Thursday, September 12, 2013

Welcome To The Dell Computers School District

Even if you read The Times Herald, you might have missed a little RFP dropped by Methacton. The RFP is for reputable and qualified bus transportation companies for furnishing student transportation services. Or, if you don't talk in corporate-speak 24/7, they're looking to outsource the transportation.

This is getting ridiculous.

I was around the last time MSD outsourced a school program when they canned the lunch workers for Aramark, mostly because the lunch program cost the district $300,000 per year, and nobody on that board had the stomach (pun!) to get their hands dirty and fix it. They would rather bring in an outside source and have them deal with it. Which is akin to calling somebody to my house every time I burn out a light bulb.

Should anyone be surprised? You know, at the same Board that didn't even work on the budget? It was all Mr. Whiteleather (which, at that point, he was still very new) and Dr. Miller (who will be gone come October), while the Board just showed up and raised their hands to vote for the budget.

What this says to me is that this Board refuses to actually manage the District, which is their job. The Board whines and complains about all the money they don't have, while in the same meeting, they're worried about getting a shiny artificial turf field which will cost $4,500,000 at least. But, you know, managing the budget is so damn hard, it's much easier to raise the tax rate and spend the new money coming in then stopping the bleeding.

A cynic on the outside looking in would say this is an attempt to break up the Teamsters Union. They already took out the lunch staff (I can't call them lunch ladies because I actually had a guy serve me the last year before Aramark), and if they take out the bus drivers, all they have left are the janitors/groundscrew (they're the same group), and guess what--they can be outsourced, too! Happy days!

I'm drawing the line right now: if the Board refuses to manage their district, then they need to resign. They don't want to do their job? They can find another one elsewhere, since the pay rate is so low.

Note: I didn't find a spot to put this in the general post, but if you look at last months agenda, there was no Board vote for putting out an RFP. Yes, there needs to be one. So unless the Board voted in Executive Session, which is illegal, someone on the Board or in Farina is acting in lieu of Board approval. I'm not going to point any fingers, but as of late, Dr. Miller has been playing fast and loose when it comes to items such as this. If it is Dr. Miller, even if he is leaving in October, he has no right to do this, and should be punished accordingly. If it is a Board member, than ditto.

There is a certain procedure the district is required to follow for things such as this, and the Board, or members of the district, like to forget. It seems to me that the Board President, and the other eight, have no problem letting this happen, since the Board keeps allowing it to happen. If that is the case, then we need a change on that Board, fast.

10 comments:

  1. Methacton has some great bus drivers who genuinely care about the students. The office staff in transportation has always been responsive and helpful when dealing with parents and their concerns. I hate to think that their jobs are in danger.

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  2. this is another example of the school board doing all their business in the "back room". You would think Quinn and Van Horn were still in the district. this board needs to be removed, remember, there is an election this year and 3 are running for re-election. Do you still want these people running your district?

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  3. I am more than okay with the outsourcing of all jobs specific to maintenance, janitors, lunch servers, and bus drivers. It is not the responsibility of the public to directly pay and support those individuals, it is their responsibility to pay and support teachers and administrative personnel. The School District is managing itself by taking responsibility for ensuring the duties that are not specific to education are not costing the public outlandish amounts of money. Local government, to include School Districts to a limited extent has the following responsibilities: police, fire, ems, public works, and education - in my opinion parks and recreation are not even necessary rather they should be considered a luxury. This is the real world people!

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    1. The logic of this is kind of like, since they're not teachers, they aren't useful. I don't know about you, but none of my teachers would have ever changed a lightbulb or clean up puke in the men's room. They're too busy teaching. You still need somebody to do all the remedial, real world lifting.

      But your logic here is also since it's not a necessity, it's not important. Which, janitors, bus drivers, and lunch ladies (and men) ARE important to the school. Just because they don't teach doesn't mean they don't have a job to do. I'm not a cashier at Walmart, does that mean I'm not necessary? No.

      The district doesn't spend "outlandish" amounts of money on janitors and bus drivers. They spend it on Skyview. They spend it on Artificial Turf.

      Also, when you bring in an outside group, they are more likely not to give a damn about the school or the kids. It's little things like cleaning up, changing lightbulbs, etc., and with being employed by the school, they answer to the district, not to some outside company who then answers to the school district.

      And I've heard about outside bus groups skipping routes, forgetting kids, and of the like. Child safety is paramount in a school district, and leaving a kid on the bus isn't safe at all.

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    2. So therefore it is the responsibility of the Methacton School District to establish a contract with the outsourced companies that is performance based and has consequences for their failure to properly do their job!

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  4. to save the taxpayers from spending "outlandish amounts of money", the teachers and administrative staff needs to be out-sourced. it's time to have performance-based pay for the teachers and looking at past pssa scores, we would be hiring a new crop of teachers. remember, the high school has failed to make "ayp" for the last 6 years and Arcola Middle School failed to make "ayp". Also, the district had to put in a special reading program for 11th graders who could not read at grade level and they are putting the same program for 8th grade students who cannot read at grade level. so the question is, what are they teaching the students in elementary school if there are major reading problems in this district. so let's throw money hard earned tax money at our teachers, let's give them the raises they so richly deserve.

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    1. I would love to see this because it would never happen. The teachers "are too integral" to the students or something like that.

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  5. not every student in 8th or 11th grade has been in the MSD for all the years that feed into the growth expected for success in those tests. as far as ayp, if you aren't going to cite specific data on the sub-groups that do or don't make the mark for the "ayp," you can't really have a valuable discussion.

    as far as outsourcing, when the folks who support your kids at school: those who feed them, drive your them, and care for your buildings and grounds are no longer PART of your community, and managed by your district, please don't expect those jobs to be filled by anyone other than outsourced "workers." Workers are not people with a stake in your community and the success of your children.

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    1. A) Actually, MHS has failed to meet AYP for six years, and the amount of students coming in is far, far lower than the amount of students who were here from middle school/elementary school. The AYP figures are on the PDE's website, and the "sub-groups" are broken up by race, with the Asian subgroup preforming marginally better than the student body as a whole. Failing to meet AYP is just that: MHS failed to meet the goal. Whether it's by one inch or one mile, failing is failing.

      B) You said that better than I could have. Thank you.

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