Last night the Neshaminy School Board (NSB) held its meeting where it dropped two bombshells: it has rescinded the agreement with School Lane Charter (SLC) and the volume of Neshaminy Federation of Teachers labor grievance filings are impeding the negotiation process.
President Ritchie Webb cited the agreement with SLC was contingent upon the school leasing the Eisenhower building from the district. This agreement was approved July 19, 2011. Since then the charter school hasn’t finalized its location arrangements prompting last night’s move by the board. The entire issue is fishy from both sides – some feeling the board has been looking to stop the charter from entering since it’s application (due solely to the financial impact it would have); while others think there is something behind SLC procrastination. Either way, there is a chance school choice in Neshaminy has been stifled.
While picketing outside school board meetings, calling parents’ workplaces/homes and distributing false statements in neighborhoods have not helped the NFTs swing support their way from the community, they have been inundating the district with frivilous labor grievances costing the taxpayers undue expenses in legal fees. One example brought up last night involved a retiring teacher who wanted to add dependents onto his medical insurance. The retirement agreement clearly states no new dependents can be added to the plan. However, like magic, the union’s lawyer produced ANOTHER, UNSIGNED side letter showing they can. So what happened? You guessed it – the union controlled arbitration board in Harrisburg sided with the teacher at an expense of $88,000 over the next five years. That money hasn’t been budgeted for and will now be taken from children’s education. It’s another union tactic -slow torture to get the district to capitulate.
Not even being discussed yet is the pending Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS) issue proposed to increase property taxes by $300/year starting in 2012!
For the passed 30 years we’ve been busy with our families, lives and careers while the unions have bought politians and made back-room deals, kicking their obligations down the road to today. Now we and our kids are faced with out of control state deficits and egregous public sector union contracts. This issue needs to be addressed by keeping pressure on representatives and the governor for real education reform.
Trust me, there’s more to follow this. Please visit www.neshaminytaxpayers.com, www.neshaminyinfo.blogspot.com, or email [email protected] for more information.