"I am writing to inform you that the APS Board of Education this evening approved a 5 percent increase in the cost of medical insurance for Albuquerque Public Schools employees. The district’s health care costs will in fact increase by 10 percent this year, but the Board of Education voted to use district reserve funds to cover the other half of the increase. The increase, which will go into effect Dec. 1, will cost about $5 a paycheck for APS employees who make less than $29,000 a year and have insurance for their entire family. The increase will cost about $11 a paycheck for employees who make $29,000 or more a year and have health insurance for their entire family."
--APS Superintendent Winston Brooks, employee email blast, 8.19.09
Move over Knute Rockne! Winston, and the Board, are inspiring teachers at exactly the right time..the night before school begins. Rah. Rah.
Yes I know things are tough all over, particularly in the area of medical costs. But tied together with:
- No raise;
- A vague one-time payment to balance a vague 1.5% tax increase;
- And, a Keystone Cops-meets-Cheech & Chong series of flips, flops and reflips in tardily putting together a "failing school" remediation schema
Superintendent Brooks hasn't been around Albuquerque long enough to show us much in the way of pep talks. Right now might be a good time to start breaking out some well-needed locker room inspiration.
Personally, I don't need a pat on the back, virtual or otherwise, but an announced reduction in the number of "short cycle assessments" from three to two this school year might be just the ticket to our putting up with lower pay and half-assed remediation implementations.
A move like that might even make me go buy some thrift-store pom-poms and lead a cheer or two. Maybe.