BoE should restore teachers’ benefits

Recently I sent a letter to Fayette County Schools Superintendent Barrow and the Fayette County Board of Education. In the letter I asked to have the local supplement for health and dental benefits as well as the pay for two teacher furlough days restored to Fayette County Board of Education employees.

Restoring the supplements for health and dental as well as restoring the furlough days would total $4.4 million out of a budget surplus of more than $18 million.

That’s correct, the Fayette County School System has a budget surplus of more than $18 million.

Dr. Barrow and the Board of Education responded that they need to be cautious with future spending by waiting until November or December to see if tax collection projections are accurate.

While I appreciate that caution, I am also worried that promises to employees will be forgotten by December.

For this reason, I would like to respectfully request that the board vote for the return of the furlough day money and health and dental benefits as soon as possible, preferably before the first of the year.

While I appreciate the cautious approach to our financial situation, it will never be the “right” time to approve any spending under that approach. We can never be 100 percent sure that economic issues are not on the horizon.

I, and other employees, would like the county to take a small risk and approve expenditures that would help employees immeasurably.

I would like to make a request of Fayette County citizens: Take the time to contact Dr. Barrow and the members of the Fayette County Board of Education and ask them to restore the local supplement for health and dental as well as restoring furlough day pay for Fayette County Board of Education employees.

I know that it is time-consuming and difficult to be involved, but treatment of teachers is a cause worth fighting for. Our county is known for its schools. Many of us are here because of the outstanding schools. I’m sure none of us would like to see the quality of our schools decline. Remember that teachers are not asking for more, just a return to what we once had.

My wife and I are veteran Fayette County teachers. We have seen our workload increase as we adopt new curriculums, increase AP enrollment, teach more students, and have more duties and responsibilities placed upon us, all while having our pay and benefits reduced.

Our family now takes in $4,000 less per year than previous years because of these cuts. My wife and I are financially conservative and yet we are now living paycheck to paycheck. We are not alone among Fayette County educators.

Despite the fact that educators are incredibly dedicated in this county, eventually such a financial situation wears on you. My wife and I will continue to teach and will continue to teach at a high level. Not everyone will. Eventually the quality of teaching will decline in this county. This is the truth.

Fayette County has good teachers that will knock themselves out and teach at a high level through almost any adversity. Everyone has their breaking point. I know that the board and the citizens of Fayette County appreciate us, but at this point that appreciation must manifest itself in ways other than simple platitudes.

Mark Kienast
Peachtree City, Ga.

Fred Garvin
Fred Garvin's picture
Joined: 04/18/2010
They should sign up for Obummer-care

The private sector has been taking it on the chin due to the collapse of the economy for years. Obama's complete failure, ineptness, and outright lies to the American people have resulted in a stalled economy. The number of Americans who are 16 years or older and who have decided not to participate in the nation's labor force has climbed to a record 90,609,000 in September, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 154,000 Fewer Women Held Jobs in September with female participation in the labor force now at a 24-year low.

Now the bleeding-hearts want us to antagonize the BOE into making spending changes that are unsustainable. Have the teachers sign up for Obama-care and if there is actually a surplus in the budget, give it back to the taxpayers that were forced to overpay their taxes. If Obama-care is so great, every government employee should be on it, including p.o.s Obama and his family.

Cyclist's picture
Joined: 05/15/2007
Fred - The comedy of Obama Care

I see that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius conceded to the Wall Street Journal that the exchanges needed five years of construction and one year of testing, and instead had only “two years [of construction] and almost no testing.”

They'll just blame the Repubs.

Davids mom
Davids mom's picture
Joined: 10/30/2005
A thought

If the good citizens of Fayette County acknowledge that the reporting and financial situation of our school system has been in such a mess for so long - where is the ept, competent, and truthful transparency of the Republican leadership in this county?

NUK_1's picture
Joined: 12/17/2007
BOE Finance Dept

I wouldn't count on anything because they can't, well, count. Laura Brock and crew have consistently been so way-off anything resembling reality that the massive surplus could be negative 1mil in a week. Just give it a week or two.

No, this has nothing to do with the State of GA and funding cutbacks either.
Jim Richter/AmericanPatriots has been on this BOE issue for several years and is exactly right in what he has presented.

G35 Dude
G35 Dude's picture
Joined: 02/15/2006
Good Luck Mark

Good luck Mark. I've heard that Fayette Couty BOE employees are the lowest paid of the Metro area. Yet much is expected from them and they can't even get back what was taken from them. So how will this "found" money be spent? We'll be watching to see.

mltbmlcb's picture
Joined: 08/10/2006
Restore NOW

The BOE was very fast to take away benefits and pay. Now please be very fast in their restoration. My daughter is a teacher and struggles. She deserves better after all the years of excellent service she has given the BOE, not to mention the parents and children of Fayette County.

Davids mom
Davids mom's picture
Joined: 10/30/2005
If the money is there

pay those who are responsible for the results/success of our schools - THE TEACHERS!