Schools must spend money more wisely
The News article, “State adds funds to budget in case of coal plant shutdown,” was good news. However, that recent state budget addition is not meant only for our town. Moreover, it is the responsibility of leadership and employees to continue to gird our children’s education against the threat (and others) of a closing coal plant.
Kenmore Teachers Association President Peter Stuhlmiller was quoted in the article and I appreciate his comments. However, that union is now the fifth-highest paid teachers union in upper New York State (off Long Island) based on a Business First database year on which the union had no additional salary on steps. Teachers just secured additional salary raises in two of the next three years, as well as a two-year retirement incentive that will cover many employees who would have retired over the same time frame without one.
Additionally, the community just approved expanding transportation mileage limits, but I fear without having enough accurate data on future expenses to do so. We are phasing through a heartfelt school building consolidation project. My grandchildren are directly affected by the closings we are preparing them for. To clearly do our part for children, we should not have spent that much of the savings on wallets, buses and retirees’ health care.
Mark P. Mondanaro
Town of Tonawanda