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WCASD Negotiators Explain Fiscal Issues

Members of the West Chester School Board try to explain the fiscal issues surrounding the teacher contract negotiations.

The following is a press release from the West Chester Area School District.

As members of the West Chester Area School Board negotiating team, we are committed to an agreement which is affordable and allows our district to maintain its excellent programs. Like every other district in Pennsylvania, we have seen tax and other revenue fall; at the same time, expenses - especially pension costs - have increased. Unlike many Pennsylvania school districts, this Board has taken steps to address our fiscal situation.

 When Mr. Carpenter was appointed chair of the district's Property & Finance committee in 2010, the financial projections at that time predicted expenses of $217 million for 2012-13, and called for tax increases far beyond the Act 1 index (the maximum amount allowed by law with certain exceptions). Since then, the Board focused on becoming more efficient as a district and setting realistic budgets at or under the Act 1 index. Our last two budgets of around $201 million have been lower than the budget three years ago, only possible because of the serious work undertaken by our students, teachers, administration, staff, Board, and community to find efficiencies.

 In our negotiations with the West Chester Area Education Association (WCAEA), we are acknowledging that every part of our offer comes at a cost. We learned from the 2009 contract, which led to 25 fewer teachers to offset its cost, that only by agreeing to an affordable contract can we ensure the integrity of our programs. Budgeting for school districts is a zero-sum effort; we legally must balance expenses with revenue.

Our recent offer comprises $2,500 in bonuses for each and every teacher over two years, while at the same time implements market-driven health benefits to offset some of the cost. The current WCAEA proposal costs $6.2 million more than the board's proposal over the next two years. Other components of our offer are clearly and publicly available on the Board section of our web site at www.wcasd.net.

Everyone surely understands that our current economy has forced a change to what districts can and should offer in negotiations. We are hopeful that our affordable, reasonable proposal is one that the WCAEA and its members will also understand.

Sincerely,

Sean Carpenter, Chairman, Property & Finance Committee

Vince Murphy, President, West Chester Area Board of Education

edufan October 12, 2012 at 09:51 AM
If you are all so concerned with being fiscally responsible, please attend the negotiations yourselves, and STOP WASTING tax payer dollars on an attorney who attends and reports back to you. IF you care about working together, then I implore you to please show that by making the effort to be at the table.
Star Thrower October 12, 2012 at 02:03 PM
This is what you are paying for .. president of the teachers union who has refused to negotiate openly and has refused a $2,500.00 bonus for EACH AND EVERY teacher - I do not believe any of the new teachers would turn their noses up at this ... close to 10% of their salary would be very nice right now - this is truly a spiteful union, who would deny the lower paid teachers a $2,500 sum to keep up with increased energy and food prices, while the entrenched members sit home wallowing in their 6 figure lives. $94K per year for a bachelors degree .. probably triple+ what the comparably degreed private sector non-unionist is getting, when you consider it's a paycheck for just 9 months of 7 hour workdays in a failed district .. does not even take into consideration what she gets from the union ... which incidentally is taxpayer money also. County - Chester District - WCASD School - West Chester Henderson HS Name - Deborah Fell School Year 2010-11 Job Assignment - Special Ed, Secondary English, 10-12 Total Salary - $91,005 Years of Service - 29 Years in District - 25 Degree - Batchelors Category - Classroom Teacher This info is available (on every school), to the public at DataUniverse Asbury Park Press
Star Thrower October 12, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Now here is a really good one - maybe one of one of the WC Vote union groupies can tell me exactly how someone with a 37 year old bachelor's degree can work 57% of their time and earn over $90 K ... and what exactly is coordinate services? Maybe this person just shows up for the football games & turns the new lights on and off? Hey edufan, is this you? County - Chester District - WCASD School - West Chester Bayard Rustin HS Name - ALLETTA  BOWERS  School Year - 2011-11 Job Assignment - Instructional Technology Specialist Total Salary (all jobs) - $90,605 FT/PT & % time for this job - F / 57 Years of Service - 36 Years in District - 36 Degree - Bachelors Degree Category - Coordinate Services
edufan October 12, 2012 at 08:55 PM
I wish it were me, thrower. No, I am a classroom teacher making much less, and I have been teachng for a long time. I wish I could reveal my real name, but I am in a district where the school board of directors would make my life miserable if they knew my name. Maybe when I retire in about 25 years, then I will let you know who I am. You, on the other hand, do NOT have to hide. So, come clean or do you still want to hide behind your cowardly, bullyhing monicle.
edufan October 12, 2012 at 09:03 PM
By the way, Thrower, once again you have no idea what you are talking about, UNLESS you are Sean Carpenter, because your rhetoric sounds an awful lot like his rhetoric. Why is it okay to give the administrators a 1.7 raise, but when the teachers ask for a COL, we are evil union shill? Believe me, I do not begrudge the raises to the administrators. I KNOW they work hard, but so do the teachers. I have said this before and I will say it again: Get yourself into one of our schools and see the GREAT WORK going on! You have NO RIGHT to complain and spew hate until you see just how hard our teachers and students WORK towards a successful education!!!
edufan October 12, 2012 at 09:28 PM
We do not work 7 hours a day; we work much more. We are not a failed district; we are very successful. Our students are thriving and our teachers, administrators and support personnel are fantastic! I invite each and every taxpayer to come to the schools that you support and see what is going on. It is your right as a taxpayer to do that. It is my right as a taxpayer to do that. W welcome you!
Cathy Binder October 13, 2012 at 03:48 AM
Edufan, star is a very sad person. Working in private industry the salaries he posts as exorbitant are in line by and large. I see for the one posting of a salary our friend does not note " % for this job". What clearly is the case is that this person has more than one teaching assignment - as if you look at the pay matrix, also online at WCASD the salary is the top of the pay scale for a full time teacher. And note the years of service this person has. I don't fall for such nonsense. And honestly I see this as an informed taxpayer as a "so what" kind of post. The truth is that in WCASD the average income is probably for many much, much higher for most households and the bottom line the taxes here are the lowest of anywhere. And I know as well we pay our teachers not at the top. I appreciate you all. I see the work you do, and my kids benefit daily from it. Know we as parents do not subscribe to this thinking. Don't bother engaging this person, they were called out in the DLN this week for their rhetoric and were told to stop as they would be banned. So this may be the only outlet left to vent.
TheSilentMasses October 13, 2012 at 05:42 AM
Who is interested in our students continuing to have a great education? Is it the wizened masses of Hershey's Mill who dutifully go to the polls every election day and pull the Republican lever? Is it the Tea Party arm of the Republican Party? No, they abhor any public spending, they think education should be privatized. The teacher's union is far from perfect, there are problems there with the costs of membership, etc... but it seems many think the sole purpose of the union is to protect incompetent teachers, and nothing could be farther from the truth. Incompetent teachers make up a miniscule number of the total, overall the WCASD teachers are competent to excellent. I find it ironic that the Repbulicans think teachers should work for peanuts when they themselves constantly say how you will get out of life that which you deserve from your hard work, etc... Many teachers have worked very hard to get Masters, Doctorates or just taken many continuing education classes. So....what? I guess teachers should agree to living just over the poverty line because they aren't making money for a private company? That's BS. Teachers need to make enough money to sustain a middle class lifetstyle in the community where their school is located. Teachers here, even those at 90K, are making FAR less than most of those around here in the private sector. Many, many people I know around here are well over $100K a year in earnings, bad economy or not.
Star Thrower October 14, 2012 at 03:22 AM
The current average teacher’s salary is $67,800 Per capita income in Chester County is $41,251 .. which includes teachers. Lets bring the average teachers salary more in line with the per capita income, and let's make their post-grad education cost, a loan instead of giving them the money for free, which only enables more taxpayer theft.
Star Thrower October 14, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Did you just write "Bullyhing"??
Star Thrower October 14, 2012 at 03:24 AM
edufan, yes your teaching sessions should definitely be monitored by the public .. in fact every classroom should be wired with a camera to allow taxpayers access to teachers like yourself who walk around chanting the three fingers of judgment ritual.
Star Thrower October 14, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Binder, you sound like an old senile woman telling edufan not to bother ("engaging to this person"), right after you finish engaging (in the third person yourself) you old women do that a lot ... You, Roxy, edufan, Old Mcdonald .. ha ha ha you old gals are entertaining - what happened to proud teacher.. probably got his feelings hurt with Old McDonald saying he was too afraid to use his name.
Just The Facts October 14, 2012 at 06:21 AM
Per Capita income includes everybody, including students, the permanently disabled, etc. Also, only a bit less than half the over-25 population in the county has a bachelors degree or higher, while all teachers do, You'd have to compare the average teacher with the average working person of similar qualifications and experience in terms of total compensation in order to get a valid answer. For reference, a WCASD teacher making around that $67,800 mark is going to have 6-12 years in field and a masters, or 4-5 years and a doctorate or specialized training.
edufan October 14, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Hey, Thrower, if you are too LAZY to visit a classroom, then, bring on the cameras!! Then maybe, just maybe, you will see how wonderful our students are, and you will see how well teachers, support staff and administrators work together to ensure an excellent education. Also, I am respectfully asking that you please stop fixating on my three fingers. You are now being just, plain creepy!!
edufan October 14, 2012 at 05:54 PM
BULLYING, PLEASE STOP YOUR BULLYING
Star Thrower October 14, 2012 at 06:07 PM
First of all (just the facts), I am glad to see you have separated teachers from actual working persons .. but there is no working person that you can compare with a teacher .. the average working person pays for his own education and most likely is still paying off the loan, while the teacher keeps working their 7 hour day, getting educated during their free periods at working person expense. I notice that besides forgetting to mention the working person supplied post-grad education for the teacher, which was most likely from an online diploma mill, you also forgot to figure in sick days and saving sick days to increase pensions, vacation days, health plan, pension plan, working conditions, job security (tenure), 35 hour per week 9 month work year ...etc - figure all those in and get back to me.
Star Thrower October 14, 2012 at 06:11 PM
edufan, I have no idea what you are doing with your three fingers, but if it creeps you out, it must be a very unhealthy addiction ... maybe you should go see Dr Binder?
edufan October 14, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Oh, ST you are once again incorrect. I paid for my own education, and yes we do have SOME tuition reimbursement for graduate work if we have a contract. I am still paying off loans for my grad school. When I was in the private sector, ALL of my professional continuating credits were paid for...by my company! Yes, 100% of it. My graduate studies was with a local university, where I physically attended (No cyber school for me, pal) AFTER teaching all day. Yes, I do have benefits, and as for the sick days: There is no other profession that I know of where, if we take a sick day, another person (a substitute) must come in for us. The cost of the substitute is higher than the sick day payback upon retiring. We never work 35 hours a week, and it is not 9 months out of the year. YOU, on the other hand, seem to have plenty of time to be on blogs spewing lies, and hateful rhetoric. Didn't you say that you worked in a small business? How do you keep a job with all of this blogging going on?
edufan October 14, 2012 at 06:24 PM
What is unhealthy is your constant reference to my fingers; a fixation that must end. Isn't it time for your psychiatric appointment?

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