At the Monday TE School Board meeting, our community’s taxpayers, parents and School District employees deserve an open and honest discussion on the impact of outsourcing. If the jobs of aides, paraeducators and substitute teachers are outsourced with a third party contractor, we deserve to know the long-term costs and financial benefits, if any. Based on the numbers provided at the Financial Committee meeting, I am not convinced that outsourcing is a cost-savings measure.
Outsourcing subjects our most vulnerable students, those with special needs, to a revolving door of low-paid, less qualified replacements hired by the low bidder outside contractor. Is this better for children with special needs than keeping the dedicated longtime TE employees who parents and students trust and respect?
And what about the taxpayers in the community who don’t have children in the school district … the issue of outsourcing affects you too. To date, Tredyffrin and Easttown Township residents have enjoyed stable real estate values; the reputation of the T/E School District a key to the sustainability. The quality of a school district affects local property values and as a result, homeowners are willing to pay a premium. With the outsourcing of paraprofessionals in T/E, I think we will see the beginning of a downturn in our home values. Everyone needs to understand that if the School Board votes on Monday to outsource the aides and paraeducators, the jobs of the District’s custodians, kitchen workers and support staff will not be far behind. The homeowners in this School District should have assurances that living in the T/E community will continue to mean sustainability of the home real estate values.
Upon his election as T/E School Board president in December 2012, Kevin Buraks stated, “We’re benefiting families with kids who are in school because they’re getting a top-level education that they’ll have for the rest of their lives. I think we’re also benefiting families who don’t have kids in school, because we’re keeping high property values because the schools are ranked in the top of the state”. Contrary to what you stated 5 months ago, I would argue Mr. Buraks that outsourcing of aides is not beneficial to our families and outsourcing will certainly not keep our property values high. Perhaps, President Buraks should review his own words prior to the outsourcing vote.
Scott Dorsey sent in a comment for the last Community Matters post but rather than have it buried in the stream of comments, I am adding it to this post. Mr. Dorsey is a School Board candidate and voices strong opposition to outsourcing. Opposing Dorsey in Tredyffrin Region II is currently serving School Board Director Rich Brake. In Tredyffrin Region I, incumbent Kevin Buraks is challenged by Peter Connors. The four Easttown Region III candidates are Doug Carlson, Virgnia Latner, Maryann Piccioni and Jean Kim.
Primary Election Day is May 21 and knowing where candidates stand on issues has never been more important than in 2013. I invite current School Board Directors Buraks and Brake and candidates Connors, Carlson, Latner, Piccioni and Kim to submit a personal statement on the issue of outsourcing. Similarly to Scott Dorsey’s statement, all statements received prior to Monday night’s meeting will appear on Community Matters. (Although Betsy Fadem and Anne Crowley are not seeking re-election, they are welcome to submit outsourcing statements as well Pete Motel, Jim Bruce, Liz Mercogliano and Kris Graham.)
From Scott C. Dorsey …
As a resident of Tredyffrin, I stand firmly against any proposal that would outsource the jobs of my fellow neighbors. I truly believe there is an assault on those who have no union representation and it is time for our community to let its voice be heard.
I am saddened by the latest actions of our School Board. The Board has lost its way in giving our top administrators a sweet pay increase and retirement bonus while pushing paraprofessionals out to the lowest outsourcer bid. I understand the Board struggles to find financial opportunities to keep the school district solvent, but do we stoop to tactics of harassing nonprofit organizations by questioning their tax status or attempting to tear down neighborhood popular tennis courts? Do we discard loyal and valued employees who contribute to our students’ success?
Why are they making these decisions without the full input of the community? Where is the transparency?
Government can’t solve all the problems on its own, but Tredyffrin has been a community where people of all backgrounds can raise their families and provide their children a great education. In recent years, our educational system has come under attack. It is time to have public meetings and hear the voices of our neighbors before making decisions that will radically change the character of our schools.
Outsourcing will not save the district money or be a better deal for aides and paraprofessionals, as some School Board members have suggested. I beg my friends on the Board to listen to the people. It is time to focus on investing, not slashing the greatness of our community. I ask all my neighbors to come to the School Board meeting on Monday night to oppose the outsourcing of our educational system. Let us fight to protect those who are oppressed. May God bless us to find the right solutions that will preserve a great school district by investing in its children and valued employees.