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It is time to shed some light on the other side of the outsourcing-paraprofessionalscoin at Brandywine Heights Area School District.
The paraprofessionals at Brandywine are in an uproar because their jobs may be outsourced. One of the para’s even made the bold statement that in her experience the people that live here, (Brandywine HeightsSchool District), do not mind paying higher taxes because they know what the paraprofessionals do.
Several comments for that: Speak for yourself! I DO mind paying higher taxes to fund your pension and your benefits. Also, since I have children in the district and am in the schools from time to time I do know what you do. Like take a paid lunch even though your contract does not permit that. Again, a taxpayer paid benefit. How many other workers get a paid lunch? I know I do not.
The real problem is that the union officials might be affected this time. These same officials did not mind selling out the secretaries and allowing them to take a 14 percent pay reduction in addition to a loss of benefits. They did not mind when they sold out the custodians gaining them a nine percent pay reduction and a loss of benefits. Nor did they mind selling out the kitchen staff with a loss of benefits.
Should this group or any other group be outsourced? In my opinion, yes. In some cases the employees would be better off. But they only know that if their union officials give them accurate and complete information. Also, until the state retirement system is reformed to exclude these non-teacher groups, school districts and the taxpayers cannot afford to keep these groups on staff.
School districts overall need to wake up and get their labor in line. Review the benefits and pay structure and get them both in line with the real world. Start at the top and start looking at conferences, etc. We not only pay for conferences but then substitutes as well. I feel that my children would receive a far better education if there was a sense of continuity with teaching instead of having numerous substitutes.
Start running your districts like a business and maybe you might just break even. We could only hope.