Friday, August 19, 2011

LISD raises pay: Amaya "We'll worry about it next year"

Politics in the air

It looks like politics won out over common sense.  Laredo Independent School District superintendent Marcus Nelson had long since recommended that salaries not be raised this year so that layoffs may be avoided next year. Nonetheless, the air of politics must already be in the air since the board of trustees voted to give teachers a raise afterall.

Some trustees even spoke out against the raises only to turn around and vote for them. Hopefully, no teachers or other employees will be laid off next year as a result of being paid $300 more this coming year. That would be a pretty hard deal: get 300 bucks now, lose yer job later.

Nick Georgieu of LMT reported in part:

LISD Superintendent A. Marcus Nelson kicked off the employee salary discussion by saying administration’s recommendation was to freeze salaries.

He recommended the freeze because of the $23 million in state revenue that LISD will lose during the next two school years compared to current funding levels.

LISD will need to shave about $7 million to $9 million from the 2013 fiscal year budget.

Trustees acknowledged the tough financial times. LISD board President George M. Beckelhymer said a salary freeze is an “intelligent, responsible” decision.

And trustee Jose A. Perez said the pay raises could “haunt” the district in the future.

But both said they want to support the employees and show a spirit of unity.

The rest of the board agreed and a couple of trustees said they supported giving higher pay raises than the ones approved Thursday.

“I feel that the backbone is the teachers and the employees of LISD,” trustee John Amaya said.

“They deserve to be given a raise this year. We’ll worry about it next year.”

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