Tuesday, May 10, 2005

News flash! The unions support bigger budget.

Oh, yeah, that was a given, wasn't it? ;-)

A press release from the Metro Nashville Public Schools tells those just now crawling out from under their rocks that the three unions whose members' jobs depend on an increased budget, are all for-- an increased budget.

The release dated 5/10/05 from their Public Information Officer Woody McMillin is titled "Key Stakeholders Endorse Proposed 2005-2006 MNPS Budget" I would have defined 'stakeholders' as the children in the classrooms.

MNEA President Ralph Smith: "With this budget, we will have more of the tools and services we need."
Notice he says only 'more'. It will never be enough money, I'm sure.
SEIU President Don Driscoll: "When people think of a school district, they tend to think mostly about teachers and principals."
I would hope they think mostly of children.
United Steel Workers Union, Local 9426's Mary Eady : "Representing the men and women who are responsible for safely transporting thousands of Metro Nashville Public School students every school day, our USW chapter is pleased to support the proposed 2005-2006 budget."
Who's representing the children? See below.

And finally this from a person charged with advocating for the children:
Pam Garrett, Chair of the Metro Nashville Board of Public Education, said the support from MNEA, SEIU and USW “demonstrates a unified voice to work for children.”
Ms. Garrett, these voices may be unified but they're not the only voices that count, in fact they ought to be discounted. I'd encourage you to stay tuned into the voices of parents, and especially those taxpayers who are going to have to cough up that extra money. Some of us are wondering if we'll have much left to take care of our own children. Oh, yeah, and we vote too.

And lest this be considered some sort of anti-teacher rant. It's not. I know very well that we have hundreds of self-sacrificing, dedicated, and child loving people in our public school system. I'm just amazed at the public statements their representatives make. Perhaps some time in detention is in order.

5 comments:

Jon Crisp - Chairman Nashville Republican Party said...

Kay,
It would be useful if those with a conflict of interest would stop using the children of the Metro schools as a human shield. The facts are as follows:
Since 1985 we've had an 11% increase in student population in our public schools in Davidson County and a 600% increase in administrators! We've had an increase of over 250% in teachers to almost 7,000! The average pay of a teacher is now over $53,000 despite the "poor mouthing " going on over teacher pay. I hope your readers do the math...let's see...7,000 teachers...70,000 kids in the system ...equals class sizes of 10! Why are class sizes 20+? Its because half of the people paid as teachers are not teaching...they are "consulting". This is outrageous! Lets stand together against these vested interests and demand accountability. I am a product of Public Schools myself, and those who advocate for them in a blind fashion need to be aware that the evidence supports the fact that we have overwhelmingly supported our schools but that the management of those dollars has been disgraceful. If i were asking the poor and elderly on fixed incomes to "pony up" extra dollars from their already low incomes... I would be embarassed as these facts come out in the next few weeks. Did you know that Harry McMackin's last MNEA Union contract made a demand that the taxpayers foot the bill for 1/2 of the bill for any teacher that joins a health club? In this tax environment such a demand is outrageous, arrogant, and stupid. Best of luck on your fight... If there are those that want to continue to give these "Administrators" a blank check, be my guset but please don't expect me to stand by while you do it. Thanks for what you are doing. God Bless.

Kay Brooks said...

Thanks for visiting, Jon. I really appreciate the additional information you've shared. It's very enlightening.

Feel free to share any more you come across.

I have felt like I should be ashamed for even suggesting that they prove that they have, as you say, managed the money well. We're not allowed to question their professional expertise. And they have an excuse for it all.

When you've taking money from a family to provide a service to another family, you've got to be willing to prove it's necessary and account for it. At what point will the needs of my own children trump the "need" of these bigger budget proponents?

And so, these union reps 'unite' behind a bigger budget and I hear that door to real discussion slam shut. What chance does a mere single income family with a SAHM have, let alone G'ma?

Jon Crisp said...

Kay,
Amazing....Shock and Awe...this is the only way I can describe the reaction to my confrontation of the Metro Nashville School Boards budget requests last week. The numbers I quoted in the the Tennessean and City Paper last week were from their OWN documents. The outrage on their part was immediate and loud. After our ELECTED Representative asked for WEEKS for information that never came, the School Board was able to regurgitate volumes of it not in a day or two, ...not in hours..., but in MINUTES! After my appearance on the Phil Valentine Show, Woody the PR man came on to dispute the numbers... their man responsible for student attendance and census called my numbers "Wrong" and proceeded in an e-mail to dispute my asertion that we have 12,750 less children attending the MNPS's today than 1975, yet we spend $180 million more in inflation adjusted dollars that in 1975. (Note: If I did not inflation adjust the numbers, the real number would be close to $400 million!) Apparently after they revisited the numbers, they had to send a retraction because they found out I was correct. (Note: The only problem...they didn't retract the numbers on the radio...however the press has the retraction statement anyway). The hunger for taxes goes on and on doesn't it? The next Public Employees Union to make a request to raid the coffers is the Firefighters Union (After the Teachers)...They asked the Mayor last week for an increase of $13+ million dollars last week. Did you know that their budget was $60 million only 4 years ago and if approved this new request will put them at a $100 million dollar annual budget! Can we sustain this pace? Shocking...but again I ask, where is the leadership and proper ethical management of the peoples assets on the part of Bill Purcell? This attitude by our Public Employee Unions is PERVASIVE. The contempt I see them exhibit toward the average citizens of our community is common and without guilt. Be prepared for the legendary temper of the Mayor to manifest itself soon. The Unions and the politicians they own will attack the messengers soon, but Bill Purcell will have to decide if he is the peoples Mayor or the unions Mayor. It is becoming more clear everyday where many of our elected officials stand...with the unions not our families. Thanks for what you are doing.
sincerely,
Jon Crisp
Chairman
Nashville-Davidson County
Republican Party

Kay Brooks said...

Give us a heads up next time you make a public appearance like this. I can't always tune into Phil, but would have made the extra effort to hear both sides of this debate if I had known.

Wonder how it is I get some of Woody's PR and not others, like this correction.

People too easily forget that this money has to come from somewhere. It's not just a nebulous pocketbook somewhere else. When you take money from my family for your family, you better be prepared to justifiy it because you're essentially, asking my children to do without.

Is it still true that the union membership overall is shrinking in the private sector and so they are working even harder at increasing the number of union members in the government sector?

Jon Crisp - Chairman Nashville Republican Party said...

Kay,
I will be a guest on Teddy Barts Round Table on radio station
AM 1160 from 7am to 9am, Monday June 20. I'll be discussing the budget presentation made by Councilman Crafton as well as a proposal that will not come out until that day. I hope you all will listen. Of course..."Responsibly" Educating Children is the most important thing we do. How do we know if we are being successful? By using measurable goals and being accountable for our results. Lets work together for the good of all children.