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The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. How will the new student assignment plan balance diversity, stability, proximity and stability? How will Jim Merrill replace Tony Tata as the new superintendent of the state's largest district? How will voters react to a $810 million school construction bond referendum on Oct. 8 ballot? How will this fall's school board elections impact the future of the district?

WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui. While Keung posts information and analysis on the issues, keep us posted on your suggestions, questions, tips and what you're doing to cope with the changes in Wake's schools.

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Board not taking a pay raise

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Amid a painful discussion of looming budget cuts, school board members agreed today to not take a pay raise.

Staff had built into the budget proposal a 2 percent increase in salaries for board members. Board pay is tied into state pay raises for teachers, which staff is projecting to be 2 percent this coming fiscal year.

Board members said it wouldn't be right to take the extra money in light of all the cuts and potential layoffs.

"It’s more the gesture than the actual savings," said school board member Patti Head, fresh off her trip to South Africa.

The decision shaves $3,220 off the budget.

Board members currently receive $14,838 annually. The board chair gets $18,141.

Board members noted that they make much less than county commissioners.

Commissioners receive $18,405 a year. The board chair gets $21,585.

School board members pointed out that commissioners also gets benefits, which they don't receive.

As reported this week by Michael Biesecker, Commissioner Joe Bryan proposed that commissioners cut their pay by 10 percent until the recession is over.

Bryan's idea isn't getting much traction.

UPDATE

Click here for the online story.

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Thanks for the gesture, but to put it in perspective

Even if you hate the policy of the school board, I for one feel they deserve this raise. Rosa should get her whooping $13.35/wk added to her meager $349/wk salary and even Patti should get her $10.50/wk raise to complement her $285.35/wk salary. A grand total of $3220 or .0001% of the budget. After all, I believe they have their work cut to deal with the budget shortfalls. Of course, they could have made it easier on themselves...we all know how.
While a nice symbolic measure by the board, I do believe we have to put things in perspective.

Raise and MORE

I agree that the School Board members deserve this raise--AND MORE.  They truly work for pennies, and this is such a thankless job.

I would personally like to see a much higher salary for School Board members.  They obviously don't take this job "for the money" but it's PITIFUL how little they are paid.

I agree with both of you,

I agree with both of you, the salary should be commensurate with the job responsibilities.  If someone is not doing the job well, get rid of them  :)

School Board positions are full-time jobs (although I agree part of that is their own making).  Having them paid pennies while Del Burns is paid over $300K/year is absurd.

One additional thing I would add

I think school board should have at least 3 administrative assistants also.

Let's do "diversity" 100%

First, it was busing to achieve racial diversity. When that was ruled illegal by the courts, the BOE continued busing in the name of "socio-economic" diversity. Now that parents and taxpayers are revolting against that, the civil rights leaders and the N&O want to continue busing for racial diversity. It looks like we have come full circle. For those who insist that we have universal diversity, why don't we just have the government move all the minorities AND the economicallly disadvantaged folk around in ALL the neighborhoods. We have about 1 of every 8 citizens who are black and about 1 of every 3 who are poor. All we have to do is to move their residences around and put them in affluent neighborhoods and then we can have "neighborhood" schools again. I'm sure the white liberal members of the BOE will just jump on this train. I can't wait!

ROCKET69 don't give anybody ideas

ROFLOL - I'm just waiting for somebody to propose something like this at a national level, I can see it as a solution to fill foreclosed homes or empty homes that have been on the market too long. After all, aren't we all in this together. How can we let people go homeless when there is plenty of empty housing out there.

I bet some people read this and think I'm being serious. The one's that think it is a good idea though, are the ones that "scare" me. (and they are out there)

Let him leave

If Mr. Burns were a CEO, with the miserable performance of his wards (students), widespread dissatisfaction of his customers (parents) and abysmal ROI for his shareholders (taxpayers), he would have been on street ages ago. Why does our society vilify CEOs in the free market but tolerate poor performance by a CEO of a government monopoly? In the end, as for a public company, the Board is to blame since they hire the CEO / Burns and are responsible for his compensation. The coming BOE election should hopefully resolve this, then we'll have the task of turning things around since we have an entrenched bureaucracy put in place by Mr. Burns and his predecessor, 98% McNeal (his publicized claim for the high school graduation rate in Wake County - 98%).

Thank You BOE for doing the

Thank You BOE for doing the right thing

Del Burns' Salary

Why is no one talking about Del Burns' $314,000 salary? The highest payed governor in the United States makes only $180,000 and our President earns $400,000. Do Del's responsibilities merit a salary that is three quarters that of the President of the United States? How about a pay cut of $200,000 and retaining the positions of perhaps six or seven teachers?

Compare

Right or wrong compare this to the salary of the other top 20 (in size) schools in the US.  It lines up.

 

Busing Study

Support,

Not sure whether you saw the link I posted since it is no longer on the main page.  Here's an interesting public opinion poll regarding public schools, conducted by Stanford University:

http://www.hoover.org/publications/ednext/26380034.html

Particular attention to questions 14a and 14b.

If you know of any studies or polls of parental opinion which contradict this poll, please post.

So

When someone in another county refuses a pay raise he gets praised. But when our BOE does it, the CC gets ridiculed, Lisa B uses it to plug her other typical rant, and others find other ways to complain. Go figure.

Thanks BOE for making this decision. I would suggest the CC take a pay cut.

I have agreed with the Patti

I have agreed with the Patti Jr. speculation.  After looking through the archives you are a true *Lisa B stalker*.  Are the facts closing in on you?  Are you Patti H or just a parent worried about your lost Disney track-out trip that you cannot take when Leesville returns to traditional? It is obviously personal with you.  The truth hurts doesn't it? 

Yes, it is Patti!

We confirmed it with a computer fingerprint!

CC pay cut

Write CC members and tell them you want them to support Joe Bryan's proposed 10% cut. Maybe now that the BoE has set a positive example, the CC's will be more willing to move forward on Mr. Bryan's proposal.

I would like to see the BoE take additional positive steps and look at cutting in other areas, central office comes to mind, before they cut teachers and freeze school level positions.

I Won't Quit Until MYR Is Gone

Wow, supportwcpss, you sure are an angry person aren't you?

I can assure you that I will NOT stop criticizing MYR (my "typical rant") until it's done for good.....you can bank on it.

And

I will continue to criticize Mandatory Traditional. 

How About NO Mandatory YR OR Traditional?

I don't believe it's OK to force something on you.  Apparently you think it's OK to force something on others. 

Do you realize that before forced MYR there was actually a VOLUNTARY year-round option in Wake County.? It was very successful and in demand.  Evidently there was a problem with equal access to those seats, as seats went empty when there were people begging to get in.

Why Rosa Gill is upset about the demographics of a VYR program is beyond me.  If you truly make it available to EVERYONE, and all who WANT to get in do, and the F&R turns out to be lower at those VYR schools, WHO CARES? 

I think that WCPSS should see what the demand is for YR and then set the supply accordingly.  Why force ANYONE into an undesirable calendar when there is available capacity.

Because

you should always get exactly what you want.  Scares me to think about the next generation.

Hey supportwcpss: I'll

Hey supportwcpss:

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you chose not to read my post or commented to the wrong post.  In no way did I even come close to suggesting  "because I should always get exactly what I want" so I'm not sure where that comment came from.  You obviously don't know me at all.  I am someone who believes 100% in working for everything I get. 

Quite frankly, today's attitude of "it's easier to take handouts than work for something" really disgusts me.

What I was trying to say is, now we have a good opportunity to work with Supply/Demand.  Why don't we return to VYR, survey for the actual demand for YR, and supply enough VYR seats to meet that demand.  If that is done, and EVERYONE who wanted to be in a YR school has a seat, then the fact that the F&R at that school might be lower than others should not be an issue---SHOULD IT????  (there was a "cluster proposal" floating around last year that appeared to be a great hybrid solution)

If EVERYONE is given EQUAL ACCESS to getting a seat in a YR school then what is the problem if their F&R is lower?  If you had a chance to get in and chose not to, then DON'T COMPLAIN if their F&R percentage is "too low".

P.S.  You have chosen to remain "anonymous", so it's hard to take your comments seriously.  But, if you have a personal issue with what I am doing, feel free to contact me offline LeesvilleMom@aol.com  I am more than happy to speak with you. 

Scares me to think someone

Scares me to think someone so rude and negative is a parent too, but I will just have to pity your children since you seem to be beyond help.  Do they realize that you stalk strangers on the blogs too?  Creepy. 

Wow

Is this a detachment from reality or your alter ego.  You people sit here and say some unbelievable nasty things about the BOE and others who have opposing views and you have the gall to call us rude and nagative.

Absolutely amazing.  I would go back through all your posts but I don't have time time and the nasty ones are too plentiful. 

*Nasty ones are too

*Nasty ones are too plentiful*.  Ha!  Now isn't that awfully hypocritical of you.  Love to see the proof.

I believe we call 'em like we see 'em.  By choosing to stir the pot in such a hateful way you show your true character.  (More accurately, lack of character)

Yes WE should

WE THE PEOPLE should, at least that's what my civics class always said. Of course it also taught me I need to be cautious of political motives and be well informed so I can vote the right way. It also told me that once people are elected they are responsible to their constituents, not just their personal beliefs. I never saw a public outcry for manditory anything when it came to school scheduling. 

That's how (at least part of) my generation was taught, I was born in the 50's. Unfortunately few learned those lessons since then. What scares me is the generation that thinks they are entitled to anything other than those rights given to us in the US Constitution.

Good, we can agree on

Good, we can agree on opposing Mandatory anything.  Offering parents a choice is the right way to go.

Welcome back.  And we hope

Welcome back.  And we hope you don't ever stop fighting the insanity of MYR.

Do not attempt to figure out supportwcpss.  The rude and negative attitude is just a character flaw that she cannot control.

And

You forgot one.

supportwcpss steps up to reprimand everybody for having an opinion other than hers.

 

Never forget nor forgive.....

This should be a school PAC flyer in 2010:

"Lindy lied,
Good Children Cried,
all year long!"

If the BoE had any real guts, they would cut executive administrators pay 10% across the board.

Grand Gesture

Both boards should give up their entire salary and operate on a reimbursement for expenses (gasoline) basis only. That would be symbolic, meaningful and make more of a difference to the bottom line.

One problem

This idea would basically guarantee that you have to be independently wealthy to sit on the Board.  Is that your intention? 

To clarify my statement for you--

I don't think for example that Betty Lou Ward, Harold Webb, or Kevin Hill are independently wealthy but I am not privy to any of the members of either boards economic status.  Best as I can tell, some are currently working and others appear to be semi-retired.  They are all public servants and in tough economic times I don't think it is unreasonable for these members to be reimbursed for local gas mileage to local meetings.  Many businesses curtail their travel budgets for out of state travel during budget crunches and I hope WCPSS and CC have done this.   Out of town travel should be reimbursed as well and a per diem reimbursement for meals and hotels but only for essential trips.  I don't think we are approaching "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" at least I hope not.  

Paid public service

I really am not trying to argue, but they do work about half time at this position and get paid in the teens.  Of all the public service positions, this is not one that is overpaid.  If we want BOE members who represent the real people of Wake County, then they should be able to be compensated for the work they do.  That's all I am trying to say.

Are There Any "Real" Changes?

What about getting rid of wasteful MYR and all of the unnecessary busing that is being done to appease the diversity policy??

My fear is that they'll cut teacher benefits, take away from classrooms, and make decisions that HURT the children rather than face the facts and make changes that will have a REAL positive impact on the bottom line.

I hate to be proven right here, but as I think back to the past few years I can only expect more "scare tactics" to come out rather than positive changes that are "win-win" for the bottom line AND for the kids....

Lisa B

That would be exactly what they want you to fear.  Only its getting real old.

GOOD!!!

Now could you convince "Flip Flop Lindy" to do the same? Her lame excuse for not taking a pay cut was an absolute insult. Come on Lindy....afraid to share your wealth?

I'm glad there are others

I'm glad there are others who remember Lindy's Flip-Flop on MYR.  I hope there are lots of people who remember that when she is up for de-election in 2010.

Is this documented

Is this documented anywhere? 

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.
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