Comments for: Madawaska school panel proposes 9.45 percent teacher salary cuts to meet budget mandate

Posted Dec. 03, 2012, at 9:44 p.m.

MADAWASKA | The Madawaska School Committee agreed unanimously Monday night to cut teacher salaries by nearly 10 percent and to implement three furlough days to meet $525,000 in voter-mandated school budget cuts. “By making these cuts we can save a majority of the teaching positions and a majority of …

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  • Anonymous

    I sure hope that spreads downeast.
    At the last school budget meeting in town the teachers all voted

    themselves a raise and full insurance.
    Anybody else had enough ??

    • Anonymous

      And you’re against a raise for yourself? Doubtful.

      • Anonymous

        Actually , I would love a raise.
        And summers off.
        And full boat health insurance with no out of pocket expenses.
        And a sweet pension deal.

        And numerous three day weekends.
        And …………
        So ,yes, I would welcome it all.

        As long as you pay for it all.

        • Christopher Roberts

          Most teachers work a second job in the summer, besides further schooling. As far as health plans that is set by the district… did you skip school frequently?

          • Anonymous

            How many get paid back for further schooling? They do here, plus cheap prices for expensive heath coverage.

        • asportsfan

          If you’re so envious of teachers, why aren’t you one?
          Most schools do not pay “full boat health insurance with no out of pocket expenses.” I am a teacher and I pay over $250 a month for my health insurance; a $15-$25 co-pay for each appointment, and 20% for every test and such.

          • Anonymous

            Is that $250 a month for your insurance or is it for your spouse and children on a family plan?

          • Anonymous

            how much is yours?

          • Anonymous

            At least they’re paying something PF, instead of grovelling along on Mainecare and whinning on and on about it like you

          • Anonymous

            WOW….Cadilac plan there chum
            better not get used to that as Bambi is standing around the corner with his tyrant club to pound you down a few notches by raising your cadilac premiums to match the rest of us

        • Anonymous

          That’s easy.enroll in a college,study for 4 years , pass the tests and find a teaching job.It may not be such a great deal as you think.

        • Anonymous

          Perhaps you should step into a classroom and sub for a day and see how you feel afterward. Let us know what you think of your experience.

          • Yawningattrolls

            Red headed would be eaten alive by the students……

          • Anonymous

            wross ,
            done it.
            I had fun, kids had a blast , wanted me back.

        • Anonymous

          Funny, Do you know how much teachers actually spend of there own money? A lot, do you know how much time they put in after school and before school? Do you know on those 3 day weekends, they just don’t sit home and do nothing.

          • Anonymous

            I would hope they spend some time outside of the regular 6.5 hour school day. If not then they are really ripping off the taxpayers.

          • Anonymous

            Well, no crap they do, They are usually there an hour before and an hour afterwards. Also, most of the time they spend lunch with kids. What I meant was beyond the usual 1 before and 1 hour afterwards. Look at the countries that are beating us in education, They have teachers that are respected and well paid for. We want a great education system while paying teachers crap. You get what you pay for. Why would great leaders and minds going into teaching when they can go into something else and in the same amount of time be making double when they graduate?

          • Anonymous

            Glad to see that you agree that the pay given teachers has left us with low quality teachers. Please explain how paying our current low quality teachers more will magically make them better. Thanks in advance.

            As far as teachers arriving an hour before and staying an hour after, that is a myth that needs to be put to rest. Somehow the faculty parking lot stays empty until just before starting time and empties out shortly after quitting time. Go have a look some morning if you doubt that.

          • Please refrain from lambasting a profession you seem to know nothing about. Teachers receive a single subscriber pass from districts, and the prices are the same, except we have a trust that works to keep ours down. I’m one of the teachers who works a second job. I come home and grade for an hour or so. I normally put in a full day on the weekend (though I selfishly take one day to spend with my husband) and I’ve been taking classes for ten years. The school has paid for some, I have paid for the others. The school only when the course benefitted the school. Pay into this pension you appear to think I get for free, and I can’t claim the social security I also pay into while working a second job. I do this all because I love what I do so very much, and so do the teachers in Madawaska.

          • Anonymous

            mero818,
            yes I do.
            I am well aware of what a good teacher puts in towards

            their class.
            And thankful for it.

        • Anonymous

          You are quite misinformed. If you are so envious of teachers, then why don’t you become one? Just a warning though, don’t expect much respect, in fact, you’ll have to deal with people just like you.

          • Anonymous

            Misinformed ??
            Reely ??
            How so?
            Do tell !

          • Anonymous

            Makes more pop corn.

        • Anonymous

          You do not have any idea what you are talking about. Although it seems that what you have stated is the day in the life of a teacher you are well of the mark. Teachers work approx. 7 hours per day at school. Go home work for the family till the supper dishes are done then do homework, lesson plans etc. While in school teachers do mom and dads work also. Discipline seems to be the big one. and the list goes on and on. So if you want all those bennies then you are in the wrong career.

        • Guest

          Why didn’t you become a teacher?

          • Anonymous

            My guess would be that redhead couldn’t make it through four years of college and then pass the state exam. Right redhead

          • Anonymous

            wbt30,
            Who said I am not a teacher?

            I have taught many folks numerous things.
            Young and old.
            In 2 languages.
            In several countries.

            I am currently in an administrative position.
            And still actively involved in teaching.

        • Anonymous

          so you are jealous ?

          • Anonymous

            I have previously stated I would like summers off and great health insurance.
            Have a grown-up go back and reread my previous
            remarks to you , slowly.

          • Anonymous

            ;lolol makes popcorn.

        • Anonymous

          Teachers are not paid for the summers off. They can elect to have their pay spread out so they get income throughout the year and not just during the school year, or they can choose to get paid just during the school year(at least the teachers I know)

        • Yawningattrolls

          Interesting how teachers have all summer off; do you realize teachers have mandatory educational requirements to remain certified? I used to spend 3-4 weeks per summer attending classes but you know, teaching was such a relaxing and laid back way to make a living – NOT!

        • Anonymous

          teachers don’t get paid for “days off. “, their bennies are no different then ANY other large employer ( they get a better price for bulk purchasing) , . their pension iS THEIR contribution as in THEIR money and is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper for taxpayers then being in the SS system

          Ignorance is bliss in your world .

          BY all means become a teacher but you will have to change your attitude and pay back your student loans.

          • Anonymous

            Change my attitude??
            No , I wont.
            I like being optimistic, lively , engaging,friendly, helpful, compassionate,well read , well spoken and well mannered.
            And a good citizen of the community.

            All my bills are paid.
            And I donate generously to numerous charities.

        • Anonymous

          Much less survive student teaching, pass a fingerprint and background
          search, interview, get hired, survive your first year of teaching,
          survive a 3-year probation, and then re-certify every 5 years. And the icing on the cake is having to put up with parents just like you!

          • Anonymous

            Dear misinformed,
            What kind of parent am I , exactly ?

            That is , besides being a single parent?
            My daughter thinks I’m great !

            And have “The Worlds Best Dad” coffee mug to prove it.

      • Anonymous

        My company told me I was at the top of what I’ll ever get. Even though the cost of living has gone up, I will never see a pay raise again. I’ve had to get a second job so I can pay for the high cost of food and fuel.

        • Anonymous

          So, you blame teachers for that? You’re jealous?

        • My husband has essentially been told the same thing… The only way he will see a raise is to change positions in the company which 1)Works only if the position comes available and 2)Means he goes to salary VS hourly wage – which has it’s pros and cons as any one who has a job that they get a salary pay can attest to.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, teachers are salaried employees, and there are pros and cons. Teachers work plenty of overtime, but they don’t get paid. Teachers are expected to give and give, and we just get stepped on again and again.

          • Anonymous

            You and the rest of the union teachers DEMAND to be paid like interchangeable widgets and then complain when you are paid EXACTLY as you demand. Why not DEMAND to be paid based on your skills and then when you work harder and provide better results you will be paid more?

          • You are speaking to a former teacher here — or, should I say you are preaching to the choir? Taught school for 8 years, and I have my BS in Elementary Education/Speech Communications and M.Ed. in Literacy. I now run a home-based child care so I can stay home with my kiddos, but am keeping up my certificate and plan on returning to the classroom once my kids are both in school. Hopefully by then, all this RSU crap will be sorted out, and teachers will be more valued. Here’s hoping anyway!

            I agree with you 100%, and like you said they do (and I did) work plenty of overtime. You are not going to hear me say anything otherwise….

          • Anonymous

            The teachers have unions, so that won’t happen to them.

        • Anonymous

          get a different employer .you have free will.

    • Anonymous

      Teachers don’t get to “vote themselves raises” at budget meetings…or at least any budget meeting I have ever heard of. Superintendents work with school committees to come up with a budget.

      • Anonymous

        You dont get out much , do you, tjones ??
        When the town meeting to vote on the school budget is packed

        with teachers , staff , family members and assorted hangers -on
        it is hard for the lone ,average citizen to make their voice heard.
        Even though that person may vote in the elections.
        And has many valid points to save money for the town and not

        diminish educational opportunities for the students,

        Attend a school budget vote meeting in a small town and do a quick head count of who is who.
        And see how the discussion/votes go.
        It will be an education.

        • Anonymous

          So its the whole voting thing that you are upset with, apparently those average citizens do not care enough to go out and have their voices heard, but rely on one person on a message board yelling about what the average citizen wants.

          • Anonymous

            Take a breath, friend.
            You have missed it all entirely.
            It all went over your head.

          • Anonymous

            No, you are complaining about people that are actually out practicing their civil duty. Obviously they care, if no one cares to show up then is your voice really the voice of the average citizen?

          • Anonymous

            mero818, you wrote “civil duty”.
            Did you mean “civic duty”?
            Kind of confusing and unclear the way you wrote it.

            Did you know words mean things ?

            Thats why it is important to use the proper words to help

            explain yourself.

          • Anonymous

            Well obviously you know what I meant, I bet it was the context clues that gave it away. You know you are wrong when you start to pick on spelling instead of the argument itself. I re-read, had some others re-read, they all know exactly what it meant.

          • Anonymous

            We shoujld get them a hat for Xmas.

        • Anonymous

          Yes and the children of this town are receiving quite an education in observing this process. I hope they will never forget how their elders taught them that they don’t matter, that getting a quality education doesn’t matter, that the only thing that matters is placating the retirees.

          • Anonymous

            In our town children matter quite a lot.
            Not sure if the children matter much where you live.

        • Anonymous

          you mean the teachers LIVE in the town and show up for the town meeting and pay taxes in that town, raise THEIR kids in that town . Oh the horrors!!! HOW dare they show up to vote.. Bet they spend most of their salary in that town, too.

          • Anonymous

            Yes and no.

        • Anonymous

          Only teachers who live in the town can vote regarding the town’s affairs. Most of the educators I work with (and for not getting out much, I suspect I know more on how schools work than you do). One citizen gets one vote period. I bet well over half (probably closer to 75% of the teachers I work with do NOT live in the town where the school is so they cannot vote for any budget for the town.

          You act like other citizens can’t think for themselves and when things don’t go your way, vote-wise, it is magically the teachers’ fault.

          • Anonymous

            tj,
            We have only one full time teacher that lives out of town.
            They dont vote.

            The cook (30 hours – full insurance) lives in the next town.
            Cook doesnt vote either.
            But the busdriver (30 hours – full insurance) lives in town
            but usually doesnt vote, even though they can.

            So , yes , in my town most of the teachers do vote at town meetings.
            Especially when it comes to passing the school budget.

            How , exactly , did I act like other towns folk cant think for themselves??
            I dont recall mentioning magic once in my responses.
            I have stuck with the , verifiable , facts.
            The minutes and votes of the meeting are public record.
            Check the records. See for yourself.
            Shazzzzammm !!

            No magic about it.

        • Anonymous

          You must live in the same city as me.

    • Anonymous

      You have no idea what you’re talking about. TEACHERS do not vote themselves raises etc. That is the school boards mission. Where did you get your education? It certainly wasn’t in a public school.

      • Anonymous

        wross,
        I got some more of my education by attending
        town meetings and watched it all take place.

        • Anonymous

          Same here, and they have people who do the asking for them. Any time cuts are brought up, the unions go nuts.

        • Really? Because these types of decisions happened at a school budget meeting…which I also attend, and I’ve learned a great deal. Fortunately I work in a district that at least somewhat values the teachers who work there. Just an observation, you appear in no way happy, compassionate, nor optimistic in these posts. Perhaps you are a bit angry, but I would suggest acting in a way that positively represents you. These pages never vanish…your child may someday read this. Perhaps he/she may choose to become a teacher.

  • Jessica Anderson-Wade

    Let’s start by cutting some administrative pay and positions. You want to do what is best for the kids? It certainly isn’t screwing the teachers every chance you get. They are, after all, the ones who are actually teaching those children and interacting with them. Maybe someone could go beg Twin Rivers Paper Co for a million dollars out of the gazillion they will be saving.

  • Thanks for contributing your “FAIR SHARE” comrades!

    • trainguyjim

      Can you imagine what it must have been like for the poor teachers who had to teach Mr. Peters?

  • Anonymous

    Build revenue. Import some kids.

  • Keukahawk

    Something really wrong here~~~Administrators 2%
    Teachers 9.45%

  • Anonymous

    I find it appalling that when the mean average income in a community is around $25,000, that these educators that are paid twice that with insurance, retirement, vacations and other perks, cry about being underpaid while they are in effect taking the food off the table for many of the students that they teach.
    What may be a fair wage in Southern Maine, is excessive and a burden to local taxpayers in many other areas of this state.
    In my humble opinion, no person paid with tax dollars, should earn more than the average income of those they are employed by. Why should they live better than those that pay them?

    • Anonymous

      If you worked after hours often, as virtually all teachers do, and didn’t get paid for it, you would complain about being underpaid as well. You’d also want good insurance to cover illnesses you would get from those you work with, just as teachers get illnesses from their students.

      Yes, all public employees should take the needs and resources of the community into account in any compensation they seek and should not bankrupt the community in doing so. But they shouldn’t be thrown under the bus just because they are public employees. They’re people, too.

      • Anonymous

        BS…

        I served for many many years as a volunteer after hours.
        I also served on the District School Board as well as the negotiating committee for the teacher’s contract, I am well aware of all the little “extras” given to teachers that the majority of us do without.
        As for that snotty comment above concerning “cooked books”, in the district that I served in, I examined every single warrant before it was signed off on.
        The office staff of that district earned every penny and IMO served a function every bit as important as these over paid whiners in the classrooms.

        • Anonymous

          tell us about all those ‘little extras” that you see them get and while you are at it tell us about all the supplies you see them buy ( for your kid) out of their own pockets ..

        • Anonymous

          So I guess teachers should just work for minimum wage and no benefits. I’m sure you’d be able to hire great teachers that way- teachers who need specialized training both before and after they are hired, teachers who work off the clock, teachers who buy their own supplies because the District can’t (or won’t), teachers who must do their best with what they are given despite political pressure for results.

        • Anonymous

          Plus the state hands out more paperwork than I could believe.

        • Anonymous

          Remember, if you have bad teachers in a district, it ultimately comes from a bad school board. So, remember that the next time you talk about teachers being overpaid whiners. It sounds like they were dealing with an incompetent district board to me.

    • Anonymous

      Ah yes, somebody had the nerve to get a college education but can’t make more than joe public who never did. Yep, hate the people who got an education, that is becoming the Maine way.

      • My first teaching job in Lee, Maine paid me four times as much as I
        earned for a year in the military. That would be like someone who earned
        $20,000 yesterday who suddenly gets $80,000 today. Before that, when I
        was in grade school and high school, Maine teachers had new cars and were in a higher socio-economic class than most families in town. I admit that when I started college in 1958 so I could be a teacher, it was for the big bucks.

        In 1958 my brother and I wrote on the inside of the barn door that by 1962 we expected to be making $3,000 a year as teachers. — More than twice what I was getting for clerking in a store. But when Maine towns went into School Administrative Districts it was a license for some people to spend more money. In spite of all the slick words, taxpayers found it cost more to run a huge school two towns away than it would have had they kept their schools in town. Now, seeing their mistake, towns are struggling to get out of these SAD situations. And when they came up short for all the bussing and administrative costs, they cut the teachers, who have the smallest voice.

        Go to law school, my child. Let rich trust-fund kids from away who don’t need to earn a living move to Maine for Life The Way It Should Be and teach school.

        The humble Farmer

    • Anonymous

      Yes firecap66. If everyone in the area works for minimum wage at WalMart, KMart, or McDonald’s, then every teacher should work for minimum wage too? Nice logic.

    • Anonymous

      its not the teacher’s fault most people in Maine are unskilled and work low wage jobs. A doctor makes much more than the average Mainer too.

      • Anonymous

        Good point. For some reason, teachers are not valued in this state and dare I say across the country. And people wonder why we can’t complete globally.

        • Anonymous

          They used to be more valued before they all joined unions.

    • Anonymous

      It’s a myth that teachers get paid for vacations. We do not get paid for vacations. We are contracted employees, and our wages are paid out in 26 equal installments. The checks we receive during vacation times represent work already earned during the current contract or the previous contract. It sounds like you’re quite envious of teachers. You had just as much opportunity as anyone to become a teacher, so why didn’t you? Cutting education in any community is shortsighted to say the least. This town will soon be filled with nothing but old people because as evidenced by last night’s meeting, many young people with children are planning to move out.
      And by the way, you’re proposing that everyone have equal pay…hmm, that sounds like Communism to me, which is something people your age are supposed to be against isn’t it?

      • Henderson bobby

        Not everyone has just as much opportunity to become a teacher. Some people grow up in uneducated families that tend to believe what teachers tell the, . I was slow . My parents were Told do not expect much out of him . When i finally did start to catch up no one advocated for me . Why should my parents they thought I saw slow (told my more educated teachers). Even tho I had a GPA in the top 10 of my high school class college was a realistic expectation of me. Education favors a certain subset of skills . Like spelling wrighting etc. not thinking. maybe I could have made it as an engineer definately not an English teacher . At that time in my life No one showed me how to apply for a grant or loan . I was not able to advocate for myself . You never truely understand unless you lived it. The environment someone is raised in is about 5 times more important than IQ . I do not want to sound like a blame teachers most care a great deal but are indoctrinated but the system . More millionaires in education than any other field . I would care to bet more teachers grew up very well to do than in poverty. (Lets say in the top 5% than the bottom 20%) I am not saying that some can not make it but it is not as common as we think.

        • For half of my life I lived I poverty. I got out, got an education, a whole lot of student loans, and now I teach. I promise you I try to make sure everyday what happened to you never happens to a student in my room.

          • Henderson bobby

            Great . Most teachers do care a great deal . It is almost impossible for someone to understand If they have not lived it. I am not saying that people can not do just what you did . I am just saying the odds are against it. I am not in poverty myself .People who may be smart in some ways are often wrote of by the system we have now. I believe I had or have an auditory processing problem . I never leaned to spell or proper grammar .Many do slip through the cracks .words like affect and effect the same to me the list goes on and one . Some spelling come easy . I tend to do more visual . Teachers need to be more educated about IQ myths (Even those they were taught in college). Not destroying kids self efficacy towards learning . This whole teaching to the test to me is BS. They should teach kids how to learn not what to learn.

    • Anonymous

      funny, what you want is socialism, why should a doctor that accepts Maine care get paid more then the average joe! Because they went to school, got and advanced degree and higher education thus a demand is better pay then someone that did.

    • Anonymous

      Are you making a comparison of uneducated people versus educated people? Degrees aren’t awarded free.

      • Anonymous

        Thats for sure.. around here the residents pay for the degree.

    • Anonymous

      You really needo look into these “perks” and evaluate them in line with other professions requiring a college degree. Those “vacation days “are unpaid ( find that in the private sector) and mandated by the state. They don’t get paid holidays or paid vacations.
      Health insurance is just about the only “perk’ you’ll find in most teacher contracts.
      I have three children who have college degrees
      who all have a far better benefits package than I had.

      • Henderson bobby

        And how many hours a year did you have to work in your contract? A teacher making $50k is like making $80k in the private sector figuring a 2000 hour a year work load.

        • Anonymous

          II taught for nearly 40 years and worked 180 days a year. If I had worked in the private sector in a professional job with normal vacation( 2 weeks ) and 9 paid holidays , that would have me actually working 241 days. A teacher, a salaried employee, making 50,000 would be earning about $278 a day. Working 241 days at your $80,000 figure would have me making $332 a day. That figure doesn’t include the value of benefits. If you wish to include those 19 days at per diem , it would still only come up to about $ 55,322. A far cry from the $80,000 you think it to be.

          • Anonymous

            Most white color jobs start at 2 weeks paid vacation. They also start out with a week of sick pay (which teachers get more of, however rarely use… when we retire it ends up being our one and only bonus for our years of service). He routinely received bonuses that were $5000 to $15000. Then after 3-5 years vacation pay goes up to 3 weeks. My father by the time he retired had over 6 weeks paid vacation. That ended up being around 215 per year. He also got to choose when his vacation was. That is a luxury I will never get.

    • Anonymous

      “That these educators that are paid twice that with insurance, retirement, vacations and other perks,” so those OTHER workers in town Don’t get any benefits— like those working in the paper mills necessitating this Tax abatement”? YOU LIE so badly your nose is getting longer !!

      • Anonymous

        Corporate welfare!

  • Anonymous

    An almost 10% salary cut is massive. It’s not like teachers are paid that well for what has got to be one of the most annoying, frustrating, difficult jobs in the world — educating children (some of whom have little/no parenting from home). Why is it that the admin pay was only cut 1 percent? seems like slim trimmings from the top to me.

    • StillRelaxin

      Here’s how to solve this kind of problem across this state.
      1. Drop the sports programs. Begin an expansive intramural program for ALL students to enjoy.
      2. Keep the teachers and give each one raise for the hell we’ve put them through.
      3. Get rid of all administration. A board of teachers in each school can do their jobs and should receive a stipend for doing so.
      4. Hire an accountant to stop cooking the books. Yep, that means the super is gone with the rest of the administration.

      • Melora

        Excellent ideas! It is shameful that the teachers who put up with the most abuses and difficulties end up suffering the most. Get rid of all administration positions–I agree!

      • Anonymous

        Completely agree. Especially for these smaller schools and districts — the management should be required to teach at least one class. I can just imagine how differently things would run.

      • While I believe many schools are top heavy…get rid of all administration?!

        • StillRelaxin

          You question it only because you believe they actually have a useful function. Sure I could come up with a list of things they’re supposed to do. But in reality, if I had to come up with a list of things they do well then I’m already done here. A group of teachers all sharing a small part of what needs to get done would do a much better job than any stressed out individuals who hates that they can’t do an impossible job and therefore often wind up doing more “harm’ than good within any given school setting.

          • So on top of doing their already demanding jobs, you think a bunch of teachers want to do the admins jobs too? 80 hour work weeks maybe?

            Be reasonable. There are good managers, bad managers and superflous managers. Get rid of the latter, keep the former.

          • StillRelaxin

            I’m willing to bet that for a stipend equal to what most schools pay their football coach you’d be able to get 3-4 teachers in each school to do that job and they’d do it 3-4 times better than the 60-80 K administator they’d replace.

          • Anonymous

            Agreed. I don’t work in a school system but I have a question. I’m sure that in almost every single organization there is an administrator, and behind that person, there is a “radar O’Reilly” that does the actual work of the organization.

          • StillRelaxin

            You’ve got that right. I have no problem believing that if an administrator is out for the day or simply out of the building, most of the time no one would even notice. Yet if the secretary who’s actually running the school even thinks of going to the bathroom all hell would break loose.

          • While perhaps I overestimate the need for good management, I think you severely minimize.

    • Melora

      I totally agree with you! Appalling that the teachers suffer the most, especially when officials make MORE money in the first place. Their salaries need to be cut, not those who actually work with the students. Shameful!

    • Anonymous

      Well in all fairness the teachers here are some of the best paid in the state, with an average income over 50k year. With that being said though, Admin should be taking the 10% cut, not the teacher though. I’m pretty sure we could run w/o a super all together. Kinda hard w/o teacher though. We’ll be voting on this as a town, I’ll be asking for and equal reduction by Administration. Who are they kidding?? they really think that crap will fly here?? The super makes $98k yr …………hmmm 2% ….don’t think so there big fella!

      • StillRelaxin

        The average teacher pay is pretty much the same anywhere you go in this state. Why? Because towns like Madawaska would have a hard time attracting top tier teachers to come interview in their schools if they knew right up front (and they do since it’s public knowledge) that they would be paid, oh lets say 10% less than teachers across the state. You get what you pay for. From reading this story if feel comfortable in thinking that in Madawaska’s case they’re probably currently getting much more than they deserve.

        • Anonymous

          I don’t know about now, but a few years back I read that they were the second highest paid teachers in the state after Kenneybuckport.

          • StillRelaxin

            If true it makes perfect sense to me. The cost of living in Kennebunkport is high because many-many people want to live there. The cost of attracting qualified professionals to Madawaska is going to be high because not so many people are rushing to live there. Should we pay teachers less to live in less desirable areas of the state? You’re welcome to try that, but the results of doing so is quite predictable. Only those less qualified who couldn’t find employment elsewhere will even apply. Is that what Madawaska citizens want for their children?

          • Anonymous

            And where will our well educated students end up ??
            Down state . You don’t see very many of them stay here . So you educate them and they leave .

          • StillRelaxin

            Is that really a problem? Surely you’re not proposing to that it would be best to provide a poor education to your students so that they will be stuck without options in Madawaska Maine.

          • Anonymous

            Not so. Nothing is like it was “a few years back.”

      • Yawningattrolls

        Your figures are erroneous, where did you get them?

        • Anonymous

          Your comment is erroneous . Public information available online.
          ….yawn.

          • Anonymous

            Prove it with a link.

          • Yawningattrolls

            No its not – prove your point; you can’t – ’nuff said.

          • Anonymous

            Taken from the local newspaper : Wood’s current salary is $97,000, and she had a contracted increase to $103,500, Dube confirmed. However, after meeting with board members in an executive session Monday night, it was announced that she would instead accept a reduction down to $90,000, according to Dube.
            Read more: St. John Valley Times – Madawaska to lose its school superintendent

            google average teacher salaries 04756……my orginal estimate was a tad high, I think the actual average salary is around 48k. go see for youself, and quit with the drama- “nuff said” (lol)

          • Yawningattrolls

            Administrator salaries don’t have anything to do with teacher salaries; you simply can’t validate your claims or “your drama”.

            The average salary for Public School Teacher in Madawaska, Maine is $45,264. If you were to work as a Public School Teacher in Madawaska, Maine you could expect a starting salary of $37,276. Source “http://primaryschoolteachersalary.com/ME/Madawaska/salary/Public-School-Teacher-Salary”; maybe you should go back to school and learn how to research.

          • Anonymous

            Why are you offended by a mere suggestion of cutting admin salaries by the same as teachers WTF?? are you the super lol

            …and what “claims” should I verify? I was a lil high on the avg, OMG….. BTW… not a researcher, just a citizen of this town with an opinion…..sigh
            “maybe I should go back to school” golly geese beaver i dunno what to say

    • Anonymous

      A 9.45% cut in administrative cost would add up to a lot more money.

      • Anonymous

        There are only 5 administrators, so it wouldn’t add it to that much.

  • Anonymous

    Make all teachers state employees, paid by the state and not through property taxes, and the problem of the 55% reimbursement from the state would be solved.

    • Yawningattrolls

      I’ve been advocating pay equality for years (across different districts); I rather like this idea – a retired teacher.

  • Anonymous

    I do hope that Madawaska is also planning to lower the price of goods and services in town by 9.45% along with mortgage and rent payments by 9.45%. Of course the administrators are only taking a 2% cut because, like their CEO counterparts in the private sector, they’re “more important.” Ever see a company function with just a CEO and no workers? Ever see a school function with just administrators and no teachers? While I applaud the teachers for being willing to take the cut in order to preserve teaching positions, why is it that the administrators didn’t “share the pain?” I have been in Maine for 20 years and in that time I have NEVER seen a school district with a solid budget (it has been cuts to every budget, every year). Of those 20, I taught for 5. After teaching in New Hampshire and having to endure reductions in staff every year, when I came to Maine, I was hoping to avoid that and was assure by the Asst. Supt. that my position was one that wouldn’t be cut. Guess what; three months later, a pinkslip. After five years of that nonsense, I went to work in the private sector working shorter hours for more pay, fewer headaches and better job security. Why would anyone want to be a teacher in Maine? Yes, because we love what we do, but love doesn’t put food on the table and a roof over our heads.

    • Anonymous

      Check out Bangor’s school budget. $41,238,725 is 0.34 percent less than last year’s budget. No teachers lost their job due to this budget cut and no salary decreases. The academic achievement has happened despite the system’s demographics. About half of students receive free or reduced lunch, up from 28 percent four years ago. And administrative costs make up 2.4 percent of the budget, compared with the state average of 4 percent.

      • Anonymous

        You must have a community that actually values education.

      • Anonymous

        This paper plant isn’t in Bangor ; there was no paper plant ” tax abatement” to deal with there..

      • Henderson bobby

        Yes and student enrollment is down . also a lot more students are paying tuition to go to Bangor schools . Budget is not down compared to the number of students .Big myth or why did Dr. Webb get a raise .

      • Anonymous

        Sound like they were wasting a lot of money with the previous budget.

    • Anonymous

      The public expects teachers to teach for free. We have bills to pay just like everyone else, and for that matter, we pay taxes just like everyone else.

      • BDN Ombudsman

        The average teacher in Maine retires as a millionaire when you take into account the estimated 25 or more years of pension and health care they receive for working until the age of 60. Is that expecting them to work for free? Plus, they get summers, weekends and all holidays off. Cry me a river. Teachers in Maine are among the best paid jobs in the state when you take into account the benefits and other perks. They may be lower paid than in other states, but so isn’t everyone.

        • RedRose

          A millionaire….. now that’s a good one!!!

        • Anonymous

          you are SOOO full of it..

        • Anonymous

          Do you have statistics to back up your claims, or is that all anecdotal? I am related to and know many teachers and none of them are millionaires.

          If you had to get specialized training to get your job, and continued training to keep it, you’d want to get paid a lot too.

        • Dez

          Once again, slowly so you will understand. Teachers are yearly contract workers. They are hired to teach during the school year. The school year is usually 36-40 weeks – 180 days. Their pay, however, is spread out over 365 days. Technically, teachers are unemployed during summers. They get their “summers off” because schools are not open in the summers. Why can’t people get this in their heads? Now as to “perks.” Sigh, forget it, its like taking to a wall.

        • Yawningattrolls

          Oh yes sir – I became filthy rich teaching and now I’m retired; the teaching pension is a joke – and you probably don’t realize that Maine is one of 5 states where any social security entitlement is received at an “offset”; you are rather clueless – retired teacher here.

        • Anonymous

          Some things posted on these boards are opinions, and some opinions are little more than hateful, inaccurate idiocy.
          Guess where your comment falls on the scale?

          • Anonymous

            Yours falls right off. Feel better now?>

        • Anonymous

          Are you for real??? My husband and I are both retired teachers with a combined 74 years of service. We get a modest retirement and we pay out over $700 monthly for health ins. It is an insult to us for you to imply that our retirement benefits are over a million. Shame on you.

          • Anonymous

            Where did you both work? South Maine has high salaries.

          • Anonymous

            Southern Aroostook County. Our top yearly salary was less than $50,000. 40 years (husband) and 33 years (wife) I retired 2 years ago.

          • Anonymous

            I also worked summers all my life and paid into SS, Now I can only get 40% in benefits.

          • Anonymous

            Believe me, I am not complaining about my retirement. My husband and I will hopefully be okay. But I do get upset when people belittle my chosen career and imply I did not deserve my hard-earned salary.

          • Anonymous

            South Maine has high rents, property taxes, and ancillary costs as well.

        • Anonymous

          Ha!! I can’t stop laughing about this idiotic statement! If you’re so envious, then why don’t you become a teacher? Judging by your grammar, you wouldn’t make it very far.

          • Anonymous

            Judging by the grammar on papers sent home with my kids from certified teachers, he’d fit right in.

    • tag

      I have been in Maine for 20 years and I have NEVER seen school budget come in lower than it was in a prior year.

      “i went to work in the private sector working shorter hours for more pay, fewer headaches and better job security”. – you just lost all credibility.

      • Anonymous

        have you seen ANYTHING go down lower then the prior year?? it’s called inflation..

        • Anonymous

          Actually Radios T.V. sets, small kitchen appliances, Freezers, and Oil barrels are all far cheaper today (not even counting for the different valued dollars) than they were in 1960.

          • Heh, whoops, just poked a hole in that one. Yeah, anything CPU related has plummeted as well. 2GB of data on a stick can sometimes be had for several dollars. “Massive” 1MB hard drives used to run thousands.

    • Anonymous

      Other states are hiring teachers. Some of us are sick of complaining when teachers make more than other companies.

  • Anonymous

    Why is it a 9.45% cut for teachers and only 2% for administrators?

    • Anonymous

      My question exactly!!!!

      • Anonymous

        Very good question. I don’t expect an answer that doesn’t smell to high heaven.

    • Anonymous

      Because administrators teach an important lesson: self interest.
      That seems to be what they think education is all about.
      But of course we all know that teachers are SO overpaid.

    • Anonymous

      Because the Admin has not had a cost of living or any other pay increase in 4 years. The teachers have had 7% increase plus steps in the past 3 years. P.S. I am a Madawaska resident and parent who has paid close attention to all the numbers.

      • Anonymous

        So what??? Look at the type of students they are turning out, now when they catch these thugs and they go to court, the courts won’t put their age in the record, this is how low were going. To state the facts they need to be cut 10 per cent.

    • Anonymous

      Both should be cut and the union folks need 50 per cent cut.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s a solution. How about cutting teachers altogether? You could put all the money into sports.

    • Yawningattrolls

      Everyone just knows their child is the next Hope Solo or Lebron James so I agree, lets cut teachers so we can develop .000001 percent of our students to become the next biggest item in professional sports – I do so love satire!

  • Unbelievable, the Tea Party must be in control in Madawaska. When is this going to stop. They want a good education for their children but never want to pay for it. It would serve the town right if every one of them quit all at once but teachers would never do that. They take a licking and keep on ticking.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t be so quick to assume “Tea Party controls Madawaska”. Just the opposite….Madawaska is 90% liberal Democrat.

      • Anonymous

        True, and makes the cuts even more unreal. About time.

    • BDN Ombudsman

      The Tea Party would much rather cut 100% of the administrators and pay teachers more. FYI.

      • Anonymous

        exactly and do it in a private setting where teachers would actually earn more and nor run the risk of moronic LIBERAL taxpayers cutting their salaries

    • babblingsahm

      You mistakenly think the the Tea Party is in control of Madawaska since it leans 9 to 1 left wing liberals!! Madawaska would be blessed if ALL the teachers would quit! Boot the corrupt MEA out of there and hire some teachers (wow, and we have unemployed teachers across this country who would love to work!!) who would like to make more money with actual merit pay, like the majority of the rest of the world operates on! What a novel idea .. pay someone what they are worth! Work hard and your pay increases, work like a slacker and your pay slacks. It’s elementary, I tell ya!

  • Anonymous

    I wonder why administrative salaries are so important to the kids. I would think that the teachers are more important to the kids than administrators.

    • Melora

      You said it!

  • Anonymous

    “The proposed 9.45 percent cut in teacher salaries, a two percent cut in administrative salaries ”

    And yet the other day Terry Wood the superintendent was saying that it was the teachers refusing to compromise and refusing to offer anything up. Seems more like the paper mill and bigwigs like Wood are the ones not doing their share.

    • Anonymous

      Corporate welfare.

      • Anonymous

        wasn’t it Lepage who pushed this “Tax abatement” for the paper mill ,so why isn’t it the STATE who is paying for it ?

        • Anonymous

          Let us know when you are willing to pay taxes on twice the value that your house is actually worth. Until then your complaint rings hollow.

          • Anonymous

            You bet.

          • So what are you willing to pay for? From what I’ve read, you left the word “grumpy” from you user name. A company the size of Twin River can afford it. It is a sad day when children have to pay the price for an adults mistake.

  • asportsfan

    Almost 10% for teachers and only 2% for administrators??? Administrators are paid so much better than teachers, so why only the 2% cut? Why isn’t it equal?

  • trainguyjim

    Administration….cut your wages. Shame on you.

  • “Madawaska school panel proposes 9.45 percent teacher salary cuts to meet budget mandate”

    I’m enjoying every minute of it. I told you to go to law school.

    The humble Farmer

  • Anonymous

    It would be nice if schools went back to being schools rather than day-care centers for big children.

    Schools have gotten progressively more expensive over the years, and at the same time, the performance of graduates has declined.

    Now I support the citizens of Madawaska in their choice to cut. It is their town, and we live in a free country, but I can also wonder why the school committee didn’t toss some of these cuts back to the parents by making parents pay out of pocket for athletic and extracurricular activities. These services are not mandated, and they smack of babysitting rather than real academic pursuit. I personally do not mind paying for the meat and potatoes, but Everyone pays for their own dessert.

    • Anonymous

      According to many conservatives, teachers don’t do enough. I’d hate to see those teachers stop with the babysitting because the screaming would be even louder about how lazy and greedy teachers are.

      • Anonymous

        That sure wasn’t anything like the message I posted.

        • Anonymous

          Never said it was. I meant in general, of course. You can’t be ignorant of the kind of comments conservatives post any time there is a school/teacher related article on here.

          • Anonymous

            If the teachers were as hard working and dedicated as you say they would WANT merit based pay instead of a pay scale based on nothing more than the ability to fog a mirror for another year.

          • Anonymous

            Not true what so ever. They don’t want Merit based pay because of the lack of support from parents and the lack of students trying. You could have the best teacher in the world and still by the merits stink because of parents and students not doing enough themselves.

          • Anonymous

            They don’t want merit pay because they would lost big members of the unions that pay the bills.

          • Anonymous

            So who forces them to put their professional stamp of approval on these under performing student? Have they no professional ethics?

          • Anonymous

            Be quiet. You offer this vague solution like it would solve everything. What would be the test for merit? How would it add up to not being more work? Who would determine what is quality and what not?

            It’s just more garbage from conservatives. They say they want less government and less intrusion and then when they offer up solutions it’s more government and more intrusion.

          • Anonymous

            Merit pay based on the achievement of the students is the only measure that makes sense. Isn’t that what we are paying them for?

            Teachers DEMAND that we pay them as though they are interchangeable widgets and then complain that they aren’t treated like professionals.

          • Anonymous

            Honestly, that’s a stupid suggestion. The AP teacher will get a huge paycheck and then the one with the more trouble students will get a massive pay cut. Grades provide only a tiny sliver of the entire picture.

          • Anonymous

            “In general” responses are generally not posted as a reply to a specific poster.

            I am a fiscal conservative, not a caveman.

          • Anonymous

            I responded to you to point out that you aren’t in the norm for saying teachers should be doing less. That was indicated in an obvious manner in my post.

    • Anonymous

      You call getting a quality education “dessert”? Education has gotten more expensive because the world has gotten more complicated. Schools have to inject more rigor into the curriculum by offering advanced courses, and these courses don’t teach themselves–you need teachers. Where is your credible proof that the “performance of the graduates has declined”? Public school are tasked to teach ALL children. We can’t pick and choose the children we educate. We do the best we can with the children the parents send us.

      • Anonymous

        Yet you continue to produce students that are unprepared. Who is forcing you to give your stamp of approval to students who have not mastered the material? Have you no professional ethics? 1 in 5 of our best and brightest show up at college unprepared to do college level work and require remedial classes. Heaven knows how poorly educated those not “prepared” for college are.

        • Anonymous

          You want world class results while not paying for them. You get world class teachers by offering great salaries. Other then that, you get what you pay for. Also, Its not the teachers fault, they can be great teachers but if their is not try from the student or the parents then you get crappy results as well.

          • Anonymous

            What is a world class teacher? What does that mean>?

          • Anonymous

            Nice to see that you admit that we have poor quality teachers. Please explain how paying the poor quality teachers we have now more money would somehow magically make them high quality teachers. Thanks in advance.

          • Anonymous

            Its a race to the bottom, we pay like crap, get bad results, then want to pay less thinking that will work. You have teachers make better pay you attract better talent. Some teachers are great, but others not so much. Yes we have bad teachers but thats because you can not attract great talent into that field.

      • Anonymous

        You replied to me, BUT I would like to know where I said ANYTHING against “Schools have to inject more rigor into the curriculum by offering advanced courses.” I also said NOTHING about which children should be educated, and nothing against the Yeoman’s job being done by today’s teachers.

        I said ancillary sports and after school programs should be funded by those who use them. If You got something else from my post I must not have written my thoughts adequately.

  • Anonymous

    thank Leopage Isn’t he the one who pushed the paper plant’s ” tax abatement”?

  • Anonymous

    I see the charter school/virtual schoool (YOU get to pay for MY private choice crowd ) has arrived..

  • Anonymous

    Pay up teachers about time

  • Anonymous

    A major teachers union wants to create a rigorous professional exam for K-12 teachers that would serve the same function as the bar exam for lawyers and board certification for doctors.Under the AFT plan, prospective teachers who have undergone training at an education school would have to demonstrate knowledge of their subject areas, an understanding of the social and emotional elements of learning, and spend a year in “clinical practice” as a student teacher before passing a rigorous exam.

    • Anonymous

      This is called student teaching and it already exists. Teachers do have to pass a “rigorous exam,” it’s called the Praxis.

    • Anonymous

      if they make it as rigorous as the bar are they going to start to pay them better? We want more and more from teachers, yet don’t want to pay to get the best and brightest. When starting pay is one of the lowest for a 4 year degree you are not going to get the very best.

    • Anonymous

      The unions will fight it with all they have.

  • Anonymous

    So, the folks posting here who work at Wal-Mart, or the skills equivalent, think that teachers have it good in Maine.
    Easy to say, for someone who invested none of their own time and money learning a trade, and who have no clue what is required to manage a classroom full of children or youths while satisfying all of the administrative and testing requirements that are imposed by various levels of government. Not to mention dealing with a diverse group of parents who range from reasonable to borderline sociopath.
    8 weeks off in the summer, minus the time wrapping up last year’s work, preparing for next year’s and learning the next bureaucrat’s idea of the “perfect educational system”. Working weekends and nights correcting work, writing assessments. Paying for classroom necessities that aren’t covered in the budget. And getting a pension which is nothing more than Maine’s so-called equivalent to social security. While being forced to give up social security, whether you want to or not.
    Yeah, the good life. Let’s just lop off another 10% of the salary.
    What do teachers do anyway?
    Easy to say. If you really have no clue.

  • Anonymous

    This story is misleading. What the teachers presented to the board was a 3% cut in this year’s salary, and the teachers would stay at that salary level for a total of 3 years. The teachers did not present a 9.4% cut. The BOARD is the one who made those changes in their presentation. The teacher’s association was completely stunned by this act. It is an illegal act. It will be fought in the courts.

  • Anonymous

    This should be going on all over the USA.

  • Anonymous

    These people must be reading a page from the govs.play book.under the heading step on the little people and let the biggest paid people skate with all their bennies and pay.The budget cuts could easily be made by starting at the top and working your way down the ladder,that way we could keep our teachers and programs

  • Mike Crawford

    Having taught in Madawaska for many years before moving to Florida, I would make several small suggestions that would have athletics pay for themselves. First, have a pay to play cost for each athlete making a team, say $100 and $25 for each additional sport they play. This would help offset some of the equipment costs as well as most of the officials. Instead of having several sports not charging admission, have each (exception might be skiiing) sport charge $5 per adult for basketball games and the remaining sports $3 which would include middle schools. Students attending games would pay $1 each. Second, establish just ONE booster club to run concessions, run other events that would generate revenue. Third, and this one may not work in Madawaska, charge for parking to the games. Fourth, have long distance games be scheduled on Saturdays and have both JV and Varsity teams play. A four game day could generate revenue from an enlarged concession stand or a meal in the cafeteria (such as spaghetti) that would be a money-maker. If longer trips to Calais were eliminated and more emphasis placed on playing in-County, forget the a while the Heal Points system and take a chance at a lower seeding the playoffs. These suggestions have worked elsewhere.

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