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Author Topic: Keene Teachers/Administrators in Tears  (Read 2771 times)

Kat Kanning

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Keene Teachers/Administrators in Tears
« on: March 15, 2007, 01:59 PM NHFT »

 :crybaby2: :crybaby2: :crybaby2: :crybaby2: :crybaby2: :crybaby2:


School districts start over Tears in Keene; officials meeting
   

Anna Haigh
Sentinel Staff


Tuesday was a tough day for Keene School District officials, teachers and others.

After voters rejected the $54 million proposed budget and contracts with teachers and custodians, district officials were left to pick up the pieces from the defeat.

Today, Keene teachers are considering action as they deal with a mix of shock, anger and sorrow, according to the union's president.

And district officials are already meeting to decide how to cut another $1.6 million out of the budget.


      


District officials said a new agreement with custodians seems unlikely before next year, after voters rejected the option of a special meeting.

Without approval of the proposed $54,420,624 budget, the district will now be bound by a default budget of $52,798,742 - the current year's budget with the addition of certain adjustments required by law.

District officials may have the option of holding a special meeting about the budget, and voters approved the option of a special meeting to reconsider an agreement with teachers.

But Keene Board of Education Chairman Neil W. Donegan said it's not yet clear how the board would proceed with either option and it is waiting on legal advice.

"The voters gave us a pretty clear message that our budget was too high," he said. "I can't imagine us doing anything other than following the dollars in the default budget."

Keene Education Association President Brenda M. Dunn said she was devastated by the number of teachers who were crying on Wednesday.

"They just feel betrayed," she said.

Dunn said teachers are voting today on taking some kind of action, but she wouldn't say whether options under consideration include a work-to-rule policy similar to what Fall Mountain Regional School District teachers adopted last March.

Work-to-rule means teachers do only the amount of work required under their contract, often arriving just before the starting bell and leaving as soon as the school day ends.

Donegan said he thought Keene teachers were voting on work-to-rule today.

"The only thing they have to vote on right now is work-to-rule," he said.

The three-year contract with teachers would have cost $1,641,279 for two years of increases to pay and benefits for teachers, and about $1,291,222 in the third year. Teachers have been working under a contract that expired in June 2006.

"I'm hopeful we can view the vote as a setback, not a forever defeat," co-Acting Superintendent Wayne E. Woolridge said of the teachers' contract.

As for the four-year contract with custodians that was rejected, along with the option of holding a special meeting, Donegan said he didn't think a new agreement would be in front of voters again until next year.

He said it might be difficult to seek an emergency special meeting after a Cheshire County Superior Court judge rejected a district request for a special meeting about the teachers' contract last November.

"They're another year without a contract," Donegan said of custodians.

Making do with less

In the day after Tuesday's vote, district leaders were quickly starting a new budget process to cut spending and review priorities.

Woolridge said the impact of what amounts to a 3 percent cut on school operations will be spread widely.

He said he met with school administrators on Wednesday, and said there will be a cooperative review of the district's priorities and recent programs and brainstorming about cuts.

Those proposals will be taken to the board's finance committee as quickly as possible, he said, and could include cutbacks in purchases of desks, computers, textbooks and other supplies and equipment.

In an interview with The Sentinel on Wednesday, he attributed the budget rejection - which he said administrators didn't see coming - to a number of influences, including factors beyond the control of local school officials, such as costs associated with special education and federally-mandated testing programs.

He added that concerns about other tax-supported initiatives in the region not related to education - such as a proposed a $4 million traffic intersection redesign and a $37 million county jail - likely contributed to taxpayer angst.

Some Keene board members seemed confident about finding ways to cut the budget.

Board member Erik R. Murphy said by carefully reallocating money, the smaller budget shouldn't be a problem.

"I have every confidence that our school can figure out what to do about the default budget," he said.

In reviewing the budget for possible cuts, Donegan said the board may look at the school resource officer proposed for Keene High School, an additional teacher at Franklin School that voters added at the official-ballot first session, and even selling the 34 West St.

With heavy votes Tuesday in favor of the building's sale, "maybe the best thing to do is just sell the building and go on with our life," Donegan said.

Board member Robert G. McLaughlin said he thought the board should review agreements with towns that send students to Keene High School to save money.

"I think it's small potatoes," he said of the difference between the proposed budget and the default budget.

And, McLaughlin said, he hoped the vote would be considered a message to the board.

"I thought for the first time in a long time, the public came forward and felt a little empowered and held their elected officials responsible for their actions or inactions," he said. "If the board wants to remain relevant and seriously address education in Keene, then it better listen."
« Last Edit: March 15, 2007, 02:25 PM NHFT by Kat Kanning »
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Re: Keene Teachers/Administrators in Tears
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2007, 02:31 PM NHFT »

$2 million down, $52 million to go!
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JonM

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Re: Keene Teachers/Administrators in Tears
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2007, 02:35 PM NHFT »

Does this give new meaning to "You people in Keene are ruining it for the rest of us" now?
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Kat Kanning

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Re: Keene Teachers/Administrators in Tears
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2007, 02:38 PM NHFT »

First the Republicans, now the teachers.  It must have been the Free Keene guys, though, ruining it for them all  :D
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CNHT

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Re: Keene Teachers/Administrators in Tears
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2007, 03:14 PM NHFT »

First the Republicans, now the teachers.  It must have been the Free Keene guys, though, ruining it for them all  :D

Republicans? It was our good Republicans and their taxpayer group out in Keene who did not drop the ball, sent out mailings with information and rallied the troops to go vote this stuff down.

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Kat Kanning

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Re: Keene Teachers/Administrators in Tears
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2007, 03:51 PM NHFT »

No, I meant we were accused of ruining it for the Republican party in all of NH from putting up a couple signs.
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Re: Keene Teachers/Administrators in Tears
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2007, 04:14 PM NHFT »

No, I meant we were accused of ruining it for the Republican party in all of NH from putting up a couple signs.

If a couple of signs is all it takes to ruin it, then their grip on power was pretty tenuous to begin with.
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CNHT

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Re: Keene Teachers/Administrators in Tears
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2007, 04:36 PM NHFT »

No, I meant we were accused of ruining it for the Republican party in all of NH from putting up a couple signs.

The Keene taxpayer group have worked long and hard and have done far more than put up a few signs. They have educated people and spread the word through websites, meetings, flyers and the like, and by reminding people that when you vote, just because it says "A yes vote is recommended by the planning board/school board" next to the articles, that it doesn't mean this article is going to benefit you as a citizen!

They have done a great job. They are part of the 'network'. They are heroes. The woman who ran the group there is Judy Bright, but it's run by someone else now and they are in the process of getting a new website.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2007, 06:57 PM NHFT by CNHT »
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Kat Kanning

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Re: Keene Teachers/Administrators in Tears
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2007, 04:37 PM NHFT »

Jane, it was a joke.  Lighten up a little, eh?
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Russell Kanning

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Re: Keene Teachers/Administrators in Tears
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2007, 04:56 PM NHFT »

Don't default budgets win like 85% of the time in NH?
These teachers just love to whine.
Some republicans seem to be touchy too.
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CNHT

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Re: Keene Teachers/Administrators in Tears
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2007, 07:00 PM NHFT »

Jane, it was a joke.  Lighten up a little, eh?

Why? What did I do that was not light? I just explained how Keene was kept informed by a small group of diligent people and that is how informed voters voted.

People will do the right thing if they know the truth.
These global warming resolutions were passed because people don't know the motivation behind them is a global tax for the purpose of wealth redistribution.
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CNHT

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Re: Keene Teachers/Administrators in Tears
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2007, 07:15 PM NHFT »

Jane, it was a joke.  Lighten up a little, eh?

If I'm not mistaken, it's a Keane reference, no? I actually started typing that, and then decided it wasn't worth it. Anyway, I thought it was funny.

If you mean Keene, we are talking about Keene yes, but I skipped over the 'joke' and added material about the Keene Taxpayers and was told to lighten up...don't know why, already had moved on from that post!
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Lloyd Danforth

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Re: Keene Teachers/Administrators in Tears
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2007, 07:16 PM NHFT »

Poor teachers.....snif :'(
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CNHT

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Re: Keene Teachers/Administrators in Tears
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2007, 07:26 PM NHFT »

The next thing is they are trying to get rid of SB2 as law. But notice that once voted in, no town has ever voted it out?
DFNH thinks it's a victory when a town doesn't vote it in, but they simply lie about what it is and does.
Here is what's coming up including a seabelt law:

March 19, 2007
Commerce 302 LOB
11AM   HB 853  est com study Fiat Currency on wealth of NH citizens
1:30   HB rel minimum age to buy/own/possess tobacco products

Criminal Justice 204 LOB
9:30   HB 586  rel enhanced penalty for sex assaults by persons of
"authority"
10AM   HB 869  rel un-authorized  video surveillance
10:45  HB 743  rel rights of crime victims while making a victim impact
statement
11:15  HB 872  rel exceptions to wiretaps & eavesdropping statutes for
recording images or sounds occurring where there is no reasonable
expectation of privacy
1PM    HB 890  rel sentence of persons convicted of computer solicitation of
a minor
1:45   HB 915  est com study drug trafficking and sales in NH
2:15   HB 9052 est com study cost//benefit of drug prohibition in NH

Education  207 LOB
10AM   HB 556  rel school emergency response plans
10:30  HB 916  rel non-public & Private schools receiving government money
11AM   HB 916  rel adding a strong History requirement, to graduate from HS

Transportation  203 LOB
10AM   HB 802  rel passenger restraints
2PM    HB 795  rel restrict use of cell phones while driving
3PM    HB 901  rel requirements for a nondriver ID Card
« Last Edit: March 15, 2007, 07:28 PM NHFT by CNHT »
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Braddogg

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Re: Keene Teachers/Administrators in Tears
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2007, 08:33 PM NHFT »

No, I meant we were accused of ruining it for the Republican party in all of NH from putting up a couple signs.

The Keene taxpayer group have worked long and hard and have done far more than put up a few signs. They have educated people and spread the word through websites, meetings, flyers and the like, and by reminding people that when you vote, just because it says "A yes vote is recommended by the planning board/school board" next to the articles, that it doesn't mean this article is going to benefit you as a citizen!

They have done a great job. They are part of the 'network'. They are heroes. The woman who ran the group there is Judy Bright, but it's run by someone else now and they are in the process of getting a new website.

Hey Jane, I think there are two different events y'all are talking about.  Kat's comments about the Republicans was in reference to a few months ago, when some people on the boards were saying that Kat and the rest of our Keene friends were responsible for the Republicans losing seats in government because the Keene-ites held signs saying that the Republicans supported torture.

I don't think Kat was trying to say the Republicans didn't do anything to stop the budget from passing.
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