Given the current state of our economy, school boards across the nation are being asked to make difficult and often painful decisions. Brentwood Union School District is no exception.
I do, however, believe the recent decision of the board to approve a pay raise for the chief business official, assistant superintendent of human resources and superintendent was misguided and inappropriate. In addition, future “automatic” raises to teachers – while in most cases are well deserved – would also be inappropriate.
It is time for the district to put its fiscal house in order and remember whom it serves. The district’s primary responsibility must always be to the children, for they are our future and should be provided the best possible education. I ask you how these pay raises benefit the children. Saving qualified and experienced teachers should have a higher priority than raises at this time.
Given the opportunity to comment, I bet most of our dedicated teachers would temporarily forgo a future pay raise and perhaps endure a few work furlough days to save as many teachers as possible and keep classroom size both manageable and constructive. A temporary shortening of the school year and some pay cuts would go a long way in preventing the laying off of 22 valued teachers and remove the threat of larger classrooms. Again, the responsibility is to the students.
I would hope that our board can find people with their priorities in order, plus the moral courage and fiscal accountability to do what is right. There is time to undo past mistakes and make better choices in the future.
Joann Briner, Brentwood