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Whats your school district doing about oil prices?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Richardin52, Aug 16, 2008.

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  1. Richardin52

    Richardin52 Member

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    I live in the largest school district in Maine. S.A.D.# 9.

    They have done less than nothing toward getting off oil. First they have done nothing about heating all their building with anything but oil. What do they care just raise taxes, high oil prices don't scare them.

    Talk about stupid, they just closed a school in Weld and are now going to not only buss junior high and high school kids 20 plus miles but are also going start another buss at a later time and buss the smaller kids too now.

    A much better choice would have been to have the older kids go to that school too, which would have not only reduced oil use but would have saved money on buss divers, busses, all the problems that large schools have with gangs etc., and the kids would not have to be in town at 7:00 AM every morning for the ride to Farmington.

    It would have saved them money and that small school could have easily been converted to a non-oil fired heating system.

    So what’s your schools doing? Raising taxes so they can send more money to oil producing countries and pollute our air or are they getting smart?

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  2. ugenetoo

    ugenetoo New Member

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    the simple answer is they are spending OPM. (other peoples money)
  3. fraxinus

    fraxinus Feeling the Heat

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    I agree completely that Maine's governmental response to high oil prices has been pathetic in every way. (Look at Vermont's plans for a startling contrast). As for the school issue, the only thing I've seen is a proposed state bailout for districts which foolishly assumed low energy prices when preparing their 08-09 budgets. Back in the 70's/80's energy crunch, there were many ideas directed specifically at schools. Among them were: four day school week, closing schools for an extended period in mid-winter, curtailment of athletic trips, using neutral sites for games to cut down travel, reducing after school use of buildings and many more I've no doubt forgotten.
    All states should be on crash programs to convert public buildings to alternative energy sources. Not a sign of it in Maine. School bus travel should be reduced wherever possible; Maine is moving in precisely the opposite direction with school consolidation - any savings will be eaten up and then some by transportation costs.
  4. ugenetoo

    ugenetoo New Member

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    just continue voting for the party that is responsible for this bureaucratic growth.
  5. BadDad320

    BadDad320 Feeling the Heat

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    Do you want people on your Board of Eds and town governments that think like you???? Do what I did. Do it yourself. Get involved. The list of things that I have accomplished are many. Other people will follow. Heck, some will follow your lead and lead themself in the same direction. My mantra has been from the beginning "this is not my money, it is the peoples money". You have the power to create change! People like me are waiting for people like you to help bring change and it all starts at the local level. Motion to adjourn, do I have a second???????
  6. Ductape

    Ductape Member

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    Kudos to you BadDad !

    I see my local school district doing the same as every level of my gummit......... raising taxes and spending money like a drunken sailor !! I have not heard ONE person at any level of gummit talking about doing anything to save money.
  7. pelletwood

    pelletwood Member

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  8. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

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    I am a teacher in Maine and the 3 biggest budget items that can be controlled are heating, transportation and health care. ALL new school that get Maine funding should use geothermal. Maine, as a state needs to put money behind creating an infrastructure for NG powered vehicles. I saw a bus in Portland the other day that was powered by NG. However, where Rich is, or where I am, or heck in 98% of Maine there are no NG pipelines (though Rich is close to a terminal). For a cold weather state, and the increasing costs of ALL fuel types, that is just plain ridiculous! Health care................. that's for a different forum.
  9. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    Given the ease of retrofitting efficient equipment to these buildings, this sort of thing is truly ridiculous. Get the oil numbers for your school district. Even relatively-small districts tend to use hundreds of thousands of gallons.

    I've heard of a couple instances where they blast the heat and leave the windows open at the district offices, because if they don't use up the budgeted about, they won't get it next year. Talk about disturbing...

    As others have said, they don't care, because it's not their money. Governments and government agencies are, by far, the worst polluters on the planet. Because they don't have to actually pay the bill...

    Joe
  10. fraxinus

    fraxinus Feeling the Heat

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    ugenetoo: An extended period of one party rule is never healthy and has been a disaster for Maine. Trouble is, the other party keeps annointing homophobic intelligent design zealots. We could have had Governor Mills, but...

    Baddad: You are abosulutely correct. Local participation is key.

    Sinnian: Control of energy costs should have moved to the forefront of every school board's agenda, but there's little evidence that it has. With so little in the way of leadership on the state level, it looks like it will have to become a local issue as Baddad suggests.
  11. DiggerJim

    DiggerJim Feeling the Heat

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    Fascinating - 80% of the budget is consumed by teacher's salaries & benefits but that's not controllable?
  12. BadDad320

    BadDad320 Feeling the Heat

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    Doing it yourself is key. I am just a little bitty fish but I still can make a difference. You just need to get yourself into a position where you can do the same. Our Police Dept now has a bicycle patrol and were given classes for police bicycle procedure, we have been given solar electric power serious consideration with presentations to the community, we share services with surrounding communities and so many more things. Make your town a better place for everyone.
  13. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

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    ROFLMAO......................okay............phew.

    Maybe in Ct. 80% of the budget is consumed by teacher's salaries & benefits (whatever that maybe besides health care which TEACHERS have no control over), but not in Maine Jim. From your name and comment Jim I would guess that you are an uneducated man. I say this because even IF the budget was 80% for teacher's salaries and benefits, who do you think would benefit more from that, the teachers or the students.............................................?

    Stumped?

    It would be the students and the tax payers. There is a huge discrepancy in Maine for teacher's salaries, but the districts who pay better also score better on ALL the standardized tests required for No Child Left Behind (another farce, but don't get me started). Money well spent, in my opinion, for our future.

    HOWEVER, there is no way that 80% of the budget is consumed by teacher's salaries and benefits anyway.

    It always amazes me how some uneducated people think that paying teachers a fair wage, and often less then the going market value, is still too much money. I have a Master's degree (and the student loans to go with them) and 12 years of experience. Yet, I still work every summer 40+ hours per week painting people's houses that have a far less important job, but make make far more money then me. I am fine with that, I got into education for many different reasons, but it certainly was not to get rich. However, I will always have a sour taste for ignorant people who think that teachers make too much money and ONLY work 35 hours per week (average school week), because that couldn't be further from the truth.
  14. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    The school district that I worked for before retiring 4 years ago has converted most boilers to natural gas which has resulted in substantial savings. Seems that I also recall all the lighting being converted to more efficient T-12 florescent lighting. Of course none of these initiatives help unless the teachers can be trained to turn off the lights when they leave the classroom for the day, or close the windows in the middle of winter :roll:
  15. badger1968

    badger1968 New Member

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    Yes, Snowe and Collins have been a disaster for Maine! ;-P

    But seriously, Baldacci is hopeless and the local governments are outrageously inept. Yes, because it's your money they don't give a darn. They will raise your mil rate again and again. What are you going to do about it? Vote them out? Ha!
    Most of the folks in my local government are in it to legislate additional benefits for their respective trades or businesses. The whole corrupt structure is packed with builders, contractors, architects, chamber of commerce types, and lawyers. They're all well off and can afford a tax increase each and every year. I can't.
    Maine's motto is "Dirigo"--"I Lead." As for encouraging alternative fuels and energy efficiency, Maine's Government doesn't even follow. They just pay what the oil man tells them to. After all, it's not their money.
  16. fespo

    fespo Feeling the Heat

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    South West burbs of Chicago
    I don't know what our dist. is doing about heat, but i can say this the air is on when all the kids are out all summer. They have unused rooms chilled down to 70, gyms and lunch rooms down to 65-68 with no one in them. I work in the dist that i live in and can not say a word if I want to keep my job. What I have seen, is schools waste alot of money for no good reason. I would love to go to meetings and stand -up for what is right but not until I get a new job, and right now there is no jobs!!!!
  17. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

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    I think you would find that the majority of the teacher in your district LIVE in your district and they do care about saving money AND the planet. As far as using up the money/budget from one year to get money for the next............ THAT is something that YOU have contributed to by the school board that YOU have elected.

    Teachers are frugal and budget savvy. We tend have to do more each year with less time and even less money. We are your neighbors and likewise fellow tax payers. We are contracted to work (on average) 35 hours per week, but most work more, and some work WAY MORE with no compensation, nor any asked for.

    In Maine we must pay into the Maine retirement system just like a state employee. However, the teacher's portion was borrowed back in the 80's and never paid back. Our retirement percentage to our salary has been reduced. The worst slap in the face, however, is that during retirement WE have to pay 60% of our health care premium, while a state flagger or toll both worker gets theirs 100% free upon their retirement.

    YOUR fight and argument is not with the teachers! We open the windows in the winter because our heating system does not work correctly and our room is 80+ degrees (how effective do you think your child is learning then), while our co-workers room down the hall can barley register 60 degrees (how effective do you think your child is learning then). We would love to always remember to turn off those lovely fluorescent lights (yes the "u" comes before the "o") but sometimes forget because we are dealing with behavior issues caused by said fluorescent lights (many studies on the effects of these lights).

    I know teachers will always get raked across the coals, and some maybe rightly so. People always need something or someone to blame. However, please try to stop generalizing about teachers because it is not factual.
  18. Turbozcs2003

    Turbozcs2003 New Member

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    Yes that and the 8000 beurocrats in each school system LOL

    We are getting a new elementry school built here in Brunswick. All the stupid idiots come out of the woodwork to "design: the school. Must be green blah bla blah. One guys who is a contractor started firing a lot of questions to the Architects. Basically asked them if they use all these new unproven green materials in the design and the materials fail who will warranty the building?

    His point to all the clue less was to go with proven materials and construction methods and not throw money at it for the sake of being green. It is one thing to have energy efficient building, but quite another to use all these recycled materials and be the guine pig to test them.

    Also I was impressed that a lot of people were pissed that the state cant have a single design to eliminate all these architect costs, ie a bare bones design which you take or leave. But of course in Maine everyone gets fat dumb and happy at the tax payers expense. So we got pimped 28 million and have to come up with 4 million out of our pockets for the extras.

    The last stupid part is the school will be for 4-6th grade. Of course we had all the whiners come out saying it will ruin the education in the town because the kiddies will have to switch schools. The new school will allow the town to retire two old schools and have K-3 in the other two remaining schools and the 4-6th in this new school which is replacing the old high school on the site which is central in the town, the school has been vacant for 10 years and is falling apart.
  19. DiggerJim

    DiggerJim Feeling the Heat

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    Well I'm certainly glad you're teaching in Maine and not CT based on this post.

    According to the MSAD57 (which includes Limerick) Superintendent's report, the FY08 budget was $34M. Of that, 20M (59.02%) was for salaries and another 4.8M (or 14.39%) for benefits for a grand total of 24.8M (or 73.41%) for salaries & benefits. Compare that to 2M for supplies or 280K for equipment and I'm fairly certain salaries & benefits dwarves other expenses in your budget...

    But, you are correct that I was wrong in stating that 80% was for salaries & benefits - only 73.41% is the case. Phew, good thing you went to school for this and I'm just an uneducated ruffian otherwise who knows what damage I might have inflicted with this little piece of misinformation :)

    Statistically speaking however, the difference is hardly material when discussing the fundamental premise of your original post which was that a) someone (not you I presume) should be doing something about geothermal, NG buses, etc. and b) by implication, that salaries/benefits were uncontrollable expenses.

    While you may have a Master's degree, it appears you missed the class on the difference between "ignorant" which I would vehemently argue and "misinformed" to which I will plead guilty. Stumped? Perhaps this link will help: www.dictionary.com

    You might also want to use the remainder of the summer to brush up on how to identify the "educated" from "uneducated" amongst us and whether in fact you might need more than a 16 word posting to make a valid evaluation of another person's education. I won't bore you with the details of mine nor delve too deeply in the matter of your school system spending more per pupil than mine does even though my school system ranks amongst the country's (not just the state's) highest performing. By the way, a basic statistics course would help educate you on the difference between correlation & causality - while I would agree there is generally a correlation between district spending and student achievement, I'm not willing to presume causality...perhaps they spend more because they have more money because they are a wealthier, more educated and more successful demographic where parents are more involved and children encouraged at home...

    ...oh and I guess it's a good thing I'm not teaching anymore (can you spell "inner-city"?) or on the school board anymore either. Nor will I bore you with the reasons that teacher salaries are not de facto "for the children" or debate any of the other NEA Kool-Aid driven rants.

    Have a sparkling evening whilst you hit your books,
    ;-)
  20. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

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    There are far more people working in a school district then teachers. Not ALL the 20M is for teacher's salaries. Again, by benefits do you mean health care? I will certainly agree, and said so in the first post, that health care should be controllable. However, that is a state/federal/societal issue. Teachers do not control the insurance rates/costs.

    I purposely used "ignorant", because most people who always blame the schools and teachers do not want to be informed.

    I am glad you are educated, however, your statement was still ignorant. Though I guess that point could be argued to if you wanted 30+ students per class and unseasoned teachers in your district.

    Can you tell me why teachers do not deserve a fair market value for their pay?

    Btw, I never said teacher's salaries and benefits (whatever your definition) were uncontrollable. They are, per a negotiated contract ~ i.e. the control mechanism.
  21. pelletfan

    pelletfan Member

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    we are getting away from oil prices in school districts
    But nevertheless in no defense to school districts a lot of ^%$%^& is dictated from the state and federal level in what the school has to do.
    We in NY have the privilege to vote on school budgets. But guess what? If the school budget gets defeated everything keeps on going like nothing happen. The School district can only change a small portion in its allocations. Everything else is already a decided.
    So we really should start from the top down if one wants to change things. And at the state level a lot of things get decided behind closed doors. One could go on for ever.
    But getting back to oil prices for your school district.
    As typical in American life, probably nobody pays really attention to it until the &^%$ hits the fan.
  22. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    Have a beer or a glass of wine or smoke a joint, or meditate, or whatever you do to relax...

    Relaxed now?

    Good.

    I said "district offices." Administrators and office staff, not teachers.

    Given the number of my neighbors and family members who are teachers, I'm well aware of the demographics of teachers. Administration is the big problem. They are the "overhead," they are the once who set policy, etc. That's where at least 90% of the problem lies.

    Oh, and I didn't elect the school board here. I voted against them. Just for the record. We subcontract our high school students to a private school, and that keeps the costs down, since they have a vested interest in efficiency, in order to make a profit.

    Joe
  23. MoeB

    MoeB New Member

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    The best way to cut down on the school budget is to close the schools. Yes, close them. Why pay for buildings, bussing, gasoline, bus drivers, guidance counselors, electricity, school nurses, water, athletics, gymnasiums, school coaches, cops to patrol them, janitors, furniture, computers . . . and the list goes on. I say let's pay the best teachers, put them on line, keep the kids at home, give them computers and internet access, and a certain amount per child for extracurricular community-based programs -- the ones they want to be involved in, a certain amount for each child. The best teachers will always have jobs. The others can be tutors for those that need it. Children would not be exposed to all the drugs and influences their parents' have no say in. We would not send our check book and credit cards on a school bus with a stranger, have them passed around all day with people we don't know, so why do it with our five-year children?

    We have Little League and pee wee football and music and drama programs in our community. If each family were given vouchers to use for these things -- and only these things -- we'd be so much better off. Then the money could be spent on education.

    I know, I know, what about the social benefits they'd be missing. Yeah, right! The kids who will fail will fail, and the kids who won't won't. The ones who aren't learning could get the attention they need they same way they do now.

    No more school bullies. No more keepin' up with the Joneses' kids clothes and cars and cell phones. Let's save some money and let the kids learn -- the same way they learn how to walk and talk. They don't need to go to an expensive building to learn. In many cases, what they learn is not to want to learn.

    Let's let the teachers make a good salary -- those who deserve it.

    I know it sounds radical, but these aren't the days any longer when people dont' have access to computers, libraries, the internet, and community-based programs. If your kid wants to play hockey, let them spend their allotment on that. If your kid wants to play the violin, let the best music teachers teach them. The not-so-good teachers will find something else to do because people won't send their kids to them. The good coaches -- the ones who want to teach kids how to play ball will get the students. The lousy ones won't.

    Who will be the winners? The kids, the parents, the good teachers and coaches, and the taxpayers.

    Before you say, oh, no, it won't work . . . why not? It's not working now, that's for sure. And it's costing billions of dollars. Just imagine, the parents would get to decide who their child associates with. The disruptive kids can be disruptive at home with the people who probably deserve to deal with what they have created.

    Oh, yeah, moms and dads have to work -- why? To pay their freakin' taxes to support an expensive, broken educational system.

    Thank you for letting me vent. Oh, yeah, about that oil bill for the schools? Gone. The internet doesn't require oil.
  24. hoverfly

    hoverfly Minister of Fire

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    Back in the early 1980's I remember my elementary school getting up dated. New windows, lowered ceiling, new lighting the brick wall got a exterior insulating foam covering. The oil fired boiler got upgraded to coal. The set up for the shoot/bunker, dumpster and conveyor for the ash is still there to day, maybe they will use it again. However switching to coal any where else would create an environmental coup among Town's foke today. Schools today don't have much a choice, burn oil or gas. Wood if possible, but transporting it and the conversions cost money. Solar, again big bucks, and would only cover 1/3 to 1/2 of a building needs during the winters short sunny days. Heck my old high school was built on the promise of cheep nuclear energy, it's heating system is electric you gripe about paying for oil for your schools? Hah!!

    Now I am going to let both barrels rip at people making grips about paying for public education. Your an Idiot........with that kind of thought why not let your self be exploited for unskilled labor, low wages, low quality of life. I mean manufacturing is no longer unskilled, that's gone over seas, this country runs on skilled manufacturing, you need higher education skills on any job to make money today. How about your social security checks? How about Medicare, Medicaid? Disability? other social services from the state or fed? Skilled labor pays more taxes!! Did you notice that there are more adults in the service industry like Starbucks, lowes, Home Depot, than kids? You are investing in a generation who is going to pay for those things YOU receive unless you want a pay cut from these benefits.......well you all ready have actuality. Now some body may say I don't know nothing about the education system..........Wrong!! My Grandmother was a teacher, my Dad, my Mother, and both of my GF parents. Why should teachers and their children endure a lower quality of life to teach your kids?I tell you, we are paying a price for such ignorance, I have paid that price, but that's another story.
  25. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like manufacturers would be happy to donate money to schools, eh?

    I don't want 'em. They can keep their "services," and I'll keep my money, except when I actually want to spend it. Deal?

    Actually, to be accurate, you're passing off the cost for your "services" onto your children. Why not pay for the services you want, and let your children pay for what they want, instead of expecting them to pay for your retirement, for example? If you want a retirement check each month, please invest your money, instead of demanding that my children pay you.

    Thanks.

    Joe
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