Saturday, March 13, 2010

Town Hall Meeting Today

It is really important that everyone come to the meeting. We must keep spending in check and keep The Little Red School House open.

"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants." - Albert Camus

"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine". (Thomas Jefferson)

"Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed." -Barry Goldwater

"Forcing one person to bear the burden of educational costs for another is not only a moral question but a major threat to personal liberty. " -- Cathy Peschke, Mom, Tax Fighter and Education Reformist

"Whenever people talk glibly of a need to achieve educational 'excellence,' I think of what an improvement it would be if our public schools could just achieve mediocrity" -- Thomas Sowell.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Friday, March 12, 2010

What Happens When Teachers' Unions Get too Greedy

The following piece appeared in the Northwest Herald. The article speaks for itself. It is refreshing to see the editorial staff of the Northwest Herald come to our side and so strongly too. Seven years ago you would never see an article like this in the Northwest Herald, they would be more likely to speak out against Jim and I.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

D-26 union 
must do part to pare losses

If there ever was any doubt, Monday night’s District 26 school board meeting put the debate to rest.

We now know that, for the District 26 teachers’ union, it’s not about the kids.

Maybe it was before. It certainly isn’t now.


Yes, it’s about that.

An unwillingness to spare some of their colleagues from the unemployment line?

Yes, that’s part of it, too.

But the kids? No. Not even close.

District 26 is faced with cutting $5.4 million from its budget next fiscal year.

More than 70 teaching positions are on the chopping block.

The school board revealed during Monday night’s meeting that it twice had asked the teachers’ union to re-open its contract.

Twice it asked the union to offer concessions in an effort to save some of these 70 jobs.

Twice, the union said no thank you.

The school board asked again Monday night, and presented three options.

Option one involves a simple salary freeze, saving the district $527,599.

It would allow the district to save five teachers – one art teacher, one music teacher, one physical education teacher, and two classroom teachers.

Option two freezes teacher salaries and would require teachers to pay 20 percent of their single medical coverage, resulting in $739,149 in savings. In addition to the teachers saved in option one, three more would be spared – in music, physical education and a classroom.

Option three includes everything in option two plus a rollback of the 2010 salary increase, resulting in $1.36 million in savings. The eight teachers spared in option two would be joined by nine classroom teachers.

Any of these options would be better for the students of District 26 than eliminating the full slate of teacher positions now on the table.

So were members of the the teachers’ union willing to discuss these options, to consider making a slight sacrifice for the sake of the children?

Not hardly. At least not the union’s leadership.

“I don’t know how you can sleep at night,” a member of the union’s impact bargaining board told school board members, followed by, “You have made [this] extremely difficult, if not impossible.”

Impossible how?

The fact is, tens of millions of Americans have had to give plenty back in the midst of one of the worst economic periods of a generation. And with the state of Illinois in such dire financial straits, all public employees should expect to give something back.

We implore the District 26 teachers’ union to stop its posturing.

We implore the union’s leadership and membership to do the right thing here.

In the end, it should be about the kids.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Puppet Won

A puppet to the PTO and the Newport School Employees won the election. Croydon voters will have to be vigilant to keep Croydon tax dollars in check and the little red school house open. I am really disappointed in some of my fellow Croydon residents who voted for the tax and spend candidate.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

How do you Spell Greed?

How do you spell greed - "T-E-A-C-H-E-R-U-N-I-O-N-S" This is why teachers' unions hate homeschooling every student at home is money out of their pockets and money in taxpayers pockets. 38 free massages a year.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

In What Other Career Can You Sextext and Still get Paid?

In what other career can you sextext and still get paid? I would be fired without pay if I did this, she should be fired without pay as well. Our tax dollars should not be spent in this manner. This is also a reason why homeschoolers need to homeschool without government or public school intervention and also the reason why the money should follow the child and not the institution.

The following piece appeared on and a number of other places.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

New Hampshire teacher Melinda Dennehy arrested for sending nude photos to her student (photo)
March 06, 2010 12:06 PM EST

Melinda Dennehy is the 41 year old Londonberry, New Hampshire teacher accused of "sexting" with one of her students. According to reports Dennehy sent a nude photograph of herself to a 15 year old student. That student then forwarded that photo to his friends.

Staff of the school became alarmed when the rumors of the photograph began to circulate throughout the school. The school then began it's own investigation of the incident placing Dennehy on paid leave.

According to CBS News Dennehy was charged with one count of indecent exposure and released on $10,000 bond under the condition that she keep her distance from children ages 10 to 17 years of age.

Dennehy will face arraignment on April 30, 2010.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Reasons to Support Article 5

Seven Reasons to Support Article 5 - Sent to me via Gayle

1. Croydon is one of the smallest if not the smallest school district in the state. Containing one school and two teachers.
2. In order to provide an education for our children we need to have choice in the schools we send our children to from 4-12 grades.
3. We are locked in an Area agreement with Newport and we sent our children to schools in Newport that did not meet the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for SIX YEARS IN A ROW
4. Voting yes to article will not end the Area Agreement; it only appoints a committee to look into the possibility. On the committee is two Croydon school board members, one Newport school board member, one Croydon town official, the Superintendent of Schools, and members of the public. After an examination into the possibility of ending the agreement or keeping it a Public vote is required.
5. Cornish did this several years ago and it has the lowest annual increase (5 percent).
6. If the Area Agreement was discontinued, you could still choose to send you children to Newport.
7. It will not raise your taxes; parents would pay any tuition above the standard tuition to send their students to a different school.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

"Whenever people talk glibly of a need to achieve educational 'excellence,' I think of what an improvement it would be if our public schools could just achieve mediocrity" -- Thomas Sowell.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

2010 Town Hall Meeting

For the first time in years, Croydon has more than one school board candidate on the ballot. Gayle Hedrington has been a regular at board meetings as both contributor and reporter. As a board member, I know where Gayle stands.

Like many in Croydon I know little about Meshial Wittasek, so I am grateful that she chose to define her position in a mailing. What I read disturbed me.

Meshial's mailer could best be summarized as "Vote for me, vote with me, so we can get back to spending your money". The attitude seems to be a call for all residents to put the financial whims of the school district ahead of all else, including one's family. Time will tell, but I believe her outlook is seriously out of touch with the concerns of Croydon residents.

Amid dry statistics, Meshial seeks to convince voters that public ed in Croydon is a bargain, that Newport district gives Croydon a good deal, and that last year's modest reduction of the school budget INCREASE was a catastrophe. None of these claims holds water.

At $9,724 per student, there is nothing "only" about Croydon's tuition. Check private schools in the area if you're unsure. There is nothing "only" about a 5% increase in the Croydon budget, 7-8% annual education spending increases, or 10% teacher raises in Newport. How many of us received 10% raises last year?

What Meshial fails to mention is that much of our budget woes stem from Newport's inability to control spending. Newport's high school tuition increased approximately 25% this year for no apparent reason. We're supposed to believe that $14,586 per year is some sort of bargain. For this reason, it is vital that Croydon pass Article 5 to form a committee to modify or scrap our AREA agreement with Newport.

Also conveniently omitted is the reason that "Newport was required to raise student test scores". Newport has failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for SIX YEARS IN A ROW! Is that a bargain for our $14k+?

Not surprisingly, last year's budget (which was an increase, not a cut as Meshial claimed) did not bring the catastrophe that some high spending proponents promised. What industry besides public education demands 7-8% annual spending increases during the worst economic downturn since the 1930s?

Once again, we're told that the sky will fall if we don't pass the board's budget as is. I voted against this budget and urge residents to do the same. Homeowners sacrifice too much already; a 25% tax increase cannot be justified.

Jim Peschke
Croydon School Board Member