Blackhawk School Teachers vs School Board

Posted In: Blackhawk School District
  • Icanread on: Feb 25, 2014 at 1:37 pm #160442

    What does anyone think of this mess? Did the outgoing school board members screw over the public by voting in the big raises? Could they save some money by cutting administrative positions, secretaries, and coaches? Just asking.

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    ahudontnoshit on: Feb 27, 2014 at 5:49 am #161791

    The partial answer my friend is that the school board voted on a contract with 2% per year raises for the next 4 years. Take 2% of say a $80,000 salary or $63,000 or $47,000 and there you have the raises for older, middle, and young teachers. How can you break a contract that was agreed to and signed off on? I have no clue what they are doing there in Blackhawk.

    Icanread on: Feb 27, 2014 at 4:45 pm #161792

    If you’ve watched the school board meetings (thanks Matt Young, they’re on the school website). The board didn’t even compute how much impact the raises would have on the budget over three years. They just asked Michelle Miller and the Business Manager if the school district could afford the raise, and they said, “Yes.” If the answer is really “no,” the Business Manager needs to go the way of Michelle Miller. So should any remaining school board members who voted for the raises. This will result in a significant increase in taxes and maybe layoffs.

    And I don’t believe their fancy pants, Stanford attorney. There’s no way out of this contract. Both sides bargained in good faith. The school board just didn’t do their due diligence. Cut your losses, cut teachers if you need to, but don’t waste taxpayer money on litigation that will go nowhere.@epicshoolboardfail

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    greenangel9 on: Mar 2, 2014 at 10:28 am #163942

    If you are interested in getting more information on the topic Parents for Blackhawk Teachers has created a Facebook page with lots of information.

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    melissa Ziegler on: Mar 6, 2014 at 5:35 pm #165936

    Hi, I am the creator of the aforementioned facebook page….and I think it is very important to remember this issue is entirely about rescinding a contract illegally which is in turn going to be expensive for the schoolboard to litigate and more than likely come out on the losing end. The board and their cronies have been using scare tactics to try to make the public think it is in dire straights the fact of the matter is while we need to be prudent in spending in the district this was a fair good faith negotiation that should have never been rescinded. We contend that the legal advice they received is faulty, and this conflict will be a detriment to finding a new superintendent….the teachers and communities trust were broken in the new board second month of serving and a way to build that bridge back would be to reinstate the contract. One note we have a cash reserve that is there for a reason although it is nice to have a cushion school districts are not a for profit so if there is extra it means at some point we were overtaxed so either give it back to the taxpayers like Scott Walker did or put it into funding our teachers contracts.

    Wait…What??? on: Mar 6, 2014 at 11:00 pm #167265

    Nice. You most definitely aren’t a for profit business. You have a little savings and feel the right thing to do is immediately inflate your costs. Make sure you stay in a non profit government job. You couldn’t last anywhere else.

    Icanread on: Mar 10, 2014 at 8:56 am #169280

    @melissaZiegler I don’t think the school board is wrong to consider the realities of the budget and the potential effect on tax rates of the teacher raises. They obviously should have done it in September, but that was a different school board, a lame duck school board either looking to screw over the public on their way out or relying on incorrect information from the business manager. Either way, the locals aren’t willing to pay higher taxes. The board knows that, and they are at least being realistic by discussing staffing cuts. In the end the teachers will get their raises, and cuts will be made. The easiest would be pre-school, the arts, and hopefully admin and support positions. When the secretaries are playing computer games during work hours, you know there’s room for staff reduction. Why are games even accessible on work computers? Anyway, it’s a contract issue, but one with consequences, no matter the outcome.

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    ahudontnoshit on: Mar 11, 2014 at 2:52 am #169949

    SILENCE!!! SILENCE Melissa Ziegler!!! Your Quote: “One note we have a cash reserve that is there for a reason although it is nice to have a cushion school districts are not a for profit so if there is extra it means at some point we were overtaxed so either give it back to the taxpayers like Scott Walker did or put it into funding our teachers contracts.”

    I just about spilled my coffee at my desk on night turn shift reading that quote! Are you from Colorado? If not, you could have fooled me! Are you a fool? All school districts need an extra cushion of $$$ for unexpected expenditures. Why in the hell would you put it (an extra financial $$$ cushion) in the teachers contracts? That doesn’t help the school PROGRESS any. That doesn’t benefit the school children’s learning curve. I ask again, Are you from Colorado?

    Take that money and hold on to it for a rainy day. For instance when there is a time for another tax increase in the future, you can put it towards the increase and cut down on that tax increase if it is due to teacher raises. Or if there is structure problems in the school you can get it repaired. Or if you need computers for the kids, or need to invest in educational tools that the teachers can use to teach with… use it for the benefits of the CHILDREN! Not padding someone’s pocket! Spend it on IMPROVING the school’s educational system – not padding some pockets just because you have a surplus! Now take your toke and hold the smoke and think about that. YOU’RE WELCOME!!!

    m.cook on: Jun 12, 2014 at 9:30 am #5933168

    Our school board is out of control and at last tally while complaining of a $115,000 budget deficit in next years budget, they had reinstated a program that will cost in upwards of $150,00 to get back off the ground next year….do the math….but then on top they presented information in just a 6week time frame over $12,000 was spent fighting the teachers contract.

    Matt Young on: Jun 14, 2014 at 9:04 am #5933206

    First off, Icanread, thanks! I’m glad that people are able to watch the meetings at home, and I’m glad that there is talk of having the students do it, as it was meant to be. Additionally, I’m in the process of uploading the videos from the 9-12 and the 9-19 meetings so that community members can see the contract being approved. If you’re interested, please send me an email at

    Now, the 2% that is in question was to be applied each year. As the universal law of compounding interest goes, Amount with Compounding = Principle * e^(rate*time). This comes out to be a little bit over 16% over the 4 years of the contract. A 16% pay increase is something that many professions dream of, but never achieve in a 4 year span. Additionally, Blackhawk teachers have a starting salary of around $47,000. This is $5,000 above the state average for all teachers. A fresh hire makes more than the average PA teacher. I value education dearly; however, the Blackhawk teachers already make more than the average.

    I wrote a lengthy research paper on the logistics of the teachers’ contract, the legal aspect of rescinding a contract, and popular arguments made against the school board. I’d prefer not to repeat everything mentioned in it, so I’ll provide a link to it.

    Ironically, this research paper was graded by the union leader. Surprisingly enough, he didn’t like it.

    We should not be using a rainy day fund to support a legally questionable contract; it sets a precedent that the school district will be expected to follow. The only option if the contract wasn’t rescinded/is upheld it to cut teachers, increasing class sizes, and making people leave the district. This leads to a vicious cycle of less money for worse education.

    I am APPALLED that people still throw Vo-Ag under the bus. They currently have around 33-35 students enrolled for the next year. This is OUTSTANDING considering the lack of attention it is given during scheduling, the teachers’ bias and usage of the phrase “those Ag kids,” and the fact that it hasn’t existed for over 2 years and thus doesn’t have many people who can take the second level course. It is around $80,000-$90,000 for the course, NOT $150,000. Not to mention that they raise most of the money for their materials themselves via the greenhouse and sausage sale. I won’t idly stand by while they are used as scapegoats time and time again.

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