MUSD will NOT cut teachers

There will be no layoffs of teacher positions this coming school year. About a hundred people cheered to this news at last nights meeting. T...

There will be no layoffs of teacher positions this coming school year. About a hundred people cheered to this news at last nights meeting. The district will pull from it's $9.2 million in reserves to avoid layoffs according to Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Gil Compton.

Some administrative positions have been eliminated, but all employees will keep their jobs, Superintendent Linda Callaway said. The governing board approved a motion to accept the budget proposal at Tuesday's meeting and is expected to give final approval to the plan at a meeting at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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  1. HOORAY!!!! This is the best news I've heard about budget cuts yet.

    Thank you MUSD for thinking long and hard and doing what's right for kids! I am sure that there will be sacrifices to make this happen, but I am also sure that those sacrifices are worth it to keep class sizes from increasing!

    Congratulations!

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  2. Great news! Thank you.

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  3. While this is indeed great news, everyone needs to temper their enthusiasm. The Governor's May Revise may force cuts back on the table if state revenues (meaning tax increases) don't come in as projected.

    Just a cautionary tone... We're not completely out of the woods yet.

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  4. Even if the May revise is worse they will not be able to cut CSR or lay off teachers because it will be too late. Though unfortunately they may cut other areas that will affect many people. We will just have to continue with our prayers and be patient.

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  5. Whatever! In the moment I glad to hear this as a parent. I was looking into a private school. I have one child who is above average and another that is below average to almost average...with the possible cut backs and class size becoming larger my little one could get lost. The child and I are working together at home with the below average subject. Thank goodness for the reserves. Savings is always a great thing. Great to hear it for the teachers!!! FEW..

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  6. During the meeting on Tuesday, there were a number of very disturbing events that occurred. As a member of the BAC I felt the “assumptions” list did not represent the true feelings of the BAC. There was not one person in the BAC meetings that favored eliminating the Assistant Principal position. This “assumption” list was a list of what the DO wanted, not what the BAC suggested. Almost every one of the items on the list was from the DO.

    Another reaction that I still do not understand is that of the cheering and celebrating by the teachers. There were severe cuts that were made to people’s lives that night, but the teachers obviously didn’t care about anyone but themselves. I am beginning to understand now why the public may have a hard time sympathizing with teachers and their pay. The teachers were balking at any cut even if it was 1%, but they are cheering when someone else’s pay is cut many times that.

    The biggest problem I have, is with the Governing Board. What is the purpose of the Board? It appears that they are puppets of the DO. I thought they were elected to serve the will of the people not the wants of the DO. Every item that is placed in front of them by the DO, they approve. If they are not going to think for themselves, why do we need them? They knew that the elimination of the Assistant Principal positions was not supported by the BAC, yet they went ahead and eliminated them anyway. I did not hear one member ask what the saving would be to cut them. How much was saved by eliminating those positions? Another problem with the Board is they Choose not to take questions or make comments about their lack of decision making. They also will not respond to emails. As elected officials they should make themselves available in some way.

    I ask if you are going to respond, that you put your name on your email so I don’t have to refer to you as anonymous February 26, 2009 8:36.

    Thanks,
    Jason Roth

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  7. Jason,

    The loss of CSR would be a huge blow to students, teachers, and our community as a whole. All parties are thrilled that CSR could stay, at least for now.

    Most of the teachers that were celebrating were NOT going to lose their job regardless. They were celebrating the saving of CSR which is a great asset to our schools and community. Please excuse the teachers' enthusiasm. They meant no disrespect to the difficult cuts that were made.

    The fact that saving CSR also kept65 people from our community in their jobs (for now) is also cause for celebration given the alternative.

    I do understand your frustration as you try to rationalize the decision making process. Your efforts with the BAC are appreciated by our community. I too would have questions if I felt my time, effort, and suggestions were not taken into account.

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  8. Jason,

    The answer to your question is in the title of the BAC - The Budget ADVISORY Committee with emphasis on 'advisory'.

    It is not your decision rather, you were asked as a community member for input. It is not the DO's decision rather, the DO is required to present assumptions to the Board for decision.

    The fiduciary responsibility for the Menifee Union School District rests with the Governing Board not the Budget Advisory Committee and not the DO. However, the Superintendent and the Assistant Superintendent of Business are required by California law to 'certify' the annual financial report to the State.

    Relax... you did your job very well and the ADVISORY committee advised the DO staff and you came up with some good recommendations.

    Sincerely,

    Anonymous

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  9. To Anonymous February 26, 2009 12:03 PM:

    Thank you for the clarification. I have never felt that the BAC made the decisions. I am fully aware the Board is the one that has the “final” say. The purpose of the BAC, according to the DO, was to present options to the Board so they could then choose the cuts. Where were all of the options? The only options presented were the ones from the DO in their “assumption” list. Were those the only viable options?

    Is the least important position in this District the Elementary Assistant Principal? Obviously the people I have spoken with and those on the BAC do not think so. So maybe it would be helpful for the Board to step up and convey the logic behind the cuts that they made. Explain why they made the decisions they did.

    I am not doing this for me. I want what’s best for my kids. And if you knew me, you wouldn’t have to say Relax….


    Thanks,
    Jason Roth

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  10. Attending the Feb 17th meeting might have clarified the assumptions. The public is encouraged to ask questions. I don't recall you speaking on this subject at the meeting of the 24th. VP's make somewhat more than teachers, about $100,000/year each. What alternatives would you have suggested? Reserves are cut to the bone. The district is looking at alternatives for temporarily substituting for the VP's.
    On another note: What does any discussion or diatribe about/against illegals have to do with the MUSD budget? It seems to me that too many people are going off on tangents based upon their own prejudices or agendas. I don't want illegals here either but the forum is not this particular blog.

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  11. Jason,
    Two board members that were known for listening to the people and "being available" were voted out in the last election by people who simply want "incumbants out" and new people in. It seems the voters are getting what they voted for. Victor and Phoebe are sorely missed.
    Do not forget, teachers in this district are also parents of kids in this district. The cheering is not just that 65 jobs were saved but that our kids will get a better education.
    As for a drastic pay cut over a job loss. There is room to be thankful. Some schools have had less that full time AP's all this year. It is not easy but we make it work. Most teachers work hard to support the school, the principal, and the parents. Many teachers have admin credentials and fill in when necessary. Committee's are a reality and teachers do much more than just lesson plans and homework before and after the bell rings. We are already making up for the cleanliness of our rooms and buying supplies. So be it.
    But, we cannot do without those extra 65. Your comment re: the "public's sympathy" is shortsighted. Our public in Menifee knows how hard we work and how much we care about their kids. A minority make disparaging remarks and bark loudly on blogs but mostly in this community I feel that Menifee has been supportive and understanding of what we do. At the least, most say they would not trade places and shut themselves in a room with 20 kindergartners or 32 5th graders. And, let's not talk about 34 middle schoolers bless their little hearts!
    Yes, we parents/teachers are very happy for the CSR issue. Our kids and the quality of their education were put first here and that is what counts.

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  12. Whoa...whoa...whoa! "We are already making up for the cleanliness in our rooms"... Give me a break.

    You and your Teacher's Union are the first to say 'keep cuts as far away from the classroom as possible'. So, when those custodial cuts, playground supervisor cuts, crossing guard cuts, aide cuts, and bus driver cuts are made... you 'elitist teachers' have the gall to say "we are already making up for the cleanliness in our classrooms"...

    WOW...WOW! You people are truly pathetic in your attitudes. What gives you that sense of entitlement? Do they teach that to you in college as part of your credentialling process?

    Why not go work a real job for a change and see if your 'leadership', 'mentoring' and 'coaching' skills can measure up to those in the regular non-unionized work force. Better yet...why don't you go hold a sign up at the Newport off-ramp that says 'I have to clean me classroom...can you please help me?"

    Unbelievable...truly unbelievable!

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  13. To the blogger on February 26, 2009 11:12 PM


    You know as well as I do that if Teachers didn't have their unions and were paid only on there performance then there would be very few teachers in the state of California. Out in the real world if you don't perform or basically do a good job (kids passing, test scores ect.) then you get fired or replaced with some one that will. But we can't have that now can we?

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  14. So we have people with anti-teacher agendas spreading their ignorance through blogs. Spew, spew, spew. Boy, some peopke sure have anger issues about teachers. Eliminate the venom and the substance of the "arguments" is certainly lacking. BTW: WHat does this have to do with the MUSD budget anyway?

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  15. Why is it when someone has an opinion there is always some pinhead that starts throwing out the word agenda? Look its not an agenda it’s fact if you go to any other profession and you do not do the job you were hired to do you get replaced.

    No one hates teachers. I, in fact have great respect for them. I could not go to a room with 20-30 kids and remain sane. However I do feel that people are tired of teachers always screaming, more money, more money, more money, and then threatening every one with, “the kids are going to suffer” speech. How about we ask the teaches to forgo any raises, bonuses, and salaries increases for the next 5 years. And tell the districts to put that money into the schools and for supplies. How many do you think are going to stand up and vote for that?

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  16. OK, I'm glad no teachers wu=il lose their jobs ~ Their education is expensive and they invest a lot of time, effort and money into our students AND our schools. I agree with Jason that cutting the 4 current AP positions is a questionable action. WHY did NO ONE seem to feel there is any FLUFF OR EXCESS at the DISTRICT OFFICE ~ For a district our size, do we REALLY need a superintendent AND 4 ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENTS who have numerous Directors working under them? I didn't see any suggestions for cuts coming from this area ~ the big question is WHY? IF APs are expendable, and they deal directly with the students and support the Principals, it seems to me that at least a couple of Asst Superintendents might also be expendable (and save a lot more per head count)!

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  17. Does any one know exactly how many directors are under each Assistant Superintendent? Also why does the Superintendent need 4 assistants can he/she not do their job on their own? Why? Is there any one that can tell me if cutting the fat is so necessary to help better educate our kids then why not put the infuses on the kids and not the district office jobs. I would bet we could very easily cut over a half a million dollars a year if we cut out those positions. If it’s not a good idea please explain to me why.

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  18. Just a thought folks, but most of the school districts throughout the county are having to shut down schools, lay off teachers, and eliminate CSR. Menifee didn't have to do that. Maybe that's a credit to the administrative staff that we have.

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  19. unreal... really.... even after all the hard work the district staff did to keep CSR and all the teachers jobs there are some that will continue to complain. The postions at the district are needed, the Ditretors positons are the one the run the departments. Which in some cases can be over 70 employees. Most bloggers don't understand what others do when it comes to the Jobs of others. It is easy being outside looking in. To all the unhappy people out there..... If your not happy with your job, it may be time to move on...

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  20. Wow calm down lady, I do beleve that all every one is saying is before there is anything taken from the kids other peaple need to go. that's all take a chill pill have a glass of wine and relax. you sound like my x-wife.

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  21. Its interesting how some people attack teachers who only want to be appreciated and paid for all of the years of their education and continuing education they put into their teaching careers. Children do suffer whe you pack their classrooms with undisciplined children. And until the schools can hold parents accountable for being good parents at home then how can u hold schools accountable. Learinig doesnt begin or stop in the classroom, you morons!!!

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  22. MUSD has 3 Assistant Superintendents - 1 for business services, 1 for personnel, and 1 for curriculum. This is the bare minimum and are completely different in the responsibilities. Combining any of them would be akin to assigning a lawyer to take on a doctor's responsibilities. Some school districts are "administratively top-heavy." MUSD is not one of those districts. These administrators are responsible for a budget of 10's of millions of dollars and several hundred employees.

    BTW: It is unfortunate that people must inject name-calling into their arguments. It weakens any valid points that they may actually have.

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  23. If people are concerned about the way that teachers get to keep their jobs even when they don't do their jobs well, maybe we should introduce some competition in the mix. Privatize the school system and let the schools be run like businesses. Then you'll be able to see if it makes a difference in how teacher's teach.

    BTW, I don't think that teachers are the problem. I think that teachers are held accountable for the lack of parenting that goes on (which is unfair) and I don't think that they get just credit for what they DO accomplish in the classroom.

    Generalizing about teachers is no better than generalizing about anyone else. Sure there are some who aren't good at it, but that is true of every profession. Many of us accepted the challenges of teaching when we chose the profession. Many of us would take pay cuts to have smaller classes. Many of us forego the luxuries of the regular workforce so that we can work longer hours than we get paid for, spend thousands of our own money for classroom supplies, and put up with the blame-game that many people play because we are dedicated to what we do.

    Careful not to judge us all. And careful when you think that teachers are at the heart of the trouble with today's education. In my opinion, teachers are the only thing that's keeping it afloat.

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  24. Teacher Quality Said To Be More Effective Than Class Size In Student Achievement.
    In an opinion piece for the Washington Post (3/2, B2), Jay Mathews writes, "Here and in the rest of the country, school superintendents who have been forced to raise class size hope they can reduce the number of students per class when budget troubles ease." But Mathews questions "whether that would be the best use of our tax dollars." For example, if Fairfax County schools were to receive "a surprise $44 million from the federal stimulus package this summer," school officials "could make each class, on average, two students smaller, or it could do what some high-achieving schools do: Keep class sizes large and focus instead on more energetic recruiting and training of teachers." Mathews adds that he has "have seen some high school teachers keep as many as 50 students moving forward, with enthusiasm, in challenging classes." They accomplish this by making lessons lively and encouraging students to "adopt a team spirit to support each other as they learn."

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  25. From the Press Enterprise:

    “Lesson in Solidarity.”

    “Some Inland schools administrators use furloughs, cash donations to cut own pay”

    “Olsen-Binks, who earns $195,000 a year, offered to give up five days in her contract. She will work those days but not get paid.”
    “Corona-Norco Superintendent Kent L. Bechler plans to donate $50,000 of his $250,000 salary to his district, giving back $25,000 each year for the next two years.”

    Leading by example can be a positive tool.

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  26. Pay me $195,000 and I'll rebate 5 days. Give me $250,000 and I'll rebate $50,000.

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  27. It's great that the decision caused so little upset in the classroom and community. I'm glad the school had a healthy reserve to draw from, this year and that no one lost a "job". I hope it's realistic and sustainable, given the economic trends.

    This has been a great educational exercise for me personally as I researched some of the suggestions and comments on this blog since the 'crisis' was announced. It seems to me that there needs to be some major reform in school funding and local administration.

    Making good local decisions based on the existing state and federal funding streams is really hard if not impossible, and seems to hamper the flexibility of local controls that the public doesn't really see. I don't think we'd like Temecula or the city of Riverside telling us how we should run our schools, but yet we're complacent with Sacramento and Washington DC calling the shots? Why have local districts at all if the critical funding decisions are dictated at that level. Isn't local better?

    I don't know the answer, but surely there's enough brain power to form a think tank of people who really want whats best for the children and community of Menifee.

    I also can't believe that teachers in Menifee feel the need to be represented by a union. Someone really needs to explain to me what added value there is, besides political action. What's the ROI on that? Why aren't more teachers free agents. Are there a lot of issues that require union representation?

    Also, I have to respond to Mark who posted that teachers "only want to be appreciated and paid for all of the years of their education and continuing education they put into their teaching careers." I'm guessing that Mark might be a teacher. Public school teachers are employed by the public. If any teacher for one minute thinks that taxpayers should be paying them back for their investment into their own career choices as well as their additional investments to enhance their careers, then that would highlight the second major reform that's needed in our school system.

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  28. To anonymous March 02, 2009 8:57 AM:

    Look at it as a percentage not the dollar amount. Would anyone employed by MUSD be wiling to give up 10% of their pay?

    If so, please step up and be the first. Maybe others will follow.

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  29. "Teachers are public employees..." This is too simplistic of a generalization. Check and you will discover that until a few decades ago (not that long ago), when teachers began being covered under collective bargaining, they wre paid next to nothing and had no rights worth speaking of. Under thos conditions, you wouldn't have any teachers today worth speaking of.

    Looking at percentages is a fallacy. Fixed bills are in dollars, not a percentage of income. It is a fact that larger salaries can absorb largere hits. The government recognizes this fact when the percentages of taxable income rise with income earned. (Don't go off on how the middle class eats it in taxes because this blog doesn't deal with that subject.) Would I give up 10% of my pay? If my bills went down a like percentage, then I would.

    Teachers are NOT free agents. After a certain number of years, there is NO moving about districts without taking a HUGE hit in pay (if the other district will even hire a veteran teacher at all). Manny Ramrirez is NOT a teacher.

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  30. 1) "Would I give up 10% of my pay? If my bills went down a like percentage, then I would."

    Aren't you in control of your bills?

    2) "Check and you will discover that until a few decades ago (not that long ago), when teachers began being covered under collective bargaining, they wre paid next to nothing"

    Yes, that is when teachers taught because they loved teaching.

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  31. If you think that teachers get into teaching for the "fame and fortune" of teaching, I disagree. I think that MOST teachers get into teaching because they have a desire to teach. In fact, when I was going to school to learn to teach, we joked about getting into teaching IN SPITE of what we'd eventually get paid.

    California pays it's teachers pretty well compared to other states, but other states still manage to retain good teachers. Maybe the inflation of teachers salaries in California needs to be addressed along with the administrative overhead. Teachers in our neighboring state of Oregon make nearly 25% less than teachers here and the cost of living difference does not justify that large of a difference.

    And before the question of credentials arises again, Oregon and California are reciprocal states which means that they both require the same thing to enable their teachers to teach. So Oregon teachers merit the same pay but they are paid much less than California teachers.

    Are teachers in Oregon getting ripped off? Or are teachers in California overpaid? Just food for thought.

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  32. To all the union bashers and to answer a question Jason asked... There were many teachers who were all for a 5%-10% cut in salary across the board (from Superintendent to part time lunch supervisors) as long as it was everyone in the district. However, the union said this was not a good idea because it would mess with retirement benefits. In other words, many were willing to sacrifice for the good of the students and to save other's jobs but the people running the union would not consider this option.
    Please don't judge the selfless teachers by the union that some choose to represent them.
    Also, if a teacher decides not to join the union they still have that money come out of their check but it goes somewhere else. The benefit of joining the union is legal support and advice if it is ever needed. In this day and age of sue happy people some feel it is better safe than sorry.

    Jason,
    Thank you for your time and support of the students. It is a sad fact that the governing board and the DO protect each other and didn't take into consideration some of the recommendations of the BAC. I would really like to know what all of the recommendations of the BAC were.

    KC

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  33. MUSD is proud of having most if not all its teachers "highly qualified" as NCLB has dictated teachers should be. This means that teachers have degrees in the subject area and/or have a masters degree. \
    Step and column in this district is very limiting if you do not have a masters. A fiscally wise person gets the masters because it will affect their retirement in the end and again, the district has Highly encouraged it.
    One's seniority on the job can be affected if one is not "highly qualified."
    A decent, real, masters degree costs about 20 to 25,000 last time I looked. Teachers cannot access the higher pay until they get the extra degrees or certifications. They "bottom out" on the pay scale. Yes, COLA is given to them no matter what but 2% most ofthe time does not cover "cost of living increases. And, 2% of 40,000? Not a huge amount.
    Many teachers have horrendous school loans from college. You cannot be a teacher without the degrees whether you "love it" or not.
    The high average of 60,000 is not reached unless you are there for at least 10 years and have the degrees which means you have the student loans.
    Who can support a family on that in CA? Isn't that why LA teachers are paid incredibly more than even Menifee? Because NOONE wants to work in LA. NOONE can afford to commute to LA. or any of these CA communities like SF, SD, even Orange County. No one wanted to work in Menifee when I came here. Now, everyone is here and we want to be one of the best districts in Riverside County.

    Don't give me that Oregon stuff! My sister worked in LA as a teacher. It was a no win situation. San Diego was not much better.
    We need men in teaching. We need men on campus, in classrooms, setting good examples, and being there to balance the environment. We have some, but not enough. Why?

    Because men know you CANNOT support a family on the salary. Both parents have to work full time, the daycare is outrageously expensive, etc. etc.

    Give it a rest. CA pay for teachers is not comparable to other states. It is set to keep and maintain good teachers in a state where it is tough to teach and tough to stay middle class.

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  34. to: Anonymous, at March 02, 2009 8:24 PM

    To see the BAC recommendations go to the MUSD website and click on the Budget Advisory button. Look at both items shown dated Feb. 12.(The presentation and the minutes)

    The last two lines of the minutes shows the agreed recommendations - 1)Recommend the foundational "Assumption List" to the Governing Board and 2)PRESENT a list of additional programs (see above) - for the Board to consider in making additional cuts IF NEEDED. The good news is that they were not needed.

    From what I read I don't see this "District Office/School Board" agenda, I see them working together with a shared concern to try and keep the cuts away from the students and save jobs. I am greatful for their work and think that they should be commended.

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  35. To March 03, 2009 10:01 PM:

    Many families are supported on less than what a teacher's salary is.

    So the answer to your question of who can support a family on $60,000, is many.

    The average household income in this area is less than the average teacher's salary, and most of the benefits in the private sector aren't near what they are in the public. So this "poor me" attitude by Some teachers is getting old.

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  36. Anybody who says that teachers are not responsible for student failures has not read ANY research on the subject. Blame it on parents if that makes you sleep better at night, but the research clearly disagrees with you and there are thousands of counter-examples across the country.
    Research says that three consecutive years with an above average teacher puts students in the 89th percentile. Three years with below average teachers puts them in the 31st percentile. One of the speakers at the budget meeting said that the quality of the teacher has 5 times the influence of all of the other factors combined (including socioeconomics, race, gender, parent education, english proficiency). Turns out that it is actually TEN TIMES the effect of all of those other things combined.
    A study in Tennessee found:
    "- The effect of teaching on student learning is greater than student ethnicity or family income, school attended by student, or class size.
    - The effect is stronger for poor and/or minority students than for their more affluent and/or white peers, although all groups benefit from effective teachers.
    - The effects accumulate over the years."

    In Texas, they found:
    "Teacher quality differences explained the largest portion of the variation in reading and math achievement."

    All you ignorants who think that the district office is "top heavy" . . . they knew about the power of teaching and you didn't! That's why they work there and you don't! (No, I don't work for the district office. I am a concerned parent.) Keeping teachers and having a competitive salary schedule to attract highly qualified teachers is THE BEST strategy for school improvement. I get so sick of people who think that because they went to school up to the 8th grade, that they are experts in how schools and district offices should work. Administrators don't tell you how to twirl signs or flip burgers, so you don't tell them how to run a district office. If you want to run a district office, then go to 5 years of college (minimum) and rack up $50,000 worth of student loans, teach for 10 years, get your Master's Degree and administrative credential (another 2 years of college and $60,000 in loans), be a principal for 5 years, get your PhD (another 4 years and $60,000), and then see if you still think that $100,000 is too much pay and that there are too many of them.

    Thank you to MUSD for protecting your most important asset, teachers.

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  37. To March 04, 2009 3:05 PM:

    "Keeping teachers and having a competitive salary schedule to attract highly qualified teachers is THE BEST strategy for school improvement."
    That must mean CA has the best teachers in the Country, because they make the most.

    "Thank you to MUSD for protecting your most important asset, teachers."
    Oh, and I thought the kids were the most important asset. I have this all mixed up.

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  38. In response to the 8:32am blogger -
    The average family income in Menifee is actually $62,000. That isn't a lot of money anymore. Especially in California! Family size and needs vary greatly. It isn't easy to support a family in Southern California on 60k. It is doable, but difficult. Teachers making 60k have been teaching awhile - about 10 years. Remember that is only an average. Newer teachers (which make up a considerable number of our teachers) make significantly less! Some of the newer teachers work more than one job to get by. If I wasn't married, I'd never be able to support my children let alone myself on my salary. None of us went into this profession to make the big bucks! We teach for the enjoyment, fulfillment, and the for the love of the kids.
    You mentioned the "poor me attitude" you feel many teachers have. I think the reason you would get that impression is that many teachers are defensive as a result of some of the blogs on this site. We are hurt by some of the disrespectful and irresponsible comments by a very small few in the community. All I can assume is that some of you have had a bad experience with your child's teacher. If that is so, I'm really sorry and disappointed to hear it. Those type of experiences are so unfortunate. Please don't judge all teachers accordingly. Most of us work incredibly hard, and are very proud of what we do for a living, and we put the kids first. We have spent a lot of our own time and money on our education. We have put a lot of love, emotion and energy into our careers so that we are highly qualified to teach your children.


    In response to the last blog - teachers in this state do make a little more than teachers in other states because it is unbelievably more expensive to live in this state. I'm from out of state, and believe me when I say that your dollar goes much farther in other states!

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  39. To March 04, 2009 7:48 PM:

    Thank you for agreeing that teachers are better off than the average family in this area. As your numbers indicate the average family makes what the average teacher makes. So maybe that is why people have a hard time sympathizing with teachers when they complain they are under paid.

    As far as living out of state, I haven’t met many people here that haven’t lived out of state. I would be willing to bet the cost of living in most areas of California, are less than many other states today. I know the housing is less expensive in California than it is in many other states.

    I do know the taxes are higher in California than almost every other state. So I guess if you take that into account as part of cost of living you may be right?

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  40. The cost of living in only one state is higher. New York. and housing prices in California are the highest in the nation, even when times suck like now. In some of the decimated Detroiy neighborhoods, houses are going for 18,000. No that wasn't a misprint. 18,000. My parents paid more for their house when they bought it in 59. Very sad.

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  41. Teacher's salaries in California are 17% higher than the nation's average, and that accounts for cost of living. 35% higher without.

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  42. Jason,
    If you are still following this I would like some clarification.

    I read the assumptions list provided by the BAC but you stated that most of the assumptions were from the DO and that no person on the BAC favored cutting elementary assistant principals and that most of the BAC suggestions were ignored and that the assumptions list was what the DO wanted. What were some of the suggestions the BAC had that did not make the assumptions list?

    KT

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  43. It looks like our kid’s education lie in the hands of a rookie assemblyman. Because of lack of planning and foresight, our District will have to rely on Brian Nestande to push through AB 871 so we can receive $2,000,000, already included in our budget, for operating a year round schedule.

    The following is from the Press Enterprise: “Menifee applied for and received funding from the grant in the past, but did not apply in 2007-08 because district officials did not think they could demonstrate the financial need the grant required, Compton said.”

    Was there a reason the District did not apply? What was the worst that could have happened if they did apply? The District would not have received the grant. Looks like that will probably happen anyway.

    Now we have to hope this one of over 1,500 AB will pass in a very tight economic year. It would be interesting to hear the typical excuses from the DO on why they didn’t apply and now the District is relying on an AB for the grant money. Would someone in that office step up and admit responsibility for dropping the ball? And if so would there be any repercussions? Or is it just another day in a typical public office?

    Another item in the article is the amount of money being sought by the District. The PE states: “Under the program's funding formula, Menifee would eligible for about $4 million, but the district is seeking about half that amount, Compton said.” If the District is eligible for more and the AB actually passes, why are they only requesting half?

    I guess we had better hope this bill passes, otherwise we will need to cut another $2,000,000 from our kid’s education for a mistake that could have easily been avoided.

    ReplyDelete
  44. The $2 million is NOT already included in the district budget for 2008-2009 or 2009-2020. Applying and not qualifying would have been a mistake and hurt the district's chances of receiving furture grant funds. The district is requesting only $2 million to enhance chances of passing the bill. 1/2 a loaf is better than nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Quote from Anonymous, at March 14, 2009 9:38 AM:

    “Applying and not qualifying would have been a mistake and hurt the district's chances of receiving furture grant funds.”

    Quote from PE:

    “The school district applied for state grant funding more than a year ago, but was shut out of the program after the Legislature passed a bill phasing out the year-round operations grants, said Gil Compton, Menifee's assistant superintendent for business services.”

    Okay to apply one time but not another?

    "The district is requesting only $2 million to enhance chances of passing the bill. 1/2 a loaf is better than nothing."

    If the bill is asking for $4,000,000, that is what is being negotiated and voted for. So wouldn’t the bill have a better chance if it were only asking for $2,000,000?

    ReplyDelete
  46. Teachers make good money and they do disserve what they get. However I feel it is time that all the teachers in the state stop beating on the chest of the tax payers demanding more money. Live within your means and have some pride in your work. It seems that every year I hear that teachers are going to walk off the job if the state or their districts doesn’t give them what they want. YOU HAVE ENOUGH now teach your ass off and make our kids the best in the world. It all up to you.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Teachers are not demanding more money for salaries. If you learned comprehension when you were in school, you would understand that they are demanding that jobs not be eliminated. If your's were on the line, you would do what you had to do to keep. Any statements to the contrary is a blatant lie.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Unfortunately, the attitude expressed by March 16, 2009 9:53 AM is very common. "It's all up to you." People want to complain and unfairly criticize those who teach and then throw statements like the above around. It's NOT all up to the teachers - or it shouldn't be. 9:53AM probably drops his/her child(ren) off at school and then goes home to watch the soaps, all-the-while expecting "the teachers to do it all."

    ReplyDelete
  49. To 5:15 it is only this go around that teachers are worried about there jobs. I was referring to the last ten years. So please don’t simplify the problem with just you and now. It is a problem that has been building for years.

    To 6:26 just to let you know, I volunteer one day a week at my kids school, I coach there sports teams and spend at least an hour four days a week doing home work with them. My fifth grader is an honor student and my first grader is well on his way. I would ask that you not display your ignorance for the world to see. If you don’t know me then don’t judge me. I simply offered my opinion. And by the looks of it I seem to have struck a nerve.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Every parent claims to spend lot's of quality time with their kids and it is every one else who is the problem. Give me a break, the vast majority of the failings of students falls into the laps of parents. every time there is "education reform", teachers and schools are the one's handed the blame. When will we as a society start putting blame where it belongs, at home. If your children are not passing in school, why do they have cell-phones and video games. Why do older kids have cars when they can't adhere to your educational expectations. Why are schools responsible for teaching kids social skills that mom and dad should have taught them. If you are pointing fingers at the schools, you are part of the problem. The bigger issue is the lack of parental responsibility. Too many "friends" not enough good parenting. When parents do their jobs, then you can start pointing fingers elsewhere, until then it is time to suck it up, and expect more from parents.

    ReplyDelete
  51. To March 17, 2009 10:10 AM:

    Finally, a teacher that admits they are as important to our kid’s education as the security guard or the street sweeper. All this time the teachers have been telling us they are in a select group. Without them our kid’s future would be doomed! Thank you for admitting that anyone can be a teacher and our kid’s future rests at home.

    ReplyDelete
  52. To 10:10

    I don’t claim to “spend lot's of quality time with my kids” I do. Neither one of my kids have yet to be reprimanded or disciplined in any way. There are parents out there that are doing a very good job at raising their kid’s right. And for you to generalize all parents as bad parents is deplorable and shameful. You sound like a very bitter teacher that can’t control a few of your kids in your class, so I guess we should blame all parents. If you can’t do your job the way you were trained to do it then quit and maybe we can get a teacher in there that cares for all the kids in the class and has the balls to deal with the few kids that cause problems.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I must be missing something, because no where in the posters comments at 10:10 do they state they are a teacher. Yes a little unfocused, but apparently people are reading into things. I teach, and I see what they have seen. Every child isn't bad, duh. To the postrer at 11:13a, you are a complete and utter idiot, so leave the discussions to the adults and go back to watching TV. To the poster at 12:00 pm. Good for you, you are an active parent. It isn't anything you should be patted on the back for, you just do what parents should do. Unfortunately, many parents are the complete opposite of you. Not all, but many. Teacher's have heard the rallying cry of "Reform" for years, yet there is never any actual reform. Usually it is fingerpointing and most of the reccomendations are for what the system can do. Why is parental responsibility not a part of the picture. Collaboration is the key to success, but when was the last time you heard a politician utter any reccomendations for parents other than to "read with your child". I spend hours with my children helping them learn at home, through homework, etc... yet there is a growing complaint by some that parents shouldn't have to assist their children, it is the teachers job. Now I know you probably dedicate alot of time to your kids, but acknowledge the fact that you are not every parent. Education has unfortunately been devalued in our society. When kids have issues or problems, many parents blame the teachers. Many times the problems do originate at home and schools are left to pick up the pieces and work with what is left. You are the type of parent schools need and want. The poster at 11:11a is what schools tend to get. Teachers lay the foundation, parents solidify and emphasize the skills, and together your children, my students find success.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Teachers shouldn't have to deal with your problem children. If you raise them right, students and teachers can concentrate at the needs at hand. If you have a child that acts up in school, the parents are the problem and they shouldn't blame anyone else.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Let’s give all of the credit to the teachers when the “good” kids succeed and blame the parents when the “bad” kids fail.

    ReplyDelete
  56. "Let’s give all of the credit to the teachers when the “good” kids succeed and blame the parents when the “bad” kids fail."

    Now, now, now. It's a partnership (supposedly) between teachers and parents (and the children, lest we forget). Credit or blame is shared among all.

    ReplyDelete
  57. When your child acts like a fool in school, is a discipline issue, etc... yes, you are, as parent, to blame. Most teachers give credit to parents for all the successes that schools achieve. when schools succeed, communities succeed. If you want to continue being a crybaby because society expects teachers to teach and parents to actually act like parents. Hard concept huh?

    ReplyDelete
  58. Obama is calling on parents to do what no government program can: "There is no program or policy that can substitute for a mother or father who will attend those parent-teacher conferences or help with the homework or turn off the TV, put away the video games, or read to their child. Responsibility for our children's education must begin at home," he told a joint session of Congress
    Here are five steps you can take now to heed the president's call:
    1. Read to your child
    2. Make time for homework
    3. Manage access to media
    4. Attend school events
    5. Volunteer at school

    ReplyDelete
  59. MUSD will NOT cut teachers

    How did this blog meander so far from the original headline?

    ReplyDelete
  60. Third-graders from Menifee's Callie Kirkpatrick Elementary School got to peek into a tide pool Wednesday, examine some of the creatures who live there and learn about their habitat during a visit to Crystal Cove State Park in Orange County.

    Why couldn't they just read about it in a book? Save the money!

    ReplyDelete
  61. This was a "virtual" field trip for the 3rd graders at Callie Kirkpatrick - they never left the classroom and it didn't cost a dime.

    You seem to have missed the whole point of the article that was written about it.

    ReplyDelete
  62. To March 19, 2009 3:52 PM:

    Obama also called for teachers to be evaluated and have compensation based on merit. Unions will have non of that. Teachers want to be judged on length of service not their quality of teaching.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Teacher's want parents to be held as responsible as they would be. Teachers would also be more supportive of Merit pay if Obama and the Government would deal with the challenges taht are faced in inner city and poor schools. There are a significant number of teachers who are great at what they do, but would be unfairly punished due to social circumstances beyond their conrol. When the government can address the issues involved, instead of creating great sound bytes with no real plan, than teacher's would support merit pay.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Man, teachers have an excuse for everything.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Man, teachers have an excuse for everything.

    They haven't yet found an excuse for people with attitudes like yours.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Give them time, I'm sure they will think of one.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I am a teacher and I am all for merit pay. But I don't think I should be punished if I can't take a "below basic" student who reads 2 grade levels below where they should be and make them "proficient" in 9 months time. Now if it were the standard that I get credit if they show some growth, that would be fair. But I can't take a 4th grader that reads at a 2 grade level and doesn't know how to add or subtract and make them proficient in long division in 9 months time. At some point parents are going to have to take responsibiltiy and help teach their children.

    ReplyDelete
  68. To March 22, 2009 10:36 AM:

    I believe there can be a "list" of items that are used to evaluate a teacher's performance. If the list has a wide range of criteria it can be a fair judgment of the teacher. I agree that I don't think teachers should be responsible to take children to a level that is just not possible. But some growth can be expected for most, or almost all, of the kids. Thank you for taking responsibility for your position as a teacher. I pray the majority have the same view as you.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Teachers have been "held accountable" to the degree that they spend an incredible and excess amount of time on paperwork and less on personal interaction and focus on their students. This is distressing and robs teachers of the joy of teaching. Irresponsible parents have not been held accountable in the last 10 years as much as teachers have been. It is time to even things out so we can see some real success at the levels of society that we have seen the least improvements.
    Unfortunately, the only way to make it happen is to hit the pocketbooks of these parents. You can't cover them all because there will always be that percentage for which nothing works.
    However, if the governments would focus on the Child tax credits and the Earned income credits they would find a lot of parents suddenly spending less time and money on entertaining their children and more time on educating them.
    Tie their child tax credits and EIC to their kids' performance and you will find that they will buy educational DVD's instead of media crap and video games, their kids will have library cards, they will own flash cards for math facts, and will know they have a last name when they enter kindergarten. Perhaps they will visit museums and national parks more often than amusement parks. Money motivates....

    ReplyDelete
  70. My Father would be 83 this yr. and I have in my possesion an award he received from his 4th grade teacher for using the SAME pencil for the entire year!That pencil is 2" long! So no doubt students, teachers and parents can find a few ways to cut costs. What I can't understand is why I have heard little or nothing about Ms. Callaways salary! Not to mention the increases she so willingly accepted. It's obscene that she earns twice as much as the Director of LAX and nearly three times as much as a 20yr veteran of the FBI! Now THAT is something which should be looked at!I think MUSD needs to get their priorities straightened out! I realize her job holds alot of responsibility but she isn't exactly working on a cure for cancer now is she? Come on people, how many pencils would 10% of her salary pay for?

    ReplyDelete
  71. I have much respect for teachers but even in good times I have a hard time siding with them in their salary disputes. They do a very important job but let's be real, they're not busting their butts, they're not risking their lives, they're not in a physically tough environment. Good luck to them getting whatever they can get, they have the same rights to try as anyone else, but I don't understand getting all worked up over it when it's not going their way.

    ReplyDelete
  72. If my child goes to a public school, is it not the job of the teacher to teach my child in the class room? Why is it I must re-teach my child when s/he comes home? I feel they (my children) are not being taught the material required and that I am to reteach at home. I might as well teach them from the start, this would alow them to be happy children and not be learning ALL day long and could play outside in the after noons where they belong.

    ReplyDelete
  73. You help your child at home because you are a parent and that is what parents do. Don't criticize teachers just because the work your students are sent home with is difficult for you. Your comments are more a reflection of you, than of your child or your child's teacher.

    ReplyDelete
  74. If you feel that you need to ‘re-teach’ your child at home, wouldn’t that be an argument for smaller classes?

    ReplyDelete
  75. This is awful, no teachers cut but class size jumped up over 20%. Parents who read this, keep in mind that your children are pawns to be manipulated. No transportation cost for busing was reduced, the same lunch and breakfast menu(using the excuse they follow USFDA standards) their food is awful. MUSD does what is right for them, and them only. If MUSD cared for their children..they would expand to include a high school in their district, like Murietta. Unfortuantely, they go to inferior schools like Paloma and Heritage, both schools have a long ways to go to meet CST for their size. Steve why don't you open this up for discussion. High school expansion to include K-12.

    ReplyDelete

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