February 3, 2009

Mass layoffs possible for city schools

Worried that drastic cuts in state education aid could be coming down the pike, the city’s school superintendent plans to hand out about 200 pink slips to every non-tenured teacher by the end of March.
Though most will likely keep their job, Superintendent Philip Streifer’s worst case scenario for the upcoming budget would send about 70 non-tenured teachers packing out of a total of 108 potential layoffs.
Board of Education member Tom O’Brien, who heads the finance committee, said it is “unthinkable” that state lawmakers would allow the sort of drastic cuts to state aid that would force Bristol to take such drastic steps.
Streifer presented three possible budgets for next year that range from a low of $95 million to a high of $104.6 million, which is what Streifer said it would take to maintain existing personnel and programs.
This year’s spending plan calls for shelling out $100.9 million for city schools. Streifer said he expects to end the fiscal year in June with a slight surplus.
What’s driving the dire scenarios is concern that state decision-makers will slice education aid to municipalities in their quest to fill a hole in Connecticut’s budget that might total as much as $10 billion over the next 30 months, including a shortfall of more than $1 billion in this year’s budget.
School officials said that Bristol’s students are doing well on standardized tests and that existing programs and methods are proving successful. They say they would like to get enough funding from the city and state to maintain what they’re doing.
“It’s going to have a very dramatic effect here if the state pulls the rug out from under this,” Streifer said.
But, Streifer said, given the talk of major reductions in state aid and the possibility of the city freezing its educational assistance, he has no choice but to look at how he could deal with budget cuts in the coming year.
He said that the goal is to make any cuts have as little impact on academics as possible and to pay particular attention to making sure early childhood education isn’t harmed.
But to reach the spending limits that a 4 percent or 9 percent cut requires would not be easy, officials said.
As many as 71 non-tenured teachers could be shown the door, officials said, along with clerks, custodians and more.
Streifer said he intends to hand out pink slips to all of the non-tenured teachers by March 31 so that if he has to cut some, they would not be able to force the district to hold potentially costly hearings on the reduction in force effort.
“It’s not pleasant, but it’s the right thing to,” Streifer said.
Art Costa, the head of the teachers’ union, said he understands the difficulty of the situation. He said he hopes state legislators will take quick action so that officials can at least know what they’re dealing with.
“We’re in a terrible situation,” said Barbara Doyle, the chair of the school board. “It’s not nice not to know.”
O’Brien said that school board members will examine every alternative to try to make sure that every possible teacher remains in the classroom.
Among the potential changes not yet factored in are an early retirement program, furloughs, shortening the school year or voluntary wage reductions to save money and jobs. All of them are on the table, officials said.
There is also a chance that millions of dollars could come from the federal stimulus measure that Congress is debating. It would help, Streifer said, but would not be enough by itself to stave off some of the cuts.
O’Brien said he is glad Streifer is taking a realistic approach to the budget, adding that he is “mystified and disappointed” so many other school systems in Connecticut are approving spending plans that assume threatened cuts won’t actually happen.

Among the changes eyed

-          A single band director to serve all three middle schools.

-          Moratorium on new books for school libraries.

-          Up to 31 students in some elementary classrooms.

-          Ax summer adult education.

-          Drop 4th grade instrumental music.

-          Fewer high school courses.

-          Eliminate middle school inter-scholastic sports.

-          Rely on parent volunteers for elementary libraries.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

He should make good on ALL of those pink slips, instead of just trying to scare taxpayers with them. I'm not scared for my kids.

Anonymous said...

Yep, let the teacher bashing begin - they don't work in the summer, they only work 6 hours a day, etc. Get it all out of your system. Then try doing it for even one day and I guarantee you'll go home in tears over how your little darlings treat you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Art, that wlll accelerate Bristol's Going Ghost!

You should have acted sooner!

Anonymous said...

You should be scared for your children when they are not learning as much as they should be because there are twice as many children in a classroom. Then they will be required to attend summer school because they are not at their grade level. (By the way, that is where many teachers spend their summers, teaching summer school.) We need to think about what is best for the education of the children.

Anonymous said...

Art has been doing things to keep the budget down. What exactly should he have done that he didn't do?

Anonymous said...


Cut costs!
Unnecessary costs!
Don't be so generous with the unions.
Ask for help, take it, it has been offered.
Too late to have started sooner: doesn't he read ANY finacial news? And they crucified Palin.

Anonymous said...

Education suffers, GOOD people leave!

learn said...

7:18 - the board of ed budget and the city budget are two different items

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with the cuts Collins listed, but I sincerel hope we do not have to reduce the amount of teachers we have. After they were so cooperative with working out their contract, they deserve all efforts to keep them.

Anonymous said...

"We need to think about what is best for the education of the children."

The TEACHERS need to think about what is best for the education of the children. It does not help our kids when teachers and administrators get big raises, because then when money's tight teachers get laid off. Then there's more students in a class. But you know what? We had bigger classrooms before (in the 60's-70's) and we can do it again.

I'm tired of hearing about how tough the teachers have it. You'd think every job was cushy but theirs. Why are they at the bank and post office during the day? Why are they getting their nails done at 3:00 on the dot? Other jobs (that you actually work eight hours at, 50 weeks a year) have drawbacks too. The job could be dirty, or dangerous, or repetitive. Bosses and customers can be cranky or even downright abusive. Some supervisors follow you into the bathroom and time you. At some jobs you have to listen all summer to teachers complain that they only have four or six or eight weeks of vacation left. Their disregard for the people who pay their salaries would be horrendous, but I don't think they're even aware of what they're doing. They live in a whole different world than the rest of us.

Oops, am I teacher-bashing? Sorry. But if some of them were laid off and had to live in the real world, maybe the rest would catch on. Then they wouldn't be quite so greedy.

Anonymous said...

Time to move!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe what litle respect some of you have for city teachers. Reading comments saying that teachers don't care about their students and that it's the teachers who work only 180 days that are stuffing tax payers' money into their pockets is so disheartening.

For all of you that think teaching is so easy, I suggest you go into a classroom for one day. Find out for yourself just how easy it is to teach to a class of 22 students (all of which have unique needs and learning styles), in a way so that you are meeting the demands that the city, state, and nation have set for you.

If that's not enough, find a way to manage the behavior of all 22 students (some of which are taught not to respect teachers), address and meet their emotional needs, and deal with parents (some of which have no respect for teachers).

Now take into account the proposed cuts. You now have 30 kids to teach and nurture but less support staff and fewer resources.

Do all this for the next 18 months knowing that you are not receiving a raise (yes, teachers' salaries have been more or less frozen for the next 18 months), have no chance to receive a bonus or merit raise, and don't have the respect of your neighbors or students' parents.

Then tell me how you feel about teaching and the proposed budget cuts.

Anonymous said...

I say keep most of the Teachers and get rid of some management instead. Like all of the assistant/vice principals. Why not actually make the principals earn their $100k+ salary for once?!?! Stop paying for 1 or 2 assistant princiapls at $80k+ per school. Cut out some of the sports programs and coach salaries. Get rid of some custodians and make the others do their fair share instead of having 4 union salary guys standing around drinking coffee...opps I mean "changing a light bulb"!! There is plenty of waste Streifer. Cut the right areas...not the Teachers.

Anonymous said...

5:53 You should be scared for your kids. Having 30 kids in an elementary school classroom (which is a 50% increase) is not ideal. No matter how good the teacher, it is not possible for the student to receive as much individual or small-group instruction as he would if there were only 20 kids in the class.

Furthermore you should be scared about cutting classes, programs, and sports at the middle- and high-school level. Your child will have fewer opportunities to find something they are passionate about and in which they can excel. It can limit socialization and even hurt chances of getting into colleges.

The proposed cuts are not minor. They will have a major impact on our city's educational stystem and your students will be affected.

Anonymous said...

Guess what, 8:53, many of us are getting no raises, some of us are getting pay cuts, and some of us have lost our jobs. Pay that is "more or less frozen" sounds pretty good to a lot of people. Having three months vacation sounds like a dream. If your students and their parents don't respect you, however, you're in the wrong business.

Anonymous said...

8:42 - YOUR blatant disregard for school teachers, staff and administration is what is horrendous. How can you go about bashing teachers when you have never stepped foot in a classroom?

This has nothing to do with greed and missing out on huge raises. (For what it's worth, teachers are not getting any raises for the next 2 years.) This has to do with politicians looking to fix the state's and city's budget issues on the backs of education and CHILDREN. Yes, teachers are upset that they are losing their jobs, but the bigger issue here is how our children will suffer.

For those of you that don't think the students will be affected, I beseech you to think again. In today's economy, where it is becoming harder and harder to get a job, it is even more important that your child gets the best education possible (either to help him get into a competitive college or help prepare him for the real world). Don't you want the best for your child?

Anonymous said...

"It can limit socialization and even hurt chances of getting into colleges."

What? Are you kidding? If my kid doesn't play field hockey she won't get into college? She might not be "socialized"? These threats are a little far-fetched.

Maybe parents will have to go back to spending more time with their kids. That's not a bad thing, to raise your kids the way you want them to be raised, and not leave the raising to some one else. It could be a very good thing, for our kids and for our country. Let's give it a try. Less teachers, less taxes, more time with our children.

Steve Collins said...

Look, folks, trashing teachers is simply wrongheaded. They didn't cause the budget crisis. Nobody in Bristol did. And since scores of teachers in Bristol face unemployment if the state doesn't find a way to solve the crisis without slicing school aid it seems an especially poor time to attack them. Save your ire for the political and business leaders who put us all in this situation.

Anonymous said...

There are already classes with 29-30 kids in them. The top needs to be skimmed more than getting rid of teachers, they do their best with what they have. The school can't provide pencils for the kids. Skimp on books? Skimp on shrimp and pizza, and expensive conferences, some of which require air fare.

Anonymous said...

9:21: I once had a book salesman ask me "Don't you want the best for your children?" when I told him I wasn't going to buy his overpriced books. It was an insult then, and your question is just as insulting now. We all want the best for our children. We just don't have money trees growing in the yard, and we know that throwing more money at something doesn't necessarily make it better. We already pay way more than we should have to for our children's education, and the education they're getting is not great. Meanwhile we need police and firemen to keep us safe, and we need our crumbling roads fixed, and the cost of everything keeps going up. If we don't have full time band directors at each middle school, well, we might have to live without them for awhile. Life isn't fair.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Steve

Anonymous said...

Yes, 9:24, we will be spending more time with the kids, especially since so many of us are laid off and hanging around the house anyway. We'll have after school stuff at home.

Anonymous said...



Start with Congress, and our own Dodd, along with Franks.
Both sides, including Bush are culpable, and Obama was a part of the process too.

But the little guy gets it in the end.

Lets remember come the next election.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, Steve, like our parents always said, "They are just jealous". It is clear that people who sit on their computer and look for people to attack for no apparent reason are just in need of a little self confidence. After all, if they think teaching is so "cushy", they should go to college, get a masters degree, and give it a try. Live your dream guys, get the summers off! No one is stopping you. Instead of putting others down, go for it!

Anonymous said...

It all comes down to: we pay too much in taxes, and education takes the biggest part of that tax money. Nothing will change until we have new legislators.

Anonymous said...

Teachers who insist on more pay should go back to school for medicine or law. They would make more money, they would not have to deal with our bratty kids, and we could pay less in taxes for teachers who love to teach.

Anonymous said...

I would urge anyone who is tempted to place the burden of the education budget woes on the shoulders of teachers and administrators to do some research on unfunded mandates (including some imposed by ridiculous legislation often enacted to pacify the fear and/or outrage of a handful of squeaky wheels, the absolutes of special education costs (spending in this area of the budget CANNOT be reduced), and perhaps most onerous, the infamous No Child Left Behind. Sadly, education today is a far cry from the "See Spot Run" days. Two plus two doesn't simply equal four anymore, it equals drawing pictures and writing a paragraph or story that illustrates what should be simple arithmetic!
Re: the comment about having three months off: as I recall, my child's last day of school in 2008 was June 19; teachers went back to work on August 25. Many of them did earlier to prepare thier classrooms.Will we ever hold in high esteem the very people to whom we entrust our kids?

Anonymous said...

Who said anything about teachers insisting on more pay? At a time when their efforts resulted in all kinds of success for our kids, when they should have been rewarded, they agreed to an extremely moderate contract.

Anonymous said...

Thanksgiving, Christmas, February, April, various Mondays, half days, etc.

Anonymous said...

I think "extremely moderate" would have to be a hefty pay cut. Not a smaller increase, but an actual cut. That's what a lot of people are getting right now.

Anonymous said...

Scare tactics. A page right out of the superintendent textbook.

Odin said...

"The TEACHERS need to think about what is best for the education of the children."

I don't necessarily agree with this statement. Anybody who goes into (and stays in) teaching obviously loves kids and wants what's best for them. But it is not a teacher's job to do "what is best for the children". That is the job of the Board of Education. All we can expect of a teacher is to teach. Not balance the budget, not decide what classes we can do without, not decide how many students is too many for one classroom.

Anonymous said...

"and we could pay less in taxes for teachers who love to teach."

Is this a joke?? Who in their right mind would WANT to be a teacher in this town where so many residents apparently devalue their worth to the community?

Love to teach?? No doubt many do, or did at some point when they were actually teaching--not playing social worker, cop, caretaker to the kid in diapers in the wheelchair or the six-year-old sociopath whose parents don't want to admit there's a problem, computer technician, loan officer (high default rate on these from the kid who never has a pencil or lunch money, of field trip money) and paper pusher with all the mandated reporting requirements for assessment data...

...all this and a hefty cut in pay?? No thanks, I'll pass.

Anonymous said...

i don't hear about the mayor of other officals willing to take a pay cut or work for free for a week or couple of days. i will home scool my child before i let her try to learn in an overcrowded classroom. keep the teachers cut the board of ed members.

Timing said...

It is evident that this is the time for less "woe is me" self-pity and more realization that we are in a crisis, which while most of us did not directly contribute to creating - we will need to collectively address, which will have a most burdensome effect on us and can only be resolved through mutual cooperation and not intimidation or accusation.

Anonymous said...

The smartest way to make cuts and keep quality in the schools is have less CHEIFS and more BRAVES .. We need start by getting rid of all the vice prinicpals, go back to the old ways ... there is absolutely NO NEED to pay two principal salaries for each school when one teacher in each school can is more than capable to step in as principal on days when the principal is out. Cutting teachers will mean more students to each class and hurt quality of education, cutting kitchen workers will mean less quality in food service available to our children, cutting custodians will mean the school conditions in which our children must spend 6 hours each day in will not be as clean and safe .. the Bristol School System is TOP HEAVY, there are way too many CHIEFS and not enough braves to get the work done. Do you really think the any school administrators are willing to roll up thier sleeves and help out in the kitchen or clean up after a sick child .. go outside in the cold to clear the walkways of snow or ice? Removal of those who actually get the grunt work done instead of those whos sit in their offices with their feet up on their desks collecting a large salary is the WRONG way to fix this .. the people should speak up and make sure unnecessary administrators making $80K+ a year are removed before the workers who actually keep the buildings running. What about all the unnecessary HIGH PAID administrators within the BOE? Why must we provide vehicles for some of them too? There is TOO MUCH WASTE in the system .. get rid of all the perks and watch the budget drop!!! WAKE UP BRISTOL!!!!!

I Support Education said...

How many cops do we have assigned to the school system-- 4-5-6?

Each one costs as much, if not more than a teacher.

While they are/maybe necessary, we should ask why.
With a car tied up all day.

And the why helps explain why teaching isn't what it used to be.

Anonymous said...

We need to exhaust all possible means before we lose any program or teachers. What ever it takes our students are worth it!

Anonymous said...

7:07--Have you BEEN in a school recently? Any school? I have seen many administrators do exactly what you claim they won't.

Assume you eliminate the vice principals and use a teacher to fill in when needed...WHO will be teaching that person's class when they get called out to deal with a crisis for a minute, an hour, or longer?

And who gets to tell a parent that the PPT needs to be scheduled in a few months because there just aren't enough hours in the day for one person to do all that needs to be done.

Spend a day shadowing a principal and vice principal and let me know how many feet you saw up on desk tops...

Anonymous said...

7:07 AM

totally agree....

Doug said...

They propose to cut 2 Administrators. This is not a serious proposal, it is scare mongering and protecting the interests of those in the establishment as opposed to the children.

There is an awful lot more fat in administration. Three years ago there were 25 Administrators Making $104,000 +++

Topping the list was the School superintendent. There was also a deputy school superintendent, an assistant school superintendent, a school HR director, a director of teaching, an athletics supervisor, 11 principals and 8 assistant school principals. All making between $104,000 to 152,000 plus benefits.

Doug said...

Steve, It is interesting that you say we should direct our Ire at the leaders and the politicians. With all due respect, you forgot one important one, the News Media.

Two years ago I made three presentations to the Bristol Council and Finanace committee warning about and predicting this train wreck. I had lots of facts figures and quoted Ct Economists. I was the one that brought the unfunded healthcare liability to the attention of those that were in charge of the budget (yes many were unaware of a report that had been available for a year and a halg)!

Your coverage of this taxpayer Ire.

Zilch!!! The public needs to be better educated about our Government fiscal problems. This should be Bristol Press's responsibility. How about it?

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! So you think we need to pay an $80K salary for someone to be available to schedule a ppt meeting? It would cost a lot less to have a few floating teacher assistants available to supervise a classroom while a teacher is filling in for the principal, it would cost a lot less to have a teacher assistant make a phone call to schedule a ppt meeting, or any other tasks that teachers needs done, not requiring a college education.

Like I said .. too many chiefs and not enough braves. When a boat is sinking, you toss the heavy stuff off and keep only what is necessary to survive ... all the XTRA administrators are not teaching the classes, cleaning the toilets, changing the garbage, making repairs to and keeping the building physically safe or making and serving the lunches .. it's time to lighten the load so our education system doesn't sink any further than it already has. It's time get rid of those who think paying high salaries to administrators to make appointments is more important than paying the teachers to teach and building workers to maintain a clean, safe environment for our kids. WAKE UP TAXPAYERS!!!!

Anonymous said...

Bristol parents and teachers alike are amazed that no one has taken a closer look at the top-heavy Bristol School administration. Numerous 6-figure positions have been created in the Office of Teaching and Learning in the past five years. Before we lay off much needed teachers, shouldn't we be cutting the excess fat that exists in the Bristol Central Office?

A percentage cut across board does not address this problem. How about an investigative story on the high salaries being paid to all the administrators in the central office and the Office of Teaching and Learning?

Steve Collins said...

The annual list of the 50 highest paid city employees is in the works. It's always got a large number of top school administrators.
But investigative stories like you seek are probably not in the cards for awhile given that we have only three reporters on our staff at the moment, one of them brand new.
There's no way to get the time necessary to look at anything in great depth until we have more people, which requires more subscribers and more advertisers.

Anonymous said...

If we can't afford to pay the teachers, how is it we can afford to build new schools?

Why build the new schools, if we don't have the teachers to staff them?

How many teachers could we afford to keep, and for how long, if we didn't spend $130 million or more to build new schools?

If the average salary of all teachers were $60,000 per year.
This $130 million of construction dollars would translate into supporting a total of 2,160 teachers.
Divided by 20 years.
These new construction dollars would support an additional 108 new teachers per year.

If we rehabilated our older schools rather than building new ones.
We would spend $100 Million rather than $130 Million. A savings of $30 million. This $30 million in savings would represent 500 teachers at $60,000 a year.
Over a 20 year period (500/20) this means we could support an additional 25 teachers per year.

Why are we building new schools on one hand, while simultaneously laying off teachers?

Seems like Bristol politicians need to rethink their policy decisions.

It's going to be a long, long time before the US recession\depression unwinds and finds a bottom.

Anonymous said...

Duh! D'ya think I meant administrators don't have enough hours in a day to make a phone call? Shows how out of touch many are with what actually happens day-to-day in our schools.

Local policy and state and federal LAWS and regulations require certain procedures and afford parents certain rights, especially with special ed...one of which is that the principal MUST be one of the participants at the meeting. I think the school psychologist has to be there too, but since no one wants to pay for them either, each is assigned to multiple schools and therefore only avaible for meetings one day per week per school.

We cannot continue to pass legislation and adopt regulations with little or no thought to the impact these "rules" will have on the schools.

As I see it, those who are the quickest to place blame and find fault are generally the ones who have limited, if any, first-hand information. Get the facts first; it makes your protestations that much more credible.

Anonymous said...

I see all the first-hand results I need to .. every year it's costing us more $$ for less education .. todays kids don't have a chance due to greedy decision makers .. if the tax payers don't have a say .. wonder how many admins are wasting my tax dollars posting to this blog on my dime, they are sure reading them because it's a daily topic in the office with coffee in hand, again on my dime.

It's time to put the BOE on a HEALTHY DIET, cut out the fat and build the muscle .. we deserve to get what we are paying for!

Anonymous said...

Schools are not like what they were when we were kids!

Spend some time in one and you will have your eyes opened!

I am not a teacher or educator, but I do mentor and see the real world.

Anonymous said...

Time has come you must pay to play Any sport or activity thats outside the normal class room........

Anonymous said...

Streifer for Governor he's doing what we pay him to do ,that's make tough decisions.In these tough economic times we all share the burden that has been placed on all of us,hopefully some of the pork in administration (board of ed )is addressed.........

Anonymous said...

WOW !!!!!!!!

The Unions are really in an uproar over this one .

GOOD !!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If parents do not want increased class sizes and teacher layoffs they should attend the Board of Ed meeting tonight, Wed. at 7:00 p.m. at the Board of ED on Church Street.This is too important an issue for parents not to be involved in the decision making! According to today's Courant, West Hartford is eliminating 4.5 supervisors of curriculum to save teaching positions. We should be doing the same.

Anonymous said...

I am still amazed at how the population in Bristol has stayed the same for 20 years - but the education budget has increased 200% over the years. How is that possible? Can someone please explain it me..Maybe a teacher on here? Is it that we have way to many teachers? To many programs that are not needed?

Anonymous said...

What about the non-education part of the budget? Increase?

bacpro620 said...

At one time we had one of the best school systems in the State of Connecticut. Now look at us, we are laying off good teachers. I think they are laying off the wrong people. why not police who sit on their butts in their cars drinking coffee and eating doughnuts?!

Anonymous said...

Don't you think it's been worth the 200% increase, now that our kids all are drug-free, never drop out, all get into Yale, and all get jobs with triple digit incomes?

We need some results for the amount of taxes we pay for education.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps results could be seen, if teachers could actually teach in their classrooms.

But, as stated before, they are too busy PARENTING their students, instead of the students' parents doing that work.

Everything is a teacher's fault, but when the parents don't read to their children at home, help them with their homework, spend time with them other than in the car shuttling them from one activity to the next, what do you expect?

Parents today aren't raising their kids. And, if they do teach them, they teach them that school doesn't matter, that it's ok to be rude to teachers, that it's ok to swear, hit, or yell to make your point.

Perhaps the extra funds that are needed could come from the parents whose children are the biggest drain on teachers' time....

Anonymous said...

I can't believe all the negative comments posted about the teachers of Bristol. This budget crisis is not the teachers or any other city unions fault. This crisis is a direct result of having too many people in Bristol who do not pay or pay very little tax (SECTION 8).How many kids in our school system are on paid lunch program and paid breakfast program?
The city should evaluate the cost of the lunch and breakfast program and start serving cheaper and healthier meals for families that can not pay for them.
I wish councilman Cockayne would fight for all taxparys as hard as he fights against the city unions. City union members pay taxes in this city which supports the school system for those families who don't pay a dime in taxes who benefit from the school system.
The city unions are not what is wrong with Bristol,poverty is.

Odin said...

February 4, 2009 5:00 PM:

Are you serious? Anything whose price has only doubled in twenty years is a real bargain.

Anonymous said...

It is a sad statement of the value a community places on education when only one parent shows up at an important BOE meeting last night to ask questions or speak for or against the proposed budget plans.

Anonymous said...

10:48 poster,

Keep twisting the facts! That's all you union hacks are good for!

Oh yeah..cant forget sucking the system dry and not caring about the taxpayer. Is alway's what are you going to give me!!!!

Anonymous said...

There are not many kids in Bristol on section 8 - kids on meal vouchers a different story. Meal vouchers don't add up to the amount of money we spend on education.

Anonymous said...

Why would parents go to a BOE meeting? Could they say anything to change the Superintendent's or BOE members' minds about any little thing? No. It's a waste of time. The parents are home teaching their kids what they don't learn in school anymore, or at a second job to pay for the Super's salary.

Anonymous said...

Sharpen the axe!!!

Anonymous said...

Not many kids who come from section 8,are you serious? Take a look at downtown Bristol!! We taxpayers provide some of these kids 2 meals a day for free. Union members pay taxes just like anyone else who has a job in Bristol. I can't believe people in this city who are outraged at city union members for earning a living but not outraged at a system that allows so many people who don't work to bleed the system dry. If everyone paid taxes in this city I guarentee we would not be in this situation. Bristol politicions need to take a look at the real problems of Bristol (poverty)and stop blaming all of Bristol's problems on the unions.

A Parent said...

Smoke and mirrors. The families who don't pay taxes have landlords who pay taxes from the rent money. So?

The real issue is that education has become too expensive. BOE budgets can't grow every year forever. There is a breaking point for the taxpayers. No, educators haven't caused this financial crisis, but taxpayers have reached that breaking point sooner because of the crisis AND BOE increases.

We all have to tighten our belts. This will be difficult for educators (as shown by their indignant responses on this blog) because they are not used to the word "no." That word should be used often and loudly. NO MORE! It's time for the people to stand up. We have reached our breaking point.

Anonymous said...

When 30% of Bristol students are on some form of lunch assistance there is a problem!!! A parent is correct, we should say NO as taxpayers,if you can't afford it you can't have it. Brown bag it!
Time to tighter our belts.

Robert said...

I agree with what a parent who wrote about education being too expensive but I disagree as to why it is so expensive.When taxpayers have to support a large part of it's community who collect state aid,don't work and send their children to public schools who then feed their kids 2 meals a day the system fails.
I also agree with a parent, it is time to say NO to increases in the BOE budget but it also time to say NO to the free lunch and breakfast program.

Anonymous said...

Right on Robert!!!
The school budget crisis is a result of a bigger problem in Bristol,too many people who do not work.

Anonymous said...

"The school budget crisis is a result of a bigger problem in Bristol,too many people who do not work."

...including the educators. Cut the fat in the administration, and let's see if we can do without some specialists and vice principals. Efficiency should be the goal. No more wandering to the post office at noon, not when you can go at 2:00.

Anonymous said...

Sounbds like Tom OBrien's message is finally starting to hit home.

And unless we make Bristol attractive to a diffrent group of people, it is only going to get worse.