Thursday, December 16, 2010

Weast discusses 'bare bones' MoCo school budget - wtop.com

Weast discusses 'bare bones' MoCo school budget - wtop.com

52 comments:

  1. A National Board Certified TeacherDecember 16, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    http://maryland-politics.blogspot.com/
    Check out the article titled An Inconvinient Turth to see the true cost of MCPS benefits as compared to the rest of the county government. Realize that teachers can't get overtime (as other county employees can). Know that we have given up our raises for two years, all the while having our class sizes grow, being told we need to do "more with less" resources, and teaching students whose parents tell us (the teacher) that their child doesn't have to do the homework assigned by the teacher because the student have too many other "important" things to do. We are expected to not only teach the student our discipline, but how to have manners, and responsibility, and keep the rigor high. When most of us have to work second jobs and can't even afford to live in the county we teach...and now you want to basically give us a pay cut by increasing our healthcare contribution, even though at current levels it costs the county less than other organizations because it doesn't look "fair" on paper? COME ON! As anyone with more than one child knows, fair doesn't always mean "equal". It's not equal that I work over 40 hours a week and can't earn overtime, but it is fair based on our pay salary.
    Remember, that you get the quality of schools that we currently have by paying for it. You want your house values to rise again, you can gaurantee that how your local school performs is going to be in with that. It won't come for free...DC has higher salaries than MoCo now, as does Fairfax. Something to think about before the school teachers are characterized as "greedy" for wanting what was agreed to in the contract.

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  2. @teacher:

    Fact: Your union is at the secret MCPS Operating Budget table. The public is NOT permitted to attend those meetings or to even know when and where they are held.

    Fact: In 2008 your union traded pay increases for Promethean Boards. That is not a deal that I would have made as a parent, but that is the deal that your union agreed to accept.

    The Promethean Board procurement tied County taxpayers to a 4 year lease payment plan that - in the words of Councilmember Mike Knapp - locked us into an expenditure that we couldn't afford.

    Fact: The teachers union Apple Ballot supports Board of Education candidates that allow the MCPS Operating Budget to be crafted in secret, off camera, non-public meetings. That is the choice your union has made. Again, that would not be my choice, but that is what the Apple Ballot supports.

    The public cannot participate in a meaningful discussion of the MCPS Operating Budget as we are not permitted to attend the meetings where the budget is discussed.
    The public has no way of knowing what "deals" are being cut behind closed doors and what is being traded.

    That is the "inconvenient truth" that the Apple Ballot doesn't want to discuss.

    Want a discussion? Then make the budget discussions public at the Board of Education table like they used to be. Otherwise, the citizens of Montgomery County can't discuss what they don't know.

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  3. @teacher:

    Comments on topic are welcome.

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  4. Where did the union trade salary for Promethean Boards. Evidence?

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  5. Exhibit A: Look at the front of your classroom if you are in a high school or middle school. There you will see a $5,000 Promethean Board with long term maintenance and repair needs that isn't even paid for yet! Annual lease payments on the Promethean Boards continue to drain the MCPS Operating Budget and divert funds AWAY from teacher salaries.

    In the alternative, call your union rep Jon Gerson at 301-294-6232. He can explain to you how the purchase of the Promethean Boards by MCPS staff was OK at a time when teachers were giving up pay.

    Funny you should want "evidence" when the MCPS budget is being crafted in secret. That's the beauty of secret meetings! Teachers, parents and community members are NOT permitted to observe the budget process as they do in communities all over the U.S.A.

    The Apple Ballot prefers the secret society, back room meeting budgets. For teachers, you end up with a $5,000 Promethean Board purchase glued to the middle of your chalk board and no pay raises.
    Your choice.
    Wouldn't be mine.

    You want evidence of how the MCPS Operating Budget decisions are being made? Then protest the secret meetings. Board of Education member Laura Berthiaume has protested for the last two years. But we all know that probably won't get her the Apple seal of approval if she runs again.

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  6. MCEA President Doug Prouty announcing secret budget meeting had started in August of 2009:

    http://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2009/11/secret-meetings-have-begun.html

    Where and when were these meetings? Who attended? Where are the minutes of what was discussed?

    Sorry Montgomery County public - the attendees aren't telling. They are required to keep these meetings confidential if they want to keep their seat at the secret table. That's how super cool private clubs work! (Maybe they have a secret club sign or oath too?)

    Yes, they are spending your public tax dollars - but you aren't to know what is being discussed.

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  7. Why are you jumping down the teachers throat when you just said that teachers don't get to participate in these secret budget meetings? Do you HONESTLY think that we all agreed to forgo pay increases so that we could have Promethean Boards? We were all told that the Promethean Boards were paid for with a grant. I think you would go farther if you stopped attacking teachers who are just as affected by all of this as the general public. We pay taxes too, you know.

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  8. It's YOUR union. Teachers elect the union leadership. The union represents you and this is what teachers want. Your union - representing you- teachers - has a seat at the secret budget table. This is what you want? Right?

    Teachers hand out the Apple Ballot at the polls. This is the secret budget process that the teachers support through their endorsement of Apple candidates that pledge to continue this secret process, right?

    Who told you Promethean Boards were a grant? We know for a fact that's not true. There was no grant. Just MCPS Operating funds that were directed to this purchase.

    The Parent's Coalition investigated this purchased and showed that the Promethean Boards were purchased with unappropriated funds that Superintendent Weast had been holding on to for years.

    Mr. Gerson's response to the Promethean Board purchase when teachers were giving up pay? He told me it was OK.

    If the union doesn't represent teachers at the secret budget meetings, who do they represent?

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  9. And by the way, the Apple ballot endorsed candidates - right up to the Governor- just fast-tracked the sale of 19.5 acres of public school land for pennies. (A process that normally would have taken months to a year.)

    There's a good $20 million(?) that could have gone to public schools out the window. And that's all good with the Apple endorsed candidates. They made a big push to even show up in person at the County Council, MSDE and State House to push this sale. So clearly, cash for schools is not a need this year. When valuable public school land can be sold for pennies, and the public process evaded, money is not an issue.

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  10. A National Board Certified TeacherDecember 17, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    Look, we all want to help the students. Let's quit playing the blame game. The teachers don't make the budget, yes SOME of our Education Association members are present. And stop calling us a "union". We are an association...we don't have the right to strike as unions do. Also, we entered into a 3 year contract with our employer and the contract was broken by the lack of funds of county council. Did you see an interruption in service to your child's education? No, we sucked it up and kept doing what we knew was right...teach the kids, help them during our lunch, before school after school, give them our lunch when we see them hungry, bring in warm clothes for them when they are coming to school in t-shirts and it's 20 degrees out. Almost all of us are highly qualified, going to school on our own dime to make sure we stay current in our teaching stratigies.
    I am sick and tired of the teachers being demonized. Quit saying "the teachers did this...the teachers did that". I agree that the elected officials aren't doing the right thing...let's start blaming them. We all know that once people are elected it's very hard to control what they do. I am all about trying to figure out where things went wrong with the budget, I am willing to have spending cut. I am UNWILLING to have teachers (who are already overworked and underpaid) bare the brunt of the ire of the public, when we work our butts off to help the students. If you have an issue with how the budget is formulated, specifically target the people. Once they are elected or appointed we no longer have control. Let's start working TOGETHER to solve this budget crisis.

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  11. These are the elected officials that YOU endorsed and asked voters to support.

    The voters overwhelmingly supported the teacher endorsed Apple Ballot.

    These are the officials, and this is the process that the teachers want. This is the teacher endorsed Apple Ballot in action.

    The elected officials know that if they don't toe the line they won't get the Apple Ballot endorsement next time they run for office.

    The secret budget table is calling the shots and cutting the deals.

    The public can't speak to what is going on at that secret budget table.

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  12. @Janis
    The association did support these candidates, yes. And let us be honest, if the school board had forgone a tool such as the promethean boards and given that money to teachers for their salaries you would be making the opposite argument.

    Why are you so angry?

    By the way, the public always gets a voice on the budget, they just don't have a seat at each and every meeting. Works that way in all levels of government.

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  13. I do not endorse the Apple Ballot, nor do I vote the Apple Ballot. Its not mandatory, nor should you assume that all teachers support those decisions. I certainly don't hand them out, nor do I ask anyone to support the Apple Ballot. We are not one huge unified political body. We are all individuals with our own opinions and political beliefs. Don't tar us all with the same brush.

    Again, at my school, we were told, by our union reps, that the Promethean Boards were paid for with a grant. So the union lied to us. But, please, do not continue to operate under the assumption that teachers were so eager for Promethean Boards that we gave up our pay increases to get them.

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  14. @anonymous

    Absolutely no support for your statement about what I would say if teachers had gotten their pay. How about discussing the facts?

    The Promethean Boards were purchased by a staff member - Larry Bowers - signing a lease in the box designated for the BOARD OF EDUCATION. The Board of Education NEVER discussed or voted on the procurement.

    That staff purchase was OK with union rep Jon Gerson.

    The public has NO voice in the budget. Pretending doesn't make it so. The reality is that the budget is set in non-public, off-camera, no minutes, no Board of Education meetings. Nothing public about that at all.

    The unions have a seat at the secret table. The unions must be happy with the end result. The unions have their Apple stamp of approval elected officials in place. All is good in MCPS.

    Read and listen to what Board of Education member Laura Berthiaume has said for the last 2 budget cycles. Even she is left out of the budget process.

    http://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2010/06/berthiaume-says-what-is-our-role.html

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  15. The circular logic here never ceases to amaze me. Logic similar to the above would conclude the following:

    Voter A voted for Chris Van Hollen. Voter A must therefore be thrilled with EVERY vote Van Hollen makes in the House. Everyone knows that just isn't how it works, despite how easy it is use to prove one's point.

    OK, I'll ask you the annoymous's question directly Janis. Would you have supported spending whatever the Promethean Boards cost on teacher salaries? Simple question. Looking forward to a simple answer without mention of the "seat at the secret table" mantra.

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  16. @Ireland - and you are good with that? You are good with not being told the truth? You are good with not understanding how MCPS spends Operating Budget dollars? Because Superintendent Jerry Weast calls the details of the Operating Budget "smoke and mirrors." The Superintendent doesn't want people looking at the details.

    Interesting to know that there are teachers that don't support the Apple Ballot. That certainly isn't what the Apple Public Relations and Ad campaigns wants voters to believe.

    @anonymous - Where have you been?
    You have been reading the PC information for over 2 years. Have you really not gotten the point that the Parents' Coalition has been advocating for transparency in the MCPS budget so that funds are NOT diverted away from classrooms? And by classrooms, that would be teachers, required instructional materials and bricks and mortar buildings - not fad tech toys and administrators on travel. Time to wake up and learn how MCPS Operating Budget dollars are being spent.

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  17. @Ireland - You are bound by the deal that your union struck. They have a seat at the MCPS Budget table. You get what they agree to. If you aren't happy with the deals being cut, then that is an issue for your union membership to deal with, not the citizens of Montgomery County.

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  18. My god I wish the teachers would STOP WHINING. My neighbors and I did not get pay raises last year. My neighbors and I had their contribution to health insurance, etc., raised. Some of my co-workers drive from Manassas to get to work in DC. All of my co-workers and I work way more than 40 hours. We do not get paid for that overtime. That is why they call it WORK. And yet, we do not spend our day whining to our employers. And yes, when you work in a public school system, we the taxpayers and residents are your employer. If you don't like it, please, please do not occupy a space in MCPS and make way for people who want a job in this economy and would be thrilled to teach in Montgomery County.

    As for not being at the secret budget meetings, YOU voted for your association representation there. And, please correct me if I am wrong, but YOU teachers gave up the right to strike. So yes, you are an association, not a union.

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  19. National Board Certified Teacher said:
    "If you have an issue with how the budget is formulated, specifically target the people."

    I could not agree more. Here is a link to the leadership of the MCEA, the teachers' elected representatives who ARE at the secret budget negotiations, create the MCEA aka teachers 'apple ballot,' and helped put us in our current predicament: http://www.mcea.nea.org/about/board.php

    They are: Doug Prouty, President; Christopher Lloyd, First VP; Amy Watkins, Secretary; Michelle Greene, Treasurer; Bonnie Cullison, 2nd VP (and now Democratic District 19 Delegate to Annapolis as well); and 13 additional representatives. The first Representatives meeting of 2011 is Jan 5th, 4-6pm, at 12 Taft Court in Rockville. The Annual Legislative Breakfast is Jan 8th, 9-11am, same location.

    Any teachers that attend, please report here. Thank you.

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  20. @freestategal
    The teachers did not give up the right to strike, it is state law, like Maintenance of effort.
    We, and yes, I am a teacher, are not whining. We want respect and aknowledgement of what we have done. Given up pay raises for two years. Contribute 5% of our salaries to the state pension system.
    We don't want overtime, we want the public to aknowledge that we work more than 40 hours a week, that we do not go home at 2:30 or 3:30. That we do good work. We want profesional respect.
    By the way, since I am also a tax payer does that mean I work for myself. No, what it means is that I am a stakeholder both as a teacher, and a citizen.
    @Janis - You make the data say what you want. No point in discussing with you as you are not interested. I base that on your postings.

    Thanks

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  21. @11:22

    When has the public not acknowledged what teachers do? Facts please.
    If professional respect is logo wear(free clothing), then no, the public can't give you that. Logo wear is what some teachers think equals "professional."

    Again, where are facts on postings that do not support keeping MCPS Operating Budget funds in classrooms for teaching?

    FACT - Teachers union is at the secret operating budget table cutting deals.

    FACT - Public and Board of Education are not at the secret operating budget table. The public does not have access to any of the operating budget discussions.

    FACT - In 2008 union officials were fine with trading Promethean Boards for salary. From the public perspective, Promethean Boards were what teachers wanted because they didn't say a word when 3,300 of these things ended up in classrooms. Teachers got what they wanted? Right?

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  22. FACT - Here's what County Councilmember Mike Knapp said about the Promethean Board and other purchases:

    "At a time when we have limited resources, the school system had locked us into certain expenditures we couldn't afford..."

    Gazette; Wednesday, September 9, 2009

    Where are the Apple Ballot candidates on these purchases?

    Silent.

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  23. Of course MCEA is a union.
    http://www.mcea.nea.org/about/building_reps.php
    (1) They bargain wages, hours, and benefits.
    (2) They represent bargaining unit members, and negotiate union contracts on behalf of those in the bargaining unit.

    MCEA also performs educational advocacy activities, certainly, but that is coincidental to their primary function as the bargaining unit representative.

    Why do you object to calling MCEA a "union?"

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  24. FACT; You said MCEA traded raises for Promethean Boards. Your only FACT that supports this (besides the ALLEGATION) is that one MCEA person agreed to it.

    There was no trade off between raises and Promethean Boards. MCEA didn't offer that as an option to it's members.

    MCEA did give up the raises for promises of future health care benefits that now apparently are in play again.

    You know this site has a lot to offer, but some of the posters who provide the information are a little overzealous at times and it comes across reflecting quite poorly on the overall group.

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  25. And that one person was.. Jon Gerson. The man who runs the Apple Ballot. Pre-selects the Apple Ballot candidates. Refuses to interview the pool of candidates running. Promethean Board purchase was fine with him.

    And the other person in that conversation was Eric Ludtke of MCEA leadership. Now State Delegate Luedtke. And his position on Promethean Boards instead of pay is?

    Sad that MCEA didn't tell its members what was being traded. That's an issue for teachers to take up with their leadership. The public can't help you if your union isn't transparent.

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  26. Just because teachers didn't know that a trade was being made doesn't mean it didn't happen. The facts have all been laid out and the County Council has had hearings on the unappropriated funds that were used for Promethean Boards.

    It did happen. Superintendent Weast had a pile of cash that he had been holding on to for years. A choice was made to buy Promethean Boards instead of fund teacher pay. That choice was fine with the Apple folks.

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  27. One more time for those just joining the conversation:

    http://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2009/02/andrews-this-is-serious-mistakethe-law.html

    Time for teachers to wake up and demand a transparent MCPS budget process.

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  28. Lets try this again one more time....

    Your original statement wast that MCEA traded raises for Promethean Boards. You have offered nothing to prove this other than an alleged statement (quotes anywhere? media reference?) from ONE MCEA official. That individual was NOT the MCEA President/Vice President.

    MCEA's members voted to give up their raise in exchange for other concessions such as protected health care benefits. This was an actual vote covered in the media/press. The contractual agreement is between MCPS School Board and the members of MCEA, the support union AND the administrators union. It's a matter of public record that all three unions (not just MCEA did this). It is not open for debate. The union members voted to do this. The union leadership or leaders did not (though they did recommend teachers make the tradeoff).

    You simply can't say MCEA traded salary for the Promethean Board as FACT. It isn't.

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  29. Sorry, the MCPS Operating Budget discussions are secret.
    What goes on at the table, stays at the table.

    Teachers got thousands and thousands of Promethean Boards in classrooms instead of pay. That's a fact.
    That's the trade that was made for all the public to see.
    The union consents to a closed process and secret, off the record procurements. The money that goes out the door on these secret purchases is gone. Less money for teacher pay. Do the math.

    The Apple Ballot supports the elected officials that keep this secret process going. This is the secret process that the Apple supports.

    If you want to know how the MCPS Operating Budget funds are being used, demand transparency. Otherwise, accept that the deals are cut out of the public view and take what you get. But don't blame the public. We don't have a seat at the table.

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  30. I believe in video 2 you can hear Valerie Ervin saying - this was not a grant...

    http://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2009/02/andrews-this-is-serious-mistakethe-law.html

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  31. And are teachers missing the ongoing expense of the Promethean Boards? Not free folks! No magic money falling out of the sky.
    Here's $202,300 less dollars for teacher pay.

    http://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2010/10/202300-for-promethean-bulbs.html

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  32. So you have no proof of what you say other than "it's secret!".

    Yes the Promethean Boards were purchased the same time employees gave up raises.

    That isn't in debate.

    The fact remains that you have no proof that MCEA gave up the raises to buy Promethean Boards. If the County Council investigated this allegation (raises for boards) where are the minutes.

    Plus the obvious FACT is that MCEA can't give up raises for ALL MCPS employees, let alone their members. MCEA is only one of three unions in MCPS.

    To break a contract the MEMBERSHIP has to vote on it. The union negotiated a trade of the raise for protected health care (which apparently is no longer protected, but that is another debate for another day). ALL THREE UNIONS voted to do this. ALL THREE.

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  33. Videos of County Council hearing on use of unapproriated funds to purchase Promethean Boards was already posted above.

    But one more time...

    http://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2009/02/andrews-this-is-serious-mistakethe-law.html

    What was the Apple Ballot response to this incident? To endorse one more time the same elected officials that were involved in this.

    Look at the video. Who is sitting at the table? It's Board of Education members and Apple Ballot endorsed Shirley Brandman and Patricia O'Neill.

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  34. Here's more on the public comment and investigation into funds that Superintendent Weast was not making public that brought about the County Council Education Committee hearing shown in the videos above.

    http://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2009/02/2168409259.html

    The Parents' Coalition found this unreported $21 million. What did the Apple folks do about this once the money was found?

    That's $21 million that could have gone to teachers.

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  35. You still have offered no proof MCEA traded raises for boards. It's that simple.

    Plus you keep ignoring the reality that MCEA membership voted to give up raises in exchange for health care AND a second reality that MCEA can't give up raises for the thousands of other employees in MCPS.

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  36. What I'm not really understanding is that it seems like all of us are after the same thing...a transparent budget process where all the stakeholders know where the money is going. So...what are we all arguing about? Janis, I don't know you, but you seem to be throwing a lot of hostility towards some of the teachers that bother to post here. WE gave up raises for Promethean Boards, WE have a secret seat and the secret budget table, WE force everyone to vote the Apple Ballot.

    I have already discussed this, but I will, again, for the record. Not all of us endorse the Apple Ballot. Not all of us agree with everything our union does. Not all of us think the Promethean Boards were a good idea. Not all of us think the budget process should be secret. Not all of us support Weast. Don't you think that it would be better to work along side of each other rather then flinging such vitriol back and forth? Many of us teachers agree with a lot of what is said here, but you lose us when you start accusing and laying blame. If the U.S. president does something you disagree with, do you take all of the blame just because you are a citizen of this country? Of course not. So why is every teacher to blame for poor decisions made by a select few elected officials? As someone above said, once these people are elected (and we didn't all vote for them!) we don't have any control over what they do.

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  37. @ireland

    When have you EVER spoken up?

    The above is an anonymous posting. What are you hiding from?

    Seriously, this is the best you can do? You want a transparent budget process? Who are you and when have you EVER advocated for a transparent budget process? Your union sure hasn't. And they are the only voice that the citizens of Montgomery County hear.

    Until you step up and speak out, the Apple Ballot speaks for you.

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  38. By the way, what exactly was the $22 million no-bid, no discussion, no vote payment from MCPS to Deutsche Bank NTC in FY10?

    Anyone know? Deutsche Bank NTC is not mentioned in Board of Education minutes - ever.

    We have already asked MCPS and got zip.

    http://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2010/12/weast-im-about-to-cry-on-inside-on-this.html

    $22 million can just be spent without a word from the Board of Education?

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  39. National Board Certified TeacherDecember 21, 2010 at 9:35 AM

    Once again, Janis...you lose any credibility with the teachers when you start attacking US! Pretty much NONE of the stakeholders (teachers, parents, heck, even students) want us to have strong schools. We would like a transparent budget process (especially contract negotiations, which we have been asking for since I've been in the county, 10 years) Let's start working TOGETHER...so much more can be accomplished when we use teamwork than trying to tear each other down. You want to know why teachers post anonymously? You have spewn so much hatred towards us, we are afraid of retribution or having our words twisted into what YOU want us to say.
    I originally started reading this blog so I could see what parents were saying, and I figured that this would be a place that would support the public education system. However, all it has done is made me saddened that parents who have access to such a phenomenal education system want to take away from it and take a step back. I guarantee if we didn't have the Promethean Boards then parents would be upset that we don't have the "latest tech" in our schools. If there isn't a shift in the tone of this blog, I fear I will have to quit reading and commenting. I am all for healthy debate, but the nastiness MUST stop if we want to have any hope of solving any issues.
    Also, Lyda wanted to know why we aren't a "union"...we can't strike. We enter into an "agreement" instead of a contract, and if the "agreement" is broken, we have no recourse...that is why we aren't a "union".

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  40. @9:35

    No one has ever said anything against teachers on this blog.

    Step up to the plate and speak out if you have something to say about the MCPS budget.

    Where and when have you ever been public about wanting a transparent budget process?

    When have teachers ever shown up at Board of Education meetings or County Council hearings and advocated for a transparent MCPS budget?

    If we are on the "same page" what does your page say?

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  41. Statement given in Annapolis to Montgomery County Delegation. There were only 3 people that spoke in favor of transparency for the MCPS budget. All 3 were parents.

    http://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2009/02/following-is-testimony-delivered-in.html

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  42. Sorry...we are working our fingers to the bone to grade your child's papers, offer reassessments, grade those, deal with the extra 4-5 students in each of my classes this year, make calls home, give up our lunches so children can make up the homework they don't do at home, teach the students manners, sponsor after school clubs so the students can get to experience things they wouldn't otherwise, and try to spend some time with our own children (and family) to make sure they have a good childhood and educational experience. THAT's where I've been.

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  43. When you say things like "the Apple Ballot Speaks for You" after someone says it doesn't and that they don't share those views, don't you see how that might be seen as an "attack"?

    It best it certainly is confrontational.

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  44. Sorry if reality is hard.
    But the reality is that the Apple Ballot speaks for teachers. Voters select Apple Ballot candidates because they want to support teachers. Work a poll someday and listen to what the voters say.
    If the Apple Ballot doesn't speak for teachers then there are lot of confused voters out there.

    Superintendent Weast tells the world that the teachers are at the table helping him in "blurring the lines" of governance. That is one of his great success stories that he uses in public speaking events.

    Where is the other "teacher supported ballot" if the Apple Ballot doesn't speak for teachers?

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  45. @10:59a - That's right. And you let the Apple Ballot speak for you.
    And so you got $20 million(?) in Promethean Boards, and $23 million(?) in IQEye Security cameras, and $22 million to Deutsche Bank NTC for who knows what.

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  46. @ireland and Anonymous, Yes, the apple ballot DOES speak for the teachers. I worked the polls in the primary and the general elections. Both times there were TEACHERS there handing out the apple ballot, smiling, and saying "Here is an apple from the teachers." So forgive me if I believed it. As teachers, you have the education to KNOW that your union or association or whatever it is was elected by you; represents you; and speaks for you. As a taxpayer, parent, citizen, I have yet to hear ONE teacher really step up to the plate to challenge the crap that goes on at the BOE and MCPS. Where are you at the budget table? Take off your blinders. Challenge your association/union elected leaders, and let us, the public know there is another POV out there. As you say, we ALL want transparency, at least the authors readers, and commenters on this blog. It is YOUR leadership that prefers to keep negotiations secret.

    And, please, 'working our fingers to the bone?' give me a break. This ridiculous language is not helping. Real union members, of which many members of my family are and were, do not complain like that. In fact, they do not complain period. They do not whine that people don't treat them as 'professionals.' STOP WHINING. GROW UP.

    If the teachers really want a transparent system, go to your MCEA elected officials and tell them so. Then come back to this blog and let us know how that worked out.

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  47. Janis you sure can twist words for your own argument. Sorry if that reality hurts.

    You sure ignore parts of arguments that don't fit your view of things. Sorry if that reality hurts.

    I wrote the teacher said from her perspective the Apple Ballot didn't speak for HER. She said it didn't speak for her specifically and you went after her by saying it did.

    If people, including you, are naive enough to think that one ballot speaks for all teachers you need to go back and take 10th grade government again.

    Sorry if reality hurts. Being confrontational just isn't fun.

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  48. Really?

    "working our fingers to the bone"
    "make calls home"
    "give up our lunches so children can make up the homework they don't do at home"
    "teach the students manners"
    "and try to spend some time with our own children (and family) to make sure they have a good childhood and educational experience."

    This is what I do as a parent everyday. Why don't you stand up to your administrators and make them make parents be held accountable for their children? You think I want to send my kid to school with those kids you are describing? That would be a big NO. But I have to and I don't like it.

    Not all parents and children are like how you described. And, please, try and imagine yourself in the real world where not everyone gets a pay raise every year, can actually get a pay cut and also gets health benefits cut.

    You are your own best advocate, so do something about it besides complaining about your job. It is a free country, get another one!

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  49. @6:58 PM

    If you are a teacher as you claim, no proof of that of course, then your point is that the:

    APPLE BALLOT DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ALL TEACHERS.

    The Parents' Coalition will make sure to get that word out to all of our elected leaders, the press and to the citizens of Montgomery County!

    Because they have been all sold a bill of goods through the elected-official-funded Apple Ballots that are mailed to homes and handed out at the polls.

    And the Apple Ballots are even handed out by BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBERS. Wow, have they been fooled! They think they are representing teachers! Board members even contribute their campaign contributions ($6,000) to PAY for the Apple Ballot for YOU (teachers)!

    You want to put down the citizens of Montgomery County that have fallen for the Apple Ballot?
    Go right ahead.

    A significant chunk of Montgomery County voters have come right out of MCPS - that's where they got their government education - and are now going to the polls and voting for YOUR (the teachers) choice of elected officials.

    And what does the Apple Ballot support? $60 million+ in procurements that never gets discussed at the Board of Education table! Private, off-camera, no minutes Budget meetings without the Board of Education! Closed session selection of Superintendent search firm!

    This is YOUR - the teachers - Apple Ballot at work. This is what you told the voters to support and they did.

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  50. Why don't you stand up to your administrators and make them make parents be held accountable for their children?

    Someone please tell me how teachers are supposed to hold our administrators acountable for telling the parents how to parent? Seriously, I am asking. Because I don't think that is a reality. I am not being sarcastic, please tell me how as a teacher I can tell my boss what to do?

    I chose to stay anonymous because I don't trust some of the people who post here. I think people have a lot of animosity.

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  51. Wake up! You run the school system! Congratulations!

    The Apple Ballot selects the Board of Education members. The Apple Ballot tells voters who to vote for, the Apple candidates win!

    The Board of Education selects the Superintendent.

    The Superintendent sets the policies and procedures for the school system.

    You have all the power you want. You choose to use it to support this Superintendent and his policies.

    This IS the school system that teachers want.

    And as for hiding behind an anonymous posting, then you really aren't interested in advocating for any changes.
    Either stand up and speak out, or accept what you have.
    Nothing is going to change from a bunch of anonymous MCPS staff comments.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Discussion continues at this blog post. Teachers, it's your budget. Your union is at the table and making the deals. If you have issues with the budget, take it up with your union. They call the shots.

    http://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2010/12/budget-fact-no-board-of-education-in.html

    ReplyDelete