Monday, March 16, 2015

It’s here! Your favorite time of the year, once again!

Not sure what we’re referring to?  Good….it proves you need this reminder.


As a subtle way of re-introducing the subject, we’ll tell you that LT Dover, Benjamin is once again getting back in shape for what is to come.  We’ve known him long enough now that we casually address him as Ben Dover, and we kid him that LT stands for ‘Local Taxpayer.’

Your favorite time of year, of course, is Brunswick’s municipal budget season.  In fact, we believe that Mr. Manager Eldridge will be briefing the town council tonight on the schedule for the process.

While the dates may differ a bit from last year due to calendar quirks, we don’t expect the story line and the background music to differ much from the usual “Woe is Us” operetta.  You know, buildings a-crumbling, employees under paid, expenses a-growing, and revenues insufficient.

We expect as usual to hear the weepiest weeping from the School Department, which continues to struggle with the immense cost pressures of educating 20% or so fewer students than they did just a few short years ago, in two fewer school buildings.  Surely it’s a miracle they haven’t declared bankruptcy.

So we thought it might be good for you to do a little background reading in preparation for doing your toe-touches and other flexibility moves.

We came across this item in last week’s Wall Street Journal, and it seemed to aptly capture to us the tried and trite rhetoric of the entrenched establishment as compared to the Parental Choice advocates in their various forms.

Here’s how the article begins:

A Union Charter Flunks Out

Randi Weingarten’s model school closes after years of failure.

Randi Weingarten, president of American Federation of Teachers, speaks during the Clinton Global Initiative's 2015 Winter Meeting in New York February 10, 2015. Randi Weingarten, president of American Federation of Teachers, speaks during the Clinton Global Initiative's 2015 Winter Meeting in New York February 10, 2015. Photo: Reuters

March 6, 2015 6:42 p.m. ET

‘Our schools will show real, quantifiable student achievement and with those results finally dispel the misguided and simplistic notion that the union contract is an impediment to success.” So declared teachers union chief Randi Weingarten in 2005 upon launching the United Federation of Teachers charter school in Brooklyn, New York.

The UFT quietly let slip last week that this showcase K-8 charter school is closing after a legacy of failure. Ms. Weingarten’s experiment in education of the union, by the union and for the union is a case study in the problems with the status quo of union dominance over American public education.

And here’s how it ends (emphasis ours.)

The union says it “will work with the Department of Education to ensure appropriate placements for all students affected.” These kids deserve automatic admission to the city’s top charter schools, not another spin in the union wheel. The lesson for everyone else is that the teachers union’s education model of rich funding without accountability fails students even under the ideal operating conditions of its own design.

You can find the entire article here:

If you have the time, you’ll want to read the 200+ reader comments following the article, which add significant richness to the discussion.

And as we see it, you can expand the working definition of ‘teachers unions’ to include the entire administration of our School Department, and a goodly number of the School Board members.

Stand ready, and stand fast.  Brace for incoming, as we’ve said before.  And never, never forget: it’s NOT for the children, regardless of what the Mommy Mafia and the rest tell us.

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