Not sure if you were aware of this, but we are in the midst of contract negotiations with the teachers union (SEA). As most of my life was spent working at The Andersons, in Personnel, I have no union negotiation experience (they are a non-union company). I have been told that the SEA with their OEA representative (translation: attorney) draft up their list of "wants" - and our negotiating team along with our attorney draft up a list of "offers", and then they try to hash things out in the middle.
Here are a few statistics for you to mull over. According to the last census, the average household income in Swanton was $42,000 or so. That is HOUSEHOLD income - generally a 2-income family combined. Conversely, the average teacher salary in our school district is $47,000 and some change. Interesting, eh??
While you're thinking that over, here is another fact for you. During the course of investigating the possibility of raising GPA requirements for athletic participation, I got a look at a report generated at the high school of students at the 70% level ("C") or lower. This report listed the person's name and each subject where the grade was at 70% or less. There were 209 students on that list. We have less than 600 kids in the entire high school student body, so this number represents a third of our kids who are doing poorly in school. The vast majority were far below the 70% line, and there were far too many kids flunking out of every single class.
Preliminary results from state testing are also grim. Yet, the average years of service of our teaching staff is very high.
So put those facts together, and see what you come up with.