Some things never change in Loudoun County and the input session at last night’s School Board meeting did not disappoint. Apparently it was a repeat of every other budget cycle, only with a new flavor. According to this Leesburg Today article the usual suspects were out in force with some new taunts, demonstrated in the following quote:
“More than half of the speakers were Loudoun County Public Schools employees; many said they were bus drivers or teachers assistants and spoke against any consideration to no longer offer benefits to employees who work less than six hours a day.
“I don’t know how you sleep at night thinking that you can take away our insurance,” LCPS bus driver Lydia Martin told the board members. “I thought I was working for the board of education, but I see I’m working for the LTP, which stands for the Little Tea Party.”
Little Tea Party? Who coached these people?
Besides this nice little tantrum, I have seen some very ugly and hyperbolic rhetoric thrown at the new School Board members on the “Loudoun for Full Day Kindergarten” Facebook page. Additionally there has been ugly name calling from some of the local elementary school agitators on individual elementary school pages. The offensive remarks were removed however the tone of the comments leaves much to be desired.
My biggest disappointment after reading the recap of the meeting was the realization that no one spoke on behalf of fiscal restraint and the need to make real cuts in the budget, and to give our newly elected School Board members some support. I put myself in this category. I am hoping everyone that has complained over the years takes the time to send an email, letter or make a call to their School Board member and voice their support over the very delicate process they are currently undertaking. The new Board was unable to adopt a budget last night and their critics will use this against them.
The supporters of Ed Hatrick and the out of control budget got their marching orders and delivered. We need to deliver as well, so please give our new School Board the input and support they so desperately need.
LTM Article Update – Holy Moly, the cost of the benefits of part-time employees is $24 Million/Year? At least the bus drivers were honest that they worked the part-time job just for the benefits (from the article):
“Jeff Platenberg, assistant superintendent for the Department of Support Services, noted that a lot of bus drivers with LCPS work strictly for the benefits.
“The point about some people doing it strictly for the benefits, that is absolutely correct. The flexibility of the job really does allow for a perfect fit,” Platenberg said. “A lot of people don’t realize that there was a time when it was extremely difficult to get bus drivers here, because our neighbors next door in Prince William offered benefits and that is one of reasons we went to that.
“When we are all competing for people, it becomes a dynamic environment to try and attract and retain those employees,” Platenberg said.”