In an article in the Dec. 16, 2015 Landmark “RBHS union president: Hire more teachers,” The Riverside-Brookfield High School teachers’ union president, Wendy Cassens, indicates that an average class size of 24 at RBHS should be decreased by increasing staff.
Also, during the meeting a financial advisor to the board predicted that the school would face an operating deficit of $340,000 by fiscal year 2017 and a deficit of nearly $2.7 million by 2021.
Ten of my spouse’s and my children graduated from RBHS over 36 school years at a taxpayer cost over $500,000. Our thanks to those taxpayers. We have 34 grandchildren that have attended “government schools,” including RBHS, but also ones who have attended private and church-affiliated schools and eight that have been educated via home schooling. I also served on the RBHS board for 11 years, from 1978 to 1989 while some of our youngsters were attending the school.
As a resident of the RBHS community I would raise some issues as has the RBEA president:
I would urge the RBHS board to get major changes in the traditional salary schedule as used to determine teacher pay. Most schedules do not set salary by merit, by priority of subject, by the difficulty of teaching the subject and by a limited availability of suitable staff.
Superior instruction results should be financially rewarded. For instance, to me English is the most important subject; it must be understood and it requires a lot of teacher effort. Of next importance to me is instruction in any subject related to a student’s future employment.
Additionally, there are many instructional techniques, such as used in home schooling or in industry, that work and do not fit a current salary schedule.
I would urge the RBHS board and the local elementary school boards to thoroughly investigate conversion of the local three elementary districts and the RBHS district into a single unit district.
It should provide better coordination between the elementary districts and the high school district and should present savings in administrative costs.
After contract negotiations are completed, the members of the teache5rs’ union are informed about the details of the contract and they then vote on accepting same. Thus, I would urge the RBBHS board to inform the parents of current students, at minimum, of the decisions in the contract with explanations before the board votes on accepting that contract.
James L. Keen