Monday, May 30, 2011

How Often Does Your Kid's Teacher Go MIA?


21,000 "Sick Days" 
Included in 2011-12 Budget
   
The approved budget for the 2011-12 school year includes $2,510,928 for substitute teacher costs, more than a 6% hike from last year despite a planned reduction to 1166 teachers. It represents an increase from the actual cost of $1,791,767 for sub teachers expended in the 2009-10 school year when some 1225 teachers were employed.

According to the GUSTO contract, regular short term subs will be paid $94.70/day and career subs will receive $116.70/day for up to 16 consecutive days next school year. Longer assignments pay more on a rising scale based upon length of time. Since it's impossible to know how many subs will get the additional pay and how much longer those assignments might be, I've decided to use $120/day to demonstrate my point. That figure is a bit more than the more expensive career sub gets paid, but I'm going to generously assume that most teachers don't go out on sick leave for more than 3 weeks at a time, too.

By dividing the $2,510,928 budgeted substitute teacher line item by the $120/day sub cost, we find that the Greece Central School District has provided for nearly 21,000 days of teacher absences during the next school year! That works out to be nearly 18 days of absence per teacher starting in September!

The educational impact in the loss of continuity for the students must be tremendous! No wonder test scores are suffering, unexcused student absences have soared, drop out rates are climbing and graduation rates struggle to remain level! The students have learned that the teachers don't give-a-damn, so why should they?

Since the GTA contract provides for 20 sick days without loss of pay for a unit member in their first year of employment, all of this begs the question: WITH NO GTA CONTRACT AGREEMENT IN SIGHT, DOES THIS CONSTITUTE A PLANNED WORK SLOWDOWN BY OUR DEDICATED TEACHING STAFF BUDGETED FOR BY THE BOE ON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE THE ACTING & INTERIM SUPTS? It appears so.
     

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Classic! It wasn't so many weeks back that a teacher at one of our elementary schools was "sick" on both the day before vacation, but also on the first day back from vacation. Nice tan KA!

Anonymous said...

Are the days listed as "sick days" or is it substitute costs? That title can be misleading. If it is substitute costs and the District has raised it, then I believe the District must be planning many more days of teacher training which pulls them out of the classroom. Not all teachers even want to attend the training. It is easier to be in the classroom.

SCATS said...

To 8:34AM ~~ It's listed as sub costs, thus "sick days" was put in quotes. However, this was supposed to be a barebones budget. Aside from some equipment purchases, this was a contingency plan, so I don't think there was an increase in training days & I don't recall hearing any discussion of wanting to provide more. To the kids in the classroom, a day without the regular teacher is typically a day with little to no learning, regardless the reason.

Anonymous said...

You complain about the media and their distortion of the truth and yet you do the same when it suits you. Shame on you. You are losing credibility and supporters when you do this.

Charlie Hubbard said...

I truly hope taxpayers will take a moment to read article XX - page 35 of the teachers contract on this subject. It will demonstrate the lack of oversite shown over the years by administration and school boards who approve this garbage. It will also demonstrate the level of union a## kissing that has taken place over the years. Based on my last conversation with a board member there is nothing in the works to clean it up IE no concern shown by administration or the school board that absenteeism is a problem.

SCATS said...

To 10:30AM ~~ Saying something is "distorted" or otherwise erroneous without taking the time to tell us specifically what you take issue with makes your complaint nothing but wind ;) Typical effort for a teacher, eh?

Anonymous said...

Subs could be for sick days and personal family days as well as teacher development. Some of those workshops are held during the school year. The cost for subs is part of the budget. The teachers have to take the training.
It is probably impossible to figure which sub days are for which. If it is a planned absence for the teacher there is usually a request of a sub and the teacher preps the sub and there is a lesson plan.
If it is a sudden absence due to illness there is not the time to plan which sub but there is always the lesson plan.
Except for the fact that the older kids may take advantage of a sub , the education proceeds.
The only problem is that the subs hear of reputation that some schools in Greece are tough to sub at because of the behavior of the students.

SCATS said...

To 2:24PM ~~ You missed (or ignored) the bigger point: we have fewer teachers but MORE absenteeism! And this is NOT a one year trend. It's an ongoing issue. I take exception with your idea that younger children are not negatively impacted when a sub is in charge. If you ever spent time inside a school, you'd know the price those students pay.

Anonymous said...

No I said the subs were negatively impacted by the behavior at some of the older schools. Greece has a little reputation as being a little tough on subs.
And you don't know the absentee rate is the same or different because you have made up the numbers. The rate of daily pay for subs has increased in the last 2 years.
Someone is going to have to step up and ask in person what the number of sub days is last year vs the year before if someone is interested. Anonymity has its complications.

SCATS said...

To 2:48PM ~~ I'm sorry, but I'm not the fool you try to play me for ;) The number of teachers AND the SUB BUDGET figures are both real numbers.

The rates I used are from the NEW GUSTO contract that is in effect through 6/30/2013.

Anonymous said...

But you still don't know the number of sub days and you never will. You can only assume using the figures you find advantageous to the conclusion you want which seems to be finding out something negative. People get sick and need and deserve days off. They are paid a salary and don't lose pay up to a point. Teachers have to go to training sometimes during the school year. Kids have to deal with the reality of substitutes.
What would you suggest? Teachers work while they are ill? No time off for training? There is no plot for planned absence by the union as you imply. You have no basis for that allegation.

Anonymous said...

What does the District do with the Sub Money that isn't spent? Where does it go? What can it be used for? Maybe this is how they are hiding money for things that they don't want the taxpayers to find out about.

SCATS said...

To 3:31PM ~~ Figures that are advantageous? Hardly! LOL I'm using the highest rate for a career sub for 2011-12 AND HAVE ADDED EXTRA $$ TO THAT DAILY AMOUNT to arrive at the 21,000 days.

The point is, in case you missed it is that Greece's BOE & DO PLANNED FOR A MINIMUM OF NEARLY 21,000 days of per diem subs in a "barebones budget" with no contract settlement in sight!

There is no way the powers that be can predict ahead of time how many days a teacher will be ill (let alone 1166 of them) ... unless this has become a status quo situation ... and people who are paying attention know that it is ;)

Anonymous said...

3:31 re: not knowing # of sub days
You say "you never will." If the secret is that closely guarded then no one knows it. Isn't it true the district estimates based on past need? It's not like they are mindreaders. I see SCATS' points. He's used figures I can find and the math works. The numbers keep rising. Are the teachers a more sickly lot than in the past? Or maybe it's work to rule?

Anonymous said...

You never will know unless you ask. It is open information that is available if someone asks and waits for the information. Maybe a phone call could fill the need. What is preventing scats from asking is the prize of anonymity. Since none of the rest of us care about the number since we know there is no plan by the union to sabotage the district by telling teachers to call in sick when they are not....the total is fine. So if we don't use all the money budgeted for that it will slide into another column. But they are prepared.

Anonymous said...

Sick days, maternity leaves, professional development, meetings during the school day, short/long term disabilites. There are many reasons beyond what you make sound as teachers taking unwarrented sick days!

Anonymous said...

Oh my god!!!!!! I can't believe anyone would defend 18 days per teacher when they only work about 185 days to start with!!!! Thats like budgeting an extra day off for every 10 days worked. What's wrong with you people???? Do you get this kind of benefits? I know I don't!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Is anyone really surprised by these numbers? I'm not. Just say 'union.'

Anonymous said...

5:12am I know exactly who your talking about. The best part is that she tells people in the community where she's going on vacation and how she gets the time off. It speaks volumes about the sense of entitlement that teachers feel when they brag about how their going to call in sick here or there to go on vacation. They don't even think twice that their speaking to parents of Greece students.

SCATS said...

To 9:23PM ~~ I've run into "sick" teachers at the mall before. They even had their school aged kids with them. Actions speak volumes, don't they?

Anonymous said...

I never claimed to be a math wiz, fact is when I went to school they was teaching the new math and nobody understood it, teacher or parent. I can cypher up a row of numbers pretty good though, and this stuff just don't add up.

First thing is all this teacher training. Just what the hell do these so called teachers need to be trained for? They get hired in the door with a license that verifys them to be a teacher they damn well ought to be able to teach.

Math ain't changed a whole lot, and neither have history or science. If you watch the news seems like 3 countries a day change their names, but the kids don't learn about that in school. I guess they have to spend a week learning how Bill Clinton was a wonderful President and I got no dang idea how many days it takes to learn how homosexuals are perfectly normal, but dammit all the kids ain't learning Diddle Q Squatt.

If the substitutes can come in and run the classes while the regular teachers are being trained why don't we just hire all substitutes? They seem to teach just as much and they cost less per day with no benefits.

It's past time the taxpayers got off their asses and demanded answers.

Anonymous said...

21 days per teacher - that number can be misleading just in how you average it. If 1 teacher goes out on maternity leave and requires a sub for 180 days, and another teacher has perfect attendance......the AVERAGE is 90 days of missed time.

I'd bet that if you removed all the maternity leaves, professional development, meetings during the school day, etc. and just averaged together the actual number of "sick" days, it would be a reasonable number.

Running off at the mouth (keyboard) and trying to create a scandal without all the facts is typical from this site. You are a train wreck that can be fun to watch though.

What's next? GREECE CENTRAL SCHOOLS USING AN INORDINATE AMOUNT OF TOILET PAPER!!!! WHY THE TWO PLY FOR OUR KIDS? ISN'T ONE PLY ENOUGH? THE SCANDLE!!!! WHERE IS YOUR OUTRAGE????

Anonymous said...

A lot of you think that this is outrageous. It is but what if the it is not true. Maybe DO is playing a shell game with money. Put in extra here and less there and it looks good to the public that we are spending less over here. So what happens to the money that is not spent on Subs? I don't know the answer one can only speculate on it. This is just DO and the BOE working a shell game and you have all fell for it. Nothing in Greece is straight forward!

Anonymous said...

Scats is staying up late to try to disguise himself as a home spun hick. It just won't work even with the deliberate spelling errors...

And that teacher can request personal days before and after a school vacation. They don't have to fake a sick day. There is also family leave they can take without pay. Thats federal law.

Greece won recognition as saving energy. There is a plan to continue the savings by consolidation of services this summer. That's good news.

Anonymous said...

Sick days, union days, training days, personal days.......... call them what you want. I call them a waste of taxpayer money and a detriment to educating children. Whatever happened to the concept of dedicated, hardworking teachers who are role models to their students? Unless you're on the public payroll, these numbers are an outrage. Very Greece.

SCATS said...

To 3:01AM ~~ Where did you get the number 21 from? Did you pull it out of your xxx? Is that why it can be misleading? lol I might be a "train wreck" to you, but you are a tool to me :)

To 6:08AM ~~ Of course DO plays a shell game with money. What else is new? One of their bigger games is tossing their 70% BOCES or state aid "rebates" into the general fund.

To 7:24AM ~~ Oh no!!! You caught me! I write ALL of the comments on here. I have for FIVE YEARS! I even wrote yours ;) SCATS NEVER SLEEPS lmao

To 8:55AM ~~ Did you mean very Greecey?

Anonymous said...

Scats is at it again making a mountain out of a molehill. SCANDAL!!!!!!!

SCATS said...

To 9:25AM ~~ 21,000 days of duplicated "labor" (I'm using that term extremely loosely, as most realize) IS A MOUNTAIN. You shouldn't be reading this BLOG on district time. Get back to work!

By the way, I'm not the first person who ever brought this up ;)

Anonymous said...

Maybe the number 21 came from using the scats calculation and just dividing by the number of teachers. 21,000 divided by 1000 approximately.
Why didn't scat subtract out the maternity and long term disability and staff development? Because scat can't ask questions in person and then write the answers right on here. He can only ask questions as himself in public and then wait and submit a presentation like this. The administration obviously don't care because it didn't affect the vote or the hiring of a new superintendent. Maybe the new superintendent will not be so patient.

SCATS said...

To 9:36AM ~~ I really hate punching holes in your theories, but you make it so easy to do :)

YOU HAVE FAILED TO EXPLAIN THE BIG SPIKE IN THE BUDGETED AMOUNT FOR SUBS FROM THE $1,791,767 ACTUALLY EXPENDED IN 2009-10 TO THE $2,510,928 BUDGETED THIS YEAR when the NUMBER OF TEACHERS HAS FALLEN FROM 1226 in 2009-10 TO 1166 FOR 2011-12.

That's an extra $719,161 for 60 FEWER teachers! Someone's NOT working ;)

Anonymous said...

Scats,I was out of work, not on district time. oooops I mean I was "sick".