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Comment history

Teacher: Issue 2 not good for students

3. Tenure/Classroom sizes/ETC. According to the letter of the law with SB5, the only negotiated items off the table are wages & benefits. However, if the two sides are at an impasse, local governments come in and settle the dispute (as far as I could remember) the full text of SB5, is crazy long! Have arbitrators ruled too aggressively on behalf of unions for raises in the past? ABSOLUTELY! Should "negotiations" be conducted with the decider of conflict having bias? SB5 the way that it is written will have "negotiations" favored towards the administration/BOE side, with no power for recourse over disputed items. (as mediation, arbitration, & strikes currently do)
As a teacher, one of our greatest concerns is the arbitrary removal of a teacher with experience (and a higher salary) for one with less experience & a lower salary. In today's cost cutting days, this is a valid concern, IMHO.

Simply put, I will be voting NO on SB5, because I see it as hurting education, not my pocketbook.

The middle class that has chosen jobs that most would never want to do (cops, teachers, nurses, & firefighters) shouldn't be blamed for runaway government spending, and out of control politicians.

If you keep up on your current events, the same govt in Cbus that is concerned with saving money, just gave themselves raises between 9-18%!!!!!

October 18, 2011 at 8:18 p.m. suggest removal

Teacher: Issue 2 not good for students

To all the main provisions & points of contention for SB5.
1. "Merit based pay": goal is to promote better performances, & removed ineffective teachers.
Great Idea!, how is it going to be judged? by a state test score?? What happens if a student comes from another district and enters into a freshman level class without the ability to read? (Happened to me last year) Did i deserve less pay cause she failed the state test? (The one's who deserve less are the one's who shuffled her through.) As a content area teacher, with 29 other students in the same class, (including 7 with a reading level at least 3 grades below level) and very little training in literacy education, what can I do? Most people are not aware that this is not the exception of the today's classroom, but the norm. Is it a teacher's fault? partly, However, I firmly believe that the theory on how we educate in this country is flawed, because educators (or shop floor workers as lee called us) are not given input in crafting educational law. Former Gov Strickland proposed a law that would have made Algebra II and physics a requirement for HS graduation. In the same class as the illiterate student, I also had a student who first began dressing themselves in the 8th grade, yet that person is going to pass state tests, Sure!
I am first in line for a merit pay system that is fair & safe.
2. Health care & benefits: Obviously one of the most out of control costs, rising at many times the rate of inflation. I won't even touch this one with a 10 foot pole. I will simply say that when compared to educational levels, and salaries, the health care costs for teachers I believe are fair.
CONTINUED IN ANOTHER POST

October 18, 2011 at 8:13 p.m. suggest removal

Teacher: Issue 2 not good for students

Working in backwards order, so please bear with me.

Aztek519: teacher strikes are very infrequent in this area. What seems to the public as a strike over wages & benefits, usually includes much more. However, due to law, negotiations & contracts aren't public record to my knowledge. (this might clear up some minds on the issue)

Walter Sobchack: First off, awesome name! "this isn't nam smokey, there are rules, mark it zero." Countywide school systems make the most sense, but yes teachers would be opposed to this. However, I could imagine the uproar if someone from a more affluent district was forced to send their child to school with someone from a city school.

Dodge 2002: Couldn't agree more, lazy teachers need to go. However, you use too broad of a paintbrush when you say that once tenure is achieved, that most teachers quit working. In any profession, there are ppl who don't do their job, and they should be removed. 95% of teachers or more are awesome, caring & hardworking individuals.

857NafStrops: Get a new argument! teachers only work 9 months Ya, Ya, Ya. The why didn't EVERYBODY become a teacher? Also Mr. Pavlansky has been teaching quite a while to my knowledge, and I am sure that his years of experience & educational levels are comparable to the private sector (actually prolly much lower)

October 18, 2011 at 7:35 p.m. suggest removal

Hughes final check from the city exceeds $65,000

I agree that the payment is crazy, and would be the first to vote yes on a bill that limits the number of sick days & vacation days that can be traded in. (which SB5 kinda does) However, the tradeoffs that must be made, and the actual "savings" that will be made aren't worth it, IMHO.

September 30, 2011 at 6:30 a.m. suggest removal

Mahoning lags rest of the nation in wage increases

VindyYak, Like I said in the beginning, I am thankful and lucky to have a job, and to this point haven't yet experienced such a drastic change in lifestyle. I hear ya, and feel for your relatives, and it is not right. The people that caused and continue this economic downturn fell into S**t and came up smelling rosy. The point of my post, was to show that concessions have already been made. I simply want the TRUE facts to get out about SB5. It will save a whopping 400 million out of the 8 billion deficit that we are facing. I see SB5 as middle class cops, teachers, nurses, and firemen having to pay for greedy politicians bad mistakes. I have no problem supporting people that need help (the stories that you shared above). The problem that I have, is that when I go to the grocery store, see someone with a SNAP card, and pull out 5 crisp 100 bills to pay for the goods not covered by SNAP.
Sorry if the tone came across as complaining, was just trying to make a point.

September 30, 2011 at 6:27 a.m. suggest removal

Hughes final check from the city exceeds $65,000

Police, Fire, Teacher, & Nurses aren't to blame. It starts in Washington, with a gross mismanagement of money, which means less for the states, which means less for the locals.
With stimulus, unemployment, SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) increasing over and over and over the last 6-8 yrs, and no new taxes coming in, a high school economics student is aware that this is a failed business model.
People need assistance, I am aware, but the idiots that give money to wall street, let you be on unemployment for a decade, give themselves raises, and call a pre-planned withdrawl from Iraq a "cut" are the one's to blame, not the middle class workers (which most of the valley is).
VOTE THEM ALL OUT, They are crooks, and I'm tired as a middle class person, taking care of the rich, and the abusers of assistance programs*
*not everyone.

Where is my stimulus??

Democrats stink
Republicans stink
Tea partiers stink

These problems will continue until we WAKE UP and quit electing the same jack asses over and over. Until then... It will get worse before it gets better

September 29, 2011 at 10:33 p.m. suggest removal

Mahoning lags rest of the nation in wage increases

to dodge 2002: I am a teacher in a local district. I love my job, am aware that in today's economy that I am lucky to have one, and realize that even with the increases to my health care, I still pay WAY less than others. However I am in opposition to SB5 for many reasons.
First, obviously financial. If SB5 passes, it will get rid of educational raises (which are required to renew teacher's licenses, & not reimbursed), increase health care another 5%, and get rid of step salary increases. Let me tell you about the "raises" in the eight years I have been teaching. Total of 4% roughly 1000 over 8 years, or a whopping $125 per year BEFORE taxes. In addition, I have seen my health benefits go from 0% to 10%. Simply put, if it weren't for my master's degree (10k) out of pocket, and step salary increases, I would be making LESS money in year eight than year one. What private sector area would this apply to? NOT MANY.
Next, I am opposed to SB5 due to merit based pay, tied to a state standardized test. I have taught many students with special needs, and if they don't receive a passing score, then I am a bad teacher according to the state. Meanwhile, a teacher with honors classes, is a great teacher, because the students pass the test.
Finally, I am opposed to SB5 due to the lack of being able to bargain about working conditions (Class sizes) As the state & fed continue to cut $ to education, class sizes have swollen. This has a negative impact on education, due to the lack of one on one attention that students can receive. There is simply not enough time!
Believe it or not, I am a conservative (One of the admittedly few in education!) I agree that deep cuts, tough decisions, and sacrifices need to be made. I believe that I have already made mine. I am not asking for a raise, simply to stay where I am at. (as most of my colleagues would agree to)
I find it ironic, that the most of the public slams our educational system, but it's the 1st thing that is cut when money needs to be saved. Have schools spent unwisely in the past? Are their teachers who are overpaid for the effort that they put into their craft? Is there an need for increased accountability? Has the taxpayer been unfairly asked to shoulder too much of the burden? The answer to all of the above is YES.
In my opinion, two areas that should NEVER EVER be cut are military & education.

(I know that your post had nothing to do with teachers specifically, but I can not give my opinion on SB5 without the reasoning behind it.

September 29, 2011 at 10:21 p.m. suggest removal

City schools, after state criticism, developing plan for ‘better gains’

Until parents lead by example, and value education, the state, BOE, & Supt can make any changes that they want. People need to stop looking at someone who spends 7hrs with a child to raise that child. Its a problem in education in general, and higher poverty districts especially.

September 28, 2011 at 6:54 p.m. suggest removal

Youngstown Rugby Club growing into competitive program

Great, just what we need, another "sport" taking away athletes from real sports! :)

July 21, 2011 at 9:14 p.m. suggest removal

New LED traffic signals will brighten Mahoning Valley streets

Better yet, why don't they pave the roads. I'm sick of driving in one giant pot-hole

July 20, 2011 at 2:44 p.m. suggest removal

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