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Beaumont Unified School District has a strategy for dealing with the issue of Classroom Reduction

The districts efforts to deal with classroom reduction.

In the last two school board meetings our educators have brought forward two very important programs that are positive efforts to deal with our enlarged classrooms.  The first program to be introduced was the PBIS or Positive Behavior Intervention Support.  Explained by Sean Dickenson and Antoinette Gutierrez at the Sept 25th board meeting, these two outstanding educators gave all the details of the new behavior management program that is designed to standardize how the teachers deal with behavior problems in the classroom environment.  This is great news for all teachers regardless of their classroom size but is a testament to the districts efforts to deal with behavior problems in the classroom that affect all students.  Until such time as we can reverse the classroom sizes or hire more teachers we have to see such new programs as the PBIS make their appearance and become effective if we are to move forward in reaching our goal of leaving no child left behind.

     The second great report came from Instructional Support Coaches Ian Young, Laura Roman, Kelli Boatman and Ingrid Lin.  They presented an update on efforts of all support coaches to work with new teachers to provide them with needed assistance in making the transition to their new schools.  In many cases the transition is one that is from student teaching to teaching students for hire at our district.  So while there is much to complain about at times, I feel that there must also be time to applaud the districts efforts to address problems that we are facing.  In my opinion both of these presentations are working on the problem of overcrowded classrooms. 

    If elected to the school board I will work hard to support these programs and other programs that deal with problems at the source.  Concerns of mine include school safety, increasing attendance or  ADA (average daily attendance), vote against any form of pension spiking, restoration of the GATE program, STEM curriculums at all grade levels and bussing to name a few.  I will reach out to parents to involve them in the decision making process and work for a higher level of transparency in all board decisions.  Thank you, Edward Brown.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Roger Berg October 19, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Mr. Brown, interesting comments you have. I am wondering how you intend to deal with the pension spiking issue when current contract with the Beaumont Teachers Association allows a teacher to obtain as much as $23,000.00 more per year in salary if they have a Master Degree. Now with current rules under the retirement system a teacher could get an online Master Degree just before they plan on retiring. A spike in their retirement could gain them as much as $1,800.00 per month, when you calculate it using the online retirement calculator. That’s quite a bit of money per year. So my question is how you are going to deal with current contract with the teachers union and the other contracts to reduce the cost of pension spiking. How do you intent to circumvent the education code and the requirements of the retirement system to accomplish this.
Jack Smith October 19, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Wow, everytime things are disclosed regarding our public employees and the sweet deals the unions have negotiated with our elected representatives, the more disgusting it gets. There is no solution other than to raise taxes, cut services and pay the piper. We are Greece and Spain once removed only by 20 or 30 years. God bless those Democrats.
Edward Brown October 19, 2012 at 03:48 AM
I was referring to closed door sessions where board members were approving special pension packages for the Superintendent. As for the 23K, you better double check your records because the average raise from any step on the column from Bachelors to Masters degree is only 2,000 dollars. Here is the link, not sure where you got your figures from but I'm surprised that someone in a position such as yourself could be so uninformed. http://beaumont-ca.schoolloop.com/file/1251955482383/1253769116613/3800810410354060682.pdf
Edward Brown October 19, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Hi Jack, the union did not negotiate the current sweet deals that our Superintendents and Asst Superintendents get. Ask our board what was going on in their minds when they approved the sweetheart deals that are currently out there.
Roger Berg October 19, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Mr Brown you better go and read Apendix D. Teacher Salary Schedule. Column 1 Step 19-21 Credintail BA Salary $59,147.00 per year. Column 4 Credential BA + 60 or AMA $83,651.00 = a difference of 24,504.00 per year. You better check you own math and the salary schedules.
Edward Brown October 19, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Mr. Berg, if after 19 yrs of service and the investment of another 40,000 to pursue a masters degree, do you not feel that the pay increase is warranted. You made it sound as though any teacher can just jump on board, who is nearing retirement, and get their online MS from some fly by night program and quit and get a pay raise of 28,000. Go back and re-read what you posted. It is all in how you spin it. The trouble is that most city rubber stamping types will always spin it to sound as though the step and column raises are grossly overpaying our teachers. Check the surrounding areas and you'll find that our teachers are the lowest paid in the county.
Roger Berg October 19, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Mr Brown you are dancing all around my original question. Instead of answering the question you blame me and others. It appears that you are one issue candidate. The state is broke, it elected to the Beaumont School Board you will need to have a open mind on how best to fund the school programs with limited resources. I am for paying qualified teachers for what they are worth and the job they do. What I am against is a system that allows a teacher who has sit on the back burner for years and at the of their career decides to go and finally get a Masters Degree so they can spike their income in their last year of employment to give them a retirement close or more than they received when they worked. The state cannot afford it and neither can the school district. So I ask the question again how do you plan on eliminating spiking of pensions for all district employees?
Edward Brown October 20, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Roger, one does not move up in one year from x dollars to x plus 24K. The time it takes to obtain a MS is 3 yrs for most full time teachers. I obtained mine in 3 yrs as a full time student in graduate school. Working full time teaching would make it most likely a 3-5 yr plan IMO. And you have to remember that if the teacher is in the last year or two of their career what we are talking about here is the difference between 8% (CAL STRS match) of say 65,000 salary for a teacher half way to their masters and 8% of 83,000 with the masters achieved. Lets do the math and see if it is worth it. At a 65K salary the Cal Strs match is 5.2K per annum and at 83K the Cal strs match is 6.6K. Wow, what are we complaining about a whopping additional 1400 dollars per year not month. Where on earth did you come up with 1800 per month increase for this person you mentioned above. Once Joe Jones retires at a step and column making 83,651. His final contribution from the district to his Cal Strs retirement account is 6,692.00. Add this to all the other years he contributed and hopefully he will have enough to retire on.
Edward Brown October 20, 2012 at 04:27 AM
Ok so you want to quote an online calculator. Next time please report all the parameters you fed into that online report. How old was the educator when they retired, how much did they contribute on their own before teaching. How long did they teach. How many years did you project an increase in salary of 23K prior to retiring. Because you stated that they were a schlump who had a measley BA degree until their last year of teaching. Not likely to see an increase of 1800.00 per month unless they did so with at least 10 yrs left to teach. I like how you spin it though, you might even get some sympathy from a few voters here.
Jenna Laur October 20, 2012 at 05:37 AM
If he is speaking about Mrs. Gall, I believe she got her masters well over 10 years ago. Never mind this, Mr. Brown. This is just a continuation of the ongoing self destructive battle our city council is engaging in. A heads up, Roger is extremely anti- union. Good luck.
Edward Brown October 20, 2012 at 05:52 AM
Thanks Jenna, it would be nice if he would pay more close attention to what is happening at the City level. As for the wish for good luck, thank you, I will need a bit of that.
Edward Brown October 20, 2012 at 06:10 AM
My intent here was to shed some light on what I thought were positive steps in this district to solving some problems in our classrooms. I was not anticipating such an attack on an item such as pension spiking, an item that I cannot control by myself. I do wish that everyone had a better understanding of step and column raises and how the current pay scale works for all employees. Mr. Berg has a concern he has addressed here, but has implied some things that do not add up if you look at how the pay scale and retirement system work for our employees. I'm sure that the next board will closely monitor any unfair pay practices that exist for any employee and take the necessary steps to create a system that equally benefits all employees for their efforts to the education of our kids. I have to state for the record that any educator with a Masters Degree is worth more to our district due to their education level. I'm not saying how much more but pointing out the obvious here. And as I've pointed out before, our teachers are among the lowest or are the lowest paid in the area, yet continually have their kids score at or above national levels. Should this mean that they are overpaid since the kids are doing so well and that if we paid them less that we would still get acceptable results. I'm inclined to think that this is the way our administrators are thinking. IMO we have a fragile balance going on here and need to avoid any further cuts that will increase class sizes.
Roger Berg October 20, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Mr Brown you continue to attack me instead of answering the question. The facts that I pointed out can happen and do happen in every public agency if let unchecked. This is what has happened at the state level and at local government. This is one of the reasons our state is in such dire straights financially. Now I am not running for re-election, you are, so why don't you answer the question you proposed. You said you would not vote for any pension spiking. Answer how you ar going to do it.
Roger Berg October 20, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Jenna Laur, I don't you are but you better get your facts straight. First off all My father was in the Carpenter's Union for over 70 years. I was a union steward and Vice President when I was a Union member many years ago. There is no on going self destructive battle that our city council is engaging in. I am asking the question so I can be a informed voter.
robert miller October 20, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Mr. Berg, I think you have Brown confused with another candidate Wayne Hackney who is up for re-election as you say above. I'd like to see old Weekknee Hackney try to come up with an explanation for how he would avoid pension spiking. Why do you continue to attack everyone, especially Mr. Brown here who is not an incumbent that voted to spike Kayrells payroll by eliminating his contribution to his CAL STRS. Hackney was the voting responsible idiot on this one. This was a nice spike for him and all supers or asst supers who are at or near the 200K a year salary point. Brown offers a great chance to get someone highly intelligent in and on the board who is not tucked into the back pocket of big business in this town and will give a fair shake to the parents and kids in this community.
Roger Berg October 20, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Robert, I am not attacking him. He stated in his post that he would vote against all pension spiking. I want to be a informed voter. I would like to know what his plan is and how he intends to implement it. You state that he is highly intelligent. Well then lets have him answer the question.
Jack October 20, 2012 at 06:22 PM
While we are all asking questions, I have one for you Mr. Berg. As of today on the State Controllers website under the City of Beaumont's compensation packages, there is no listing for the City Manager's compensation even though you made him an employee of Beaumont. Why does it indicate that some city council members are receiving large amounts of health benefits, $13,488, $15,416, $4,997 etc. for part time positions? Were some council members injured at a meeting or while serving in their positions? Could you give us the complete figures on what the City Manager actually makes, salary, benefits, pensions, and City contributions to said pension, not in percentages, but in real numbers? I would like to be an informed voter, also. Thank You.
Ken October 20, 2012 at 07:31 PM
and please be specific as to his deferred compensation package and what amount the City will be matching...If its not too much to ask.
Roger Berg October 20, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Jack, you are right the public needs to know. Under state law each council member receives a salary of $400.00 per month. There is health benefit allowance equal to what the city allows a single employee, which I think is $350.00 per month. There is also a cell phone allowance of $50.00 per month. There are no other allowances. Nobody on the city council is on workman's compensation that I know of. Now in regards to the city managers Salary and compensation, I know that the information was sent up to the controllers office. I don't know why they haven't posted it. I am going to ask the city to provide the current council compensation package as well as the one for the City Manager as a link on our website if possible, if not then I will ask that it be sent to Patch editor. We will include the information regarding matching deferred compensation. Please give me a few days since it is the weekend.
Jack October 20, 2012 at 09:16 PM
It really does help to know that council members receive $800 a month in pay/benefits, or $9600 a year. We only hear about the $400 per meeting amount. Most people who work full time pay $350 a month for the same coverage for themselves and their entire families, so it is an extremely generous benefit. Yet, I'm confused, for as the State Controller's office only lists yearly compensation, and that $350 a month health benefit x 12 months =$4200 only, so why are two council members receiving over $700 and $900 a month more, with the numbers I listed above? The site only lists yearly amounts, not cumulative. If those numbers are indeed correct, that raises the actual yearly pay for one council member to over $20,000 a year, and the other one is not far behind. Were the wrong numbers submitted, and if not, please explain the numbers. And why is there a cell phone stipend? Aren't all city council members required to only speak of city business within the confines of public meetings, not via via calls or emails? I realize that council members also share turns attending other agency meetings/public events, but some of that time is balanced out when council meetings are called off altogether, during summer especially. I appreciate your response.
Ken October 20, 2012 at 09:46 PM
And I am sure it is a coincidence the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) was rewritten by the City Manager regarding the City matching employee deferred savings once City employment was assured....For more specifics I urge you to see link below http://banning-beaumont.patch.com/blog_posts/beaumont-observations
Roger Berg October 21, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Jack the information on the controllers website is old. They only have data for agencies and cities from 2010. If you will look at the data you will see 7 council members we had on resign that year, one get appointed and not elected and we got one new one. The large number you pointed out was for a council member who took their deferred compensation that year. No one gets $20,000. 00 per year. However you do bring up some good points. I would suggest that all the local governments in the City post their compensation for each School Board, Water Board and other agencies. I know for a fact that the water board pays it's members to attend meeting of other government agencies. I have seen it where some of these Water Board Members have received as much as $16,000.00 per year plus other compensation.
Edward Brown October 21, 2012 at 05:45 AM
Mr. Berg, I do not view the current Step and Column pay scale for certificated teachers to be in violation of pension spiking for reasons cited above. I will vote if serving on the school board to revise all new contracts for superintendents or asst's iin such a way that we do not allow for a situation that they do not have to contribute to their Cal Strs requirements on a matched monthly basis. You are aware of the many other extended benefits that our board has offered to the higher ups I'm sure. And what is to be said about the ridiculous compensation that has gone out to some of the city council members. Why should that be any higher than what is paid to a school board member. I for one would would accept a situation where I would forgo 1/2 of the monthly pay for serving on the school board. I know it is not much but multiply that times 5 and it would help to pay for additional supplies for teachers who have ridiculous 100.00 budget for supplies. I am done with your requests for responding to how I will handle pension spiking with teachers for reasons cited above. Thanks for your comments.
Jack October 21, 2012 at 06:16 AM
So, if a council member does not use the medical benefit of $4200 a year they are allowed to defer it and cash it out in a check when they leave? In 2012 two former council members walked off with checks amounting to over $13,000 and $15,000. Some of you currently serving have been on the council for ten years or more, so if you deferred that benefit all that time, stepping down this year would net someone a cash out in the $40,000-$50,000 range, wouldn't it? And it increases every year. That's a nice little nest egg.
Roger Berg October 21, 2012 at 02:21 PM
I have agree with you that a $100.00 budge for supplies is ridiculous. If you consider a new teacher out of college trying to pay off student loans etc there is no money left over. So I think you have missed the point that I wanted to bring out. The school board needs to look at everything that is being spent including administration salaries, perks, etc. We need to look at pension spiking by all employees and make sure it doesn't happen. My point here is this a teacher going a getting a Masters Degree after working some 25 years and planning on retiring in the next two years shouldn't get the raise as the district will not get the benefit of the increased education for the cost. Now if a teacher comes in with a Masters degree or obtains one within say 10 years of employment, that would benefit the district as they would have many more years of service to the district where that education would be beneficial. Now I think it would be helpful if all compensation was reviewed including all the perks for everyone, including additional pay and how it adds up. We are in lean times and everything must me accounted for. Now since you know how much the school board members receive in compensation could you provide that information for all to see. I know in the past it was higher but some things may have changed. Thank you.
Nancy Gall October 21, 2012 at 10:49 PM
I think Ed Brown has done a commendable job of explaining teacher pensions, which is why Bta and I personally have endorsed him. I'd like to add a few details. Every teacher pays 8% of his/her salary every single month they teach into State Teacher's Retirement System. We don't pay into Social Security while teaching. If we qualified for social security retirement from other employment, it is offset when we start collecting STRS. We are left with about enough to pay our share on Medicare. In addition, this year our furlough days reduced our pay by 4%. In my case it was $3500. It"s not looking like such a good deal, is it?
Marilyn Beecham October 22, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Kind of hard to say teachers are taking advantage of benefits, when it seems that City council members are racking up huge amounts in "deferred" medical benefits that they clearly don't need. Its just free money from the taxpayer and a nice perk from the state. One would think they wouldn't be commenting on anyone else taking benefits if they are offered.
Lifer in Bmt. October 24, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Wow, my daughter go hers from Cal State in 2 years while working full time. Mr Brown you must be a slow learner.
Edward Brown October 24, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Dear Lifer in Beaumont Not a slow learner, just completed a very difficult thesis that required two full years of field research and my thesis topic did not come to me until after the first 6 months of graduate school. Also managed to squeeze in two years of internships at Pioneer Hi-Bred while doing my graduate student research work. Did your daughter write a 200 page thesis and publish it? Not likely, and did she graduate with a 3.95 gpa? I rest my case. Oh, forgot to mention that my work actually only 2.5 yrs and the research was so relevant at the time that I was invited to present my research at the Western Agricultural Chemicals Annual Conference in Lubbock, TX.
Reuben E. Dominguez Sr. October 25, 2012 at 04:30 AM
Roger Berg is nothing but a City council BULLY and he's trying to bully Mr. Edwards around and its not working. As you can tell ol'numb-nutz Berg seems to be getting upset.

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