Up for Debate: MNPS to cut 100-plus jobs

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 11:50pm

What do you make of Metro Nashville Public Schools' announcement that 100-plus teacher aide positions would be cut as federal stimulus money vanishes? The move comes at a time when a property tax increase is before the Metro Council, and Mayor Karl Dean has said that new tax revenue would not only allow for the hiring of more teachers, increasing their starting salary by $5,000 annually, but also prevent to loss of 50 police officers hired via a federal COPS grant. Are the MNPS cuts a good move, bad move or just plain necessary move?

154 Comments on this post:

By: Loner on 5/23/12 at 12:31

What do I make of it? What's my take on it?

Are these proposed cuts good, bad or just plain necessary?

My take on it is simple...President Obama's "stimulus money" ran out at a bad time....for all concerned. Something failed.

It's as if the stimulus money was "starting fluid" (starting ether) for an engine that had stalled...the doped-up engine fired, sputtered and ran for a few revolutions...but now it has stalled again.

Uh...you got to refill the fuel tank, fellas...the starting ether alone ain't gonna fuel a genuine recovery....that's what I make of it.

Hey, when you run out of fuel it isn't good...it's bad...and in most cases, it was not necessary.....that's my take on it.

By: BenDover on 5/23/12 at 3:38

A little more drama with which to sell the tax increase.

As for the stimulus it was just robbing Peter to pay Paul anyway... or robbing private to buy favor with public... or robbing granbabies to pay grandpa. All of the above fit the $1,000,000,000,000 in additional annual deficits over trend that were blown for political gain over the past few years.

Running deficits of around $15,000 per household every year for the past three and a half years was a good thing, right? Well that's what they keep telling us anyway. What it really was amounted to a bunch of stupid uber-keynsian nonsense where we allowed Jr. to run wild with the country's credit card.

By: Ask01 on 5/23/12 at 3:57

I reposted this from the other column. It just seems an appropriate place.

I wonder if our iluustrious Mayor Dean has already identified the police officers to be cut?

This is becoming exciting. Let's see if he will actually go through with the threatened cuts, or if miraculously, the city will discover other ways to trim the budget even further.

Mayor Dean and the council knew this day was coming, yet they pressed forward, bravely ignoring the city's needs, counting on scaring residents into surrendering more money.

I find the predictable nature of politicians amusing.

Every time they feel the need to pick the public pocket, the first items on the chopping block are education and public safety.

Am I the only person who believes if every dime extorted from taxpayers "for the children," and "in the name of public safety" had actually been dedicated solely for the stated purpose, we would have all Rhodes Scholars and zero crime?

I propose we approach the problem from the other direction and begin firing the most highly paid elected and hired metro employees. Those who usually hand out pink slips shoould be the first to suffer, since their ineffective, incompetent, misguided leadership has placed to community in this position.

Show some intestinal fortitude our so called representatives and force Mayor Dean's hand.

I want to see if he will actually follow through and cut his own political throat.

A rotund writer in another publication pompously announced cities are not businesses and cannot be managed like business as municipalities have obligations and their main goal is not showing a profit. (Yet they choose to become involved in activities where one expects a profit.) I submit as a rebuttal, the large one is correct. I further submit a city is like a family, and if a family had spent and failed to plan as our city leadership(?) has done, that family would experience serious financial problems, perhaps even losing their home.

Sadly, most people would ridicule the family and declare they had driven themselves into their predicament.

So why don't we do the same to Mayor Dean and the Metro Gang? Force them to cut their own budgets and suffer before inflicting pain on the citizens?

The plan works for this angry, disgruntled voter.

By: govskeptic on 5/23/12 at 4:36

Teacher aides are a make work job now and from the beginning. The
qualifications are poor as are most of the hires. The cumulative cost
of wage and benefits for the positions are much better spent on fewer
but more qualified full time teachers. There is now and for a very
long time a problem with absent teachers on Friday's and Monday's,
These aides were often called on to handle that absence, better
to correct that problem or just send them to study hall for an hour!

By: Ask01 on 5/23/12 at 4:48

As I have to leave for work shortly, having finally found employment after three years, allow me to address a few of the "justifications" Mayor Dean's supporters, or perhaps he himself, will offer.

1 Cost have gone up. I know, mine have also gone up, as have expenses for every other family in Metro.

2 Some Metro employees haven't had a raise in years. Having been unemployed for three years, just how much of a raise do you believe I have had. Show of hands. How many here have had a raise recently?

3 It's for the children. Yeah, yeah, I've heard that so many times, the argument is ineffective.

4 We'll lose police. See above.

5 We have to move Nashville forward. For who? The residents or the tourists? Or perhaps politicians looking to have their name engraved on something besides a tombstone? How about we create a city where the working class all have jobs, enjoy above average wages, and a standard of living higher than anywhere in the nation? (Hint: create actual well paying jobs for the people, not part time, seasonal, minimum wage employment enriching only the employers.)

I must go to work now, to earn money for our so called city leadership(?) to attempt to pick from my pocket.

Have a wonderful day.

By: gdiafante on 5/23/12 at 5:12

Loner's right...the problem with the stimulus was it was too small, regardless of what Ben whines.

The infrastructure of our country is crumbling and the education system is broken and yet we talk about gay marriage and the usual partisan BS.

We get what we deserve.

By: dargent7 on 5/23/12 at 5:18

We need to get OUT of the Middle East.
Enough of this, "Free the Iraqi people", and "Help the Afghans".
This war in Afghanistan is the dumbest, stupidest nonsense I've ever seen.
Now the US military budget exceeds $650 billion a year.
Think of what just half of that would do if spent in the 50 states. (or Obama's 57).

By: gdiafante on 5/23/12 at 5:20

They'll never cut defense, darge. When the GOP complains about spending, they only mean those programs other than defense.

And Dems will never seriously reform entitlements.

It's a freaking stalemate and while they twittle their thumbs, America burns.

By: dargent7 on 5/23/12 at 5:29

Hockey Up-Date: The LA Kings won last night in OT.
Everyone's hoping the NY Rangers eliminate the NJ Devils to make the Stanley Cup a New York v. LA , "East coast v. West coast", battle.
It will be great.

By: Loner on 5/23/12 at 5:54

How 'bout that red-hot Face Book?

Reminds me of one of those rocket launches that goes awry....what was once headed upwards, at a tremendous rate of acceleration, is now headed back to the launch pad at great speed and full of volatiles and nasties.....they may have to hit the "self-destruct" button.....and even that may not work.....clear the area!

By: gdiafante on 5/23/12 at 5:55

That was a great game, darge. I'm still not over the Preds, so glad Phoenix is out. But I don't think anyone can beat L.A. right now.

By: dargent7 on 5/23/12 at 6:04

Don't count Facebook out, as yet.
It opened at $38. and close the 1st week at $34.
Lost $2. billion initially, but it's a long haul.
Zuckerberg is laughing. It's all Monopoly money at this point.

By: eastsidegirl1973 on 5/23/12 at 6:22

Jimminy Crickets - no one wants to pay for anything. People think they can survive in this new world on a budget from 1999. People, everything costs more. Is it because of the government that everything costs more? No, I don't think so. Everyone feels entitled and wants what they want - services, safety, conveniences - and they think they shouldn't have to pay for it. Do the math. Who should pay for it? The biggest problem I see is that people don't want to give anything up - their cars, city services, devices, etc. and yet they think these don't cost anything to maintain. Try running a business for a little while - you'll get a different take on economics and expectations.

By: parnell3rd on 5/23/12 at 6:26

Good morning Nashville!
Why did he take the money in the 1st place? Did Mayor Dean really spend this money on 100 teachers aides and 50 policemen?
Or did he funnel that money into tax breaks for Gaylord after the flood. Did he also use that money to give Gaylord and Dolly another tax break on new theme park?
We they keep subsidizing Wave Country?
Did he use that money for the new Cumberland Park? Did he use that money to buy a golf course?
Why are we bailing out General Hospital at a rate of millions of dollars every year?
I'm sure the intelligent people of Nashville know more!
We need some investigative reporters who do more than spew the political agenda's of both parties.

By: global_citizen on 5/23/12 at 6:27

Being more than a little familiar with operations at MNPS, I would say they're cutting from the wrong end of the organizational chart.

The MNPS org chart is heavily weighted with administrators making $100K+ salaries who, in all honesty, contribute very little if anything to educating our children. There is a group of these administrators who are apparently entitled to an MNPS job due to a long tenure in the system. There's no real need for them, but they can't be dumped. So a do-nothing position is created for them.

Cutting just a few of these do-nothing administrators would save you the same amount of money as cutting 100 teachers aids, who actually provide a very valuable service to the classroom.

By: gdiafante on 5/23/12 at 6:32

Well said, eastsidegirl.

By: gdiafante on 5/23/12 at 6:38

My entire problem with this situation is that we've become complacent. Remember a month or two ago and everyone was complaining about rising gas prices? Did anyone suggest cutting back their driving...or getting a more economical car...no, they just blamed the President (laughable) and criticized government regulations that have required more MPG in new vehicles (if that's not a "wtf" moment, I don't know what is).

We're an instant gratification society...no one can think long-term anymore...and no one certainly wants to sacrifice anything for the good of the country, ala WWII.

That really was the greatest generation.

By: yogiman on 5/23/12 at 6:55

What is a "teacher's aide"? What educational requirement must an aide have to "aide" in the teaching of the children?

What logic is it to take a monetary gift to use to hire permanent enployees.

It only became necessary to hire police for the "education" of the children after the federal government took over the education of the children and established the Department of Education.

In my childhood, if you misbehaved in school the teacher made you stand in a corner with your nose up against the wall or whipped your a$$. If what you did was too bad the principal whipped your a$$ much harder than the teacher would have. And you sure didn't want your parents to find out about it or you would get another one at home.

So the federal government takes over and hires teacher's aides and police to help the children's parents get their children a [great] education in public schools. And they've been pushed way down the hill from the children of other nations.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/23/12 at 6:59

Let’s just stop any taxes and we all go our on way in life. Repair our on pot holes and make individual libraries schools for our future doctors and rocket scientists.

This is the yogi way of doing things.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/23/12 at 7:00

By: yogiman on 5/22/12 at 11:03
Rasputin72,
I appreciate your advice, but I'm me. And at my age, I'm sure not going to change my way of life or my feelings toward this nation. (Once stupid always stupid this yogi be)

The communist party started their “troll” up the hill around 1902. (Is this a Freudian Slip or is yogi confessing?)

By: Captain Nemo on 5/23/12 at 7:01

By: gdiafante on 5/22/12 at 3:12
Yogi is quite multi-lingual. He also speaks stupid, idiot, dumbass and f'ing retard. He was self taught.

Too funny!!!

By: gdiafante on 5/23/12 at 7:03

So Scarlett doesn't know that a teachers aid is/does? Well fiddle dee dee...I wouldn't sweat it...you can always think about it tomorrow.

By: gdiafante on 5/23/12 at 7:03

s/h/b what

By: Captain Nemo on 5/23/12 at 7:04

Loner ans eastsidegirl has a good take on the situation.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/23/12 at 7:11

shb and

By: Captain Nemo on 5/23/12 at 7:12

The teacher made yogi stand in the corner and his Pa locked him in the closet. No wonder he knows so little about life.

By: budlight on 5/23/12 at 7:21

By: Ask01 on 5/23/12 at 5:48
As I have to leave for work shortly, having finally found employment after three years, allow me to address a few of the "justifications" Mayor Dean's supporters, or perhaps he himself, will offer.

1 Cost have gone up. I know, mine have also gone up, as have expenses for every other family in Metro.

2 Some Metro employees haven't had a raise in years. Having been unemployed for three years, just how much of a raise do you believe I have had. Show of hands. How many here have had a raise recently?

3 It's for the children. Yeah, yeah, I've heard that so many times, the argument is ineffective.

4 We'll lose police. See above.

5 We have to move Nashville forward. For who? The residents or the tourists? Or perhaps politicians looking to have their name engraved on something besides a tombstone? How about we create a city where the working class all have jobs, enjoy above average wages, and a standard of living higher than anywhere in the nation? (Hint: create actual well paying jobs for the people, not part time, seasonal, minimum wage employment enriching only the employers.)

I must go to work now, to earn money for our so called city leadership(?) to attempt to pick from my pocket.

Have a wonderful day.

Ask01, what you said is worth repeating, so I copied it. My property values are going down. So logically my taxes should decrease. No, I have just found out that the Mayor (or whomever is in charge) can raise the percentage so that they keep the same rate on a depreciated home or worse, raise it. So my taxes on a house in Antioch that I can't sell (or pay off) will go to over $3000. Oh and the services I get are: a dimly lit street light and a garbage truck that spills much of the garbage they collect on the streets of Davidson County.

As far as "entitled" is concerned, yes, I think we are all entitled to services that we are paying for. Drive around Nashville. Brush pick up is almost non-existent. We can't burn the brush because we're in the illustraous "city limits" and yet the metro is not picking it up except on a limited basis. Why? OH, no money! Spent it all on Gaylord, Dolly and Dell. Now that's a song for Dolly to write.

By: Beernazi on 5/23/12 at 7:22

eastsidegirl nailed it. Actually, our property tax rate is really low compared to cities of similar size. Services are not free!

By: Beernazi on 5/23/12 at 7:24

Well, geez - if services are poor maybe it's because they're not well funded!

By: Rasputin72 on 5/23/12 at 7:25

These cuts and 200 more just like it will not change anything that goes on in the MNPS system. Now cuts at Hume Fogg would make a difference and perhaps MLK.

On second thought adding 500 people would not make a difference. From my observations if there were not free breakfast and free lunches most of these kids would probably not attend school without being forced.

What Nashville needs are more charter schools who can issue diplomas based on how much money they receive. This will take the heat off the MNPS and they can act like pontiffs over the charter schools. Instead of fingers being pointed at the administrators and teachers in the MNPS these people can turn the tables and point the finger at the charter schools.

By: slacker on 5/23/12 at 7:31

The Mayor has the votes in the council to pass his tax increase, so its actually a done deal.The taxpayer can now accept his fate and tune out the drama, or watch the skits in the council meetings, as our leaders struggle with their angst, and back-breaking duty. Either way your taxes are going up. I suspect they will reduce the amount a bit, to demonstrate a bare-bones budget.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/23/12 at 7:45

By: Rasputin72 on 5/23/12 at 8:25
These cuts and 200 more just like it will not change anything that goes on in the MNPS system. Now cuts at Hume Fogg would make a difference and perhaps MLK.

Again our racist from the far-right elite post something stupid. I know several graduates from Hume Fogg who have gone on the outstanding universities and practice medical and other such profession today.

What closet have you been in, Rasputin?

By: Beernazi on 5/23/12 at 7:52

Over 90% of the students of both schools receive scholarships and both are listed among the best high schools in the nation.

By: Beernazi on 5/23/12 at 7:53

Hume-Fogg is highly respected academically. Nearly 100 percent of graduates each year go on to four-year colleges, many earning prestigious academic scholarships in the process. Each year, the Hume-Fogg senior class is granted over ten million dollars in cumulative scholarship and grant money from various universities across the United States.

In the 2006–2007 academic year Hume-Fogg received the National Siemens Award for one of the best scientific and math-based academic programs in the country. In addition, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report have consistently ranked Hume-Fogg among the top public high schools in America:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hume-Fogg_High_School

By: yogiman on 5/23/12 at 7:53

Well, well. Seems like we all make mistakes..., don't we, gdiafarti?

By: Beernazi on 5/23/12 at 7:56

MLK Magnet is known for its academic program, focusing on math, science, and engineering. The school also has exceptional art, foreign language, band, and orchestra programs. This academic magnet school only offers courses in Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) with the exception of P.E., certain engineering, and critical thinking courses.[3] In addition, MLK offers the unique Practica program as well as advanced and dual enrollment courses along with a partnership with the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt University.

MLK Magnet has consistently appeared in the top 100 of Newsweek's and U.S. News and World Report's annual rankings of the top public high schools in America.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King_Magnet_at_Pearl_High_School

By: Beernazi on 5/23/12 at 7:56

Mistakes and stupidity are two different animals.

By: Beernazi on 5/23/12 at 7:57

So, cutting funds for Hume Fogg and MLK would make a difference, but not in a good way.

By: slacker on 5/23/12 at 8:02

nazi, I think Rasp was saying that HF & MLK are worthy of tax dollars.

By: slacker on 5/23/12 at 8:04

nazi, sorry didn't see your 8:57. I'm sucking up to Rasp., trying to get that Pool boy job at the mansion.

By: yogiman on 5/23/12 at 8:05

So, are you one or both, Beernazi?

By: Captain Nemo on 5/23/12 at 8:09

How can you tell slacker by this post. Rasputin as often said things with a double meaning.

By: slacker on 5/23/12 at 8:15

Nemo, I possess the Rasp. decoder. I got it off a Windows 1895 operating system.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/23/12 at 8:17

By: yogiman on 5/23/12 at 9:05
So, are you one or both, Beernazi?

The closet troll has to ask, which mean that he is a mistake and stupid.

His parents should have drowned him a birth.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/23/12 at 8:19

slacker-
Still kissing up to Rasputin...hay! lol

By: Captain Nemo on 5/23/12 at 8:26

Mistake count;

gdia 27

yogi 15,000,000,109

Those that live in bulletproof glass closet should never through rocks at his self.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/23/12 at 8:28

OK yogi I am leaving the site now, so you can hit me with your terrible nonsensical come-backs.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/23/12 at 8:30

shb themselves

Here you go yogi, you can start with this one.

By: Beernazi on 5/23/12 at 8:39

And now, this in from Fox News:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/05/23/hawaii-verifies-obama-birth-records-to-arizona-2129696754/

By: dargent7 on 5/23/12 at 8:41

Zuckerberg just got sued for his IPO may have had insider implications, SEC insider trading, prior knowledge, inflated revenues....Facebook has 980 million subscribers.
You think someone, somewhere, knew something?