Board of Ed: Big raises proposed

1/10/2009:

Hoboken resident Maureen Sullivan tried to submit a letter about our budget-busting Board of Education to the local newspaper – and was denied (for BS reasons). Me thinks someone at the paper is in cahoots with the whole racket. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Fear not, Maureen! Hoboken411 will publish it – and you will reach 20 times the readers to boot!

Got denied by the paper

“Hi, 411:
My letter was rejected by the Reporter, though I got it in on time. Apparently, it’s not enough to include figures that are readily available on the school district’s website or have already appeared in the Reporter itself. Letter writers are expected to supply written documentation of basic facts. So I suggest that instead of reading the Reporter, folks go directly to the district website: http://www.hoboken.k12.nj.us/index.php?q=node/663 There you will learn that per pupil spending was $16,793 in 2005. This year it is $24,949. That is a 48.6% increase in three years. The school board’s budget this year is $56.3 million. A bit of googling will show you that the year before it was $52.9 million. That’s a 6.4% increase. That’s just basic math.

And though I say at the end of the letter that Tuesday’s board meeting will be held at 1115 Clinton, I understand that the plan is to move it to the Wallace gym on 11th and Willow.

Thanks, Maureen.”

See her letter below.

hoboken-board-of-education-pay-raises.jpg

Why is the BoE handing out big raises?

January 6, 2009

“To the Editor:
Hoboken is facing a financial tsunami and it would be irresponsible for the school board to move ahead on Tuesday with its plan to award the city’s teachers, drivers and clerks with a reported 4.3% raise and gold-plated benefits over each of the next three years.

We just can’t afford it. Inflation is at 1.1%, so this increase would be well above any cost-of-living raise. The taxpayers have already been socked with a 47% hike in taxes just to cover the collapse at City Hall. It’s been estimated that 25% of Hoboken’s residents work in the financial sector and are, therefore, facing mighty uncertain times. The police officers and firefighters in town are already looking at significant givebacks while their fellow city employees get generous raises. How is that fair?

I’ve heard school board members argue that they are smarter than the mayor and city council. Frank Raia says, “WE can count.” But I don’t know what abacus he’s using. He would argue that school taxes haven’t gone up in 16 years. That’s because we’ve had tremendous development; each year more condos have come on line, adding to the revenue stream. But what about this year? A recession always cuts into revenue, foreclosures are a threat and development has slowed. The State says it’s already missing $2 billion in tax receipts. And Gov. Corzine is promising immediate cuts in education funds to the tune of $75 million. Who knows how much he’ll cut from us in the upcoming fiscal year.

Last March, Superintendent Jack Raslowsky announced that these are “difficult economic times” and that we must “use what we have wisely.” He then presented a $56.3 million budget that was 6.4% larger than the year before. And per pupil spending leapt 5.6% to about $25,000.

He also said his administration “can’t control health costs.” So he budgeted for medical insurance to soar 23% this year at a time when those costs are rising by less than 5% in the private sector. So, in effect, the teachers are getting another healthy raise just by keeping their no-premium, no co-pay health insurance. The plan to increase the school day by half an hour is out the window. Their only giveback appears to be a $5 or $10 charge for prescriptions? Remember those days?

Labor costs are two-thirds of the school budget. We can vote on the next budget in April, but we won’t get another crack at the payroll for three more years. With tax revenues down and education aid cut, which educational programs will have to be sliced so that the employees can keep their big raises? And is it inconceivable to think we could see increases of 10% or more in our school taxes?

The school board meeting is Tuesday, January 13, at 7 p.m. at 1115 Clinton St. Speak out before it’s too late.

Sincerely,
Maureen Sullivan”

Leave a Reply

39 Comments on "Board of Ed: Big raises proposed"

matt_72
Member

[quote comment=”127200″]That may be City Hall but not the BOE. A lot of you think that it is the same, but it is not. They both have separate budgets and leadership. The BOE has not gone over their budget like City Hall…check those records yourself.Russo and all those guys have no say in our budgets, contracts, or happenings. They may try to influence but no one pays attention to them.

Plus, I didn’t get my job because I know anyone. I actually earned it. I didn’t know anyone from Hoboken until I was hired. So, do not assume because not everyone is a crony.[/quote]

Just b/c the BOE didn’t go over budget doesn’t mean they don’t spend an obscene amount of money. They still spend more than just about every other city in the country to get at best below average results. Now most of this money is wasted on non-teachers, but still money wasted is money wasted. If the teachers want a raise, then get rid of a couple dozen non-teachers to pay for it. We give the BOE more than enough money to fund the school system. You folks can fight amongst yourselves over how it is allocated.

Hoboken_South
Member
Hoboken_South

That may be City Hall but not the BOE. A lot of you think that it is the same, but it is not. They both have separate budgets and leadership. The BOE has not gone over their budget like City Hall…check those records yourself.Russo and all those guys have no say in our budgets, contracts, or happenings. They may try to influence but no one pays attention to them.

Plus, I didn’t get my job because I know anyone. I actually earned it. I didn’t know anyone from Hoboken until I was hired. So, do not assume because not everyone is a crony.

concernedresident
Member
concernedresident

The salaries are public record – check it if your doubtful – and in my defense, I did state “approx”. Also, feel free to cross reference the list and maybe even pay a visit to see if the employee are showing up for work… you must be related to someone at City Hall they too believe that no one is a Goodfella – If Russo and Picardo aren’t Goodfella’s I guess Hoboken will have to settle for Danny Aeillo.

Don’t forget to add in the benefits, pensions and bonuses…

Hoboken_South
Member
Hoboken_South

[quote comment=”127182″]Maybe if the BOE super and asst. weren’t being paid $400k oh, don’t forget to add in the approx. $100k for their mentors = 1/2 million dollars, and salaries for the zillion janitors and no show employees, there might be some money to give the teachers the raise they are after.

Teachers: Don’t blame the public, blame the administration – specifically – Raslowsky, Petrocino, Raia, Farina, Defalco, Garcia, Romano and Madame President, Kearns.[/quote]

First off, Rasolowsy and Petrosino are not making 400K. Really? And, I noticed that you did not mention any kids first board members. How cute. Like they are not part of the problem either. Behind closed doors Minitullo and Markle kiss so much ass it is ridiculous.

No show employees? Really? We are not the Cosa Nostra. No, one is a Goodfella. It is 2009, come back to reality.

The raise that is proposed is small considering there is an already 1.2% standard of living increase that is given as a state employee. So, the raise is small, more like a 3.1. This is not even per person. That is what the salary pool is increased by; some people are getting 1.0%.

concernedresident
Member
concernedresident

Maybe if the BofE super and asst. weren’t being paid $400k oh, don’t forget to add in the approx. $100k for their mentors = 1/2 million dollars, and salaries for the zillion janitors and no show employees, there might be some money to give the teachers the raise they are after. Teachers: Don’t blame the public, blame the administration – specifically – Raslowsky, Petrocino, Raia, Farina, Defalco, Garcia, Romano and Madame president, Kearns.

wpDiscuz