A fellow faculty member of my school posted the following article on Facebook yesterday.  I felt it fitting to address it in my daily blog post.

The article lists the options that are before Superintendent Walt Ruffles of Clark County School District as the state faces a near one billion dollar short fall of the budget for the next fiscal year.  The governor Jim Gibbons has called for a ten percent cut to all parts of the state’s budget to cut the short fall. The Superintendent of the Clark County School District (CCSD) has said that action would mean cutting over 2,000 across teachers in the district.  There are other options listed in the article as well to help, from cutting days from the school, which would also mean cutting the pay of teachers to compensate, which would require changing our contract.

Personally I think the superintendent is using scare tactics to try and protect his school district.  There are plenty of options out there to cut money from the CCSD budget.  The first would be to eliminate all nonessential positions inside the central administrative structure of CCSD.  There is a website that shows the salaries of people who work for the state, country and the school district.  There are so many consultant that have nothing to do with the education of the child that would save the district millions.  The administration could also cut the pay of themselves or initiate a pay freeze on the district.

Another option I have is to bid out some of the work done by district employees to private companies.  Specifically I am referring to the busing of students to and from school.  Building maintenance and other building support services could be hired out to private contractors and probably save the district some money.

They mention the possibility of shortening the school year as an option as well.  The article says by law we need to have 180 instructional days.  This is an out right lie in the story.  By my count CCSD schools have 176 instructional days and four teacher in-service or professional development days.  I would object to cutting more days from school especially since many of my days are taken away from me because of proficiency testing, credit checks, pictures and every other excuse under the sun.  We cannot afford to lose more instructional days.

There are other options to cover the budget short fall that don’t include raising taxes and fees, but I don’t want to get into those now.

Another thing that bothered me recently related to this topic.  It annoys me when people think there are certain jobs that are safe in a recession.  People like that are delusional.  All jobs are subject to reductions and cuts in pay during a recession.  People who don’t understand that idea are deluding themselves and don’t understand basic economic theory and practice.  I know I can lose my job because of a recession especially if I am the low man on the totem pole, which I am.

Comments, questions and topic suggestions are always welcome.  Have a nice day.

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