What an incredibly horrible day for what one media outlet referred to as the Porkerville Unified School District Distrustees. The announcement that 21 certificated employees will be terminated by June 30 due to the extremely difficult state budget is a devastating event to the employees involved. This event not only affects the employees involved but also the students that they serve. Add these terminations to the already long list of district reductions in student services.
Yet, as of today, the district still has not taken one single action to reduce even one penny of the cost of the very lavish trustee health and welfare perks. Not one penny of reduction. Anyone who has attended recent board meetings has witness the governing style of board member Richard Morris.
Question the district's policy of providing perks and you get threatened with an age discrimination law suit. Point out the costs of the perks and the fact that the Burton school district does not provide the same trustee benefits (and consequently) has had no terminations and you get called a liar.
Even though, I have offered each trustee the opportunity to review the cost that the district provided via a Public Records Request. To date, not one trustee has asked for copies of the information that I obtained.
Board member Richard Morris, in my opinion, is what is wrong with part time politicians. You have an individual and board who can vote to destroy 21 families with this termination notice, yet they refuse to give up even one penny of their own lavish and selfish personal perks. Benefits that trustees in other districts, like Burton, do not provide themselves.
Any young family who has a child preparing to attend school for the first time should use the policies of the PUSD Board and the Burton Board as a guide to determine which district to send their child to.
With the threats and personal attacks that I have received from Board member Richard Morris because I have questioned PUSD district policy, that choice is very clear to me.
Also, I continue to be amazed at the lack of leadership exhibited by the Porterville Unified School District Superintendent John Snavely along with the current governing board members. Dr. Snavely was recently interviewed by K-Tip radio and was explaining the dire state of a district that is potentially looking at a $5.5 million cut if November's tax initiative does not pass.
My guess is this tax initiative will fail miserable at the polls as most people feel they are Taxed Enough Already (as the TEA Party Groups like to say). Dr. Snavely was explaining deferrals, staff reductions, potentially less school days and the prospect of having to borrow money for the first time in history to cover the contracted district expenses. Keep in mind that this is on top of already seen staff terminations, reductions in student services, increased class size and a long list of other reductions that are having a negative effect on every student in the Porterville Unified School District.
Not surprisingly, what Dr. Snavely did not mention in his K-Tip interview was the massive "Sacred Cow" of the district. That being governing board member benefits and the cost of the district employing 4 superintendents.
Just so everyone understands completely how top heavy this school district is, let's look at the numbers. Our 4 (that's correct 4) superintendents pay, perks, travel expenses, etc. cost the district $706,963 a year. Add in the $442,000 per year average cost of providing Health & Welfare benefits to sitting and past (for a lifetime) governing board members and you have an annual total of roughly $1,149,000 per year being provided to the very small group of district so called "leaders".
I will ask again, why do we continue to allow this districts governing board members and the very top heavy so called district leadership to put their needs ahead of our students and teachers? I waited anxiously during the K-Tip interview for Dr. Snavely to say that every expense item was on the table for consideration given the massive budget cuts? I guess the "Sacred Cows" remain sacred.
John S. Hardin -- Trying to "Make it Right"