Dr. Newcome’s Budget Presentation 3/11/13

cooking the booksDocuments from Dr Newcome’s March 11th budget presentation have been made available.

I am providing these for informational purposes. Many may not have known they were even available, or where to find them. I don’t want to give too much cometary, and will let them speak for themselves. However, there is a quick point I would like to make.

During Dr Newcome’s presentation and discussion of wage costs, his assertion was we cannot just look at simple averages, because it does not take into consideration the income of a teacher over the life of their employment. Viewed in this way, Octorara teachers make considerably less than their Chester County counterparts, but considerably more than teachers in Lancaster County.

I have already pointed out, no matter how complex the contract is, and no matter what the individual lifetime income is, it is the average salary which affects the bottom-line and what taxpayers have to pay. It is hard to argue “over the life of employment” when it does not seem to be reflected in average salaries… and now we will talk about why it may not be reflected.

Take note of the Act 93 Compensation Report (Administrative Team Salaries) verses the Salary Report for teachers. In the report for administrative salaries, Dr Newcome compares Octorara to four specific school districts. However, comparing teacher salaries, he uses county-wide averages. Doesn’t this look a little like cooking the numbers?

We know that school districts like Tredyffrin-Easttown, Great Valley, and other wealthy school districts skew Chester County averages high. Neighboring school districts like Pequea Valley, Solanco, Oxford, and Coatesville, all have average wages much lower than Octorara and lower than Chester County averages.

The very wealthy school districts to our east cannot be part of our calculations and comparisons. Our small rural community cannot be held to standards which threaten the well-being of the local economy.

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