Teacher handcuffed leaving school board meeting

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by NHdisneylover, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. Southernmiss

    Southernmiss I am hazed everyday

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    Did not see your earlier post. Was midday yesterday and I was working. By the time I was catching up last night, there were other pages to skim.

    I do hope that some good comes of this for teachers. They've been a group who have had to just sit back and take injustice in pay for a long time. Not unlike other groups who have just taken the injustices that have come their way for far too long.
     
  2. amberpi

    amberpi DIS Veteran

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    I really hope something is done about teacher pay or no one will go into the profession anymore. I don't have nor want children, but I very much want to be a part of an educated society, so I have no issue with a tiny tax increase to that end.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  4. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

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    Louisiana has a teacher's union (in fact, it has two), but unlike in Northeastern states, they are not powerful at all when it comes to pay issues. They are primarily concerned with issues of teacher qualification and working conditions, but when a district pleads poverty, the unions can't get blood out of a turnip.
    (The vast majority of rural Louisiana homeowners pay little to no property tax. The Homestead Exemption is $75K of fair market value. Even after Katrina drove up home prices, the typical house in Vermilion sells for around $105K, which means that the owner only pays taxes on about $30K. That's about $500/yr. Vermilion has about 50K households. This is why so many rural districts in Louisiana are heavily dependent on state funding to pay the bills, which is a problem, because the state economy is in the tank right now, and they are cutting education funding right and left. Note that Vermilion used to be quite rural, but in recent years has become partly suburban as the Lafayette metro area has grown.)

    For those who are interested, here is Vermilion Parish's teacher salary schedule: https://1.cdn.edl.io/FE8TlBQXhTc5ZO0uLROFo6l1fVdCO3PvIEJHw5NWPWYlfaeU.pdf FWIW, the "steps" near the top of the pay scale are largely theoretical; very few teachers are ever advanced to that level, and those who are are almost never women -- that level is mostly populated by winning football coaches. The "demand stipend" mentioned in the schedule is essentially hazard pay for those who work at the poorest schools in the district.

    I know Vermilion fairly well; I grew up in the next-door parish. It's a pretty tight-knit place, and Colleen is absolutely correct; the Marshall would have been told in advance that any teacher who protested the Superintendent's salary increase was to be silenced and removed as quickly as possible. City Marshalls are officers of the court, but they have full LEO authority, which is why the deputy Marshall you saw in the video was armed and wearing a full equipment belt. Their normal duties are acting as bailiffs, prisoner transport and serving summons, but in some jurisdictions, particularly rural ones, they are often given much greater authority. Typically, the Marshall is an elected position and largely administrative, and there will be one or maybe two full-time Deputy Marshalls who are experienced LEOs; the part-time deputies normally have no more law enforcement training than a typical security guard, though most of them are military veterans and also serve in the National Guard.

    PS: It's my understanding that certain accomplishments bring a step increase, too. Earning a Master's, for example, can be worth a 5-step jump.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  5. DawnM

    DawnM DIS Veteran

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    The steps are not years of service? It goes to 65, so I am guessing not. How do you advance a step?
     
  6. LSUmiss

    LSUmiss DIS Veteran

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    I was confused on that too. NotUrsula, I work in Jefferson Parish & our steps are by years of service. But, for the record, that is low. Jefferson isn’t high, but it’s higher than that.
     
  7. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon DIS Veteran

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    If I'm reading the chart right, that's for 9 months of work (yes, I know teachers work many hours). So level 1 (roughly $40K) for 9 months still allows you to make more money the other 3 months. No, I'm not saying it's a lot, or fair, or anything. Just pointing out it's $40K for 9 months, not $40K for the year.
     
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  8. LSUmiss

    LSUmiss DIS Veteran

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    Oh no I agree. I was just asking about the steps. I’m in the school system now but not a teacher. I get way more time off now than I did when I did a similar job. I chose to take the slight pay cut for the time off. Our work day is also a 7 hr day! I have figured my hourly wage & if I worked yr round & 8 hour dash at my current hourly rate, I’d make like $80K. I do get paid more than the teachers b/c I’m considered a specialist, but I don’t think it’s significantly more.
     
  9. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth WDW, DLR & DLP enthusiast

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    This is awful - what gives a police officer the right to manhandle a woman who is following instructions and leaving? It surprises me to hear that citizens allegedly don’t have the right to speak up for themselves during a public meeting.
     
  10. DawnM

    DawnM DIS Veteran

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    It is a school year. And typically the 9 months of work is spread out over about 10, including spring break, teacher workdays, etc....which makes it difficult to get a job for just 8 weeks or so.

    But that still doesn't answer the question, I can't think of anyone working for 65 years in a district.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
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  11. Nancyg56

    Nancyg56 DIS Veteran

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    Every town committee or board has regulations in regards to public commentary. In my town, residents can speak up during specified times. I find it crazy that at our Selectmans meeting, or at our Police Commissioners meeting we are required to remain silent thoughout the meeting and can only comment at a certain time. It took three years and a whole firestorm to get the option of comments and questions at the end of our PC meeting. Our BOS is in for that little treat from us if things do not improve.
     
  12. Tigerlulu

    Tigerlulu DIS Veteran

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    I'd just like to add that this issue is very indicative of school boards in the area. I don't live far away from this parish and the school boards very much consider themselves to be all powerful. Very different vibe from an out of state district we used to live in. There is big money and a lot of back door politics. Little tolerance for the lowly teachers and their ridiculous opinions.

    The district I live in would absolutely do this. In fact, minus the arrest, we've had several almost exact scenarios and the frustrating thing was the local news filming cut out the rude disrespectful comments from the board and made the meetings sound hunky dory when it was absolutely not. Good example to us how the media can spin anything. And from personal experience as a communications professional, our local media is completely in cooperation with the good ol boy network that Louisiana is famous for.

    This parish is smaller than ours so the media isnt directly in town like ours is. Otherwise I'd expect that they would have covered this differently. It's just how Louisiana rolls, unfortunately.
     
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  13. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon DIS Veteran

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    umm... spring break, christmas break, teacher workdays, etc, WOULD be included in the 9 months. The chart even says "Nine Month Position". College kids routinely get summer employment. Why is it more difficult for a teacher? Also, let's say they only work their teaching job. $40K/year = $19/hour. I have employees making less than that. Should teacher be paid more? Absolutely!

    The post I quoted didn't ask a question. :confused3
     
  14. Suger Mag

    Suger Mag MamaBear

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    and barely 8 weeks.... My husband is a middle school teacher, I always find this argument of just go work somewhere else to be such an unrealistic response.

    Our official end of school is around June 12... we live in New England, so with snow days that can get pushed back so it is not unusual to have the students leaving around June 18-20... then teachers have about a week after the students leave to do all the end of year stuff... so usually completely done around June 25 or so.... Again, each year is different, so you do not know WHEN you will actually be out of school in June.

    Come August teachers often start 2 weeks before students go back, so around August 20 or so depending on the school. Imagine looking for a job when you don't officially know when you are going to end, and then you can only work there for 6 maybe 8 weeks. Hmmmm ...your potential employer can choose between employing a teacher for a max of 8 weeks, or someone who might actually work there for longer than that... wonder who will get the job. So that leaves seasonal employment which peaks in the summer... again, will generally want workers for longer than 6-8 weeks. My husband works for a school that pays his salary over 12 months rather than just the academic schedule.

    But you really have to be creative or resourceful during the summer down times as regular jobs are just not really a valid option. so he has done things on his own like childcare, running summer camps, and lately he does more organized school summer programs like Upward Bound. But there are not nearly enough of those kind of programs for all of the teachers out there.

    Would make so much more sense to ditch the agrarian calendar and do year round school, as we really are not putting the kids out in the fields to work the farms anymore.. which was the main reason behind the summer break.
     
  15. monsterkitty

    monsterkitty DIS Veteran

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    Out teacher contract is for 200 days, with 190 of those as student contact days. Our pay is spread over the 12 months. We don't have a choice as to how our pay is spread out because that's how the taxes are spread in my state.

    For the first several years of my teaching career I worked as a supervisor at a waterpark. I made more money there than I did teaching. Now it's almost impossible for younger teachers to work during the summer months because of all the continuing education classes they have to take. Those classes are expensive and we pay for them ourselves.

    I can't tell you the last time I've had a raise. I'm at year 29 with a Masters so I'm at the top of our pay scale. The only way you can receive a raise right now in our district is by getting your Masters. They haven't given raises for steps, or years of service, for several years.

    HOWEVER! Our superintendent has received several raises the past few years. This year instead of receiving a raise, the school board placed around $38,000 in her 401k. They could have hired a teacher for less than that. Or they could have put sports back into the middle schools. We already have the equipment from before they cut sports. They only paid the coaches 1,000/season so that would only cost 18,000 for the three sports (3 for boys, 3 for girls) we had at three middle schools. Nope. Let's give it to the super.

    Our union is clear- we don't want a raise if it means students lose out on something. If a raise means fewer teachers/paras in front of kids, don't give us the raise.
    If they have to cut support staff due to lack of funding, don't even think about giving teachers a raise.
    We declined a raise about 7 years ago so they would keep middle school sports. They cut the sports anyway. But central admin gets their raises every stinking year.
     
  16. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    It's different here in my area. I think the average summer for a returning teacher hovers around 75 days or nearly 11 weeks. Professional Days occurs during the year for teachers to collaborate and discuss things. Snow days are built into the calendar and it's rare to use more than allotted. School is out by end of May almost all the time but rarely goes into early June for snow days. School starts mid-August (though the 75 days listed above includes last day for staff and first day for staff in a school year).

    I think IF teachers get jobs in the summer time they are usually non-traditional ones. Tutoring, musical lessons (if they have that background), nowadays with Uber or Lyft you have that option as well and a variety of other things that are less reliant on a longer term desired and strict starting date. I wouldn't say it's easy by any means but it's not impossible.

    You may not be making bank either but it could be some supplemental income if needed. There are also things that don't make much cash at all but are stuff you can do in your free time (which for a teacher during the school year may not be a lot but actual school breaks do help I'm sure) like survey taking, being part of a study-my husband does this every now and then for things like food tastings, opinions on things, etc--those are paid out usually by how much time the study is for but he's gotten $75 before for like 1 1/2's worth of time, heck I even have an app on my phone that earns me $5 per month plus $10 bonus every 3months and a $15 bonus every 6months. Then you have things that may just help save you money like Walmart's Savings Catcher or using websites like Swagbucks, etc. Off the wall but there's also if you fly at all and fly SWA you can use their shopping portal and earn yourself Rapid Reward points for shopping like normal (like for me getting cat food from Petsmart or buying sheets from JCP)--that isn't straight up cash but it can help you earn points to be used towards a flight.
     
  17. 3 MEN AND A BOAT

    3 MEN AND A BOAT DIS Veteran

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    That's the problem, higher ups in school administration or gov in general will spend whatever amount their given, regardless. It's also why I vote against every new tax whenever its proposed. They always trott out teachers pay or classroom size but when given the money it goes elsewhere. Like our county for example, the last time they passed a milage tax increase the school board bought new iPads, I don't think teachers saw a dime.
     
  18. MillauFr

    MillauFr Buzz & Woody

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    It is sad there is no outrage how we treat teachers in this country. Now if they cut high school football people would riot. People's priorities are screwed up.
     
  19. Colleen27

    Colleen27 DIS Veteran

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    That's how it is here too, though there's been a big changeover on the board and after two out-of-state superintendents found through headhunting firms who jumped ship after a couple of years for bigger districts/bigger paychecks elsewhere, the new board promoted someone who has been with the district for decades and who moved into administration after a decade as a classroom teacher. So there's some hope that the balance will shift towards the teachers and students and away from the big administrative contracts and raises. It really is a shame how teachers are treated in so many places. IMO, if there's no money for teacher raises for years on end, there shouldn't be money for raises for the super and his staff either. Even if the dollars aren't equivalent, consideration should be given to the optics of giving a raise to the handful of six-figure employees in the district while teachers are living on $35K with a freeze on pay steps.
     
  20. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    I don't like higher taxes or mil levy increases but not all the proposed taxes in my area would I say no to just on principle (edit: corrected word).

    For example a bond was proposed (which we pay for by our property taxes) in order to build a new elementary and middle school and was used previously (prior to me being a homeowner) to fund the new high school. In order to lower the amount of students in each classroom, in order to service the growing areas new schools were desperately needed. They were already overcrowded and as the population moved to areas that didn't used to have it new schools were needed. In our district there are 21st Century programs that have 15 options for high school students (the neighboring district I grew up in didn't have that option at least when I was there) spread out over the now 5 high schools in the district. The new high school for example has green tech for study of energy conservation and sustainability, and the other program is public safety which is for law enforcement and firefighting (students will get certifications in that program which allows them to work in those fields right after high school). The high school my husband went to had at least aerospace engineering and robotics. Those programs do wonders IMO for opportunities for students.

    There was a mil levy increase a few years ago voted on for the County and the main part of it was for improving the library system and building a new one and for 1 of them relocating and improving several library locations. I personally feel access to libraries is important for children. Not only do they have the ability to get books as well as DVDs but also the Couty's Genealogical Society documents in the main library location, etc but they also have the ability to be on a computer free of charge say if their family doesn't have one; there's also meeting spaces, study spaces, etc. That may not be directly related to school education but has a direct impact on students who attend schools.

    I do think unnecessary spending occurs without a doubt but I don't think every higher taxes proposed is a hard no for me at least. I do think if a proposed increased tax was marketed as going towards teacher's salaries but it didn't I would be upset. But here at least to my recollection increased taxes or bonds are not billed as the sole purpose to raise teacher salaries.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  21. Kathryn Merteuil

    Kathryn Merteuil Barden Bella

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    It is a very sad and disturbing situation.

    I have seen before how things "work" in a school district. It is a sad state of affairs. I was a teacher for long time and I remember seeing some truly disgusting things. For example, I remember one year several positions were cut due to "lack of funds". Those cut included teachers, and a lot of support staff. In fact they cut the teachers aides by about half. Those of us who were "fortunate" enough to keep our jobs, were given much larger class sizes and more duties to compensate for the missing staff. I understand that sometimes the economy is bad, and the money just "isn't there" so to speak. However, along with all these cuts, the superintendent and other administrators received nice raises. Along with this, the superintendent received a sum of money, (I believe it was around $30,000) to cover moving expenses so that he could live inside the school district that he was presiding over. At the time he took the job, he was living close by, but not inside the district. They also find ways to expand the administrative staff and create more part time administrative positions to be filled by retired administrators from the district. Those positions even sound like "made up" titles.
     
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