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sbsp



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 401
Location: Beaver Island, Kalamazoo, Fripp Island, SC

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:36 pm 
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As a fourth generation family of public educators, I can say that most teachers are not now nor have ever been over paid for the dedication put forth for our future generation of young adults. That's not to say that the school does not have issues with budgets and costs that need constant attention by everyone in the community. I'm proud to say that we have never turned down a millage for schools even when our children may never have attended the school or are well beyond the system. Someone paid it forward for our children and now it is our opportunity to do the same for others. Again, it's an investment in our future.
A unique problem that BI has is the fact that there is virtually no industrial base for taxes other than tourism. This places an unfair burden on seasonal residents. This combined with the non-homestead taxes supporting the schools makes the school an easy but wrong target.
My concern remains declining enrollment which has no relationship to how much our educators are being paid. We need to focus on attracting more visitors and residents to BI. We need to be more welcoming and inclusive for both groups. This can start by appreciating and retaining the good families we already have living and contributing here on BI.
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Kirk
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duffer



Joined: 10 Dec 2012
Posts: 219
Location: beaver island

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:31 pm 
Post subject: school
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to all my good friends on the island,,,, we have to quit lying to ourselves, the lack of good job,s yes there is work if your a local, others cant get the jobs that have insurance or benafits. my father a 38 years superintendent would be spinning in his grave at some of the wages, and the fact the school is over loaded with staff and a mind set you will spend your way out of this crisis, where the teachers are teaching there own kids? tell me how that works. and i love most all the teachers, adam richards was so good to my son, something i could not say about a few others that should have long been gone but if we get rid of any teachers were also getting rid of students. in all the years my father worked as a superintendent he made a tight budget, and god sake we don,t have buses to pay for. he used to grumble when he had to spend money that did not need to be spent. my mother who put 40 years in teaching i think would also be spinning in her grave, she taught special education for 22 years with as many as 20 students and one helper. I don,t have the answers but do believe lack of employment that pays good wages, and that has to be figured with cost of living,,,,, what is good on the mainland is not here! from the day i moved here i told a long time friend that don,t be suprised if shipping help from the mainland does not become the norm. many towns in colorado people cant afford to live in and drive as much as 70 miles to work . school should not be a drama in a community. i may be coming off as harsh, but growing up in a family of educators, i see many flaws, but i have found few would listen and good ideas fall on deft ears. I LOVE THIS PLACE! I know that if i had known how my kids would have been treated here and not by students but a few staff. I myself would have home schooled my kids. people got awards that by far didnt deserve them. I wont get into that because like i said i love this place. but things have to change... maybe instead of everyone worrying about money maybe a little philanthropy would help.
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duffy
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AEW



Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 575
Location: Beaver Island/The world

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:35 pm 
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Kirk I did not share this information to the public about the schools bloated budget to in anyway demean teachers. But I do think that the Island should consider alternative cheaper ways to educate the students there. Keeping a staff of almost 20 full time employees for 40 students is ridiculous. And you are 100% right that teachers need to be rewarded for their hard work. I believe they generally are.

According to information on the schools website a Beaver Island teacher by contract works 180 days a year. A BI teacher can, if they choose, retire with a comfortable pension and benefit package for life after 20 years of work. 180 days X 20 years = 9.86 years of actually going to work. (25 years = 12.3 years, 30 years = 14.7 years). Now consider a teacher can get a masters in education by age 22 and that life expectancy is 80 years. 80 - 22 = 58 years. 58 - 9.86 years = 48.14. So a teacher is eligible to receive pay and benefits for 48.14 years of their life for doing no work at all. This is a very good deal for the teacher. This is why I say teachers generally are paid VERY well when you consider the totality of their life long financial gain.

Also keep in mind that the State of Michigan has a $29 billion unfunded liability carried by the MPSERS system. I think we need to have some discussions to see if there are better more efficient ways to teach children and run schools. The State of Michigan has virtual schools that could replace actual classes for some subject. I am just asking people to consider options.

And regarding your comments about the school millage increases. Only the Island residents get to vote on those. And as you well know the majority of Island property owners and property tax payers are NOT residents and are not allowed to vote in township elections or millage proposals.

During my 18 years of being a year round resident on the Island I had many of my seasonal clients tell me their decision to sell their properties was because of high property taxes. I distinctly remember one elderly couple who wanted their two sons to keep the property but the $9000 plus a year taxes for a small place that they could only afford to come to once or twice a year was out of their Son's budget.

So, maybe instead of holding signs at the boat doc for day trippers we could send out a questionnaire to all non homestead property owners and ask them what would make the Island a better a better place to invest in. What can be done to encourage more people to invest in property there? Listen to them and see what they say.
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AE Wirth
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sbsp



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 401
Location: Beaver Island, Kalamazoo, Fripp Island, SC

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:47 pm 
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Adam -
You get no argument from me on your post. Read my second sentence of my previous post.
Until we get rid of the Headlee Amendment we can take all the surveys we want with little chance of change.
Duff -
You are right on also.
Anyone -
I'll be the first to be a greeter at the dock. Discussed it in length before Bill Cashman passed far too early.
"Have a nice day", is not going do it anymore for promoting tourism on BI.
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Kirk
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Campbell60tr34@aol.com



Joined: 28 Jun 2010
Posts: 409

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:26 pm 
Post subject: $52,834
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I have 5 children. Three attended suburban Detroit High Schools. My oldest is a teacher in Missouri. Second oldest is a high level manager in a large MI. energy corporation. Third oldest is a Sgt. in a large Western Police agency. My youngest two were educated on BI. One is a bartender and the other is a deli clerk. I blame myself for ever moving there. It was the worst decision I ever made for those kids. Beware of pretty places!
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Jim Campbell
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lach



Joined: 11 Jun 2010
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:21 pm 
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Have a question, who sets the wages for the staff for Beaver Island Schools
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AEW



Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 575
Location: Beaver Island/The world

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:39 pm 
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Kirk, Headlee schmedlee. It is a simple problem. We have way more staff than can be justified at the school. You have 40 students and about 20 full time employees. You make a plan to restructure the school down to 10 to 12 people (Janitor to Principle) just like Washington or Mackinac Island has. You make it effective the start of next school year. You return the savings to the property owners who pay the taxes. Keep the best performing, creative and dedicated teachers there and retire or lay off the excess. Give them a fair and reasonable wage for what they do. Give them bonuses for excellence. Its really a no brainier as long as you don't bring in wacky thinking like the Headlee amendment. Just replicate what other what Washington, Mackinac Island schools do. Simple as that.
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AE Wirth
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AEW



Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 575
Location: Beaver Island/The world

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:22 pm 
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Lach, The answer to your question is found by looking at the current and past composition of school board members and presidents. A simple chart of the influential hierarchy will show direct family relationships between board members and school employees. Also board members working for spouses of school employees etc.

I always thought it would be good idea for every tax funded entity on the Island (transfer, health, library, museum, Forrest view, school, fire, road, yacht dock etc) to have a mandatory monthly public posting of ALL financial data available on the Forum and posted in the facility for all to see.
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AE Wirth
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sbsp



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 401
Location: Beaver Island, Kalamazoo, Fripp Island, SC

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:28 pm 
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Adam -
Your comprehension of my posts concerns me. Please reread my post. I was hoping that I made it clear that school budgets and costs are a concern along with declining enrollment, not teacher compensation. I agreed with Pam that ratios are a concern, ratios being the number of educators and support staff to pupil. BI school budgets and costs rest solely with the school board and voters. Therefore, we control our own destiny in that regard.
With regard to the Headlee (smedlee) Amendment along with 1993-94 Proposal A, it is the law of Michigan and the primary reason non-homesteaders pay the full school millage thus negatively impacting resort areas (1993-94 Proposal A). That rests in the hands of state voters and not anything within BI's destiny. Even if it were, local voters which do not include non residents would turn it down and let seasonal non-homesteaders continue to pay for the school.
I would use your "Headlee smedlee" catch phrase with your survey to non-homesteaders. If they comprehend the problem, they will tell you to get rid of the Headlee Amendment and Proposal A if you don't want seasonal residents to continue to pay the lion's share of the taxes. Until then, I think our best hope for BI is to increase tourism which will improve the economy and hopefully bring young families with children and retirees to the Island as homesteaders.
Adam - I don't disagree with your concerns.
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Kirk
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carolburton



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:05 pm 
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I up until very recently supported everything that could make this Island better. I never saw the numbers like that. Guess I just kept my eyes closed. Kind of insulting to those working on the front lines. That is large $$ and maybe its that way everywhere but you (school employee's) are the only ones seeing money like that on this island.

Now I understand why people are so angry. The rest of us small potatoes are, or were before they left barely getting by, and working 3 times harder than most should or taking chances that they shouldn't. Scraping the bottom of the barrel for a nickel so to speak.

I would not begrudge them (school employee's) a good or fair income but the school seems to be the only thing on this island thriving! Why is that? I don't know any jobs other than good old BIBCO or tax paid positions producing wages like that. How is that money going back to our community or is it? We do have some good education but what else is going on? Whats the trade off? None of the kids are staying or coming back and the ones that do are construction workers or restaurant service and we don't even offer those programs.

The other side of the sword is that if the school goes the island will crash! 2nd home community with no workers. So fix that too if you can.

The perception that I get is that... I feel like the school staff seems to be barely getting by here? I know that is what frustrates some of these tax payers is this half hidden truth and the poor me. Now I too see how you guys should be celebrating and contributing back to the community outside of school. Landed a good lifer job.

News Flash Folks: Much bigger problems! We should be figuring out how the whole community can begin to thrive. It's not! Check the number of below poverty students in our school a good indicator of how it's really going on Beaver Island. What with Beaver Island politics and people of BI their own worst enemy chasing every good opportunity off the island one wonders what could the problem be? It is so discouraging that even the best of us eventually give up. Can you fix that?
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duffer



Joined: 10 Dec 2012
Posts: 219
Location: beaver island

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:40 am 
Post subject: Monet
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The sad thing is your telling people this that barely make 30 grand a year, this place has very suppressed wages, until that changes Little will. I call it the pine cone factor, you will work for less for the view, and almost know one here has any retirement unless they are good at saving. And retirement, I put in years at UPS just to have my pension go broke? But I am still here and love the place!
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duffy
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