Rama Schneider | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Rama Schneider 
Member since Oct 31, 2015


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Re: “Policy Wonk Nicole Mace Lands in a Swirling Political Storm

Nicole Mace is an extremely talented professional, and nothing I have to write should ever be taken to question her abilities, integrity or motives.

This story focuses on the wrong side of this multifaceted issue. The most egregious injury done by the actions of the VSBA was perpetrated against the very school boards that pay dues to the VSBA. Contract negotiations were sent into a tail spin; negotiated contracts meant districts would be held liable for an unforseeable state claw back of money; and the Governor and Legislature got to put out what can only be described as "the great dumping on" (https://vtdigger.org/2017/06/29/rama-schne…).

To add insult to injury Honigford kept insisting that while this carnage was taking place, the VSBA was speaking on behalf of school boards around the state! (He wasn't, isn't and probably never will be.)

The VSBA through the Executive Director (Mace) and Board of Directors (Honigford, et al) leapt into the fray without a thought as to what could happen. Instead of pushing for an approach that the VSBA dues paying school boards could handle in a sensible and thoughtful manner, they, along with the Governor and Legislature said "I know, lets make ourselves feel good and screw the schools.

Here's a non-trick question: If one school district increased salaries by 50% to get to meet the demands of the VSBA, Governor and Legislature of an 80/20 split on premiums and out of pocket costs; and a second district increased salaries by 1% but didn't meet the 80/20 split .... which district is liable to the Governors grasping claw back? (Ok - answer - the 2nd district - the one that was responsible with the tax payer's money.)

4 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Rama Schneider on 08/10/2017 at 6:41 AM

Re: “Special Interests Spent $5.4 Million Lobbying Vermont Lawmakers

Protecting our only source of food, water, air and shelter (aka our physical environment) is not a liberal cause ... it is an absolute MUST!

9 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Rama Schneider on 07/05/2017 at 6:36 AM

Re: “A Near Miss in Montpelier Suggests a Union's Clout Is Waning

A plan for teachers and support staff negotiations:

1) Negotiations begin no later then the October 1st preceding the current contracts expiration date.
2) The school district and teachers/staff have thirty days to reach a resolution.
3) The negotiating parties then have thirty days to reach a mediated resolution.
4) If no resolution is arrived at by that December 1st, then the contract along with the history of proposals is forwarded to the Vermont Agency of Education where the state may add, remove or change any items not yet agreed on. At this time the state will no later then February 1st impose this contract on all parties.

8 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by Rama Schneider on 05/25/2017 at 6:05 AM

Re: “The Parmelee Post: Proposal for Teachers to Receive Primary Care From School Nurses Could Save State Millions

(OKay I get it) ... however when humor is no longer mocking reality but instead is reflecting it then we have one hell of a problem that mere stick-in-the-ass removal will not help.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rama Schneider on 05/15/2017 at 10:29 AM

Re: “The Parmelee Post: Proposal for Teachers to Receive Primary Care From School Nurses Could Save State Millions

An interesting idea, but using our public pre-K through 12+ schools as primary medical care providers for teachers needs a LOT more fleshing out then some late night back of the napkin sketch.

Here's a truly excellent idea: why doesn't everybody put their ideas into a form that invites inspection and discussion; we use our ... oh, I don't know ... legislators and governor to hold public hearings and receive input from around the state; and we try to make an educated move. Beats the hell out of "Hey, I've got a great idea guys!"

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by Rama Schneider on 05/15/2017 at 6:41 AM

Re: “Budget Standoff Escalates Between Scott and Vermont Legislature

One thing has become painfully obvious: Governor Scott has done a miserable job of developing educational policies. He needs to step back, listen to people with a real sense of what is going on, and then put forward a plan in a timely manner.

Springing surprises on the people of Vermont, including the legislators, is a POLITICAL game plan, and Scott''s political game plan is an extremely poor substitute for an educational policy.

14 likes, 54 dislikes
Posted by Rama Schneider on 05/12/2017 at 5:50 AM

Re: “Final Days at Statehouse Bring New Plans, New Fights — and a Walkout

I'm a school board member, and I think the idea of the state negotiating teacher health insurance is foolish. The Governor, VSBA and board members who stand with the Scott is this do NOT have my agreement or support.regarding this issue.

I've been around contract negotiations enough to know that the two big financial items, salary and health insurance, go hand in hand. In the above scenario the salary negotiations will quickly follow the health care to the state level, and that will make it functionally impossible for districts to negotiate any working conditions not actively supported by the teachers' association.

What will happen (and is probably meant to happen) is a statewide teachers' contract. And once you have a statewide contract you will have in practice a single statewide school district run from the distant and hidden halls of state government.

I'm a school board member, and I think this idea is foolish.

12 likes, 32 dislikes
Posted by Rama Schneider on 04/26/2017 at 6:41 AM

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