Monday, June 14, 2010

EDUCATION HODGEPODGE - BISD AND TSC/UTB

BISD-NO PAY RAISES:

Look, no one likes being told there will be no pay raise. Other school districts have cut lots of programs and laid off teachers. BISD has been able to hold at no lay-offs. People who hate Brownsville and have no interest in its future will blame the current BISD board for no pay raises. Let them. The people who pay property taxes understand they can afford no more. Times are hard - the teachers just need to face this with a stiff upper lip until the economy recovers. They should be happy they have a job. What the teachers will learn the hard way if they try and go after this board over the issue is, they will loose the support of the board. This is not a campaign issue on which anyone can win. Who in their right mind is going to campaign for higher taxes to support pay raises. The teachers just need to be happy they get to keep their jobs.

TSC/UTB

So now we get to see what happens with the anti-Garcia Board of Trustees. I will begin by saying do not expect much to happen for some 6 months. The board members need to learn the ropes. The first thing they will learn is, if you cut tuition the budget will be in compromise, which could mean higher interest rates on the bonds. Ah yes, the lesson of economics 101 and its impact on poorly researched campaign promises.

The next thing the new board members will learn is the word “no.” TSC lawyers will basically respond to most of their requests with “no, we cannot legally do that without getting sued.”

One area the Board can act in a positive way is demand that the university offer more advanced courses at night. I know of engineering students who have either moved away with their families or dropped out because UTB does not offer the advance courses at night. These students have to work during the day to support their families. Juliet Garcia has been well aware of this problem for some time and has chosen to ignore it.

So my first proposal for engineer Rendon is to put on the agenda the issue of offering junior and senior level engineering courses at night so that our children can complete their course work. This may not sound like much, but to all of the students who cannot complete their course work because they work during the day, it will mean the world.

Another power the Board does have is the power of the press and blogs. Those board members looking to bring about meaningful change need to keep the issue of the partnership agreement in the press and blogs. I would love to see two board members put on the agenda a request for legal advice on [1] suing UT for the 10 million dollars they owe us, and [2] suing UT for racial discrimination based on how they fund UT Brownsville compared to the other campuses.

I would also like to see 2 board members put on the agenda a moratorium on new construction. In fact I would like to see a vote which withdraws all unsold bonds and a commitment to use all bond money not yet used to be used for paying off the existing bonds.

If this so called anti-Garcia group really exists they should be able to find at least 2 board members to put each of these three issues on the agenda.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

When an individual becomes a teacher, he or she realizes that he is never going to get rich on a teacher's salary. The only problem is that teachers do not think about "saving for a rainy day" and too many live beyond their means. I used to see teachers with brand new homes, new cars, tons of jewelry, but were asking to borrow 2 or 3 dollars a day or so before payday so they could buy lunch in the cafeteria. The teachers also did not foresee that they would have to forego a payraise because too much money is being spent by the district on a top heavy administration, on lawyers' fees and paying administrators for sitting home for a whole year doing nothing. If we were running out of money why were so many new schools being built? Look at the new Breeden Elem. that will go up right next to Gallegos Elem. Is there a need for two schools in that area? Why are they so close? Who did we buy the land from? Why did we go out to build the new warehouse or whatever it is on Morrison Road by the BAC campus? If we don't have the money to pay the teachers, why are we continuing to build and build? Board memebers need to be placing their attention on these issues and not on the own personal agendas. Why pay Saldana for sitting at every board meeting and almost snoring out loud? He never seems to know what a board member asks him because he did not hear. We are not being prudent with the use of our money that should be used to pay those teachers who are the ones that are in the line of fire and who have worked their "you know whats" to bring all the honors to our students and to the district. I also seem to remember that each year, around this time, they come out with the fact that there is no money for pay raisies and in August, someone finds some money to go ahead and give them a raise. Then , the board members get the praise for the raise! Let's hope this happens again this year, whether the board takes the praise or not! Just give the teachers a cost of living raise!! Just wait till they retire and get stuck with their retirement allottment. Don't dispare, teachers, and keep on trucking! Remember we are all about children even if ours do not have enough food on their table.

BobbyWC said...

I do believe like you said, they can save a ton of money by eliminating the top heavy administration. The Board if they really wanted to can save money.

This was not covered in the spat between Zayas and Garcia, but during that discussion Peña got the board to order printouts of overtime. She wants to make sure certain departments are not using overtime to funnel money to friends so to speak.

This is just one example where they can find and save money. It may not lead to pay raises - but savings are savings

Great post - thanks for the comments

Fred Drew said...

My wish list is to re-institute a lower tuition/fee schedule for in district students taking freshman/sophomore and certificate classes at say the equivelent to $100 pr credit hour max.

Anonymous said...

This year the salary issue will be decided long before August as the budget will be adopted before July 1. The August raises were when the budget was not adopted until just before the Sept deadline. All but one of the new schools that are opening or have opened recently were built with bond money. I don't think there would be much of a raise if they used the federal cost of living index. Remember Social Security recipients didn't get a raise this year because of not cost of living increase.