"High Achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles Kettering

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

To My Fellow Democrats

I know you are disappointed and I commiserate with you about the results of the recall election. But I beseech you all to stop trying to make excuses about why the democrats lost and move forward. There's plenty of blame to spread around to everyone. I have said here before that I was not interested in the recall even though I think Walker is a Yutz with criminals for friends and a serious inability to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Especially the second part. When I think about the money wasted on this recall, I think our friend Scott knows exactly who he will punish to pay for it. I hope the Racine race does change the balance so there is no longer a super-majority in the legislature. I haven't seen the official finalized data on this so will restrain myself from comment until all the data are canvassed. If the Dems did manage to overturn Racine's district, this will force Scotty boy to at least give a try at a semblance of playing nice.

I am also dismayed that the sheer huge quantity of cash raised through rich people supporting their puppet could have been given to any number of good works or public institutions such as schools. Their choice to give these many millions to our embarrassing, potentially felonious governor, certainly a felon-associate, is depressing in the extreme.

Finally, I heard a rumor that Walker testified before Congress in April that he never used a "divide and conquer" strategy in implementing his policies in Wisconsin. Then the infamous video of him describing exactly that strategy to one of his rich pals emerged. The word on the street is that he is going to be indicted for lying to Congress. That does seem to be the way in which these cockroaches are ultimately hammered. But I predict his teflon suit will continue to protect him. His supporters don't seem to mind that he surrounded himself with felonious characters nor that theft from veterans happened on his watch. It's sad that Wisconsinites choose to believe the rhetoric instead of doing the research.

For example, all that bunk about how schools have saved so much taxpayer money. Really? As with all things human, not all school districts are equally adept at administering taxpayer funds. But our "leader" painted every district with the same brush and penalized all equally. Evansville had already found a much more inexpensive health plan way back in 2007. "Saved" the district thousands per employee. However, this was in the day of the QEO, when increases were quoted as 3.8% in salary and benefits together. If the benefits reduced by x amount, that meant the salary increase pool increased by the same dollar amount and spread around as needed. The district really didn't realize any savings until the following year. The amount dedicated to the health plan was not as high and the wage increase was fixed and spread around. Then the stock market crashed.  Then they stopped the QEO, ostensibly to give higher salary increases to the teachers. But they forgot to teach administrators and board members how to bargain and our dear administrator gave away the farm. The "1% salary increase," when supplemented with the "step OR lane increase" turns out to be a 3.4% increase in the salary pool. Some teachers who earned their masters degrees last year experienced a total of 12% salary increase. Unacceptable and unreasonable in these times. THAT'S one of many reasons (with origins in the Unions) why Walker won. He gave the impression that Barrett would march lockstep with the unions, but Barrett already has proven he won't do so in Milwaukee. Some union members are enraged at some of the items unions collectively bargain for. There was an exit poll touted on CNN last night that had 36% (over a third!) of voters with Union affiliation (family member or themselves belong to a union) voted for Walker. Harsh reality, Unions. Take notice and knock off YOUR rhetoric.

The 5% our teachers contributed to their health plan last year only saved about $850 per teacher, give or take. This doesn't begin to address the 1.3 million dollars in state aid our district lost. Even if the teachers had been asked to contribute 12%, the 1.6 million dollar deficit would have been difficult to overcome. Next year, there will be no choice in the matter. Their hastily crafted and re-negotiated contract ends June 30, 2013. There won't be a choice but to contribute the full 12% next year and establish a new way to evaluate teachers in this new reality. I pray the demonizing of all public employees stops now and their contribution to society is appreciated for what it is. After all, teachers deal with 18-30 kids at a time and I have challenges with my mere 3 kids. Thank you excellent educators in our district for doing what I am unable to do and keep up the good work. Those of you who should have sought other careers long ago are on notice, however. You will have to improve or leave, as any professional should do.

Next week, the board will see a preliminary budget for next year. Pray there won't be any more chaos. Meeting is June 11, 2012 at 6:30. Come early and get a seat!

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