‘An Insidious Twist’ on Budget Cuts

‘An Insidious Twist’ on Budget Cuts

Photo by Sam Hodgson

Bill Freeman is the president of the San Diego Education Association.

 

The teachers union president calls the new budgeting in San Diego Unified, which allows schools more power over painful budget decisions, “a particularly insidious twist.”

The district is “using the budget to inspire panic and division among educators and parents,” Bill Freeman said.

In a letter last week to teachers, he wrote:

Under the democratic-sounding “site-based budgeting process,” educators and parents are being directed by the District to choose which jobs and programs to cut, placing [union] members in the position of determining which of our brothers and sisters to effectively toss out into the street.

Freeman later said teachers shouldn’t be put in the position of deciding which jobs to cut.

“They don’t see the bigger picture of the school oftentimes,” he said. But he didn’t say that the central offices should be deciding everything. School administrators should come up with the cuts and then give them to school committees of employees and parents to review, Freeman said.

Giving schools more power to cut themselves has been bittersweet, sometimes more bitter than sweet. Some principals say they’re glad that they and their communities, not district officials far from their schools, will decide what to cut.

We’ve decided to dive into how these hard decisions are made at a single school, Juarez Elementary. Meanwhile, what do you think? Is it a good idea to let schools decide what to cut? Please post your thoughts here on the blog.

Please contact Emily Alpert directly at emily.alpert@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5665 and follow her on Twitter: twitter.com/emilyschoolsyou.

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17 comments
John de Beck
John de Beck subscriber

they may remember how the UNION worked for them! If not, there are other TEACHER unions. Ask around.

deBeck
deBeck

they may remember how the UNION worked for them! If not, there are other TEACHER unions. Ask around.

Jamie Curtis
Jamie Curtis subscriber

I wish SDUSD Union members would follow in the footsteps of PUSD Union members where they all agreed to temporary salary cuts - painful yes but everyone still has a job and the schools are still able to provide the necessary services to educate our children -- Mr. de Beck really understands what is at stake and this recent decision by the board is going to have serious ramifications - Get Ready Here Come some Serious Cuts to the Classroom!

activemom
activemom

I wish SDUSD Union members would follow in the footsteps of PUSD Union members where they all agreed to temporary salary cuts - painful yes but everyone still has a job and the schools are still able to provide the necessary services to educate our children -- Mr. de Beck really understands what is at stake and this recent decision by the board is going to have serious ramifications - Get Ready Here Come some Serious Cuts to the Classroom!

dana deima
dana deima subscriber

I think bigdaddyteacher says it best when he says a happy, productive teacher has a positive impact on the students under his or her care. Teachers should not get blasted for taking 5 furlough days that result in a reduction in pay. the 7% does not occur until 2012 and that is to help offset the cut due to the furlough days. Teacher unions are in place to protect all teachers from the possible overly subjective judgement of employers and, like any union, to help ensure adequate compensation for work.

TheChristianslade
TheChristianslade

I think bigdaddyteacher says it best when he says a happy, productive teacher has a positive impact on the students under his or her care. Teachers should not get blasted for taking 5 furlough days that result in a reduction in pay. the 7% does not occur until 2012 and that is to help offset the cut due to the furlough days. Teacher unions are in place to protect all teachers from the possible overly subjective judgement of employers and, like any union, to help ensure adequate compensation for work.

Richard Bagnell
Richard Bagnell subscriber

“When school children start paying union dues, that 's when I'll start representing the interests of school children.” Albert Shanker, President of the Teachers Union (United Federation of Teachers) from 1964 to 1984 as well as President of the Teachers Union (American Federation of Teachers) from 1974 to 1997.

RB
RB

“When school children start paying union dues, that 's when I'll start representing the interests of school children.” Albert Shanker, President of the Teachers Union (United Federation of Teachers) from 1964 to 1984 as well as President of the Teachers Union (American Federation of Teachers) from 1974 to 1997.

Amanda Hammond-Williams
Amanda Hammond-Williams subscriber

I am amazed at the finger-pointing! If we are going to save public education, we have to acknowledge each of our roles, as administrators, teachers, parents, classified staff, central office, is vital and agree to all sacrifice something to maintain in the longterm. We could require parents donate a certain amount or we could give up 1% of our salaries, or whatever, but we are shooting ourselves in the foot raising class sizes, eliminating programs and making our schools look unattractive by not having anything to offer, while our charters dont have to.

anotherview
anotherview

I am amazed at the finger-pointing! If we are going to save public education, we have to acknowledge each of our roles, as administrators, teachers, parents, classified staff, central office, is vital and agree to all sacrifice something to maintain in the longterm. We could require parents donate a certain amount or we could give up 1% of our salaries, or whatever, but we are shooting ourselves in the foot raising class sizes, eliminating programs and making our schools look unattractive by not having anything to offer, while our charters dont have to.

bigdaddyteacher
bigdaddyteacher

Having that Sword of Damocles over our heads, coupled with the anti-teacher diatribes published in the Union Tribune - sometimes I wonder why I got into this profession in the first place. Of course, when I'm standing in the classroom, engaging in a enlightening discussion with my students, and at least one of them suddenly exhibits that "Ah-Ha!" face...makes it all worth while.

Paul M Bowers
Paul M Bowers subscriber

This type of political manuvering, however, has a silver lining- more parents will begin to come around that the teacher's union does not exist for the benefit of students.

Paul M Bowers
Paul M Bowers

This type of political manuvering, however, has a silver lining- more parents will begin to come around that the teacher's union does not exist for the benefit of students.

John de Beck
John de Beck subscriber

blic vote. That will take a few months, and Fiscal Year 2012 might provide some relief...It might even allow payment of the IOU's and the young teachers would all still have their jobs. But, no action on wage concssions GUARANTEES LAYOFFS for UNION members and they will lose more than wages..including faith in the UNIONS they were forced to join.

deBeck
deBeck

blic vote. That will take a few months, and Fiscal Year 2012 might provide some relief...It might even allow payment of the IOU's and the young teachers would all still have their jobs. But, no action on wage concssions GUARANTEES LAYOFFS for UNION members and they will lose more than wages..including faith in the UNIONS they were forced to join.