View from Someone who is Both Taxpayer and Teacher in the Tredyffrin Easttown School District

There have been 2 comments that I have been aware of from Tredyffrin Easttown School District teachers – however, there was no indication whether they were also local taxpayers.  However, I just received the following comment from an individual who is both teacher and taxpayer in our district.  I thank him (or her) for weighing in from the perspective of both teacher and taxpayer.  I thought the comment deserved front page attention.  Do you agree/disagree with the teacher/taxpayer assessment of TESD’s current economic situation?

T/E Teacher and T/E Taxpayer:

As both a teacher and taxpayer in T/E, I am very concerned with the future of the quality of our school district and hence, the values of our property. We enjoy one of the finest school districts in the country which makes the values of our homes exponentially more than neighboring districts. We must remember, we enjoy the 2nd lowest school tax rate in the state. NO district is making the agressive cuts that are proposed. Internally, we have heard from the union that 30-35 teaching jobs in addition to all of the teachers hired this year as long term subs will be gone!!! Why??? The reality is that neighbor districts DO PAY THEIR teachers more, offer retirement healthcare and bonus, have much more technology, newer facilities (schools) and personal laptops for each student and teacher!!!

UNDERSTAND PLEASE…I am not complaining as a teacher! This past contract closed the gap between T/E teacher’s pay and other districts. For example, before this contract, Upper Darby teachers were making more than me as a T/E teacher. We do pay into our benefits which is also forgotten. This whole debate and situation raises the question of why is our district in so much trouble and laying off teachers when other districts have more and are not??? The answer is that we as taxpayers have been undertaxed in comparison to the districts around us (yes, I said it and mean it) and therefore, the district relied to heavily on transfer taxes. Now no transfer tax, we are sitting hear screaming about taxes!!!

As a T/E taxpayer, I want to know why we are not tapping our reserves-the piggy bank of nearly $30 million???? The proposed budget is adding another 1million into the piggy bank, why??? Why does no one hear ask about the reserves? What about the 2.9% tax and then tap the reserve?

Does Age and Respect Guide Our Decisions?

There have been many comments posted over the last few days in regards to TTRC Chair CT Alexander’s Letter to the Editor in this week’s local newspaper.  The letter, its words and Mr. Alexander’s behavior over the last few weeks have caused much discussion.  At times, Mr. Alexander seemingly acts on behalf of the organization he heads but at other times, much to the chagrin of some of his members, he acts on his own (but under the umbrella of the local Republican Committee). 

I found the following comment from someone close to Mr. Alexander very interesting and it got me thinking.  I grew up in an era that expected (and demanded) respect from any of those who were older.  I never called my parents’ friends by their first name, but instead they all became ‘Aunt’ or ’Uncle’ (I was probably at least 12 before I realized that these people were not actually blood relatives!)  Growing up, there was unquestioning respect for police officers, teachers, and clergy.  In fact, when my brothers and I started school, my folks never questioned the decisions of the teacher or principal . . . the school was always right, and us kids were wrong, no matter what.  Although times have certainly changed, I do think your childhood very much determines who you are and how you live your life.  For me, that surfaces in the respect that I still have for those who are older. I often make excuses for their behavior, at times much more forgiving of attitudes and remarks than I would ever be from my peers. 

Do you agree with Anonymous remarks concerning Mr. Alexander’s behavior?  Should someone that is close to him just step in and take over?  Or did they grow up in a world that demanded respect for their elders and therefore, there can be no intervention?
Do you filter your own criticisms if the person is older? 
 Does it make a difference if the older person represents a group?  

Anonymous, on January 17th, 2010

Jim and John
I have known John Alexander probably longer then both of you. In watching his behavoir lately, I hope you never get old. It is clear he is losing his faculties and out of respect no one around him is doing anything about it. As a life long republican I think that it may be time to let him go enjoy retirement and let someone else lead the charge before he totally ruins the reputation of the committee. He’s a good guy at heart but he is doing the party damage.

What I can’t understand is why those close to him aren’t looking out for him and checking these confused rants of his before they get out. That I think is a worse indicator of what’s going on internally. You wouldn’t let a drunk get behind the wheel… would you?