utica school systems misses out on mi...
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Reading Comprehension

Stillwater, NY

#21 Dec 19, 2013
Truth wrote:
<quoted text>
Aren't there both public and private grants for education? Doesn't the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for instance give targeted grants for education?
I agree that the public school monopoly on taxpayer dollars and the power the teacher and administrator unions have has to end if we are going to see real improvement but misrepresenting the truth doesn't help.
You are parroting what the unions want you to believe when you say the UCSD is underfunded. Do a little research and compare what Utica spends per student, New York State spends per student, what other states spend per student and then compare graduation rates and test scores. The only conclusion you can come to when you do that is that money is not the cure. The money isn't going to the classrooms. It's going for things like this:
http://www.uticaod.com/x231950137/New-Utica-t...
and that's at the core of the real problem.
Pretty much this. Great post.
Educated Parent

Waterville, NY

#22 Dec 19, 2013
They might have been asked but they still had to apply. They weren't forced to apply. They weren't chosen if they didn't apply. Any teachers who were interested could apply. There were also some that were asked to apply that didn't.
Educated Parent

Waterville, NY

#23 Dec 19, 2013
The union president can spin this any way she wants but the bottom line is that there are teachers that don't have jobs because this grant was not signed. Next year when there are more cuts to teachers, they can thank their union president. When budget time comes around do you really think the administration and the board be as concerned about the unions concerns? What advantage did they gain be costing the district $5 million in grant money.
Anonymous

Great Barrington, MA

#24 Dec 19, 2013
Educated Parent wrote:
They might have been asked but they still had to apply. They weren't forced to apply. They weren't chosen if they didn't apply. Any teachers who were interested could apply. There were also some that were asked to apply that didn't.
You have no clue...
sam

Syracuse, NY

#25 Dec 19, 2013
Union greed. I am sure the students would have benefited from this bit too bad the union had their hands out. This is a perfect reason why unions could care less about education just their own pocketbook.
sam

Syracuse, NY

#26 Dec 19, 2013
Educated Parent wrote:
<quoted text>First, let's put the blame where it belongs. The teachers did not reject this grant. The head of the union rejected it without consulting ANY of the union members. The head of the union is power hungry and thinks she knows best what is good for the teachers. The first part of this grant was accepted by the former union president and it saved teachers jobs. The current president is more interested in proving that she is a strong union leader than keeping teachers working. She stated that she did not want new teachers hired that would be out of work in three years at the end of the grant. I'm guessing the these teachers would rather have a job for three years than not work at all.

The current union president is more interested in herself and looking good to the state union leaders than she is with the local teachers and the students. By rejecting this grant she has put a huge wedge between the union and the district. The school board already has one recently elected member that has a grudge against the union for not supporting him. Now they have pissed off the rest of the board. That doesn't bode well for the union.
Well who made her president.????? The teachers so they share the blame
Uta president

Ilion, NY

#27 Dec 19, 2013
Cherie ran against no one for president. She had the person who was running against her disqualified. So the membership did not elect her. Any member can not just run for president, there are rules and guidelines that must be followed. As far as the grant is concerned, it was not going to

Lower class size or help instruction. It selected bad teachers to act as teacher leaders.
bonnie

Syracuse, NY

#28 Dec 19, 2013
So you stupid teachers are paying union dues to a union that you can not vote who is president. teachers are very stupid and they are teaching our kids.
Yikes

Syracuse, NY

#29 Dec 19, 2013
Educated Parent wrote:
The teacher trainer jobs are posted. They are granted on the basis of seniority. They are not assigned by Karam.
Nobody is blaming the teachers union. They are blaming the union president. The teachers had no say in this decision. Had they been asked they would have supported it as they have in the past. Cherie Grant has chosen herself as the supreme ruler of the union. She will never lower herself to asking someone's opinion on anything. She, in her own mind, knows what is best for the UNION, which is more important than what is best for the teachers and she has no regard whatsoever for what is best for the kids. Cherie is all about Cherie. Nothing more, nothing less.
If enough teachers signed a petion and presented to the Union that represents him I am sure there could be a recourse to remove her with enough signitures.
utica

Utica, NY

#30 Dec 19, 2013
I am one of the few who saw the finished grant.

It was thrown together at the last minute, had flaws- and really would have wasted millions of taxpayer dollars.

And--- you have to realize that there was no guarantee any school would even be awarded the money after all. The paper made it look like it was a sure thing.

Crappy grant. Crappy reporting. And while I can agree with a lot of the union bashers. This was political bs and good for them for rejecting it. Those millions would have come out of our pockets!
Anonymous

Utica, NY

#31 Dec 19, 2013
utica wrote:
I am one of the few who saw the finished grant.

It was thrown together at the last minute, had flaws- and really would have wasted millions of taxpayer dollars.

And--- you have to realize that there was no guarantee any school would even be awarded the money after all. The paper made it look like it was a sure thing.

Crappy grant. Crappy reporting. And while I can agree with a lot of the union bashers. This was political bs and good for them for rejecting it. Those millions would have come out of our pockets!
Well said!
Anonymous

Utica, NY

#32 Dec 19, 2013
Educated Parent wrote:
They might have been asked but they still had to apply. They weren't forced to apply. They weren't chosen if they didn't apply. Any teachers who were interested could apply. There were also some that were asked to apply that didn't.
When you are asked to do something like that, you don't refuse.
bonnie

Nedrow, NY

#33 Dec 19, 2013
utica wrote:
I am one of the few who saw the finished grant.

It was thrown together at the last minute, had flaws- and really would have wasted millions of taxpayer dollars.

And--- you have to realize that there was no guarantee any school would even be awarded the money after all. The paper made it look like it was a sure thing.

Crappy grant. Crappy reporting. And while I can agree with a lot of the union bashers. This was political bs and good for them for rejecting it. Those millions would have come out of our pockets!
Sorry if we do not believe you. Show the public it we can judge for ourselves
ed

Nedrow, NY

#34 Dec 20, 2013
Would the school system be better off with 2.5 M. Also this money does not go in a bank another grant will get it so saying not getting it will save NYS is wrong. Union only wants money to increase union workers.
Reading Comprehension

Stillwater, NY

#35 Dec 20, 2013
Unions are absolutely horrible. Hopefully as the trend continues they will be gone in another decade or so.
Not True

Ithaca, NY

#36 Dec 20, 2013
Educated Parent wrote:
The teacher trainer jobs are posted. They are granted on the basis of seniority. They are not assigned by Karam.
Nobody is blaming the teachers union. They are blaming the union president. The teachers had no say in this decision. Had they been asked they would have supported it as they have in the past. Cherie Grant has chosen herself as the supreme ruler of the union. She will never lower herself to asking someone's opinion on anything. She, in her own mind, knows what is best for the UNION, which is more important than what is best for the teachers and she has no regard whatsoever for what is best for the kids. Cherie is all about Cherie. Nothing more, nothing less.
These positions were not based on seniority and were not posted. Seems the union president was protecting the rights of all teachers not only the select few chosen by downtown.
Utica Teacher

Waterville, NY

#37 Dec 20, 2013
Not True wrote:
<quoted text>
These positions were not based on seniority and were not posted. Seems the union president was protecting the rights of all teachers not only the select few chosen by downtown.
The positions were posted. I saw the postings myself.
ask elefante

Utica, NY

#38 Dec 20, 2013
When the Utica Board of Education approved retiree health-care benefits for a large group of teachers 16 months ago, it had no idea what the added burden to taxpayers might be.
Now, officials do know — and the price tag is staggering.
For its assets to keep up with its added retiree benefit obligations, Utica’s school district should be setting aside $14 million more per year than the $5 million it budgets for retiree health costs now, according to an accounting form obtained by the Observer-Dispatch under the Freedom of Information Law.
The district’s current budget is about $130 million. Technically, covering the retiree benefits in full could mean a 50 percent increase in the tax levy, according to district figures explaining how spending increases affect the amount raised in taxes.
Failure to set aside money for the new benefits could put the school district’s bond rating at risk of dropping, experts said. Utica is not alone in wrestling with how to pay for retiree benefits, but it made a conscious decision 16 months ago to extend such benefits, one analyst said.
“The contract took an expenditure that was going to be basically flat and increased it by a factor of almost three,” said Lise Bang-Jensen, senior policy analyst for the Empire Center for New York State Policy, a group that’s been critical of the impact of generous public employee benefits.
This all stems from the return of a benefit that district teachers had not seen for 30 years. The school board had cut retirement health benefits for all teachers hired after Dec. 31, 1977, but in a September 2008 vote, it restored such benefits.
No estimate existed then on the added costs, but the numbers were worked out subsequently. In accounting terms, Utica’s retiree health care benefits liability is $189 million, more than half of which stems from the new benefits.
In an attempt to cover the costs, the school district is budgeting another $167,000 this year, and the amount would only ratchet upwards in years to come. Under this approach, Utica taxpayers would be paying at least $10 million more per year in two decades to cover the teacher retirement benefits.
But that approach doesn’t meet the extent of liability the district faces, Bang-Jensen said.
Meeting that goal would mean $19 million per year set aside, according to the district accounting form.

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