Archive for Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tuition decision reversed

Tonganoxie School Board Office 330 E. U.S. Highway 24-40. 913-845-2153

Tonganoxie School Board Office 330 E. U.S. Highway 24-40. 913-845-2153

May 12, 2010

Out-of-district parents won’t be paying tuition for their children in 2010-11.

The board approved reversing an April decision to charge out-of-district tuition of $700 per school year for each family that doesn’t own property in the district.

Superintendent Kyle Hayden said charging tuition would be a “financial wash” for the district. Hayden learned from Dale Dennis, deputy commissioner for the Kansas Department of Education, that Legislative changes would deduct state aid if and when tuition is charged for out-of-district students.

Butch Fosdick, who has children in the district, including a son who will be a senior next school year, lives outside district boundaries. He voiced his concerns about the fees early in the meeting. His wife, Marcie, serves as a substitute teacher in the district and volunteers with various district activities.

“Is she part of the district?” Fosdick asked. “Sure. That might not be the case in your eyes. We don’t know.”

But those concerns were squelched after the board’s decision later in the meeting.

Building principals will decide whether out-of-district students can remain in the district for the following year based on academic standing, behavior and attendance. The decision is to be made in late May or early June, Hayden said.

The board also changed course on student fees for non-athletic activities. Fees will be $25 per student for an unlimited number of non-athletics KSHSAA activities. At the last meeting, the board approved fees at $15 per activity. Athletics fees will remain $15 per sport.

As for transportation policy, pay-to-ride will be offered at $300 per school year for a student living less than 2.5 miles from the student’s school and outside these general boundaries — the future 14th Street to the south, U.S. Highway 24-40 to the north, Ridge Street apartments to the east and Evans Street, near the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds to the west. Maximum cost for pay-to-ride is $450 per household. Students inside those general boundaries are not eligible for pay-to-ride transportation.

Administrator given new title, more pay

The district’s state and federal programs coordinator will have additional duties and an increased salary for 2010-11. Tonya Phillips’ new title is director of educational programs and student services. She will be paid $72,000 for a 225-day contract. Her current salary is $58,000 for a 220-day contract. The board approved the administrative change, 7-0.

The board also approved 2010-11 salaries for all building administrators, which were the same as 2009-10 salaries: THS principal Jamie Carlisle, $88,872; THS assistant principal Brent Smith, $79,350; THS activities director Brandon Parker, $46,862; TMS principal Jill Dickerson, $79,350; TMS assistant principal Mark Altman, $74,060; TES principal Tammie George, $79,400; and TES assistant principal Ty Poell, $67,712. The current contract for building administrators is 217 days. The new contract will be for 212 days.

hire, resignations approved

Donna Workman was hired as Tonganoxie Middle School counselor by a 7-0 vote.

The board also approved resignations for Benita Adams, copy center para professional, Debbie Allen, transportation para professional, Earleta Morey, volunteer center coordinator, and Stacey Wall, TMS math teacher.

Wall is taking a teaching position at Shawnee Heights High School in Topeka. Adams is retiring with intent to be considered for rehire at lower pay to take advantage of KPERS incentives.

In other business, the board:

• tabled, 7-0, a decision on an interlocal agreement with the city of Tonganoxie for a neighborhood revitalization program. The board wanted to get an opinion from the Kansas Association of School Boards on the agreement before proceeding. The plan would provide a tax rebate to residents who make renovations of more than $5,000 or build new homes valued at more than $120,000 in older areas of the city.

City officials spoke to the board at Monday’s meeting, noting it would be asking Tonganoxie Township and Leavenworth County to partner in the effort as well. The county has partnered with other communities in the county, city officials said.

• met in executive session a total of 30 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel.

• approved, 7-0, student handbooks for each district school building for the 2010-2011 school year.

Board member Mildred McMillon said policy is for students to not have skateboards on school property, but she knows of a student who brings a skateboard onto the middle school grounds.

In the Tonganoxie Elementary School handbook, TES principal George pointed out a new rule for 2010-11: no dying of hair in unnatural colors. George said the dye on occasions isn’t washed out properly and wears off on hands and clothing and in turn has left stains on books.

• approved, 7-0, amended budget for 2009-10 school year.

• approved, 7-0, low bid of $53,773 from American Roofing for roof repair from American Roofing.

• approved, 7-0, 2010-11 school year schedule.

• approved, 7-0, classified work agreements for 2010-11 school year as presented.

• approved, 7-0, summer work agreement as presented.

• approved, 7-0, continuing with parents as teachers for 2010-11.

• heard about preliminary numbers for state assessment tests from state and federal programs coordinator Tonya Phillips. Students surpassed target areas in several areas, especially at the elementary and high schools.

“They not only exceeded them, they smashed them,” Phillips said

Comments

Teetown 3 years, 11 months ago

So Ms. Phillips gets a glorified secretary title and a $14,000 dollar raise, meanwhile our grade school students can't bring a textbook home to study for a test. Nice job school board! Just keep the kids doing your fundraiser dirty work. Administrators and the state and federal programs coordinator should take a pay cut in times like these, or better yet eliminate the federal coordinator job and let adminstration earn their keep!

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Bob_Busk 3 years, 11 months ago

Richard, You're uninformed. You claim she received a "glorified secretary title"? Well, that statement alone proves your lack of intelligence concerning this matter. Why don't you run for the school board, maybe you can do a better job. Or maybe you should go to school, get a masters degree in school administration, and do Mr. Haydens job. Or maybe you are waiting for a McDonalds to open in T-Town so you can realize your real potential. Yes Richard, I'll have fries with that order.

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briantks09 3 years, 11 months ago

Superintendent Hayden and our school board gives Ms. Phillips a $14,000 raise for FIVE MORE DAYS OF WORK while NOT giving raises to teachers for the SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR, while eliminating paras who have DIRECT DAILY CONTACT with students, while eliminating coaching and other positions, while adding responsibilities to staff who are left, and while eliminating summer school for middle and high school! The middle school has to share a nurse with the high school and a librarian with the elementary. Parents are forced to pay even more in fees. What are they thinking! Sounds like we need to clean house come the next election. In fact, sounds like we need to clean out ALL of the current administrators as well! Very poor decisions all around.

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kanfarmer 3 years, 11 months ago

The Mirror forgot to report that we have 122 out of distict students . Thats almost a whole class. Superintendent Hayden said at the meeting. "we loose money on all of these students". "The money we get from the state dosen't cover the cost to educate them". Our district is almost broke according to the superintendent. The district is cutting hours and not renewing contracts, alot of people will lose there jobs. But Tonganoxie's tax dollars are being used to educate out of district kids.. Why! The district's around us do not alow out of district students. Why? Because it costs to much. Next year, our building principals will decide on what out of district students can go to school here. Based on "academic standing, behavior, attendance, who there parent knows, if there good a sports, if a teacher likes them and how many friends they have here. So who is going to pay for these kids. Remember were broke and laying people off. The parents of out of district kids always say, its so convenient to bring our kids to Tonganoxie. The taxpayers of Tonganoxie shouldn't be expected to pay for out of district parents "convenients". Why would a out of district parent want to send there child to a grade school as over crowded as ours? Convenients.

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Bob_Busk 3 years, 11 months ago

Kanfarmer, I agree, 122 out of district students is too much. With overcrowding and such the district should consider eliminating out of district attendance.

briantks09, Hayden makes about 30,000 less than the upper end superintendents in the area. In Lansing our superintendent (Dr Bagby) makes over 130,000. Hayden I believe makes 105,000. In Lansing we have an assistant superintendent and a Director of Curriculum. As I am aware, Ms. Phillips has taken on much more responsibility, wouldn't this indicate a need to properly compensate her. I wonder if you've emailed or called your board of education members. In Lansing we get answers pretty quick. You've just got to ask. I've found over the years that those that run their mouths the most are the least informed.

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Silence 3 years, 11 months ago

Often we are mired in thoughts of anger, and disgust when we see not only our children, but other's as well pay the price of poor decisions made by adults. With this being said I hold my tongue, and ponder the thoughts of others who have made comment here. The facts are true, and stated with some eloquence, I am inclined to ask is there a broader picture here? 1-Richard I do not disagree with your thoughts on compensation. When we loose true educators, to administrative positions payroll, it does make one wonder what direction our leadership is taking us. Yet to call someone a name due to there position does appear petty.

2-Bob, to throw out the education card in this instance is someone what ironic, considering we are discussing loosing educators to desk jobs if you will. Although I do agree a higher education is often sought for the rewards, of both personal, and financial. It is when there is a lack of common sense that one begins to question these decisions. How would one justify the compensation increase, to the loss of a teacher?
Before you begin your tirade, let me state I do hold 2 degrees myself, and find that I am well compensated for what I do. I question the amount versus the job description, and the few extra days added. I would be interested to know if you felt that these duties could be spread out to all of our seemingly Senior Administrators, instead of being given to one.

3-Brian, you have raised the very bitter questions, that would need to be addressed. I would differ this to Bob, for his thoughts. I would personally answer, that this does appear to be lack again of ones common sense. Brian if you will, at the last meeting it was decided upon, that there would be several cuts across the board, both academically, and athletically. I for one can not reason why would academics would be dealt such a blow, and yet maintain the need for so many Assistant coaches, When it is apparent by Bob's own omission that education seems to be the true key to success, and enlightenment. I am easily swayed to your side of the dispute that we have now shown the children of our own community, that education will come second, to athletics. Out of ones curiosity, why is it when I come home every night, and see the sign that showcases our youths accomplishments. there is but only one athletic, amongst the numerous academic triumphs?

4-Out of district children, this should be a relatively easy compromise. If one can believe what Mr. Haden has stated, that we do in fact loose money with each of these students. Then by eliminating these students, one could only deduct that there would be enough funds freed up, to compensate the educators in our facilities.

These are merely my own views, and as with our own lives, we must view each others respectfully. I for one look forward to our next election, and can only hope that new faces answer the apparent call. Silence Dogood

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Bob_Busk 3 years, 11 months ago

First of all, Ms. Phillips is already employed by the district, an administrative position was NOT added. Merely her title clarified as I read it.

Secondly, several administrative positions have been vacated by recent resignations and retirement: Dr. Erickson retires this summer, the transportation and food service directors both resigned and have not been replaced. As I understand it, Mr. Hayden and Ms. Phillips are assuming these responsibilities and duties. The Administrative staff and school support staff have not filled vacated positions with the exception of a counselor for the middle school.

Finally, as I understood the story, no teachers positions have been cut, none! However, several coaching and extra curricular activity mentor positions were cut. This indicates that the focus is on education. Additionally, last month the district purchased new textbooks and computers for students to include software for students.

I wish my school board in Lansing was as efficient as USD 464. As a THS grad and with family in the community I can say with confidence that this board is unified, has a vision and is committed to education (students & staff) and aware of the communities concerns. Sound stewardship and proactive, sums up for me this board.

Now the next question is what to do with the out of district students in 2012, my opinion, send them back to their own districts.

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Silence 3 years, 11 months ago

Bob, Your points are fair, and valid. Yet 2 para's were terminated on Monday, due to funding. The summer school sessions were cut due to funding. After school help for children cut due to funding. Our teachers have been told openly, that they will not be receiving any kind of raise due to funding. As for the backfill of administrative staff, they are currently in the works to attempt to fill those positions. Also, they did hire a guidance counselor, to that you are correct. Now with summer school, and after school programs cut, do these not classify as academics, which would focus on education? Yet we find, we still have summer weight training. One can see the potential there, as it would pertain to education. In your opinion the board is sound, and the leadership is moving in the right direction, and can obviously do no wrong, yet you do not reside here. I resolve to answer this question on my own, so ask I shall. Why would one push such a verbally charged front on this topic?

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Bob_Busk 3 years, 11 months ago

Silence, Para's are not teachers, 2 para's versus close to 20 coaches and mentors is in my opinion pro education. Summer school is continued for 1-4th grades (Private tutors and schools like Sylvan, also distance learning opportunities for 5th and on, parent responsibility). Activities with the COOP are ongoing for special needs and available throughout the summer. Teachers are not receiving raises, admin staff are not receiving raises with the exception of one person who is assuming the duties of several recently vacated positions. I am unaware of any attempt to hire additional/new administrative staff. Perhaps you have information as you are employed in USD 464, I don't have that info. Their webpage does not display any vacancy announcements. Summer weight training was reduced significantly and compensation for the two remaining coaches reduced.

After school programs? Could you be specific, I read nothing concerning the loss or cancellation of these programs. Perhaps some reductions, but no mention of termination.

Teacher compensation? I believe the board voted to reduce the school year because several snow days were not required. The teachers do not have to come to work for those days and will receive pay and benefits. What is a weeks salary worth, about $1300-$1500 dollars? Sounds like the board is considering the teachers and rewarding them in these times.

Why do I care? I am a graduate of THS and I have children attending Lansing and Tonganoxie school districts. I also own property in both areas and pay property taxes that go to both districts. I'm curious, how did you become a verified user with a Ben Franklyn alias?

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Silence 3 years, 11 months ago

Bob, Yes para's are not teachers, yet they are in the class rooms daily interacting on an educational level with all students. Summer school for 1st-4th grades does remain, yet this places the rest of the teachers in a predicament. Do they pass a student, to allow them to move forward, or do they fail the student, holding them back, and therefore diminish the schools seemingly polished image. Now with off site services, one could say this is a parental responsibility, but then you only open the door, that will take us down the path to demolish the educational system as we know it. By instituting this type of thought, you are clearly saying that the, teachers should try to teach your child, but if they are unable to learn what is being taught, it is your responsibility to ensure this gets accomplished. There are several private schools, for children to attend to assist in there education, yet what should be done with those who can not afford such a luxury? Do they become just a statistic? I am all for parents taking a more active roll in there child's life as a whole, and not just when it is convenient. Yet there are times when children do need the extra attention these types of programs offer in our schools. Compensation, teachers, and administrators are not getting raises, yet there is one. This in your words is, due to taking on the duties of vacated positions. Yet when a para, that is in a class room, and is active with the students learning, is no longer there, does this mean the teachers should be given a raise for taking on those responsibilities, or slow the class down for that one student? As to your thought that I may be employed by the district, I am not. I do however have 2 children that attend school in this district, and reside in the district. As to the coaches loosing some compensation for summer weight training, I would ask you what do you see as more important, weight training, or summer school? The after school programs I mentioned, is after school tutoring. I know there is a more specific name for it, yet it escapes me at this time. The shortening of the school year, was done due to the snow days. Yet to be fair let us look at all of the facts again. The teachers may not be required to work, but nor do the Administrators. A weeks worth of teachers salary would not be as high as you would think, it is more in the range of 800-1000. So does this mean the administrators should forgo there salaries also? The board was thinking of the just the teachers in this case, it was done to save the district the hourly staff members salary they would not have to pay. I became a user, because I reside here, and pay taxes here. Also it is spelled Benjamin Franklin, with an in at the end not yn. As a scholar of history, I only point this out not to be mean, but to ensure you, do not have a lack of education.

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Bob_Busk 3 years, 11 months ago

Silence, Your entire position then rests upon subjective opinion and little fact. Again, 2 para's and 20 coaching/mentor positions. Facts indicate education over athletics. As for education, it is ultimately the parents responsibility, not the governments. The government provides resources, opportunities, etc, but in the end who is responsible, the parent. It is the belief that government must provide even above an opportunity to learn that is wasting tax dollars on programs with little or no benefit. Schools should provide an educational opportunity, not every child is an "A" student and we shouldn't act like they all have that potential. They all have an opportunity to equal access to education, not equal results. Public education today is shifting to this dangerous attitude and our schools are 'dumbing down' to create a bunch of equals.

A weeks worth of work? Avg teacher salary $45,000 divided by 9 months, further divided by 4 weeks is about $1,250 dollars. Our administrators are already the lowest paid in the metro. Having them forgo 1 week is not a rational answer. And how do you know what the board was thinking when the decision was made? Perhaps the superintendent made the decision with board approval with both in mind. I'm certain the teachers union had a say in it and I didn't read or hear of any opposition.

Thanks for the spell check, I was being lazy. You didn't answer how you created a 'verified' alias? Seems a moderator has that authority. hmm?

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Bob_Busk 3 years, 11 months ago

According to the KS Dept of education these are the following salaries for a superintendent at schools in the area. Based on 2008 and 2009. (113,090 was Dr Ericksons) Mr. Hayden makes considerably less. 2008 2009 TONGANOXIE 111,050 / 113,090 JEFFERSON WEST 125,036 / 126,001 PIPER-KANSAS CITY 125,100 / 127,172 BONNER SPRINGS 163,802 / 159,393 FT LEAVENWORTH 121,458 / 121,458 DESOTO 173,299 / 172,000 BASEHOR-LINWOOD 134,359 / 134,862 LANSING 145,093 / 147,684 Smaller districts like McLouth and Easton are around 100,000.

Average teacher salaries for Leavenworth County according to the KSDE. 2008-2009 FT LEAVENWORTH 46,793 EASTON 47,471 LEAVENWORTH 47,911 BASEHOR-LINWOOD 52,283 TONGANOXIE 51,409 LANSING 52,417

USD 464 seems to be taking care of educators at the sacrifice of the administrators.

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briantks09 3 years, 11 months ago

Bob, Teachers spend way more than 40 hours a week working to educate students. They spend time after school, in the evening, and weekends working on lesson plans and grading assignments. They spend their own money to buy things for their classrooms and students. And do you honestly believe teachers get to spend their summers goofing off? Teachers get to spend their summers continuing their education at their own expense. No company to reimburse them for their expenses. I personally know a teacher with the Tonganoxie district who has been an educator for nearly 15 years. He just completed his Master’s degree at his own expense and during his “summer vacations.” That’s what teachers do – they work to improve their own education so that they are better prepared and qualified to teach students. And his pay? Less than $44,000 a year. A person working in a non-education field would make at least twice that with a Master’s degree and, if you count up hours worked, would work a comparable number of hours. That person would also most likely be reimbursed for at least a portion of his education. Having said that, those that understand teachers know that they choose to do what they do because they love teaching.

You are right in that “not every child is an "A" student.” However, saying that education is the responsibility of the parents is unrealistic as well. Most parents trust that they send their children to school to get the best education possible. That is the responsibility of those trained to provide that education. Don’t blame teachers and school districts for what those in Washington decide.

What started this whole line of discussion is that the school board gave one administrator a $14,000 raise for 5 more days of work. The teacher I know hasn’t gotten a $14,000 raise over his entire teaching career! In this difficult financial atmosphere, teachers are taking on more responsibilities but without additional pay. Administrators should as well.

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Silence 3 years, 11 months ago

Bob, Good morning, if you find my opinion subjective, and filled with little facts, and now you have began to rail against the entire public school system. Then why do you allow your children to continue to attend not one, but 2 different public school systems? Are not the least bit concerned that your child may not be allowed to show there full potential, when according to you the schools are now "dumbing down?" One would think if you truly felt this way, you would have your children in one of the many private institutions you have spoken of, or at the very least home schooled. To your point on "wasting tax dollars on programs with little or no benefit." I would ask to what programs are you speaking of? I am sure one could find in the halls of schools, in the very heart of the educational system, yes there is waste. Yet we allow programs that could assist those whom, are not "A" students, possibly climb above there potential. I do not believe every child is an "A" student, and know this first hand. I myself was not one of these students, but with the extra help I was provided in my youth, I feel it gave me the tools to move forward, and continue on to a higher educational facility. As to your average salary comment. I do know of several teachers who are at the average you speak of, yet these individuals have been teachers for almost 20 years. I do know of 2 teachers personally who have been teaching one of them for 5 years, now and the other for 2, that do not make 39,000 a year. To this also I would also have to add, that they themselves are a part of the Assistant coaches whom lost that part of there income. So with this becoming a reality, there salaries will not be even that high. The union was given an update. like everyone else. It was explained, that if schools were to close early, the savings would allow the schools to keep some programs, and only have to scale back others. Now as to what programs would be affected, it was not elaborated. Bob, as one knows with today's technology, one can almost reinvent ones self. All one needs is an email address. To the salaries, I am glad to see that you have posted what Administrators make. Although in now 2 of your comments, you have stated that Mr. Hayden makes" considerably less" in your words. Now you have also stated that he makes around 30,000 less in another comment. Now I will allow the conspiracy theorist run with this one, but one is inclined to ask, if you know what Mr. Hayden makes why not share it with the rest of us? Or are you closer to this situation than you lead us to believe, as you have insinuated that I am. I look forward to your response, and also your response to Brian's' points. One would hope to see others engage in this discussion.

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Bob_Busk 3 years, 11 months ago

Silence, When Mr. Hayden was hired it was for $90,000 according to the mirror. I haven't read of any change to that salary.

Public education is dumbing down. http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/

It has been written about in the Washington Post, in Newsweek, and several other sources. Research indicates that we will fall further and further behind as long as we continue to subsidize poor performance. Equal access, equal opportunity, not equal grades. Ignore the smart kids and focus resources on the unwilling and unable kids. A recipe for mediocrity. If you are a parent it is your personal responsibility to your child to educate them. If you feel a public education is enough then that is your choice, if you wish to supplement it with home work or tutoring then so be it. If you choose homeschooling good for you. I choose to supplement my childrens public education with home instruction and distance learning.

Briantks09, Phillips is being compensated appropriately. If the teachers don't like it then they can transfer into education administration. It is all about choices. Again, Mr. Hayden makes 30,000 less than many of the surrounding superintendents. They also have assistant superintendents that make more money than Phillips. We have two great administrators we are paying less than their market value and we have 100+ teachers we are paying at the top scale in averages. So again, whats your point? Do you want to work for 30,000 less than your peers? If you were working for 30,000 less and your assistant was working for less than her peers would you ask for fair compensation? A good leader takes care of his/her subordinates, Mr. Hayden is taking care of the teachers and his staff. The statistics/averages are conclussive evidence to the same.

I don't like the board of education. You can read my posts from a year ago and see I am not a friend of theirs. I don't know much about the new members, but the ones on the board two years ago were the worst. I do however think they were justified in awarding Phillips a raise. When and if funding returns we should continue to operate lean, give raises to teachers, and give a considerable raise to Hayden if he continues to steer this ship (USD) through the rough waters of this recession.

Good discussion. I'll read any replies this evening. Perhaps you guys might call a board member or email them. Get an insight to what they were thinking when they justly rewarded Ms. Phillips hard work and dedication above and beyond the requirements of her contract.

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Silence 3 years, 11 months ago

Bob, There is a point that is valid, and recognized. I do ask however what should be done with these kids who are unable, or unwilling? Do we give up on them, do we allow them to become the future ditch diggers, McDonald hamburger maker, and with a high possibility government handout recipients. Yet studies will also show that educated kids are less likely to be offenders of the laws of the land. Now as a parent I make sure my children, are doing what needs to be done, as it pertains to not only school, but life. I do believe parents should be more engaged in there child's life, and education. Yet, it is becoming painfully obvious that I may indeed be the exception, rather than the rule. With this being said, to my point above should educators, just give up on those children who may not have these types situations at home, like mine? If so, that will take us beyond mediocrity, and catapult us to a third world status in education. I believe Brian was pointing out, that teachers are not compensated as well as one has been led to believe. I ask only, due to my own lack of knowledge. Is Brandon Parker, who is the THS activities director, is he an administrator, or teacher? If he is an administrator, should he take a pay cut, due to the cut in activities, and activities staffing? Or possibly should he take on more responsibility due to the cuts? I do wish to know the facts. I am truly bothered by the fact, that there was a substantial compensation increase given to an individual, in this, a hard time for all school districts. When parents are being told that we can not afford to continue to provide certain educational standards, due to funding. I for one look forward to the next board meeting, and hope this verbal debate, has sparked an overdue interest in the process.

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Silence 3 years, 11 months ago

Bob, I do apologize, but I had to step into a meeting, and could not finish earlier. You claim that Ms. Phillips was justly rewarded for her hard work and dedication above and beyond the requirements of her contract. Yet do you know exactly what her days consist of? I do not therefore the question is posed. I do know of teachers like Brian elaborated to, that do buy there own supplies, and work more hours than there contract says they have too, provide students, and parents contact information so that they can contact them, if the need arises, and does. Does this mean the teachers should be given the same praise? Or do you wish to negate this to doing there jobs? Once again I do apologize for the 2 postings.

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katblu 3 years, 11 months ago

If the board wants to save money they shouldn't have renewed Brent Smiths contract. That would have saved the taxpayers 79,350.00.

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Bob_Busk 3 years, 11 months ago

I don't know exactly what Ms. Phillips does during her day. I'm giving the benefit of a doubt to the new board and new superintendent. I'm also unaware of Mr. Parkers full schedule. I believe he teaches some leadership classes and sports II or something. So he has a duel role. I don't know what is discussed in executive session, I wish the board could release that information, it would certainly clear up a lot of questions.

Some kids don't want to learn, some don't have much potential. We need workers, we need skilled laborers, its honest work, and it is fulfilling to many. An over emphasis on college education has turned off many students. In Europe and Asia students are channelled into areas they have potential in. Not required but recommended to the parents. If Johnny has an IQ of 85 why should he go to high school in a college prep curriculum? Why not educate him in a field (trade) that will benefit him, keep him interested and in trade school. And if Jane has an IQ of 115 and wants to be a housewife, then why not let her pursue that endeavor. It would be much more efficient, and better tailored to meet the needs of our kids. With the european model we could go a step further and turn over athletics and activities to clubs and associations. Tax payers shouldn't have to pay for football, band, or cheerleading.

There is nothing wrong with being a "ditch digger", it is honest work. Cooking burgers at McDonalds, another honest job with advancement opportunities. If ones potential is fast food, then embrace it and do it well.

Many of our grandparents worked as janitors, cooks, construction labor, etc. They got by and didn't require a 3,500 square foot home, two cars, etc, etc, etc. Average teacher salaries in USD 464 is over 50,000. That is a good living for 9 months. The superintendent is an executive managing a budget around 15 million dollars, coordinating the efforts of over 200 employees, presiding over a student population of about 2000 and managing property and assets valued at over 50 million dollars. That is a lot of responsibility!

If a teacher is spending their own money then they are outside the approved curriculum, it is for personal satisfaction. They have received their reward.

Many teachers have seen their salaries increase in the step system. So to say they have had no raises is untrue. Teachers that have attained advanced degrees are compensated for the additional certification. Teachers that have attained tenure are on a step salary system, they get raises automatically. So they have been seeing an increase in their salaries.

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briantks09 3 years, 11 months ago

Bob, It’s true that teachers get raises for years of service – usually. However, you are mistaken when you say they automatically get raises each year. For this school year and next school year the board of education has frozen wages. No raises for years of service. None. The only way for teachers to get raises is if they earn 10 college hours. That means my buddy who just earned his Master’s degree did get a raise - $950 for his $10,000+ investment. He does have his summers free again which is good because he is working a second job this summer. He tells me that nearly every teacher he knows works a second job.

You are dead wrong when you say teachers only work 9 months of the year and you insult those in the education field when you say that. When you look at the time teachers put in from an hourly standpoint (assuming a 40 hour week), they actually work closer to 13 months! And you are wrong when you say “If a teacher is spending their own money then they are outside the approved curriculum, it is for personal satisfaction. They have received their reward.” My nephew’s teacher (not in Tongie) had to buy her own copy paper last year because the district ran out of paper – and money. Where’s the reward in that?

You can find the salary schedule for Tongie teachers on the school’s website at http://hr.tong464.org/modules/locker/files/get_group_file.phtml?gid=998748&fid=4130144&sessionid=ed9d02f381437dda3ff5aebedc0a773a

As for our superintendent. He doesn’t have a Doctorate degree like many of the other superintendents whose wages you reported. Nor is he as experienced as many of them. A Tongie teacher with the same years of experience and level of education as Mr. Hayden would make about $46,000 a year according to the salary schedule. Far below the “average” you quoted. In addition, Ms. Phillips is not an assistant superintendent. She, according to the Mirror, is the “director of educational programs and student services” whatever that is. Rather ambiguous title don’t you think? You think the teacher’s union knew about the raise for Ms. Phillips. According to my source, the union has never been involved in deciding administrative pay. They find out at the same time everyone else does – when it comes out in the paper. I guess I just don’t understand how and why you think so highly of these two people and so little of teachers.

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briantks09 3 years, 11 months ago

This continues my previous comment. Guess I ramble . . .

I 100% agree with you about separating kids according to ability in the education system. It would be great if kids who are college material could follow that educational path while those who aren’t follow a vocational path. The problem is that plan would invariably conjure up nasty social, racial, and economic discrimination issues, something that is acceptable in other countries - not in the United States. I don’t know why you insist on blaming teachers for what Washington does. Public schools are at the mercy of bureaucracy.

One more note – I work in a technical field that requires me to have 10 hours of continuing education every two years in order to keep my certification from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. I have an Associate’s degree and earn more than a Tongie teacher with 20 years of experience and a Master’s degree. I just completed my continuing ed. hours and not only did my employer pay my expenses, they also paid me to attend training. Too bad teachers can’t get the same deal that wastewater treatment plant operators get!

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maryjo 3 years, 11 months ago

Hey katblu - the one they need to get rid of is the middle school principal. She's about worthless. Treats the kids like they're still in grade school. Treats parents even worse. Word is she's not too popular with other principals or the school board either. Definitely not an asset to the district.

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katblu 3 years, 11 months ago

maryjo The school board alows principals to treat parents rudely. Look at the record. Brent Smith lied to parents, lied in a federal deposition and tryed to lie in a federal trial. The schools own records triped him up. His punishment was. He got his contract renewed and big raises. In 2006 he made 69,458.00 In 2011 he will make 79,350.00. In 5 years he has gotten 9,892.00 in raises. maryjo have you gotten that much in raises? Do you know anyone that has? So why not treat the people that pay you like crap? The school board will protect them. This year a parent went to the board and complained about how he was treated by the middle school principal when he tryed to take his daughter out of school for a doctors appointment. Did the board ask any questions? No. Why not? There the school board. They can set on there hands and do nothing while the principals do as they please, and the taxpayer pay and pay.

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Bob_Busk 3 years, 11 months ago

Finally the Fred Phelps wanna be is posting against the board again. The Theno lawsuit was a sham and now the Theno case followers are in whine and attack mode.

Brian and Silence, Thanks for the good discussion. I believe the current board is doing a good job in these tough times. They selflessly volunteer, they are not compensated, and they believe they are contributing to make the community a better place. Lansing is experiencing the same issues, no difference.

The superintendent is an executive managing a budget over 15 million dollars, coordinating the efforts of over 200 employees, presiding over a student population of about 2000 and managing property and assets valued at over 50 million dollars. That is a lot of responsibility!

We'll have to agree to disagree. Thanks.

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katblu 3 years, 11 months ago

Please bob, Fred Phelps you have to be kidding. if you had infomation it was a sham why didnt you go to the trial and tell everything you knew?? The same reason Erickson didn't., the same reason Rick Lamb didn't. The truth came out and they as you , run and hid. Enews "ch59" did a special on bullying. last month. Again USD464 was embaressed . The truth hurts. Back to the point of maryjos comment. Why does the school board keep principals that treat parents rudely?

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kanfarmer 3 years, 11 months ago

Taxpayes should call the Mirror and ask why the newspaper didn't post the number of out of district kids in the article. Isn't that news?? I think it is suprising news. 122 out of district kids that taxpayers have to pay for. How about it Shawn, cut out the feel good stories and print news.

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Silence 3 years, 11 months ago

Bob, Apparently the debate is still a foot, my adversary. I did learn over the past weekend, that Mr. Parker, is neither a administrator, nor a teacher. In the highlight of waste, we have discussed in the past, I would have to say that this would yet again, be another example. To allow someone to teach, any form of curriculum, when they themselves are not certified teachers, is astounding. This could be another 45,000 or so in savings for the district, to be able to put to better use, would you not agree? As to the release of information, form the meeting, that possibly could resolve much of the debate. As to the point of IQ's, I have seen the European system. Yet I would be hesitant, to institute such a system here. I myself grew up under the back breaking labor, of farming. Although at times I do miss it even today, and know of its character building potential, for both hard work, and responsibility. I would not want to have been forcibly pushed in that direction, due to my studies not always being above par. Brian, it is disheartening that teachers like so many others, who give of themselves to others, are often under compensated, I do not, nor would I even dispute this. I do agree that someone charged with such a responsibility should be dually compensated. One could only hope that in forums to come from the School board in USD 464, that there in fact be more voices to be heard, rather then the present of only a few. I will myself will be attending, to see if the backbone of those who have gathered here, are willing to show, and let themselves be heard. Change does not begin, with a silent majority, yet an unsilent minority.

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Bob_Busk 3 years, 11 months ago

Silence,

Mr. Parker is an athletic director or activities director. I'm not sure of the title. The High School principal seems pleased with Parker's performance and work. I agree with you in questioning the need for a full time AD.

"To allow someone to teach, any form of curriculum, when they themselves are not certified teachers, is astounding."

Why? There are programs in place that allow persons with a degree to teach while seeking certification. There are trades and industrial arts that don't require certification or degree to teach. Junior ROTC doesn't require certification for its instructors. These classes count as credit, count as a letter grade, and contribute to the students total experience in school. THS doesn't have JROTC but the example is germane.

I don't consider you an adversary, just a person with a different opinion. I have learned a few things from you and I am now better informed. After this lengthy discussion I think the school board is doing ok, if 12,000 or 14,000 is all that has gotten a few persons panties in a bunch then there isn't really much to whine about. It certainly isn't the half million the Theno's scammed or the 50 thousand Brun waltzed away with. It isn't the 100,000 accounting error Dr. Erickson made with the tax report, and it isn't a million and a half for a performing arts center that we really didn't need. Considering the recession, jobless rate, and low revenues this is hardly a blip on the computer screen.

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katblu 3 years, 11 months ago

Bob,Bob,Bob You keep saying the Thenos lawsuit was a scam . But answer a simple question. Why didn't you go to court and tell the jury everything you knew? The schools insurence companys 300 dollar an hour lawyer could have used your help. Mr Pigg never said the bullying didn't happened. he said the law wasn't met to hold schools accountable and he was wrong....... Read bob read, its all public record. www.bensonlaw.com oh and Brun didn't waltze away with 57 thousand dollars of the taxpayers hard earned money. He was payed it because he had to put up with a superintdent that couldn't control his temper.

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Silence 3 years, 11 months ago

Bob, My use of the word adversary, was used in it's literal meaning of, having or involving opposing interests. I do not contend that you have an interest in that you are in some way personally involved with our board, or the administrative staff. Merely that our interests in the fact finding en devour we have endured has appeared to have placed you into this category by some, yet not myself. I have found through our ring, of verbal pugilistic exchanges, to be more informed, yet like you not swayed in my own belief that this was an untimely decision. I feel as though during these financially troubling times, a decision like this creates a tidal wave. Had it been better, and more prosperous times, then yes it would have been a mere blip. I have a question to ask, as it relates to Mr. Hayden, and his compensation. You have stated that he is under compensated, as compared to others around us. Yet do the others you speak of hold actual Phd's? I was made aware that Mr. Hayden, has only a Masters, and if that be it the case would this not explain his compensation? Just a thought. Also before I take my leave, katblu. As much as one can enjoy a good rant, have you like I have posed in the past brought this to the attention of the proper officials, in dealing with the constant according to you treatment of the parents by our schools administrators? Or are you merely using this forum, to unleash a personal vendetta against individuals here? I only ask, due to your constant regurgitating of the same thing over, and over again. Have you ran for the board, to possibly make a difference, as someone asked here? I do not wish this to be viewed as mean, or inciting. I am just curious if you have explored these options, and what came of them.

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katblu 3 years, 11 months ago

Silence Failure to do there job, lies.and being deceitful by principals cost our schools money. Once you have someone who has lied to parents is his word any good? Would you bring a problem to a principal that has lied to a parent in the past? This principal can never submit a report about a student and be taken as fact because of his lies and sneeking to change school records. The school board knows what he has done , but they protect him.. Why.. ask a board member, but don't be suprised when they just look at you. Remember you elected them but they don't have to answer your questions. Parents need to be aware that he is in our district and be very careful when ever having to deal with him. .... He who dosen't know history is doomed to repeat it.. My point has always been. get rid of the people that treat the taxpayers rudely and lie, I wouldnt think thats to much to ask. Hire people that can talk to parents like there adults. Not kids. That shouldn't be to much to ask, but look at the record and see its not being done. Our schools are almost broke so, why risk the taxpayers money by keeping people like this in our schools? I would run for school board, but I go to the wrong church. If you live in Tonganoxie you will understand that....... Ella Wheeler Wilcox teachs us," To sin by silence, when we should protest, makes cowards out of men".

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Bob_Busk 3 years, 11 months ago

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

That was hillarious. Thanks, can I share that with others, priceless.

ROTFLMAO

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Silence 3 years, 11 months ago

Kat, Your accounts of dastardly deeds, continues to grow. One has only to think, that by reading your accounts of past offenses committed by what one could only guess now is every administrator. We should release them all, and go find new ones, correct? You speak of how some have even told untruths in Federal Court, yet I have not seen form of perjury charges brought against them. Also if you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt, the accusation of this persons sneaking to change school records, why have you not? I do not believe I have heard anything about this prior to today. As it has been noted several times here, there is a general disgust if you will of how things are going. Yet all I see are calls to arms, and rebel rousing to have these individuals terminated. Yet I do not see a solution stated, perplexing. Also to your point on lies, You state that if someone lies to parents, are there words trustworthy anymore? To that I would ask, would this not be the case for all, or do you only hold Administrators to this kind of level of expectations? You state that people who treat others rudely, and use lies as a form of communication should be disposed of from public service. Should that standard not be for all of our elected officials on all levels of government? As to your reference to the house of denominational gathering place, I will not acknowledge the comment any further on the matter. Other than to say, that is what one calls the easy way out. Your comment on history "He who dosen't know history is doomed to repeat it" is slightly incorrect. It states those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it. With some variations found out there. Also to your provocative thought from E.W. Wilcox. I would ask if you have proof to your accusations about said individuals, and have not come forward, then you yourself are also guilty of this crime, are you not? Also if you have come forward, and presented said evidence, and nothing has taken place, then you should set with a resolute passion to have this accounted for. I look forward to the rebuttal that I am sure you will bring, yet one does grow tired of the mind numbing discussion you have brought forth. This started out to only question the reasoning behind the compensation, and has sparked a debate filled with vigor. Yet when personal agendas are sought, and facts become awash in seas of contempt, the debate no longer exists. I bid you good day. Bob, what has you wanting to share so badly?

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katblu 3 years, 11 months ago

Silence Its funny how one question or comment can bring out the best or worst in people. But thats what makes life so interesting. Perjury and lieing are like brothers and sisters. if you lie in court and are caught, its not uselly perjury because the person can come up with alot of reasons why they said what they said and they to cover them selves. Theres a big differents in civil and criminal court. Big lie little lie, its still an untruth. As for changing school records, the board knows about it. You would have to ask them why they havent did anything about it. The people that teach our children should be held to a high standard. Do you think? In the High School the students are held to a higher standard then the administers. I find that a bit odd, but it is what it is. At the end of the day the question is. should we pay someone who would lie to a parent? Should we pay someone that would change school records and lie about doing it? Simple questions simple answers. Everything i have said is public record.... I hope this isnt to mind numbing. Enjoy another rainy Kansas afternoon!

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