Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mulvihill at BOF Meeting: "I Live On A Fixed Income"

It's going on right now.  The infamous Board of Finance Meeting.  Packed with kids, many of whom are speaking, the Meeting is destined to continue through the night.  I like great debate and brilliant advocacy.  What I can't stomach is twisting or ignorance of the facts.  For example, one very popular teacher whose name I don't remember blamed our fiscal problems on "pushing out the reval until we got into this great recession."  What?  Nice guy but who sold him this?

I couldn't take much more after I heard former Assistant Superintendent Tom Mulvihill say, "I live on a fixed income."  Got to be kidding, Tom.  You may not be lying, Tom, but that fixed income of yours is probably four or five times what most teachers in this Town are ever going to make.  Not only does he collect an incredible pension from New Milford but he now works in another District.  I put his annual "fixed income" -- including benefits -- in the 200K-250K range.  Come now, Tom.

I thought I'd split a gut when a very nice man got up and said that business principles ought to be applied to the school system.  "Why are we just targeting the untenured?" he asked in not so many words and in an innocent manner.  "We should be posting the data on all teachers and rewarding performance."  Well, of course he is absolutely right but the union (non-merit) system doesn't work that way.  His suggestion is an anathema to the system.

Then there was a teacher who is sure to be in trouble tomorrow with her peers.  She actually had the guts to say that she'd be willing to take a wage freeze if it meant saving jobs.  Now here's a person who knows what's going on in the world around her.  Thank you. If only the Administrators would listen.  Oh, is she in for trouble.

Almost every speaker appeared to believe that every teacher who got a pink slip was going to be fired.  That's the scare-em-up machine hard at work.  Shameful.

I had to leave.

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