Teacher furlough options explored by ...

Teacher furlough options explored by state senators

There are 161 comments on the York Dispatch story from Feb 17, 2011, titled Teacher furlough options explored by state senators. In it, York Dispatch reports that:

Some state senators would like to give school districts the option to let teachers go because of economic reasons.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at York Dispatch.

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Downtown Resident

Owings Mills, MD

#1 Feb 17, 2011
I could see this as being a problem if we had quality education in the city, but since its not "all that" whats adding a few more kids to a classroom going to hurt? Let them feel the same pain as everyone else, nobody should be able to hide behind the unions.
get it together

Harrisburg, PA

#2 Feb 17, 2011
How many young children do these senators send through school? Do they understand what it is like to work with youth in this generation? Imagine being a family starting their children into public schools this year ... imagine a kid starting out under these circumstances where our leaders do not value public education and the greater good of learning and becoming a prosperous human being.

Perhaps I should encourage my child to just quit school, sell drugs and live off the government instead of being smart, educated and a future business owner or leader.

These leaders trying to destroy public education are pathetic and I will do my very best to inform every single parent in York County who is connected to public education about what each and every single legislator in PA votes for in both committees and on the floor. Sadly, they are busy raising kids and working hard to pay their taxes than follow this nonsense.

Go ahead, cut education. But build more prisons. Good idea, smartie pants.
Enough

United States

#3 Feb 17, 2011
C.J. Elder, a lawyer representing Dallastown teachers, disagrees and thinks economic furloughs would be a "gigantic concern" for teachers.

About two dozen Dallastown teachers may be furloughed soon. The district has a $4.4 million deficit and decided it would pursue furloughs after teachers refused to accept a wage freeze.

With economic furloughs unavailable and enrollment steady, the district would have to cut or eliminate programs to justify the furloughs.

I say let the "CUTTING" begin!!!! we are over staffed. Time for some roll backs in D-Town!
Nice

Dallastown, PA

#4 Feb 17, 2011
Until your Johnny is in a class with 30 other kids then you wouldn't say that. You'll be the first to bitch that classes should be smaller. You need to pay more taxes!!!
Downtown Resident wrote:
I could see this as being a problem if we had quality education in the city, but since its not "all that" whats adding a few more kids to a classroom going to hurt? Let them feel the same pain as everyone else, nobody should be able to hide behind the unions.
Stews Beef

Annapolis, MD

#5 Feb 17, 2011
Enough wrote:
About two dozen Dallastown teachers may be furloughed soon. The district has a $4.4 million deficit and decided it would pursue furloughs after teachers refused to accept a wage freeze.
!
CORRECTED VERSION:

About two dozen Dallastown teachers may be furloughted soon. The district has a $14 million dollar reserved fund and decided it would pursue furloughs after the Superintendant refused to give back his bonus, surrender his District-owned car, and end his clothing allowance.
WesternPA11

Mars, PA

#7 Feb 18, 2011
Classrooms should be required to have a minimum of 25 students. I would cap it at 25 for grades K-3. I was in elementary school in the 80s and we had 25 to 30 students in our class. Quit granting adminitrators agreements that set salaires. Salaries for noncollective bargining employees should be set every June when the final budget is passed. It's time for pay to play for sports.
Steve

United States

#8 Feb 18, 2011
what dont people understand here? The government takes in x amount of revenue. It spends y amount of revenue. When y > x spending must be curtailed. I think we learned this in grade school. and guess what? the government hasnt dont a good job at keeping the books balanced. Blame them if you are mad - not the taxpayers (who up until recently had zero say in these matter.) Dont like it? tough shit i pay the bill.

Since: Feb 11

Reading, PA

#9 Feb 18, 2011
For new teachers, the biggest threat to their job security isn't furloughs, but outright downsizing due to technology.

In-school distance learning will likely be the future trend with less certified (if even at all) teacher aids to monitor the students / maintain security while the remote instructor teaches hundreds of students all at once.

The key word above being "in-school" - students would still attend schools in classroom-like settings (biggest reason being schools are akin to daycare for many parents; kids can't be at home alone) similar to what exists today, but with a huge difference...

The instructor would be remote, teaching hundreds of students located in multiple classrooms, or even multiple schools, all at once through two-way audio-visual hookups...

Many schools already have the technology in place to do this with some already using it in the fashion I've described above.

And in an ironic twist, it's possible the remote instructor, despite the increased responsibility, could possibly earn as little as the classroom aids, if the remote instructor is off-shored - and some public schools already are using such off-shored remote instructors, such as to teach Chinese.

Rambling on, but point is that technology, especially given the budgetary pressures that exist today, will likely substantially reduce the number of highly trained teachers - with many being replaced by teacher aids along with a smaller group of remote, possibly off-shore, instructors.

Ron
Agree

Elkridge, MD

#10 Feb 18, 2011
They already have big screen TV's in every classroom. Hire aid's at 40k instead of 80k to keep everything working. Save 50 percent. No pensions either.
Tom Tucker Ch 5 News

Larimer, PA

#11 Feb 18, 2011
get it together wrote:
These leaders trying to destroy public education are pathetic and I will do my very best to inform every single parent in York County who is connected to public education about what each and every single legislator in PA votes for in both committees and on the floor. Sadly, they are busy raising kids and working hard to pay their taxes than follow this nonsense.
Go ahead, cut education. But build more prisons. Good idea, smartie pants.
No one is trying to destroy public education. On the contrary, they are attempting to allow those students who attend school the opportunity to go to a house owned by his parents, eat food bought by his parents, and put fresh clothes on which were purchased by his parents. You see, his parents need to keep some money in their pockets so that their child can attend school and gain a "public" education (whatever that is). As long as school districts continue to raise taxes because 1) they need a new stadium, or 2) they need new band uniforms, or 3) the teachers want more money and refuse to concede any, or 4) the teachers refuse to contribute more to their retirement plans, or...well, you get the point...but as long as this continues, that kid is going to come to your school dirty and hungry, and go home to his cardboard box because his parents can't afford the FINANCIAL DEMANDS of the district any longer. Destroy public education my azz.
Rocco

Apollo, PA

#13 Feb 19, 2011
Downtown Resident wrote:
I could see this as being a problem if we had quality education in the city, but since its not "all that" whats adding a few more kids to a classroom going to hurt? Let them feel the same pain as everyone else, nobody should be able to hide behind the unions.
We need the tools to balance budgets that other states like NC, SC, VA and Md use to put their fiscal house in order.

Testerman and PSEA should be challenged in this regard. We have abdicated school and fiscal policy to a powerful union cabal that is only interested in their own welfare!

In the past decade with a huge drop in enrollment, districts have not reduced staffs proportionately. Time to end this practice.
Publius Novus

Potomac, MD

#14 Feb 19, 2011
Enough wrote:
C.J. Elder, a lawyer representing Dallastown teachers, disagrees and thinks economic furloughs would be a "gigantic concern" for teachers.
About two dozen Dallastown teachers may be furloughed soon. The district has a $4.4 million deficit and decided it would pursue furloughs after teachers refused to accept a wage freeze.
With economic furloughs unavailable and enrollment steady, the district would have to cut or eliminate programs to justify the furloughs.
I say let the "CUTTING" begin!!!! we are over staffed. Time for some roll backs in D-Town!
Great idea! Don't raise taxes. Eat your seed corn. That always works.
Raul

Phoenixville, PA

#15 Feb 19, 2011
Ron Bennett wrote:
For new teachers, the biggest threat to their job security isn't furloughs, but outright downsizing due to technology.
In-school distance learning will likely be the future trend with less certified (if even at all) teacher aids to monitor the students / maintain security while the remote instructor teaches hundreds of students all at once.
The key word above being "in-school" - students would still attend schools in classroom-like settings (biggest reason being schools are akin to daycare for many parents; kids can't be at home alone) similar to what exists today, but with a huge difference...
The instructor would be remote, teaching hundreds of students located in multiple classrooms, or even multiple schools, all at once through two-way audio-visual hookups...
Many schools already have the technology in place to do this with some already using it in the fashion I've described above.
And in an ironic twist, it's possible the remote instructor, despite the increased responsibility, could possibly earn as little as the classroom aids, if the remote instructor is off-shored - and some public schools already are using such off-shored remote instructors, such as to teach Chinese.
Rambling on, but point is that technology, especially given the budgetary pressures that exist today, will likely substantially reduce the number of highly trained teachers - with many being replaced by teacher aids along with a smaller group of remote, possibly off-shore, instructors.
Ron
Ron, that would be true, but there are so many children with IEP's, service agreements, etc, that require a certified teacher to be present in the room and monitor them. Distance learning does not qualify for many of those kids. Along with that, the state requires a highly qualified teacher to be present and supervise every classroom. If I leave my room for a few minutes while an aide is present, I could lost my job if something happened. I don't leave my classroom, not just for that reason, but simply because it's my job to be there.

Along with that, there's a massive number of kids coming to public schools with severe homelife problems who cannot funtion without the supervision of a public school official. I have kids in class who absolutely could not handle being in school without adults interacting with them many times throughout the day.

I think distance learning can be terrific and valuable, and yes, it's used in many places but never as a complete replacement for the classroom teacher in a public school. The kids today couldn't survive without us there and it wouldn't be lagal in so many places that I highly doubt it'll happen. Who knows, you may be right, but things will have to change drastically before distance learning becomes the norm.
Raul

Phoenixville, PA

#16 Feb 19, 2011
Raul wrote:
<quoted text>
Ron, that would be true, but there are so many children with IEP's, service agreements, etc, that require a certified teacher to be present in the room and monitor them. Distance learning does not qualify for many of those kids. Along with that, the state requires a highly qualified teacher to be present and supervise every classroom. If I leave my room for a few minutes while an aide is present, I could lost my job if something happened. I don't leave my classroom, not just for that reason, but simply because it's my job to be there.
Along with that, there's a massive number of kids coming to public schools with severe homelife problems who cannot funtion without the supervision of a public school official. I have kids in class who absolutely could not handle being in school without adults interacting with them many times throughout the day.
I think distance learning can be terrific and valuable, and yes, it's used in many places but never as a complete replacement for the classroom teacher in a public school. The kids today couldn't survive without us there and it wouldn't be lagal in so many places that I highly doubt it'll happen. Who knows, you may be right, but things will have to change drastically before distance learning becomes the norm.
And as a footnote, I apologize for some typos. I thought I was able to read/edit my post before submitting it.
Meg

Carlisle, PA

#17 Feb 19, 2011
Raul wrote:
<quoted text>
And as a footnote, I apologize for some typos. I thought I was able to read/edit my post before submitting it.
Don't worry, some jerk will call you on it.
Jay

Slatington, PA

#18 Feb 20, 2011
Are any of these Senators(that our taxes pay for)making any pay concessions ?? Are they taking cuts in their medical??? Are any of them getting furloughed in tough economic times?? Do they take a wage freeze or give up their government vehicles or gas cards ??? What ever happaned to fair and balanced ??? Shouldn't we ALL have to give a little to keep our country going ?????They have been living off our backs FAR longer than teachers !!!!!
Jay

Slatington, PA

#19 Feb 20, 2011
And NO I am not a teacher.....
Question

New Freedom, PA

#20 Feb 20, 2011
I always hear "pay freeze" or "pay-cuts" or "furloughs".

I never hear anything else. Have other options been explored? Like limit the field trips. Downsizing through attrition. Look at transportation costs and reorganize the bus routes. Charge club teams for the use of school fields. Limit the amount of extra-tournaments sports teams participate in. Lower the pay rate for substitute teachers. Put a freeze on teacher professional development..........the list goes on and on.
KWM

Elizabethtown, PA

#21 Feb 20, 2011
I have a very simple question for teachers and their supporters. Why is it unreasonable to allow school districts the flexibility to eliminate teaching positions for economic reasons? Is there any more logical reason for making reductions to staff? The fact that school districts are presently handicapped in this fashion is the height of absurdity. There is no reasonable explanation for why teachers should be afforded this protection. The school districts are accountable to the taxpayers, not the PSEA. If a school district is struggling financially, the best place to reduce spending is salaries and benefits -- incidentally, this is the same line item that most private sector enterprises slash in times of economic downturn. If the membership of the PSEA is not satisfied with this reality, I would invite them to consider private sector employment as comparison. Remember, no one is forcing anyone to work as a teacher. Each and every PSEA member has the option of partaking in a most sacred rite of our economic system -- the right to seek employment elsewhere. Good luck.
lol

York, PA

#22 Feb 20, 2011
KWM wrote:
I have a very simple question for teachers and their supporters. Why is it unreasonable to allow school districts the flexibility to eliminate teaching positions for economic reasons? Is there any more logical reason for making reductions to staff? The fact that school districts are presently handicapped in this fashion is the height of absurdity. There is no reasonable explanation for why teachers should be afforded this protection. The school districts are accountable to the taxpayers, not the PSEA. If a school district is struggling financially, the best place to reduce spending is salaries and benefits -- incidentally, this is the same line item that most private sector enterprises slash in times of economic downturn. If the membership of the PSEA is not satisfied with this reality, I would invite them to consider private sector employment as comparison. Remember, no one is forcing anyone to work as a teacher. Each and every PSEA member has the option of partaking in a most sacred rite of our economic system -- the right to seek employment elsewhere. Good luck.
It is a band-aid. It will not fix the problem of over-spending. This has been hashed out over and over and over on these forums. The only thing getting rid of teachers hurts, is the students. And please don't make this out to be the teacher's complaining. I have a very simple question for you. Are teachers that worthless in your eyes?

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