Whom does the board represent?
To the Editor:
Many cities across the country from Rhode Island to California and points in between are facing the possibility of, or have actually gone into, bankruptcy due in large part to overly generous salaries, defined benefit pension programs and expensive health care insurance programs given to teachers, school administrators and ancillary school system employees.
These salary and benefit packages are virtually unavailable to workers in the private sector with comparable jobs. It was therefore dismaying to read in the April 18 issue of ThisWeek Upper Arlington News that the Upper Arlington Board of Education, facing what they characterize as a budget crisis, has decided to terminate 29 teachers, based not on merit but only on seniority, plus additional unspecified staff. No mention was made of reviewing pensions, health care programs, life insurance programs, salary scales or ratio of administrative employees to teachers.
Members of the board and the superintendent have made it known that there is a strong possibility of placing another levy on the ballot this fall, despite the fact that the levy on last November's ballot was soundly defeated. The point seems to be to cause maximum pain rather than face some tough, hard economic facts.
Maybe it seems a little insensitive, but it seems that an effort is being made to bludgeon the taxpayers into submission.
The citizens of Upper Arlington might well ask of their school board members, whom do you represent, the taxpayers and students or the teachers' unions and the education bureaucracy?