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Old 03-29-2010, 09:34 PM
 
16,825 posts, read 17,761,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GS37 View Post
Why should they change, though? The teachers are competent, the facilities are adequate and they have the same curriculum and textbooks as every other school in NJ. It's not the schools nor the teachers who have to change a thing - it's just the community outside of the school's control that determines its own fate.

When parents don't care, when gangs are tolerated, when drugs are accepted and when 80% of the kids have no dads around, things go south pretty quickly. A radical change is needed, indeed, but not in the classroom.
Then why bother with schools like MAST and High Tech? Most of the schools in Mon Co are perfectly competent as well. But the smaller schools, with more challenging atmosphere allow the gifted kids to really shine.

So why bother with the Abbots? Because smaller schools have been shown to improve student achievement. So even if we can even get the graduation rate up from 18% to 36% thats twice as many kids with a better shot and their children will have an even better one. How is that not a better use of that money?
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:48 PM
 
153 posts, read 489,194 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
Then why bother with schools like MAST and High Tech? Most of the schools in Mon Co are perfectly competent as well. But the smaller schools, with more challenging atmosphere allow the gifted kids to really shine.

So why bother with the Abbots? Because smaller schools have been shown to improve student achievement. So even if we can even get the graduation rate up from 18% to 36% thats twice as many kids with a better shot and their children will have an even better one. How is that not a better use of that money?
There's a difference between allowing gifted children to shine and the situation going on in the cities, though. Basically, we've done everything we can do - hell, we bankrupted the state, and the grad rates haven't come up! We spent billions building new schools, paid teachers and administrators tons of money to attract the best people and added tons of levels of administration to deal with IEPs, special ed and everything else. And none of it has worked.

The schools are perfectly fine. It's the families and the communities that are the problem.
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:08 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,615 times
Reputation: 15
Teachers in the New Jersey enjoy high pay, gold-plated health care benefits, and a contractually guaranteed retirement plan that can never be taken away from them or reduced. While the private sector and federal employees get the crumbs off their plates, state employees, teachers, and their goon unions are fighting a wage freeze? Give me a break.

There are plenty of unemployed people out here with a wealth of knowledge and experience who would 1) be qualified to teach after certification, 2) might actually be better teachers than many of the warm bodies passing as educators at Timberlane Middle school right now, and 3) would be GRATEFUL for the opportunity to work for a salary of $50,000 with 13 weeks off every year. These teachers don't even grade homework any more, they just have the kids grade THEIR OWN HOMEWORK. Are you kidding me with this?

I had to pay $4,000 for dental work in January that my dentist told me would have been FREE if I'd been a teacher in New Jersey, and I'm a federal employee who supposedly has good benefits. That $4,000 represents an indirect transfer of wealth from my daughter to some overpaid hack who could never make it out here in the real world, where the rest of us are allowed to evidently exist for the sole purpose of subsidizing their cushy benefits and pensions. I picked my daughter up from school one day at dismissal time for a doctor's appointment and witnessed the majority of teachers leaping into their cars and peeling away from her school parking lot at 2:40. Meanwhile, I'm stuck at work until 7 or 8 p.m., for the privilege of making their lives easier? Wrong on So. Many. Levels.

The median teacher's salary in my district is somewhere in the neighborhood of $65,000. The mean salary is not published anywhere I can find because it's undoubtedly a lot higher than the median and, if published, would only serve to further inflame people's outrage. I've heard it's roughly $85,000/yr, which is $102,000 when normalized to the 10-month period that they actually work. On what planet can you justify paying a public school teacher more than most PhDs in Princeton earn? These teachers are out of control. They are taking away from the students and they are soaking the taxpayers of New Jersey.

Enough is enough. Fire every teacher and allow them to earn the right to get their jobs back if they can show that they are effective in the classroom, agree to have their pay at least partially indexed to student's performance on standardized tests, are willing to pay for some of their benefits like the rest of us, and agree to pension reductions. Many professionals like myself will flee the state if this train wreck is allowed to continue, and with a progressively shrinking tax base, I'm guessing that those teachers will be begging for janitorial duty at the schools they now teach in sometime within the next 5 years.
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:15 PM
 
16,825 posts, read 17,761,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoaNo View Post

I had to pay $4,000 for dental work in January that my dentist told me would have been FREE if I'd been a teacher in New Jersey.
You or your dentist are lying. The State Health Benefit Plan/Delta Dental DPO (those "gold plated" health benefits you were talking about) has a cap of $1200 yearly for dental. That is in addition to the 30% we pay for any major dental work and the lifetime cap of $1500 for orthodontics.I suspect the rest of your post is accurate as the above statement.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:50 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
859 posts, read 2,995,695 times
Reputation: 711
Lets compare NJ health benefit plan and costs to those for Federal Employees:

As a Federal employee, my BlueCross/Blue Shield family plan is significantly different and more costly than NJ public employee plans. My costs are:

Biweekly premium is $108.91.
Dental Plan: $26- $65 Biweekly for family
Vision: $12- $17 Biweekly for family
Physician co-pays: $30-$35
Prescription co-pays: $35-$45
Emergency Room Visit: $75
In-Patient hospital stay: $150/day up to $750 per visit

So, I would like to see how the NJ plan compares with the above!

While Governor Christie is headed in the right direction requiring NJ Public workers to contribute to their health plan, additional concessions need to be considered. The public employee plans are extremely costly due to the extremely low co-pay's and deductibles, which are considerably lower than the average health plan.
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:19 AM
 
16,825 posts, read 17,761,195 times
Reputation: 20853
Quote:
Originally Posted by marc515 View Post
Lets compare NJ health benefit plan and costs to those for Federal Employees:

As a Federal employee, my BlueCross/Blue Shield family plan is significantly different and more costly than NJ public employee plans. My costs are:

Biweekly premium is $108.91.
Dental Plan: $26- $65 Biweekly for family
Vision: $12- $17 Biweekly for family
Physician co-pays: $30-$35
Prescription co-pays: $35-$45
Emergency Room Visit: $75
In-Patient hospital stay: $150/day up to $750 per visit

So, I would like to see how the NJ plan compares with the above!

While Governor Christie is headed in the right direction requiring NJ Public workers to contribute to their health plan, additional concessions need to be considered. The public employee plans are extremely costly due to the extremely low co-pay's and deductibles, which are considerably lower than the average health plan.
The co-pays, hospital stay and emergency room visits are about the same if you dont agree to the HMO, with the HMO option my Dr copay and prescription is 25. We also do not get any vision coverage at all. So I am not sure how you say there are "extremely" low copays and deductibles. Maybe you mean the emergency room visits? Those are $55 instead of $75.

Many districts pay between 3-4% of their salaries for insurance but now Christie is taking them down to 1.5% and other districts up to 1.5%. For me there will be no change except my pay is frozen for at least a year. I am fine with all of those things. My issue was the misconceptions. The idea that we get some "gold standard" of insurance is not just silly but outright wrong. I have very typical insurance with similar copays compared to most people I know who are insured, and I pay towards my pension and my benefits just like everyone else. If I do not pay as much as you do, maybe thats because I make less than someone in private industry with similar degrees. But thats the choice we teachers make, less pay for better benefits, I still do not know why people think we should some how take less pay and less benefits than other people with similiar education requirements. Why do you?
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Old 04-01-2010, 03:57 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
859 posts, read 2,995,695 times
Reputation: 711
Only asking that all pay their fair share, and it sounds like you do. However, others do not. For example, my son works for a township, and he pays "0" towards his benefits, and has $10 copays.; I have talked to municipal workers and teachers who also pay "0" towards their benefits, and have $10 Copays.

Also, as I understand it, most public workers get free health benefits in retirement?

I don't think anyone wants public workers to get less than their fair share, but as a federal employee, I receivea a 2% raise for 2010; All I read lately is teachers and other municipal workers getting raises of 4% per year, which is hard to believe in these economic times, but they are getting them.

The real problem may be that public workers have contracts, and each contract renewal competes with others to see who can get the highest. I'm not sure why public workers have contracts, as a federal employee I have a union, but we do not have contracts. The jobs are fairly standardized along with pay and benefits, and everyone gets the same annual raise, and retirement benefits; too bad NJ couldn't do the same.

Last but not least, the current public pension plan should be replaced with a 401K plan like the federal government did in the 1980's, and NJ Transit has.

As a public (fereral) employee, I surely don't want public workers to get less than their fair share. However, NJ has has the highest property taxes in the nation, and unsustainable debdt. Health and pension benefits have to change with the current ecconomical climate.

Last edited by marc515; 04-01-2010 at 04:39 PM..
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Tri-State Area
2,942 posts, read 6,012,945 times
Reputation: 1839
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseyj View Post
Very true. Look at Millburn, NJ Monthly #1 rated school district (2008) spends $14,695/per student. Camden #316 (NJ Monthly '08) spends $16,131 per pupil (2009).
Trenton - $16,532
Newark- $19,305
Asbury- $24,428
Hoboken- $24,808
Comparative Spending Guide 2009

This article says there are 264,070 students in the 31 Abbott districts.
A Study of Supplemental Programs and Recommendations for the Abbott Districts

Asbury is a good example, ranked 281 out of 316 (NJ Monthly '08) spends $9733.00 more per pupil than #1 ranked Millburn.

The Abbott Decision is clearly not justifiable.
Hoboken spends almost $25 grand a year?? on what?
Did you ever see the quality of the kids who come out of those public schools? That school system has the worst reputation in Hudson County and it spends the most as well. Nuts!!! That's what's wrong with Abbott district spending - all the $$$, yet no accounability.
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:21 PM
 
16,825 posts, read 17,761,195 times
Reputation: 20853
Quote:
Originally Posted by marc515 View Post
Only asking that all pay their fair share, and it sounds like you do. However, others do not. For example, my son works for a township, and he pays "0" towards his benefits, and has $10 copays.; I have talked to municipal workers and teachers who also pay "0" towards their benefits, and have $10 Copays.

Also, as I understand it, most public workers get free health benefits in retirement?

I don't think anyone wants public workers to get less than their fair share, but as a federal employee, I receivea a 2% raise for 2010; All I read lately is teachers and other municipal workers getting raises of 4% per year, which is hard to believe in these economic times, but they are getting them.

The real problem may be that public workers have contracts, and each contract renewal competes with others to see who can get the highest. I'm not sure why public workers have contracts, as a federal employee I have a union, but we do not have contracts. The jobs are fairly standardized along with pay and benefits, and everyone gets the same annual raise, and retirement benefits; too bad NJ couldn't do the same.

Last but not least, the current public pension plan should be replaced with a 401K plan like the federal government did in the 1980's, and NJ Transit has.

As a public (fereral) employee, I surely don't want public workers to get less than their fair share. However, NJ has has the highest property taxes in the nation, and unsustainable debdt. Health and pension benefits have to change with the current ecconomical climate.
That 4% number that is thrown around so inaccurately all the time is over the course of the entire contract. If you are talking about the average 3 yr contract 4% is not a big jump at all. Next year I was going to go up 780 bucks which was less than 1.5%. Now we are going to get no raise due to the pay freeze.

I am sure that makes you feel much better since that is obviously my "fair share"
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:42 PM
 
393 posts, read 1,087,664 times
Reputation: 112
Fighting tooth and nail to remain middle-class in NJ

Relative teaches in an Abbott district, the following: heresay, yes, but undeniably fact.
Free, breakfast every morning, including parents, no questions asked whether or not contributions to same could be made.
Free lunch for all students, school open until 7pm nightly, use of library, computer room, and swimming pool.
Free, full day summer camp with the access to the aforementioned.
School now nearing it's third year State failure scoring, now, I ask you, how is throwing money
a remedy?
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