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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 14, 2012 at 05:54 PM
BULLYING, PLEASE STOP YOUR BULLYING
Students1st 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.
Students1st 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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