Thursday, February 28, 2008

Taxpayers sound off on 18% school raises

One of the most popular features in The Mercury is the Sound Off column, which allows readers to leave comments on news items in the newspaper. It's a way for people who don't want to take the time to write a letter to the editor to get their opinions published.

Below are several comments left by residents on a story about Pottstown School District administrators receiving substantial pay raises. You can read the original article "Administrators to get two pay raises this year" in The Mercury.
I think it's funny about the 18 percent raises for administration in the Pottstown School District when there's classes that still don’t have enough books for the kids, there's technology programs at the high school where they still don't have equipment they need and especially textbooks in that situation. Spending money for all these people who push people around, but the quality of education in Pottstown sucks.

Regarding the raises that the school administrators are getting, I'm not saying they're not good people but borough employees get a couple of pennies, people are losing their houses and we see these raises at a time we cannot afford this. Where's our school board? You wanted these members in so this is what you're going to get — spend, spend, spend. Taxpayers, be prepared, these raises will be passed on to you in a big way.

An $18,000 raise for the business manager for one year — wow! School board members, wise up and join the real world.

Regarding the administrators getting two raises this year, I understand the push back from last year, but I also understand most raises come about on a merit system. Considering our schools are ranked 670 out of 898 for middle schools and 465 out of 693 for high schools, I don't even think the administrators deserve to get a raise, let alone two raises. The fact they didn’t get one last year, they probably shouldn't have gotten one.

Hasn't the school board looked at the tax base of Pottstown? Haven't they driven around to see how many houses are up for sale? Are they trying to send all the old people into poverty? This town is going down, not up. We have to stop somewhere. Eighteen percent for one person? There isn't a person around who gets 18 percent, except maybe a congressman who votes his own salary and I think that's what's happening here.

I've been working for 40 years in Pottstown — Firestone, Bethlehem Steel, Pottstown Landfill and numerous other plants that got shut down and everywhere I worked the most I ever got was a 5 percent raise. Nobody else can get an 18 percent raise like the school administrators. Everybody else has to go by a guideline of 3 to 5 percent. That's why this world's in the rut it’s in — because people like this are getting astronomical raises.

No comments: