Thursday, February 25, 2010

Take-Home Pay in the School District

I’m still formulating my thoughts on the budget but here’s a little nugget of some interest.

The APP maintains a database of all salaries for district employees. We all know that salaries aren’t the full story. Health benefits ($19,000 for a family plan) and pensions are the other major cost components.

However, there’s one more tidbit. Salary isn’t the same thing as take-home pay. Teachers have the opportunity to earn a bewildering array of stipends. The big ticket stipends are athletics. At the opposite end of the scale, this past Monday, the school board voted 6-3 to pay high school and middle school teachers $50 a head to attend their students’ graduations. (O’Connell, Gambino, and I dissented.)

Click here for an Excel download of the 2009 take-home pay for the Matawan-Aberdeen school district. Bear in mind, there are two flaws in the file. First, I had to compile it from a scanned document. Second, the list shows earned income, not salaries. Therefore, the incomes for those who only worked part of the year may be significantly less than their salaries.

In 2009, the top five earners were

O'MALLEY RICHARD
182,326.82
Superintendent Of Schools
GLASTEIN JOEL M.
158,434.52
Deputy Superintendent
Martucci Joseph
140,729.23
Director of Athletics/Assistant Principal
RUSCAVAGE MICHELE
139,705.86
Principal
Olsen Kathleen
139,244.59
Principal

In 2009, the top five earners among teachers were
Turner Samuel
111,619.36
Driver Education (Fall – Spring)
Geran John
108,947.65
Pre Calculus
Kaye John
108,670.95
Physical Education & Health Education
Stead Thomas
103,750.20
Principle of Chemistry BD Class
Friedl James P.
102,971.36
Principle of Lab Chemistry ICR

Among full-time teachers and administrators, 43% of staff earned over $80,000.

After teachers, the next largest category of full-time workers is secretarial at 34. They’re also the lowest paid, earning a little over $40,000 on average.

The next largest group is custodians, 31 employees at an average take-home pay of $59,026 (excluding the 3 individuals who didn’t work a full year).

Including part-timers, the district employs 49 teacher aides but only 6 earned more than $30,000 last year.

Nationwide, over half of all unionized employees work in the public sector. In other words, the primary purpose of unionization is to protect workers from the public. Between their salaries, benefits, and job security, I’m not surprised. >>> Read more!

152 comments:

Anonymous said...

Driver's Ed teacher making $112,000 ?!?
An AD making $140,000 ?!?
And why do we need a Deputy Super ?!?

No offense to these people, but something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the spreadsheet, I see last names of former/current elected officials:
Abend
Drapkin
Perry
Raymond
Toomey
I wonder if there is a relation?

Anonymous said...

Before this turns into a huge story - in the teacher category - all of the people Mr Warren wrote down are teachers who then COACH after school. Add 3 stipends to the 80k and that is where you get the number. So for instance, 4 of the gentlemen listed get to school at 7am and do not leave until about 7pm or later in the winter seasons - once again paid to do so.

The shock value is what Mr Warren was looking for......

Anonymous said...

I just got a call to read this:

In your excel spread sheet - many of the teachers who you have down for what they are making and the DESCRIPTION for what they do LEAVES OUT extra curricular activities which misleads the reader.

No teacher makes over 80,ooo plus into the 90s or 100s without DOING EXTRA work after the bell rings.

Why did you write this article and put up the salaries if this is not an accurate and full disclosure account of the truth?

Anonymous said...

some of those teachers coach three sports and earn stipends. Others on that list earn close to the same money or more and walk out the door every day at 4:00. how many young athletes are in collge today because of the efforts of their coaches? I dont alot of people lining up to coach or run clubs after school.They are obviously thankless jobs.

Aberdeener said...

I guess some people have a hard time reading. I wrote "the big ticket stipends are athletics" so nobody is hiding or distorting anything.

On the contrary, I've provided the entire list. If you want to explain why most custodians earn more than a 10-year veteran teacher with a masters degree, go ahead.

Just remember the teachers union will be looking for 4% annual raises when its contract expires in June.

Anonymous said...

Joey it seems like you are awfully jealous of the janitors. Why don't you quit your BOE post and become one? You would benefit the district more there than you do now.
PS, those guys work 12 months a year last I checked.

Anonymous said...

Why such a disparity in pay for the same position?
“All subjects” teachers range from ~ 40K to 90K?
“Kindergarten” ~$32K- ~$86K

The positions with a significant number all seem to have big differences in pay. Can one position with the same title differ that much in scope? Assistant vice principal is more like what I would expect in terms of pay as they are roughly equal. The question there is why do we have 8? Some schools have none.

Be real Ceramics???? said...

Mr. Warren had some very good points.

Dr. O'Malley gave a very good and informative presentation of what dire straits our taxpayers will be in.

And still someone had the nerve to criticize the cuts to the ceramics class.

Get real people will ya.

Readinr Writing Arithmetic

Time to P R I O R I T I Z E

Back to basics and stop the bullshit and all the stinking programs.

Times have changed and the monies for this and that are gone.

Aberdeener said...

I'm glad to see nobody is arguing we underpay our staff. That's a start. :)

Anonymous said...

My kids have had some good teachers here in Matawan but some GREAT coaches who helped them improve not only in athletics but also helped them mature into adulthood. I have dropped some of my kids off at the High School at 5:30a.m. to get some extra time in with the coaches. I'm sure the coaches were not getting extra pay for that.

Anonymous said...

I just looked myself up on the App database...it says I teach two class. Incorrect. It says I have been teaching for nine years. Incorrect. My salary posted, is also incorrect.

Wake up people said...

How many scholarships in ceramics, TV and all of the other fluff wasteful programs did students get
in the last ten years.

Be real people no company hires you cause you molded clay, filmed some event or made some stupid video to show mommy.

Back to the basics is where our tax money needs to go.

Anonymous said...

It is funny how back to basics seems to be the subject of the day.
I'd like to know if teaching to the test is considered basics? I'd like to know if all the technology musts, are considered back to basics? Hoe about PE is that basic?
We don't want well rounded kids, we want test takers.

Anonymous said...

Pompous Asshole

Unfaithful Warren said...

These teachers have Masters Degrees along with other certifications. Do some research next time....like I did on you....... you home wrecker.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joey lets give another 6.7% raise to the highest paid employee in the district. Do you know the exact number of hours a day that he puts in? I bet it is not what you think. How do you know that you couldn't be getting more for your money there? I heard O'Malley was in California during last snow storm on "business". Hope you got our money's worth out of that trip. Maybe with a $6 Million hole, you could cut the trips to California in February.

Anonymous said...

Bring back Quinn. We definitely got our monies worth there!

Anonymous said...

The exell sheet says a name - a salary - position.

THIS IS DISTORTING!!!

If a teacher works, does a club after school, maybe home instruction, maybe some curriculum writing, etc = THAT PUMPS UP THE NUMBER from the real salary paid JUST TO TEACH.

You are sly as a fox.

If you worked for a computer company and made 70,000.
Then A. worked 12 saturdays overtime B. led a seminar for coworkers OT C. rerouted a computer system for the company - overtime.
So at tax year end that same person REALLY WORKED TO EARN guestimate 85000. If I was talking about this person I wouldnt say they make 85000 a year - I WOULD SAY MAKE 85000 WITH OVER TIME> it does mislead!!!!

Aberdeener said...

The article is abundantly clear we're talking about salaries plus stipends. In fact, that's the thrust of the article.

Since you're so adept at writing, tell me how I could make it more clear and I'll update the post.

But, if you think I'm going to research every stipend that every staff member in the district received, well, I'm flattered you think so highly of me.

Anonymous said...

take a look at the coaching stipends and calculate what those men earn. an assistant football coach earns about $6000.00. Coaches work from July thru early December 7 days a week. It calculates to about .25 cents an hour. Some "big ticket stipend" Gotta wonder why they give up their families for that?

Hwy 34 said...

I agree with the poster above with the tongue in cheek comments and information.

First - you say "bewildering amount of stipends" as if it is a crime to work with kids after school or at least you give it a negative connotation. People work after school and get paid - like every other school is the country we live in.

Next - you say "paid to attend graduation" - it is not attending, it is working. The various practices, money and gown collection, and the 3 hours for the ceremony. If you knew anything about this district, you would know that back in the 80s the graduations were a mess with fireworks, student chants, and beach balls. Now they are the example of what one should look like because of the teacher CHAPERONES who keep order.

THEN - you write the first teacher makes 111,000 to be a Driver Education teacher. THAT IS NOT TRUE. He makes 82000 or so after 30 years experience to teach. He is an asst football coach, and a head coach of Winter and Spring track. THAT gives him the difference in money to earn 111,000. That is where you mislead the reader. As with the people below him on the list and with the names on the excel sheet.

If you are going to write a controversial article and try to make points, you have a responsibility to be forthcoming to your reader. YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION- act like it.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be worried about O'Mally's salary. My friends who teach in another district have told me he is leaving to go to East Windsor for over $225K.

Aberdeener said...

So, according to you, I first mislead the reader by saying "Teachers have the opportunity to earn a bewildering array of stipends."

Then I mislead the reader by NOT saying the top earning teachers received stipends?

Your logic is bewildering.

Get real II said...

So for coaching two sports after school he deserves another one third almost in compensation? $28,000.00?

Bring back Quinn ???? said...

Bring back Quinn cause we got our moneys worth? Sure we did and that was a football field we did not really need. A construction mess that wasted millions and test scores in the basement. Yeah that is what we need that idiot Quinn back Here.
Your an ass.

Anonymous said...

Joey hopes that his wording and misleading statements can fool some people. Unfortunately, he is correct in his assumptions.
He is sly like a fox. Thankfully many people have much more intelligence then he gives credit for.
Try again Joe.

Anonymous said...

Any truth in that Joe?

O'Malley moving on?

Aberdeener said...

None at all. O'Malley plans to be with us for a bit longer.

hwy 34 said...

Joe Warren - So, according to you, I first mislead the reader by saying "Teachers have the opportunity to earn a bewildering array of stipends."

Answer - YES - you make it sound negative. Why do you begrudge anyone a chance to earn extra money? If a teacher did not get it, someone else could have and it is still money going out for a job performed.


Joe Warren - Then I mislead the reader by NOT saying the top earning teachers received stipends?

Answer - exactly. What is so hard for you to understand? Saying a person makes over 100k with the teacher word next to their name is misleading. You should write teacher - the #stipends -and any extra work done to make up the number you write.

If not - what is your point to write their names down except to disbarrage them?

You are the be-wil-der-er.....lol

Anonymous said...

Mr. Warren,

Why dont you research the number of central office BIG TICKET poisitions and # of administrator positions and cross reference that with similar districts? 1. number of them and 2. the money they make.

There seems to be an enormous amount of central office and administrators making (with quick math) close 3 million dollars.

Aberdeener said...

Looking at the NJ State Report Card:
teacher salaries and benefits - above average
supplies and services - below average
administrative costs - below average
building maintenance - above average

Anonymous said...

Since most of the posts so far are from teachers defending themselves it is not surprising that no one is outraged about the athletic director making $141,000. Since he is the one that doles out who gets what coaching positions no one is going to bad mouth him. In a district with such financial difficulties and good people may be losing jobs, why does this continue. Mr. Warren, Why does this district pay so much for the athletic director position compared to others? Your major argument for O'Malleys raise was comparing his salary to other districts. You should be applying the same standard for all or not at all.

$20,000 too much said...

I am a teacher in the district and I checked Mr. Warren's spreadsheet. He is absolutely lying. The amount of money he has provided the public for my salary is inflated by about $20,000!

Anonymous said...

First off, not a teacher, or a janitor..

I don't see what the problem is here as far as teachers go. The ones making good money were teaching way back in the 80's when I was there.

I also don't care if the janitors and maintenance crew makes a decent living. If you had to clean up after some spoiled little shithead, you would want to be paid for it too.

Should you get rid of some upper level jobs? Absolutely.

Should a VP also be an AD and whatever he is? Hell no.

Should you have givenOmalley another raise? Hell No!

Anonymous said...

Administrative salaries and benefits - above state average

Aberdeener said...

Last anon,

You're right. Administrative salaries are above average. Sorry, I read the line above it by accident.

As for the teacher claiming my list is off by $20,000, you can check your name on the pdf. If it's wrong there as well, then you've got a real problem because that's the number that got sent to the tax authorities.

If there's a discrepancy between the pdf and the excel file, let me know and I'll correct it.

20 K mistake blame is ??/ said...

$20,000.00 too much. Do you think a school board member gives the state the numbers placed into the public domain. As a teacher you should be smart enough to know that is not how it works. But you keep lying to the rest of us that Mr. Warren caused all of the problems in our district in the past year. You idiot.

Family Living in the Real World said...

Joey,

I know you've spent time on preparing for upcoming contract negotiations, and with that in mind, I would like to thank you for the time, effort and commitment you put into being a volunteer school board member. I would like to take the work you've put into this topic and take it one step further.

Can you please guide me to the most streamlined method of comparing MARSD teacher/staff salaries/years of experience with that of comparable school district's teacher/staff/years of experience? If my hunch is correct, this district has, historically, been very generous in providing salary increases far above the average middle class family income earner and above the yearly cost of living adjustment/inflation benchmark. As a middle-income, squeezed to the gills, homeowner/wage earner, I would like to see where our district salaries stand with that of other middle-income, squeezed to the gills, homeowner/wage earner neighboring districts.

These very respectable salaries, along with a very generous $19,000 cost per employee benefits price tag added on top (healthcare, pension, etc.), along with a yearly work year of just about 180 days...I can't scream it any louder. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. It is time to have the privileged members of NJEA live in the real world and stop expecting middle class taxpayers, homeowners, and renters to sustain their lofty raises and benefits packages.

Let them shake down state leadership/elected officials to get the State of NJ to support mandated education requirements, fairly and equitably. The state contributes over 70% of the tab to Abbott schools and less than 30% to non-Abbott schools; and they have done this for decades without being able to substantiate/prove that the steady influx of taxpayer monies into Abbott districts have done anything to improve the quality of education, improvements in test scores or improvements in graduation rates.

As the average middle-class homeowner/wage earner, I am tired of the Robin Hood approach to funding schools districts. I am tired of seeing very generous benefit packages offered to school employees without the same level of co-pay/contributions that the rest of us are kicking in to have benefits that are nowhere as generous as our district provides. I am tired of sustaining raises of 4 to 5% in an economy where many of our families have been suffering through hardships. Hardships like having both towns having gone through reassessments, resulting in many homeowners seeing double digit tax increases on their tax bill. Hardships like families losing employment, have no salary increases for extended periods of time, in mortgage trouble and in foreclosure crisis.

The average Matawan/Aberdeener homeowner/renter/resident cannot sustain the greedy demands of the MARSD NJEA. The time is now for the MARSD NJEA member to live in the same economic times/trends that the rest of us, in this community, live in. This is a school district that supports its teachers and staff. We form friendships and enjoy mutual respect. I know our teachers care about our children and I know our families care about their teachers and appreciate those that have earned their respect and admiration. With that said, why does that equate to demanding salary increases well beyond that of a fellow wage earner? Why does that equate to demanding generous benefit packages with little/minimal co-pays/ contributions that the rest of us kick in? That's my point of view and that is the point of view of many of my friends and neighbors. Can the teacher's union learn to live in the real world like the rest of us? I want to know.

Signed,
Parent that can no longer afford to live in this community and no longer afford to live in the State of New Jersey

Aberdeener said...

Parent,

Here's the current teacher contract.

Here's a survey of max/min salaries by county average for the prior school year.

I believe there are reports of salaries by DFG, though I can't find them online.

There are no reports regarding take-home pay.

Let's Get the Facts Straight said...

Joey,
I just watched the podcast of the board meeting and I would like to reference the question Mr. O’Connell had in regards to personnel. His question related to a teaching position at Lloyd Road. As a person who is well aware of what occurred at Lloyd Road, I would like to tell you that the administrators who answered Mr. O’Connell’s questions were not being forthright.

Here is what actually happened:
Mrs. McCullough became ill back in September and could not continue teaching. A permanent substitute was hired in her absence. The substitute performed all the duties of a teacher, including planning lessons, grading papers, completing report cards, and attending parent conferences to name a few. She did an admirable job and when Mrs. McCullough decided to retire, the substitute was offered the now vacant teaching position. The substitute eagerly accepted and was happy that the children that she had taught, nurtured, and motivated over that last 5 months would get to finish out the year with her. A few days later, the offer was rescinded and the substitute was told that she would not be getting the job. This is when Ms. Mammano was removed from her position as an interventionist and was placed into the classroom. Since there was now a vacancy as an interventionist, Ms. Marshall was hired to fill that position.

The permanent substitute and Ms. Mammano were playing an important role in the lives of the children they taught. These children relied on these teachers to motivate and educate them. Anyone who has worked with children, whether they are a coach, teacher, troop leader, etc, knows that it takes time to build up a rapport with a child. These children now have to start from scratch with a new teacher and Ms. Mammano and Ms. Marshall have to do the same.

Is it this district’s policy to upset the lives of 35 or so students to save money? If it is the goal of the district to improve test scores, how does removing two people from the classes they have taught for 5 months help children learn and perform better on standardized tests?

By the way, Mr. O’Connell, who did not have all the correct information and cannot be held accountable, said that the movement of teachers was like musical chairs. I doubt the parents and the children see it as being that simple.

Gets the Facts Straight Knows the Facts said...

This is what a typical poster on this blog writes.

"$20,000.00 too much. Do you think a school board member gives the state the numbers placed into the public domain. As a teacher you should be smart enough to know that is not how it works. But you keep lying to the rest of us that Mr. Warren caused all of the problems in our district in the past year. You idiot."

Check the facts.
1. Never said Joey caused all the problems.
2. The scanned document shows my actual salary.
3. Mr. Warren's spreadsheet is inflated by $20,000.
4. Either this was a mistake or intentional. Either way, had I not checked the data, the public would be mislead.
5. You owe me an apology for acting like a child.

Anonymous said...

$50 to attend graduation. Do the teachers in the town do anything for free.

can't wait until the cuts go thru and 32 teachers hit the unemployment lines, let;s see how cocky the NJEA is then

Anonymous said...

Mr Warren,
can you have Dr O'Malley talk to the custodian staff. My son came home from school the other day and started talking about how bad the school was going to become because his school was going to outsource custodians. He said this information came from custodian staff.

Anonymous said...

Was watching the Board meeting replay last night. Does anyone know if Ken Aitkens is going to run again, we need someone like him who applys logic to issues.

Anonymous said...

Anon. at 1:49pm
Read.

I will say again. Read.

This was written this morning:

- you say "paid to attend graduation" - it is not attending, it is working. The various practices, money and gown collection, and the 3 hours for the ceremony. If you knew anything about this district, you would know that back in the 80s the graduations were a mess with fireworks, student chants, and beach balls. Now they are the example of what one should look like because of the teacher CHAPERONES who keep order.


Stop the play on words. Dozens of teachers attend graduation, many sit off to the side of the field, others in the crowd. The ones who put in about 7 hours worth of time for 50 bucks WORK the graduation.

If you want it done for free - you take off from work - attend two 2 hour practices on separate days and a 3 hour graduation.

DIDN'T THINK SO..............

Aberdeener said...

For the anon teacher, I've done some spot checking and still can't find the error. If it was systemic, you should be able to provide a couple of examples without revealing yourself.

All the values were scanned, copied, and pasted, so it's possible a mistake was made. Hence, I wrote "Bear in mind, there are two flaws in the file. First, I had to compile it from a scanned document."

Anonymous said...

Warren - you started all of this bickering on your WORD PLAY.

But here is what you have to consider- my kids alerted me to this and I checked it out:

HS -4 principals, an AD, school psychologist, head of guidance, director of accountability = 980K

MS- 3 principals, and psychologist = 490k

Lloyd - 2 principals - 260k

Strathmore, Cliff, Ravine - 3 principals and director of accountability = 500k

= 2.1 million dollars - Does this equate to Raritan? or Red Bank?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:21

You must be a teacher. I work overtime every night and don't get paid for it. Time for the teachers to suck it up and join the real world.

Aberdeener said...

I agree we can reduce administrative overhead. The problem is not all personnel are equal and we don't get to choose which ones to keep.

As for the others - CST, guidance, anyone not required by law to be an employee, I say outsource.

We can offer the same salaries and health benefits but we save by taking them off the pension plan and we get to hold the outsourced personnel accountable because they won't have tenure rights.

Anonymous said...

Aberdeener,

Who is going to determine which teachers are let go. Does O'Malley have the authority or will the teachers union have input. It blows my mind that two of the top three paid teachers in this district are a gym teacher and a driver education teacher. Were is the outrage.

Anonymous said...

The $50.00 that teachers are paid to chaperone Graduation, is donated to the Marie Panos Scholarship Fund. This scholarship is awarded to a Matawan graduate.

Anonymous said...

Just because you work overtime for free everyoen one else should be just as stupid?

Aberdeener said...

Okay, found the error the anon teacher was referencing. Teacher CB accidentally had the salary of teacher BB.

Sorry for the mistake though I don't know why you'd think it was intentional. Even at the inflated number, you were below the threshold of any stats or people being mentioned.

Aberdeener said...

Among non-tenured, O'Malley and the administration have complete discretion.

Anonymous said...

That's still incorrect Mr. Warren, but nice try.

Aberdeener said...

If you cared about the truth and wanted the data to be correct, you'd simply tell me. Instead, you're trying to score political points by claiming a spreadsheet with over 500 employees has a data error in it that nobody but you can find.

That may work with your friends but not the people who are trying to have an honest discussion.

Anonymous said...

How are the tenured cuts going to be decided

M in D said...

So the lowest paid or teachers with the least service will be let go while the ineffective ones continue to teach

Aberdeener said...

I don't think any tenured personnel are being eliminated.

I think the way it works is that you have a reduction in force, thereby eliminating a position.

If the person holding that position has tenure and is certified to teach in another position, he gets to bump someone with less seniority.

Not sure but I think that's how it works.

Aberdeener said...

By the way, CB, lucky for you test scores aren't everything because a third of your grade failed.

CB said...

How the entire grade performed has nothing to do with me. Talk about my students specifically.

Anonymous said...

precisely why tenure is important. If not for tenure BOE's would eliminate the position s held by high end teachers and hire new at a lower scale. regardless of ability.

Anonymous said...

teachers do work overtime for free. You think work isn't graded at home. You think teachers don't stay after school regularly to give students extra help.Do you really think a teachers work is just from bell to bell!

Partially Proficient said...

Joey,
Why do we need: a supervisor of operations and maintenance at a salary of $97,180.36 if you are going to privatize the custodial staff and no new construction to oversee in years? An athletic trainer that makes $71,188.70? An athletic director that makes 140,000? A teacher who teaches two periods a day for $85,000? An assistant Business Administrator for $80,000 that you didn't even know we had? Are these types of salaries and positions(and there are many more)that are for the good of the students or for the good of the people in these jobs? If you agree administrative overhead should be reduced, how will you do that? Wage freezes? Let some go and move tenured around, or do nothing because of the people involved. O'Malley claims we are in the worst economic times in decades and the school district may be set back more than five years. How about addressing the obvious egregious, self serving, areas of overindulgence and present a budget that doesn't move away from sound "educational" principles. This budget should be rejected for the reasons that it does not address and compounds these same problems year after year. It can be done, especially with new leadership, yet up to now no one wants to deal with the real problems on how our money is being misspent, yet salaries are one of the major cost drivers. This could be a crisis and the time is now to look at all the problem areas, not by just people on this blog but the people who can make a difference. Could you be kind enough to explain why we pay these salaries for the above positions and why we are not being more efficient with staff assignments and position eliminations for cost containment in the salaries of non classroom teachers. Or maybe you believe we are.

Anonymous said...

Yes Bill!

Aberdeener said...

CB,

Fair enough. Do you want to send me the info or should I try to OPRA it?

Last Anon,
I believe the athletic director's salary is set by contract plus he earns a coaching stipend.

I was unaware the BA had an assistant BA and an accountant. I'm not familiar with the difficulties of running finances for a $60 million operation but I'm told her assistant is indispensable.

The teachers contract requires us to give a reduced load to certain union officers.

As far as I can tell, the number of administrators will only be reduced through retirements. We could outsource the secretaries but that doesn't appear to be a consideration for this year.

There appears to be a reluctance to outsource too much at one time because it's usually not an entirely smooth process.

Nobody is happy with the budget. The real question is whether rejecting the budget is worth the additional cuts.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Ken!!

Anonymous said...

Joey, I think that we should give our BA another 9.7% increase this year like you did last year. Do you know that there is way more than just an assistant and an accountant in that office. Count the heads in there buddy.

JW said...

wow. i need to move back to matawan. i want turner's job of teaching drivers ed.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know what teacher teaches only 2 periods a day?

hwy 34 said...

See what you started Mr. Warren -

thats at least 3 posters who talk about a teacher making over 100,000 to be a teacher- not mentioning the after school work - which is wrong. The chart you put up does not mention extras which go above and beyond teaching - therefore misleading some and giving ammo to others.

I also dont think it is right for you to allow bashing of specific teachers on this blog. It is not right. You have done it in the past, take off the posts that name specific people.

Anonymous said...

Well you can certainly tel that the teachers in our district were home today. Home that is and on the attack.

Anonymous said...

on the defense...... is more like it

Anonymous said...

This is a joke. That data is the personal earned income of individual people. It has nothing to do with how much they make working for the district, how they work for the district, or how else they earn money.

Besides extracurricular activities, which are very expensive, many if not most teachers have some other source of income. I've seen teachers waiter on the weekends and hold private school summer jobs. This all gets counted in your so called data.

The teachers that are making the most money have been with the district for a very long time, and the teachers who are still fairly new to the district are making extremely low amounts of money.

The work teachers do is hard, challenging, but what they accomplish is something nobody on the board has ever or will ever accomplish. They change and shape lives for the better. Teachers SHOULD be making six figures a year, and it shouldn't take them 30 years and hard extra-curricular work to get there.

As for janitors, why is it so wrong that they make a decent living? Because they clean all day? They have a very skilled undesirable job that the owner of this blog wouldn't even consider thinking about taking up.

Lastly, calling out teachers and staff members by name and complaining about them isn't just wrong, it's disgusting. This entire article, and much of this blog is written with reckless disregard for the truth.

You do not know any of the circumstances under which these people make money. You take into account nothing about them except the number that appears on their tax return and you use that as a weapon.

When you have something to say using REAL data to back you up, and having thoroughly researched all of the variables that affect it, we'll listen.

In the meantime, this is a joke.

IT IS 100% TRUE said...

WRECKLESS DISREGARD IS WHAT THE TEACHERS UNION HAS HAD FOR THE TAXPAYERS FOR YEARS.

LIKEWISE IT IS WHAT ARROGANT AND INEPT LEADERSHIP AND THEIR WHO CARES WHAT IT COSTS STYLE OF SPENDING HAS HAD FOR THE TAXPAYERS FOR YEARS.

I COULD GO ON AND ON AND ON AND....

AND THEY ALL KNOW IT IS TRUE.

reality bites said...

Did anyone see Gov. Christie explain how much money a teacher, PO of Fireman actually puts into their pensions? An example was a teacher puts in $65K and pulls out an average of $1.3M. And how anyone can think this system is not broken is either insane of the most greedy person on earth. Don't get me wrong golden parachutes on Wall street and the special governmental pensions and perks that our political leaders reward and isolate themselves with is no less shameful.

That like every other act our leadership takes is to merely protect themselves and line their pockets.

But it is the best system we have. it does not work for the average taxpayer and that needs to change.

CB said...

Go for it! Find out all the information you can. Just to let you know, I taught 4th grade last year.

JoeyLikesThePole said...

You really think you know everything, don't you? You are such an egomaniac know it all. You remind me of that other asshole on the freeholder board, D'amico.

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree with 100% truth.

Extra Cheese Please said...

I am deeply saddened after reading the Aberdeener’s blog. I’m assuming the purpose of this particular strand is informative in nature: to demonstrate to the public how a portion of their tax monies are being spent. And true to its intent, it has resulted in the outrage that Mr. Warren desired. These salaries, however, are not “new news”. They have and always will be publicly available. But only now, after Mr. Warren intentionally posts them as a blatant negotiation tactic, is the public so outraged. It is the public then, too, that should be held responsible for our district’s fragile financial condition. The cause of our current financial circumstances cannot be solely attributed the past administration, teachers, and NJEA proven by the fact that no one cared to acquire this financial information before this point in time. Liability then is collective, not exclusive to one group. Moreover, culpability for our current fiscal situation cannot be placed singularly on teacher salaries.

It is important to remember that while everyone is acutely aware of the economy and feeling its effects, so are the employees of this district. The overall feeling on this blog is anti-teacher. It is not as simple as blaming the NJEA or teacher salaries. While the public’s attitude may be well-grounded in personal financial struggles and frustrations, I assure you that continuing a blog like this will not improve the situation. I urge you, Mr. Warren, to rethink how you address certain issues. The manner in which you present important topics to the public, as essential as they may be to the cause, is rapidly splitting our community and fostering an environment of hostility and resentment. It disheartens me to see a Board member facilitating this type of interaction between the teachers which he governs and the public which he represents. There is a proper forum for this type of discussion to take place, but I assure you, this is not it. I am afraid that the unintentional repercussions from this blog have cause detriment beyond repair.

The ghost of Marie Panos said...

Extra Cheese, best post so far.

Warren, enjoy the remainder of your single term on the board.

Anonymous said...

The feeling is not anti-teacher. The feeling is anti blood sucking union. You should be talking to your union leader about splitting the community.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone will disagree that we cannot keep funding the growth rate cost in all public spending. In the private world there are layoffs, RIF's, mergers, outsourcing, etc. However, in the public sector no such thing. I doubt our district or any other have ever gone through a cost re-engineering excersize. There is a lot of low hanging fruit in our districts' central office and in the number of administrators. However, those people are protected by union contracts, tenure or whatever. Now we'll probably have to address non tenured teachers, secretaries, and custodians. It makes no sense to let go 70+ or whatever the number is of people who are closest to the kids rather than a much smaller number with even greater savings just because they are "protected". It seems the NJEA isn't really doing whats best for the kids.

Anonymous said...

Where is Nsecj on this issue. While llong in explanation sometimes I like his insight and verocity. Is he away?

Anonymous said...

Long overdue is the cutting of the dead wood in the administration office. Most importantly instruction must stay strong and confidant. Extra programs must go.

As a senior citizen who has not had a studnet in a school in a very long time I can assure you the taxes for people like me and my wife are extravagant.

Aberdeener said...

The complaint that I've publicized public information is groundless. When discussing budgets and teacher contracts, the public has a right to know how much our employees earn.

However, I agree that teachers are not public figures as pertains to comments on the blog. One of the posts above attacked a specific teacher and I have removed it.

Although I tip my hat to CB. He stood his ground, was prepared to be held accountable, and has earned my respect.

Anonymous said...

How can anyone want to save a ceramics class over the much needed academic courses that our students need to move on into the workforce? Stop babying your kids people.

Anonymous said...

The fact that this board of ed voted in the majority to pay teachers $50.00 to attend the graduation of the very same students that you as a teacher have sent off into the world is disgucting. It is also all too telling of the lack of real and substantive involvement with teachers nowadays. If you take money to go to such a ceremony there is something really wrong with you. It is call GREED!
You should be ashamed of yourself.

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher in the district and I need my $50 stipend to go out in the evening to see the children I taugh all year walk across the stage. I need this money to spend while I am off for July and August.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1105....

I am not a teacher but this is getting ridiculous.

You apparently do not read very well. Here it is again for the 3rd time. I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that you are not ignorant and just "missed it".

From an earlier post:

- you say "paid to attend graduation" - it is not attending, it is working. The various practices, money and gown collection, and the 3 hours for the ceremony. If you knew anything about this district, you would know that back in the 80s the graduations were a mess with fireworks, student chants, and beach balls. Now they are the example of what one should look like because of the teacher CHAPERONES who keep order.


Stop the play on words. Dozens of teachers attend graduation, many sit off to the side of the field, others in the crowd. The ones who put in about 7 hours worth of time for 50 bucks WORK the graduation.

If you want it done for free - you take off from work - attend two 2 hour practices on separate days and a 3 hour graduation.

DIDN'T THINK SO..............

$50.00 ????????????? said...

If a teacher does not want to attend graduation DON'T. If a teacher wants to attend they should. The fact any teacher would only attend if they got paid is insulting and all too telling of the real problems with teachers and their NJEA. Did I leave anything out? For the 3rd time. Teachers and their unions contempt for their own students and the oppressed taxpayers knows no bounds if they have to be paid to attend the graduation of their own students. What is next? Should we be paying parents to attend their own childrens graduations? I guess that would be part of negotiations if the professional leeches of the NJEA were part of a parents contract negotiation process. The system and true lack of caring for ones students is explicit in the $50.00 fee.

Face the reality NOW ! said...

Damn right. Stay home and save the $50..0 for a teacher who wants to T E A C H. The profession was more respected years ago and this $50 fee is the reason a drastic change is needed from the top on down.

If you want to see how things need to be changed and how driven Gov. Christie is to bring that change to the taxpayers of New Jersey watch or record 'On The Record" Monday morning on NJN. Locally it is Ch.8 I think it airs at 6:30 in the morning on Monday. It is informative to say the least of what changes need to be brought all the way from Trenton to the counties and local municipalities and all the way to our school boards. 'The tough choices will be painful but they will be made with you or without you' as stated by Gov. Christie at a meeting of the League of Municipalities this week. It is a refreshing change to say the least.

We can all be sure that the George Norcross and Norman kauff types see the writing on the wall. By the way the writing on the wall reads 'business as usual for the corrupt power brokers and abusers of the taxpayers is over'.

Anonymous said...

This is how I see things. For twenty years, this state has been McMansioned to death by developers who became extremely wealthy. Wall Street made sure, through "creative" financial machinations, that the system existed for people to be able to buy these behemoth buildings since very few made enough to actually afford them. Now the economic floor has collapsed and the house of cards has toppled. There are many greedy villains to revile in this scenario. Let's not spew all our venom and frustrations on the teachers. That is wrongheaded. Its not fair. Go to the table, tell them they have to contribute to their pensions, offer no raises, and say its our final offer. They are not going to strike. They are not stupid. They are also not responsible for the state of our economy or our troubles.

Anonymous said...

It was repeated because now I see you ARE too ignorant.

Dozens ATTEND on their own.

A few work - as explained above.

You have an obvious agenda and are not worthy of any more rhetoric. But I am sure you will come back with some "union thug" reply.

Apply to volunteer your time to WORK graduation....

Anonymous said...

Get parents to volunteer! I'm sure there would more than enough parents to give up some of their personal hours to practice for and "work" the graduation!!!

Matawan Mom said...

You people are outraged that the district asks for some teachers to "work" at the graduation handing out gowns and making sure the event runs smoothly? They also hire teachers for football game security and to chaperones dances from elemetary school to the prom. Any district employee can apply for these jobs. That means a middle school teacher can help with graduation so the high school teacher can attend for free. At my daughters high school graduation last year her 5th grade teacher came to see her graduate! This is not an isolated incident but more of the norm for teachers in our district. They care about our kids-in and out of the classroom. I have seen them at Pop Warner games and soccer matches. Hiring teachers for security is probably cheaper than hiring off duty cops. Plus the students know and respect the teachers so they are better behaved. Parent volunteers don't get the same respect. I'm sure this measure of security, at little cost, benefits the district so it is protected from potential lawsuits. Besides you are bashing teachers for accepting money that the administration posts for hire.
I'm sure that includes the stipends for sports.

On another note- I get the feeling that this thread assumes that any teacher who has been in the district for a long time is a bad, lazy teacher. This is simply not true. My children had many excellent veteran teachers. Teachers with longevity are the mentors for the new teachers- a requirement of most districts.

Anonymous said...

Standing ovation for anonymous @ 11:23. And I second it.

Aberdeener said...

Matawan Mom,

I think we can distinguish between the rank and file teachers and the union leadership. I'm confident a majority of teachers would freely volunteer their time to help with graduation if the union allowed them.

sick of CK said...

The issue here folks is NOT the vast majority of teachers in the classrooms in our district. The issue is the Union leader and his insistance time and again that obsene raises/stipends/past practice and other such insults continue for the benefit of himself and the top 1% of teachers who are concerned about their "last best year" pension rate! This "man" could give a good damn about any teacher lower on the ladder or what happens to them. The tactics he mandates to "show" the BOE/admin that he means business prove his greed superceeds any concern for impact on children, fellow teachers or taxpayers-- so, perhaps he needs to take his "colleagues" at the MARTA and ask to work for NJEA- they'd fit right in!

Anonymous said...

The "man" is quite simply doing his job. No need to demonize in order to accomplish a result in this case. The numbers will speak for the district's position. Keep personal attacks completely out of it. Why not take the high road? The journey is much more pleasant.

Anonymous said...

what's the matter Carl? Don't like it when someone call's you on your B.S.? Highroad? You wouldn't know the meaning! Time to retire and let the rest of us elect someone who actually represents ALL the teachers!

Matawan Mom said...

I believe all unions were created protect their members from employer abuses. Without payment or stipend for work served the administration could easily bully workers with job termination threats to perform duties outside their job description. Much like another poster claimed that he worked overtime for no pay (which probably violates some labor laws already in place). If you wanted our teachers to work graduations, school dances, sporting events, tutoring for NWASK and HSPA and curriculum writing for free then years ago you should have negiotiated that as part of their contracts. Intimidation would be no way to run a school district where mutual respect and cooperation is the cornerstone of student success. You would best be served to become the "Great Uniter", Mr. Warren. Bring the district back together for the greater good of all our students. It is easy to destroy but far greater to build-“Words divide us, actions unite us.”

We also need to work on finding a way OTHER than property taxes to fund our education system. What are our legislators doing about that? By imposing 1.5% payments on health benefits for union workers is like putting a bandaid on an amputation. Atlantic City money and state lottery money was supposed to fund education. It has made no dent in property taxes. This is where our energy needs to be focused. My taxes went up this year again despite no increase in school taxes- so the issue isn't just our teachers-it's the system.

Anonymous said...

Excellent point Matawan Mom:

"My taxes went up this year again despite no increase in school taxes- so the issue isn't just our teachers-it's the system."

Mine too with a ZERO percent tax levy last year. Different year - different blame

Aberdeener said...

Matawan Mom,

All I'm asking is for the union to allow teachers to volunteer their time for special student activities and to not nickle and dime the district at every opportunity under threat of a grievance filing. The idea that the administration could bully teachers, particularly tenured teachers, into performing non-contractual duties is not a legitimate concern.

Anonymous said...

The right to grieve! Open a big can of worms! Is this crisis really the time to nit pik about those nickels and dimes you mention? If you want to get bogged down in negotiations about the basic right to grieve, you'll create a stiff back and get no where fast on the bigger issues. Wrong tactic. The issue in this contract is the dire financial health of the district. The issue is not turning the teachers into a slave class with no voice in how they are treated!

union said...

It should be noted, and I hope that perhaps some teachers will speak up here, that teachers do and have wanted to volunteer thier time to struggling students or for after school events and have been told that they can not do so for free because of teacher contract restrictions. When the Union stops caring, eager teachers from being engaged because of contractual limitations, we have a sad state of affairs people. I doubt that demands made by administration would be considered bullying unless the teacher simply did not want to do what was being asked to move the district forward. As it stands now, the union can threaten greivence on every little thing that they consider "extra". I have had teachers complain to my child and the rest of the class about the "extra" documentation the teachers are expected to show this year when it come to their lesson plans. What does that mean? Why is a teacher complaining to the students? Shouldn't a teacher have to show documentation for lesson plans without expecting to be paid extra for it? I respect teachers but there seems to be a lack of understanding of what the "real working world" is like. I took a pay cut twice in 22 months and have to do whatever I am asked to do because there are 1,000 guys ready to take my place in a second when I get laid off for complaining. Oh yeah, and I am union too.

Anonymous said...

So much sour grapes! I expect the grass is always greener everywhere if you have that kind of disposition. In your "real working world" do you have to answer to the state, the Board, the school administration, the parents, the children, or anonymous commenters on community blogs with ideological agendas! I think not! The teachers do. Not your everyday job for those reasons and many more!

union said...

There are always those in a position of authority to answer to, no matter where you work, perhaps if teachers taught stregnth of charachter by example rather than whining to thier students in class when they should be T E A C H I N G people would not be so critical. The fact remains, times are tough, everyone has to step up and deal from reality here. If the public can't afford to live in New Jersey anymore you teachers will have no students to teach and be UNEMPLOYED. Our union is dependent on private industry dollars, so we chose to take pay cuts to keep jobs for our workers. Maybe you teachers should be yelling at NJEA for spending 8 million on ads against Christy when they chould have used it to help save teacher jobs! Who is your union representing? you or their special interests?

Anonymous said...

I am not a teacher. But I know a pile on when I see one. My kid graduated from Matawan, went on to college, and is now completeing her Masters. She received an excellent education here, thanks to the extremely principled and competent teachers. I hate how they are spoken about here. THEY DO NOT DESERVE IT!

Common Sense Rules said...

Taxpayers, many of whom are private sector workers, over the last couple of difficult economic years have taken cut after cut to their own salaries and benefits, and should not be asked to pay more. We should not begrudge teachers making a fair wage. They do challenging work. We admire the impact a good teacher can have in his or her classroom. But teachers aren't the only people doing admirable and important work these days. And few of these people are seeing raises, let alone guaranteed increases like teachers see with step raises. The question is why should educators be treated differently than the private sector?
We all should share the pain in this challenging economic environment.
Union leaders will always take the arbitration route because state laws are stacked against the district with no ability to consider economic conditions. Teachers need to be more sensible than their big labor-funded spokesperson. They need to realize the dire state of affairs facing public education and most, that are not brain washed, want to do the right thing. But they must make their voices heard to their leadership in order to survive these tough budgets while minimizing harm to our students and without asking taxpayers to dig deeper into their pockets.

Anonymous said...

The arbitrator has no ability to consider economic conditions? Is that so? I'm quite sure the arbitrator reads the papers, if not,they can at least read the district's debit columns. If I was a union official, I would go for the arbitrator in a New York minute! Especially if faced with a counter negotiator who has given away his intention to take away the right to grieve and, in essence, bust the union!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to dedicate the following to the good teachers of Matawan: http://www.youtube.com/watch#playnext=1&playnext_from=TL&videos=CTplzI66Hpk&v=KcZRXhC30lk

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com
/watch#v=KcZR
XhC30lk&feature=related

Anonymous said...

Good question. Why should educators be treated differently than the private sector? Anyone?

Anonymous said...

Because they work for a public entity. Are you one of those privatize everything, the free market solves all problems all the time kind of ideologue? I'd like to put forth the proposition that Public Education is more important to the American way of life than Wall Street is!

Anonymous said...

If the teachers Union encouraged all members to settle negiotiations without raises or with reduced benefits (or both) and other give backs would the administration do the same? Would they reduce their ranks by the percentage of teachers and staff that is being let go? Would O'Malley give his raise back or decline his next salary increase? Would any of this guarantee that are taxes will still not go up? And how will any of this incease our student's test scores? Losing teachers sounds counterproductive to me.

Anonymous said...

Anyone look into not have sports for the next few years.... it is not revenue making activity! We would save on stipends, equipment, travel..etc.

Joey- What would the total saving be across the sports board? Also then would we be able to rent out our facilities to start bringing in some money?

Matawan Mom said...

Mr. Warren- Teachers do volunteer every day. As a parent who was involved in various PTO's for years I worked side by side with teacher volunteers in snack bars, during chorus/band shows, art shows, walkathons, tree plantings, beach and community cleanups, Net Day, etc. Many of the sports teams such as girls bowling have coach volunteers that do not get paid. I am not aware that these teachers were ever working "under cover" so their union would not find out. When parents and teachers work together kids learn. Simple as that. If any parent that is on this blog is bashing teachers within earshot of their children, SHAME ON YOU! You have probably just instilled a disrespectful attitude toward a whole profession. And you wonder why your kids don't like school and don't put forth an effort. When you child comes home with poor grades don't accept them. Hold your own standards higher and your child will perform. After all- as parents we are our child's FIRST teacher.

Anonymous said...

I am first generation born here and my family, org. from Asia, raised us to be respectful of our teachers and to work hard at home and at school. Shame on those of you who call teachers names! Sit with your children, do the work with them, give them extra practice. In parts of the world teachers are next behind god. They give our children knowledge that will help them with the rest of their lives. I am thankful that I had a supportive family and feel sad for all those children out there in Matawan who have parents that blame the teachers for their childrens short comings before looking into the mirror. SHAME ON YOU! Maybe you are not doing YOUR job as a parent!!! I know I do my part to educate my children.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Warren,
Can you please clarify this for me? I know teachers are in the NJEA and receive the medical/pension benefits package at no cost to them for life; and have tenure after 3 years and 1 day in the State of New Jersey. But does the same apply for all school employees, such as custodians, instructional aides, part time aides, secretaries, bus drivers, etc? If it does, that is crazy!

Anonymous said...

All I can say it is about time.
Teachers and their union need to know the good times are over. Their political signs that read "For the children" for too long have not been for any childrens benefit but their own. Society cannot afford all of these feel good programs and having teachers raise their children for all the liberal reasons we have been spoon fed for years. All of us need to play a much bigger role in the shaping of our future generations. The fluff programs are over. Back to the three R's is all we can afford. Education is expensive but so too is an oppressed society fed up with the fiscal abuses of prior administrations and mandated but unsupported programs. Programs from the mountaintop that tell us how to teach but do not fund their costly directives. From the top on down the change must come and we need it now.

Anonymous said...

An email that has been going around from Chrissie McGovern

Dear Friends,

In January four new board members were appointed to the Matawan-Aberdeen Public Library Board of Trustees. All four of these board members did not have library cards and probably never stepped foot in the library before. I went to the February board meeting with library card applications in hand for the new members to fill out- three of the four new members happily filled out their applications, but have not stepped foot in the library since. Former Mayor of Aberdeen, David Sobel, refused to get to a library card claiming "he didn't like to read." He resigned the following weekend, and a new board member has been appointed since.

The library board remains dysfunctional and unknowledgable about the library. Perfect example: the elevator has been broken since mid-December and they could not make a decision on what to do about it: fix just the broken part or modernize the elevator at the same time, making it easier for patrons to use. Because none of them can decide what to do or are having a power struggle with each other no decision has still been made about the elevator. Because the board members are NOT library users, they do not understand that mothers with strollers, the handicapped, elderly, as well as staff use the elevator on a daily basis.

This email is to urge all of you to come to the library board meeting, Wednesday, March 3rd @ 7:30PM. See how dysfunctional these board members are; ask questions, make suggestions. Please keep in mind that these are the people in charge of making major decisions about the library and its future. The staff have been trying to make the library a better place for the last several years, but we are often stopped at a roadblock known as the library board.

Please pass this along to friends, neighbors, family members,etc.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

New Sheriff in town said...

Just finished watching Christie speak to two hundred Mayors as part of the League of Municipalities meeting that was held in Trenton last week. The most important thing Christie said was this "It is time that the people know that they are not working on behalf of politicians and their own political ambitions".

Were you listening Kauff?

Were you listening School Board?

Were you listening NJEA?

Were you listening politicians?

If you were not listening it is on you then to make the changes needed to stop the corruption, backroom dealing and worse that has ensured your corrupt paydays and campaign coffers.

There is a new Sheriff in town and his name is Chris Christie.

Thank God for that.

CtyRdisn'thappy said...

I also watched the airing of the speech to mayors today. It was refreshing to say the least. The bitter realities laid out by Chris Christie should be a sobering warning to the corrupt power brokers that used to run the show. It is all too obvious Christie is taking our state in a new direction. I for one am very glad. He is in my prayers each nite.

Jim said...

People here need to step back and look at the big picture. We're looking at a deficit in the millions. You can expend all this energy complaining about $50 for graduation, and you can point an accusatory finger at the union and say "See what they are doing to us??" but in the end - what does it accomplish?

I have to speak from ignorance at the moment, as I lack children and therefore facts. But I can make some guesses. How many teachers work a graduation? 20? Seems like a fair number. That's $1,000 then. Total. A fraction of a percent of the gap that needs to be covered. Less than 15% of my personal 2009 property tax. There, I paid for graduation so you guys wouldn't have to. Happy?

Stop focusing on these non-issue talking points, and start looking at the systemic problems. I won't claim to know what they are, but I have a hunch that a once-a-year event like this one isn't it.

Oh, and Aberdeener, I know you don't have an obligation to research every stipend for every teacher. However, you could have saved a lot of grief by listing the stipends for the few you choose to highlight in the chart at the top of the post. I see $112k for Driver's Ed and think, yeah, my Driver's Ed teacher was the HS football coach, so that number probably makes sense. Other people aren't making that connection, your little disclaimer notwithstanding.

Aberdeener said...

Jim,

You make some good points but allow me to clarify a few.

The stipends for graduation are only one example. Another could be the $40,000 a year we used to pay for interventionists to speak with home room teachers. You can review the minutes for virtually any board meeting and look at all the stipends we authorized at just that one meeting.

There are two issues here - Should we continue awarding 4% annual raises with little to no change in benefits? Are we properly allocating resources?

When one-third of our seniors failed the HSPA and two-thirds will probably never earn a 4-year college degree, does it make sense that the top earners in the district are those people involved in athletics? I agree that college isn't for everyone but surely it's for more than one-third of our students. On average, people without college degrees earn substantially less and are far more likely to be unemployed than people with college degrees.

As for listing the top earners with their stipends, it's a reasonable request but I don't know how easy it is. The school accounting system is quite archaic. In theory, you should be able to click on a name and see every payment and the basis for that payment. I don't think that's how it works. More likely, you just see the payments and then have to research each payment.

I'll leave you with the following question. If our top priority was education, who would be our top earners?

Boobaholic said...

Aberdeener,
What clubs and what athletic programs will be cut to save the $32,270 for stipends and why isn't the athletic budget for equipment cut instead? Do you agree with the budget cuts that have been presented and shouldn't the public know what the outcome of these cuts will be?

Aberdeener said...

I don't know what the cuts are, exactly, except to say I don't think any programs are being cut. Instead, I think we'll be nitpicking. For example, one less coach here, some fewer crowd control and ticket takers there, maybe fewer night games so we don't have to pay as much overtime to the police.

I'm not certain, but I think that's the direction we're heading in.

However, I believe a few student clubs that have low participation rates may be cut. I have mixed feelings here. I don't want the programs to be cut but the cost per student for some of them are too high. Unfortunately, the stipends and such are contractual so it's an all or nothing deal.

Jim said...

Actually, 1/3rd of HS seniors completing a 4-yr college degree isn't all that bad. There are many colleges who would love to see that kind of success rate among their freshmen, so in that sense we may actually be above the curve.

For those without an academic future, sports is often their next best chance to have a successful life (no matter how slim that may be). I would caution against cutting too deeply into those kinds of programs. I did make a recommendation in the 1000 cuts post, but you may not have seen that as I'm not sure when you stop following comments on a post. Essentially, I recommended that a uniform standard be applied to personal equipment for everything from football to dance, and that the parents of the participants bear most of the burden with the district helping by negotiating costs with a supplier and by contributing a certain percentage. I do not know how far away we are from that reality, but it seems fair enough.

If it's within your power to negotiate an across-the-board 50% cut to stipends, by all means, go for it. I don't see it happening, however. Surgically removing individual stipends would seem to be a long and arduous task to add up to real dollar amounts, and be met by near-unanimous opposition simply because everyone is likely to have a program they support in that list.

A 4% raise in salary is certainly appropriate, given no increase (or decrease!) in benefits, if cost of living also increased by 4%. You may be better served by indexing automatic raises to inflation and allowing merit raises on top of that, but again, that may not be within your power.

Aberdeener said...

Jim,

I read all the comments though I don't remember them all. :)

You've got some good ideas, though I'd have to disagree on the college/sports equation. Even without college, a good education is more likely to payoff in the long run than a good athletics program. However, a good athletics program can lead to a good education through character development and scholarships.

As for cutting costs, let me ask you this. Which is likely to garner more public outrage? Gutting the athletics program or firing four teachers?

Jim said...

Well, if this were Texas, gutting your athletics program would pretty much mean boarding up the school - if it doesn't have Friday night football, nobody's going there!

Back to places that aren't Texas, I think that's a bit too general a question to get an honest answer. What exactly do you mean by "gutting"? Canceling everything? Everything except the most popular? Everything except those that can get million dollar salaries in the pros? What are those 4 teachers teaching? What is it doing to class sizes - is it 2 more kids per class, or 10? Are we eliminating some positions where the people were useless / needed to retire/be fired anyway?

You may have seen that there's a school in Rhode Island that decided the answer to this question was to fire every single teacher and start over. That should tell you that nothing should be off the table.

I'm not as adamantly anti-ceramics as you are, but I would definitely look there before I look at the sports teams. There are (or should be) vocational schools for those who wish to make a career out of it; and for those that strive to be well rounded, I would like to see the same offerings be available across any given 4-year span, just 1/4 of them each year instead of all of them every year.

Anonymous said...

Sports teams under the budget axe? Come on that million dollar plus sports activity alone must be good for what ten scholarships a year. List for us the number of scholarships for sports Mr. Warren. Then maybe someone can list for me the number of pro athletes that came back and did something for the town that educated them. I have not seen the Jim Jeffcoat funded Park or the Charlie Rodgers funded soup kitchen or youth center. Then again Rogers has been a little busy availing himself of our court system and the legal process. It is good to have *friends* to help you navigate and maybe minimize the court system penalties, isn't that right Coach Rodgers? Coach Rodgers? It should have been inmate Rodgers long ago.

Anonymous said...

Just because employees have the same last names as former or current officials, doesn't mean that the employees aren't plenty qualified for their current positions. Some of the mentioned names have been a wonderful asset to our educational system. It would be a tremendous loss to our children if a last name was the determining factor.

Anonymous said...

DO YOU REALLY THINK YOU WILL FIND A PRIVATE CLEANING SERVICE TO CARE ABOUT ARE CHILDRENS SAFETY AND HEALTH (H1N1) AS TABLES DOORS ETC ARE SANITIZED EACH NIGHT.AS AN OBSERVER YOUR CUSTODIAL STAFF DOES AN EXCELLENT JOB

Aberdeener said...

Choose your poison. Outsource the custodial staff or eliminate another 10 teaching positions.

Play Ball said...

That politically connected name or names in our towns have taken away opinions and budget cutting options all because our money hungry politicians used their names and influence to get their family members jobs. That means conflicts of interests exist that they can't be involved in any vote or reviews. FACT!

Recently elected members who magically showed up at the school board meeting the other night were sending a not so subtle message. FACT!

BY the way what is the deal with Tags and Bucc hanging out together? Then again they are both republicans. Right Tags?

Wait I forgot after being a R for all his life he swallowed the Kauff kool aid and now magically Tags is a D in 2009 election season.

They know no shame?.

Mayor Fred leaves so many ???? said...

Tagliarini swallowed the kool aid is true. Will he be smart enough to not get jailed along with normy and all the rest.

HeresMyPoison said...

I would eliminate the 10 teaching positions. This is why.

The 10 teachers will be lower seniority teachers just starting out. They will either be called back as teachers retire, or will find jobs with other districts.
The janitors you want to eliminate, most of whom have been with the district 20 or more years will not recover. from the financial ruin that your proposal will cause them.
You want to freeze hiring of janitors, and privatize the new hires? Fine, but you should leave the existing janitors alone.

Aberdeener said...

I thought our first priority was the students.

Anonymous said...

Outsourcing custodians is potentially a dangerous proposition because:

1. They are unknown to our children.
2. Come from companies that do not do background checks or fingerprint.
3. Will steal anything not nailed down. (happened at my company)

The potential for theft/damage will cost the district more in the long run. And do you really want strangers from a company with high turnovers around our children? Who will be libel when something bad happens?

Aberdeener said...

So you'd rather fire more teachers.

Okay, which programs would you cut or would you simply increase class size to 30 students?

Anonymous said...

Joey doesn't care about the janitors.

They are inferior to him.

Joey went to college, the janitors didn't. The janitors don't deserve to make a living because they didn't go to college.

Anonymous said...

My friend is a teacher here in district. Called upset yesterday because Union is having teachers had a scary flyer to parents at conferences today. She says it is about the custodians and says that it will make parents think only criminal pediphiles will be cleaning schools. I said "If you don't like it, don't hand it out!". She said the pressure is too much and others will know if she does not do it. What is this the Mob? Disgusting when a teacher can't do what she feels is right because of "union big brother"!

Anonymous said...

Why dont the parents of the athletics pay for there kids coaches stipens , we the tax are here to pay for education not recreation . Cut the stipens and see how much you save these programs that pay stipens are an insult to the many volenteers at pop warner who pay to play and also volunteer there time

Anonymous said...

Why dont you run a football program for free , fat chance

Anonymous said...

all I can say is shit runs down hill go after the custodian easy target, I bet the new custodians cant afford to live in Matawan Aberdeen on a $8.00 an hour job or maybe they can if they live behind the 7 11 store on main street and the residents that lost there jobs wont see any tax relief by there dismissal but they will be on the foreclosure list , start at the top and lead by example 183,000 super and he needs a deputy 153,000 and he needs an assistant, and we gave a merit raise to the top board of ed officals for doing a good job , and refuse to give a cost of living raise and now are in a 6 million dollar hole why not give them another raise they did so good . Greed greed greed

Anonymous said...

This is for the jerk that does not understand the 50.00 for teachers to work the graduation not attend , if people dont want to pay then let the parents of the undergraduates be the security for the graduates see how that will fly

Anonymous said...

When thinking about cuts, why not look at the Academies? Yes they are new, but how do you justify class sizes of less than ten for some Academy classes? All that does is create larger classes outside of the Academies. The district also needs to do a better job of hiring qualified people. How can one justify hiring a chorus teacher who cannot play the piano?

Anonymous said...

How is that the take home pay? Do you know what that means?
Reading your blog shows that you know little about education.
Mrs. Demarest should be praised for her courage in doing the right thing. Despite any backlash you are attempting. Any money spent as a result of legal fees being spent is far less than the money the board is spending on the legal fees involving grievences for breaking the MRTA contract. When are you going to post those figures? Shouldn't this wasteful spending be public information? Also do you have the permission to post the name of the child you mentioned in your blog?
Your idea of getting rid of many after school activities will be popular with local street gangs.

Anonymous said...

Street gangs becuse our young people will be free to roam the streets and get in trouble? Parents who make such a suggestion need to not spare the rod of discispline. Here is a shocker maybe parents need to parent and teachers need to teach. Back to basics is not so strange then is it?

Anonymous said...

If are going to cancel ceramics class why not the performing arts academy oh I forgot some bodys daughter wants to sing and dance and they get to vote on what is cut , I say shuffle off to buffalo with the small academy classes that special interest groups want