Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Frustration 101.

Here’s a little local Jeopardy question for the day...

West Windsor-Plainsboro
West Essex
But not Ridgewood.

Which districts’ teachers agreed to give up a portion of their contractual pay increases in order to stave off devastating budget cuts that would eliminate long-standing programs and force the layoff of dozens of teachers?

I’m so disappointed. Defeated. Depressed. Disgusted. Frustrated. And insulted.

In my opinion, which I remind you again is not the official opinion of the Board of Education, we will now be cutting programs in order to finance contractual raises for 2010-2011.

At the moment, we are not a community.

We faced an attack on our schools, on our values and on our traditions. And we were not able to join together in strength to withstand the assault. We did not come together as a community, with shared sacrifices and strengthened bonds. Nope.

This is not about the NJEA, Christie, Trenton, politics or the teaching profession in general. This is about Ridgewood. Things definitely need to change, but I submit that those changes need to start on the local level, beginning with how we view our relationships within the district. We need to work together...no one outside of Ridgewood is more vested in the outcome than those of us inside Ridgewood.

Those are just my emotional, immediate, politically incorrect thoughts on this dark, rainy morning. My next steps are to look forward, let this go (for now) and focus on the final budget to be voted upon by the BOE tomorrow night. I may be frustrated and sad, but I still believe in the power of this district -- the students, the parents, the administration and still the staff -- to cope with the changes to our programs and to continue to deliver an excellent education. What other choice to we have but to go forward and make it happen?

* Update 3/31/10 @ 9:00 AM: Bridgewater-Raritan Education Association did reach a Memorandum of Agreement, but as of this morning their official vote results have not been released. Should know more today.

Update 3/31/10 @ 1:22 PM: Bridgewater-Raritan Education Association voted yes and ratified the concessions for their budget.


Anonymous said...

I feel your frustration, but don't you think if the REA viewed themselves as part of the "community" they wouldn't need a union?

One other thing crossed my mind...Does the REA really think that the next contract negotiation will work out so well for its members?

The teachers just declared war on the taxpayers of Ridgewood.

Laurie said...

I may be frustrated, but I'm not going to use terms like "war." And actually, I don't believe it. The war is between the NJEA and Christie. The REA and BOE are being used in that sense.

As to your questions:

1) Yes, I do think that. But the union exists and I'm not sure how one would change that vis-a-vis labor laws.

2) I don't know what they think and won't speculate.

Anonymous said...

One word would solve our situation with the teachers. Privatization.

Anonymous said...

The NJEA is intellectually corrupt. But what should we expect from a union run with a longshoreman's mentality.