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Comment Archives: Stories: News + Opinion: Education

Re: “Economics 101: Burlington Schools Need $65 Million in Fixes

It's just a drop in the bucket of what's needed but would show real leadership if Yaw Obeng paid back the $40,000 plus he made the taxpayers pay for his game-the-system visa (that pretends his primary job is UVM professor instead of superintendent). Also the school district could be getting back at least 8 to 12 grand in property taxes from the salary it pays to Mr. Obeng if he simply complied with Burlington law and lived in Burlington instead of South Burlington. But Mr. Obeng has demonstrated via his actions that he is not only too good to follow the spirit & intent of US immigration law; he is also too good to live and pay taxes in Burlington consistent with the residency law. And this guy is supposed to be a role model for our students - yikes!

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 06/30/2016 at 7:28 PM

Re: “Economics 101: Burlington Schools Need $65 Million in Fixes

How about getting Mr. Obeng to move to the city to also feel the pain!

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by John Searles on 06/30/2016 at 2:09 PM

Re: “Economics 101: Burlington Schools Need $65 Million in Fixes

This spending will likely go through unchecked by the residents of Burlington. The school district has carte blanche and the bloated/wasteful school budget is barely monitored. Burlington already spends at least 6 times as much as South Burlington on Administrative costs. You can see the differences in the following links - though Burlington's budget is structured without information or explanations of it's expenses...

http://www.bsdvt.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/2383192/File/Budget/FY17/FY17%20BSD%20Budget%20Estimated%20Expenditures%20Details.pdf

http://business-office.sbsd.schoolfusion.us/modules/locker/files/get_group_file.phtml?gid=993232&fid=29655569&sessionid=b17e9a2adfb250a80784109e01e119cd

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by jhilt123 on 06/30/2016 at 9:11 AM

Re: “Economics 101: Burlington Schools Need $65 Million in Fixes

There won't be any renovations of Burlington High School, if it means the teachers have to give up a raise, just watch.

Where is all the money going? Clearly not to infrastructure.

4 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by B. Alan on 06/30/2016 at 8:30 AM

Re: “Economics 101: Burlington Schools Need $65 Million in Fixes

There won't be any renovations of Burlington High School, just watch. That's a prime piece of land, near the lake. Can't you hear it calling out for a big developer, to come in, and take over? Out with the high school, in with more high end housing.

If I'm wrong, I'll buy ya all round at the new drinking establishment the city recently approved for Institute Rd.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Concerned Burlingtonian on 06/29/2016 at 5:27 PM

Re: “Economics 101: Burlington Schools Need $65 Million in Fixes

Put a new school on the 15th floor of the proposed monstrosity mall.

11 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Mark Lade on 06/29/2016 at 10:39 AM

Re: “School Board Seeks Remedy for Teachers' Costly Sick-Time Payouts

Greedy Bastards. And all this "for the good of the kids". Yeah, right. As a state employee, I have almost two years of unused sick leave, and I don't get a single penny. The Vermont Education Association is bankrupting our school districts and laughing all the way to the bank.

10 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Jeff Comstock on 06/05/2016 at 5:59 PM

Re: “School Board Seeks Remedy for Teachers' Costly Sick-Time Payouts

...and then there is that year off with paid tuition at UVM, which course may or may not relate to their profession....

7 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Bill Keogh on 06/02/2016 at 10:28 PM

Re: “School Board Seeks Remedy for Teachers' Costly Sick-Time Payouts

More dumb whining from Philo.

3 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by knowyourassumptions on 06/02/2016 at 7:24 PM

Re: “School Board Seeks Remedy for Teachers' Costly Sick-Time Payouts

We need to limit the amount teachers are paid so that we can give tax breaks to developers and hire friends from outside of burlington for six figures and then exempt them because of the financial hardship that would ensue due to taking the job. Better yet, let's hire more police to shoot the mentally ill so we don't have to waste tax dollars helping them either. Teacher salaries are not that high up on the list of where your tax dollars are going.

7 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Mt.Philo on 06/02/2016 at 4:08 PM

Re: “School Board Seeks Remedy for Teachers' Costly Sick-Time Payouts

Every time I hear another demand by the teacher's union it makes me sick to my stomach. Auto industry unions used to be wonderful for workers until their increasing demands drove their companies out of business. But taxpayers never go out of business. So the teacher's union fights to take as much as possible from our bottomless pockets. I wonder if kids spend only half the year in school because of union negotiations. Is it possible one day kids will only have three months of school if we keep letting the union bulldoze us each year? Instead of fighting over the amount of their pay raises, I would really enjoy hearing about no pay raise just once. Thank you school board for fighting back against these endless demands.

14 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Penelope on 06/02/2016 at 3:17 PM

Re: “School Board Seeks Remedy for Teachers' Costly Sick-Time Payouts

If the teachers take sick days (either if truly sick or just to use the day), then a substitute must be hired. Isn't that much more costly?

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by MG on 06/02/2016 at 2:03 PM

Re: “School Board Seeks Remedy for Teachers' Costly Sick-Time Payouts

According to Rich ard, "if none of these days can be banked, there will be a whole lot more sick days being used."

So to be clear, "sick days" are a mutual benefit which if you are actually sick, you should take off so as to not make others ill, but if you're not sick - - you should be at work, or taking a vacation day.

Apparently the argument is that if you don't give the teachers this hidden perk, they will untruthfully claim to be sick when they are not and commit fraud on their employer - the public taxpayer.

It's an argument - - a loser argument that relies on teacher's either being dishonest, or intentionally spreading illness in the schools, but Rich ard is making the argument . . You might want to take a stab at being more persuasive.

15 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Stacybtv802 on 06/01/2016 at 10:39 PM

Re: “School Board Seeks Remedy for Teachers' Costly Sick-Time Payouts

My wife's job allows half of her annual sick days to be "banked" . Quite fair I think . (FYI - different school board)
Don't forget , if none of these days can be banked , there will be a whole lot more sick days being used . Lots and lots more . Also this was part of a collectively agreed upon union contract . These teachers are getting what was agreed to , no more no less .

14 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by Rich ard on 06/01/2016 at 5:02 PM

Re: “After Burlington College's Collapse, More Questions Than Answers

This is such a travesty. I am a graduate of Burlington College, and was lucky enough to attend the school when it was located on the corner of North St and North Ave. Returning to school as an adult was a big decision for me and BC was the perfect fit. I am incredibly sad that others will no longer be able to get the unique education I received because others felt it necessary to fix something that wasn't broken. Shame on those who took away the opportunity for others to enjoy the education BC once provided. Leadership sunk the ship!

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Annieanniebobanni on 05/19/2016 at 8:41 PM

Re: “After Burlington College's Collapse, More Questions Than Answers

I attended BC from 2008-11; my class was the first to have commencement on the new property. I was frustrated about what was happening for most of my time there -- in '09 all sorts of major changes were suddenly implemented in the independent learning program that I was enrolled in, and no one asked us students for feedback. There was a sense of being in a beautiful heritage house being torn down to build a gaudy monstrosity -- and the "architects" didn't really seem to know what they were doing. Some long-time educators who did know what they were doing, including my adviser who I had great respect for, decided to jump ship. Although I had some terrific professors, it was impossible to have confidence in the school.

It boils down to this: The college that I initially enrolled in -- the one based out of a cute blue building at the corner of North St and North Ave which provided excellent educations to alternative-minded people like me since the '70s -- should have been left as it was. I don't know all of the details about how the school ultimately failed, and I don't feel the urge to grab a pitch fork and demand justice from the people who made these terrible decisions. All I know is that the school I enrolled in would still be there if the leadership hadn't tried to turn it into something else. It really was a special place. Losing it is such a shame.

PS Now I'm saddled with considerable student loan debt for a degree from a college that no longer exists. And yeah, that sucks too.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by DLuek on 05/19/2016 at 4:07 PM

Re: “Missing the Signs: Vermont's Deaf Bhutanese are Isolated and Underserved

How utterly absurd! Unless VT has struck gold somewhere I don't know about, we don't have money to be frittering away to help such a tiny, non contributing part of society. They don't deserve such services while actual Vermonters are sleeping outdoors all over the state. Shame!

Posted by Sam Urbôn on 05/19/2016 at 2:18 PM

Re: “After Burlington College's Collapse, More Questions Than Answers

it should be National news- cause Bernie is portrayed as a Saint! And we all know that is NOT the truth

18 likes, 20 dislikes
Posted by Sean Moran 1 on 05/18/2016 at 6:26 PM

Re: “After Burlington College's Collapse, More Questions Than Answers

I hope this makes national news, not because I dislike Sanders I like him well enough, but because I feel so bad for the excellent faculty and student. Clearly some mis management though. My son graduated last year and it was the perfect school for him. Their mission is unique but admirable. Come on some white knight buy this school please

16 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Pixelvt on 05/18/2016 at 2:13 PM

Re: “After Burlington College's Collapse, More Questions Than Answers

Yes, good article. And kudos to former board member Robin Lloyd for admitting that the BC board didn't vet the property transaction properly. This is where the fault really lies. While some finger-pointing is in the direction of Jonathon Leopold, and likely deservedly so, there are other board members who colluded with him.

I hope the rest of the former board members will speak up and name those who lobbied for this transaction, and question just why this was not vetted properly. It seemed an unworkable deal from the beginning. Housing and development interests seemed to be driving the transaction, rather than the success of the College. Not many academic professionals on that board then, or now. But lots of City officials and development interests.

19 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by VTPolicyAnalyst on 05/18/2016 at 1:57 PM

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