The last month there have been several community meetings that the Thompson School District and Board of Education have held regarding the budget for the upcoming year 2012-2013.
What has been completely absent from these meetings are presentations and discussions on what the actual revenues and expenses have been for previous years. The use of budgeted numbers which is nothing more than best guesses on revenues and expenses is so embedded that when anyone asks for the actual numbers it is as if that person is from Mars and is speaking Martian!!
As TSD (and other districts as well) works on the budget there seems to be a total disconnect between reality and the desires of the public education system. Many Americans are taking pay cuts, paying more for insurance benefits, losing their jobs, losing their homes, doing more with less and yet the staff of school districts (union and non-union) believe they are “entitled” to any money that is saved, not spent or seen as extra.
Case in point is the $720,000 increase for health insurance that none of the employees are being asked to share in the increased costs (based on 4/19/12 budget meeting). This is an 8% increase that is in ADDITION to the premium amount the district already pays for employees. I understand that district employees have budgets just like the rest of us but as so many in the private sector are having to share in increased benefit costs why are government employees exempt?
I would encourage all to please contact the board of education members and let them know that YOU will support them if they choose to make a priority the needs of the our kids first, followed by the interests of the taxpayer.
Tomorrow (May 4th) I will be on 1310 AM Colorado from 6:40am to 7am discussing with hosts Tom and Devon the issues of the school budget and why it is so important for districts to focus on comparing actual revenues and expenses to projections. On May 16th the Board of Education will be presented a budget from the budget proposal team which will include results of the negotiations with the teachers union.
I believe it is so important that citizens understand the games that ALL districts play with the budget which will empower parents, students and taxpayers to demand accountability and real reform in the budget process in the public education system. People also must support BOE members so that they will be willing to go against the unions and stand up for our kids education and their future.
Knowledge is power!!
Director, Liberty Watch
Email for all Board of Education Members:
Lola Johnson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Janice Marchman: email@example.com
Denise Montagu: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leslie Young: email@example.com
Sharon Olson (Board President): firstname.lastname@example.org
Leonard Sherman: email@example.com
Bob Kerrigan: firstname.lastname@example.org