a teacher or administrator is so readily framed as "bullying." It just detracts from the underlying problem, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

salary figures for OTHER supervisors:

ERIE COUNTY Salary Benefits
Akron $152,402 $45,769
Alden $144,238 $42,285
Amherst $168,568 $19,974
Buffalo $223,372 N/A
Cheektowaga $146,000 $29,980
Cheektowaga-Maryvale $141,000 $35,782
Cheektowaga-Sloan $176,519 $40,315
Clarence $213,200 $68,400
Cleveland Hill $135,200 $36,990
Depew $160,000 $39,573
East Aurora $147,000 $35,502
Eden $135,306 $36,169
Frontier $186,010 $56,801
Grand Island $159,150 $49,795
Hamburg $161,397 $36,186
Holland $140,000 $42,049
Iroquois $166,006 $26,736
Kenmore-Tonawanda $185,602 $34,891
Lackawanna $150,000 $52,274
Lake Shore $144,615 $21,346
Lancaster $162,000 $45,427
North Collins $129,792 $36,053
Orchard Park $167,000 $40,921
Springville-Griffith $154,733 $37,120
Sweet Home $168,000 $42,000
Tonawanda $156,000 $31,200
West Seneca $162,225 $23,064
Williamsville $227,000 $70,236
NIAGARA COUNTY Salary Benefits
Barker $145,396 $35,915
Lewiston-Porter $176,875 $25,378
Lockport $154,916 $42,421
Newfane $144,989 $26,974
Niagara Falls $155,000 $43,671
Niagara-Wheatfield $160,425 $29,003
North Tonawanda $140,000 $30,000
Royalton-Hartland $146,575 $38,401
Starpoint $183,343 $59,540
Wilson $146,763 $38,882

from today's Buffalo News- first number salary, second number benefits

SCATS said...

To 7:21AM ~~ Now, now, you do realize Greece likes to be known for offering World Class salaries with no accountability, right?

Anonymous said...

I think what 10:44 is trying to say is that when a teacher or administrator is questioned (on the spot), it's taken or seen as bullying. Sadly, these folks are rarely able to think either for themselves or quickly enough to have an on the spot discussion. They seem to need to sit down with their peers and supervisors and figure out a way to difuse the issue through emails. These emails usually involve letting too much time pass (hoping the parent will forget the issue), and some PC response that doesn't leave the teacher accountable.

SCATS said...

To 9:14AM ~~ Yes, they strive to diffuse and delay, instead of address and correct. Never accountable.

Anonymous said...

On the topic of budget cuts, they should immediately cut the funds for the whistleblower and safe schools hotlines. From what I hear, both programs are utter failures. Why waste any more money on something that's not working?