cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Those of us in the Germantown School District are subject to the impact created by whatever is passed as a state budget. That will almost certainly include a reduction in state funding and it is expected to be between $500 and $600 less per pupil.
That thought led me to the current document that shows the agreement between the Germantown Education Association (GEA) and the school district. That agreement has yet to be posted but the 2009-2010 document is available and the pay scale has been increased by 1% according to my information.
There are 14 contract steps that determine where each person covered by the agreement falls, and there are 6 divisions within each of those steps that reflect the educational level attained by the teacher.
Division 1 of Step 1, the very beginning of the basic compensation ladder is some $34,815 +/-.
Division 6 of Step 14, the very end of the basic compensation ladder is some $72,773 +/-.
These dollar amounts do not reflect the school district’s required contributions for health care, retirement, long term care, dental care or life insurance. The contract specifies that WEA Insurance Trust (WEAIT) will be the only insurer programs that will be permitted under the contract. That, as you may’ve heard, is the trust that was set up by the Wisconsin Education Association (WEA) which is the union to which the teachers belong (or to which they contribute dues as if they belonged under the “fair share” language of the agreement). WEAIT offers very high cost health insurance plans since they are among the richest benefit plans available in the state. I am not aware of the specific costs in the Germantown system at this time, but I have seen the costs for comparable programs in other systems and it is not uncommon for those costs to exceed $20,000 per year for family coverage. That is but one portion of the contribution for benefits.
The people costs of the district budget are near 85% of the total budget. So, the reduction in state funding everyone knows is coming most likely cannot be recovered entirely from non-people costs in the budget. That will translate into lay-offs as we have all heard about in newscasts for the past several weeks. If the budget bill has not been passed, as may be the case depending upon if or when the fourteen missing senators return to Madison, then the district will be pretty much hamstrung as to what its options are for achieving a balanced budget.
No matter the position each of us may take politically, there promises to be a real and significant impact locally. Teachers will be impacted and students will be impacted and taxpayers will be impacted. School board members and district officials have some difficult decisions ahead.