• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

A reasonable request

I wondered when they would get around to this:

The head of the Fort Wayne Community Schools' teachers union reacted cautiously today to a call for his members to join the district's administrators in accepting a pay freeze as part of $15 million in spending cuts.

Responding to a proposal made Thursday by FWCS Board President Mark GiaQuinta, Fort Wayne Education Association President Al Jacquay noted that the district's 2,000 teachers did not receive a raise this year and have not had a chance to discuss whether to also forego their annual “step” increase, which would save the district about $1.9 million per year.

Salaries are far the biggest item in most budgets, and FWCS is no exception. When times get tough, the choice can be between letting people go or asking people to accept less. FWCS can freeze administrative salaries on its own and is going to do that, but that will save onlu about $260,000.

We can all appreciate Jacquay's caution on behalf of his teachers, and sympathize with them for not getting a "raise" this year, although they did get their step increase. But a lot of people out here in the private sector have either lost their jobs or had to take cuts in pay, never mind a mere salary freeze. If teachers want to keep the public's sympathy, they should be very careful about how they respond to this request.


Fri, 02/26/2010 - 3:04pm

All this would be a non-issue if Indiana voteres, who seem to have a knack for voting against their own financial self-interest, had not permitted the property tax cap, which obviously benefits rich people disproportionately. No wonder they don't care about their kids' educations. They're not educated, and it didn't hurt them none.

Fri, 02/26/2010 - 10:22pm


Obviously you were indoctrinated to find class warfare in all actions. Our tax structure is set up on progressive rates to tax the rich, but that does not seem good enough for you. Successful people did not set out to make you envious, but the liberal brotherhood has to blame something or someone for hard times.

There are many school budget items that can be reduced, such as shutting some schools, increasing class sizes, operating 12 months and even reducing teacher salaries. An honest assessment of administrative staff could bring about a reduction in non-teaching employees. Students can be sent to their neighborhood schools to eliminate much of the busing and high school busing could be stopped altogether. Then there is the matter of full-time kindergarten that did not exist two years ago, and there is always elimination of extra-curricular programs such as band and sports.

These things are already happening in Ohio school districts and now in rural Indiana. The property tax cap sends the right message that public administrators and elected officials need to keep spending in line. Every year we throw more money at education and every year student performance gets worse.

Above all else, incremental changes are far superior to firing all teachers as is happening in Rhode Island.

tim zank
Sat, 02/27/2010 - 9:58am

Schools don't need any more money from anybody. I'll guarantee you any organization, be it a business, school corp, or a governmental agency, that has 100+ employees will have a sizeable amount of waste.

If someone would actually go through expenditures line by line THOUROUGHLY AND OBJECTIVELY in the FWCS budget they wouldn't need to touch teachers salaries at all.

Bob G.
Sat, 02/27/2010 - 11:34am

I'm w/ Gadlfy here...
The FTKG should have never been implimented...total waste of time (except for baby-mama,who gets to hang w/ her BFFs while the toddler's at KG).
Another waste IS found in all the BUSING being done...all in the name of racial balance within the city.
Interesting thing about that...when these kids leave school, they tend to move into neighborhoods of like-raced people...so WHERE (exactly) is the "balance" there?

Seems like people PREFER to be segregated.
(who knew?)

But hey, let's blow the budget on BUSING and FTKG...makes better sense.
And Tim's right...no need to touch teacher salaries...not when you're all busy "racing to the top".

Sat, 02/27/2010 - 11:31pm

Somehow it doesn't surprise me that none of you considers education very important.
You've made some assumptions about me.
No one indoctrinated me. And I AM rich. I'm unemployed, but that doesn't mean I'm not comfortably living in a paid-off house in a nice neighborhood. I'm having a new kitchen installed next week. My wife just bought a new car (hybrid, of course). I have no children. If I were like you people, I would oppose the existence of schools altogether. I am more than willing to pay taxes for those who are not well off.
As for those young people who are not well off and won't get a good education because of tax cuts - who do you think is going to have the job of taking care of us when we get old and sick? Other people's educations affect me, even if only indirectly.
Libertarianism is simply selfishness with a fancy name.

tim zank
Mon, 03/01/2010 - 8:26pm

Well golly Littlejohn, we're all just thrilled for your financial security, that is wonderful. Congrats! We're also grateful to you and your wife for supporting the school systems even though you had no children that attended.

That being said, you make some really incorrect (and arrogant) assumptions with "Somehow it doesn

Bob G.
Tue, 03/02/2010 - 11:57am

Amen to that, Tim.
And yes, the missus does teach within the FWCS.
Education is MORE important today than it was back in our day, but for some "strange" reason, grad & promotion rates are in the crapper...
(race to the top...of the government money handouts)

Gee, we're still teaching the basic 3Rs, right?
And the other subject matter is close to what it was THEN, right?
And we still have school buildings to teach in, correct?

Well, the ONLY thing that's honestly changed in say 40 years has been SOCIETY itself...
Correct the flaws THERE (first), and education will once again rebound with better grad rates all around.

But tossing tons of $$$ in such a cavalier manner at the EDUCATIONAL system won't fix the FAMILY, will it?
And educators aren't there to be surrogate parents, right?

As for me?
Does "Professor Emeritus" of The College of Hard Knocks account for anything?
(Just askin'...)