The Teachers' Scrounge

News and comments from the world of public education. A middle school math teacher shared what he learned today.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Seattle school district... spending money to save money

Typing up a letter to send to the members of the teachers' union: negligible.

Sending that letter via certified mail: $5.00

Sending that letter via certified mail to all 3,300 teachers in the union: $18,000

That letter says the district is out of money and those teachers need to take a pay cut: PRICELESS!

This Seattle-Times column is a little sensationalist, but raises a good point.

The district lost some state funding (as budgets are downsizing). So the district is proposing that teachers get one more day of vacation next year (without pay, of course). So, instead of going through the union (as the columnist says is proper in Washington State), district officials mailed letters informing "members of the teachers union that if they didn't agree to losing one day of work next year to help the district compensate for lost state funding, they wouldn't have a job in September."

Well, I'd be shocked if the letter said that... I would expect it said that some of the union members would have to be laid off, and this solution was allow the district to avoid cutting any current positions. But that's beside the point.

The letters were sent via certified mail (law says hand delivery is acceptable... procedure says this needs to go through the union). The price tag was over $18,000. Now, to be fair, the district is probably cutting close to half a million dollars with their proposed amendment to teachers' contracts. The $18,000 is a drop in the bucket, but still... shouldn't we all be pinching pennies here?

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