Just whose needs is the Decatur School Board serving? Certainly not the parents of special-needs students.
By postponing vital programs, the board essentially is telling the parents to “just deal with it.” Its announcement didn’t pretend that the district would do anything to avoid an interruption in these services. Parents now must scramble for alternative care, but hey, blame those greedy teaching assistants (TA).
This disregard of the feelings of others is consistent for the board. They didn’t show any sympathy to these same parents at the last meeting.
Leader Nolan’s character assassination of Decatur Federation of Teaching Assistants (DFTA) President Paula Busboom was shameful. Nolan proved that the overarching goal is breaking the union: Sow discontent among the union members, and enough will cross the picket lines.
Members of the other school district unions must stay strong beside DFTA: You can believe that the board will come after you next.
District officials are portraying TAs as well off. The figure of $36,000 is floating around, suggesting this is common. That would be a rare case of someone having a college degree and something like 30 years of service.
The district also misleads by saying that assistants are getting “three free months” of insurance. TAs must pay enough in premiums over nine months to cover the summer.
And the board is bargaining through the media, contending that this Silver Plan has been on the table for months. The TAs know this isn’t true.
The district has told union members it will cut off insurance at the end of October, although members pay a month in advance, and there is a 30-day notice that must be given, anyway.
And anyone who’s experienced high-deductible insurance plans knows they offer feeble coverage. So, the district can call it “insurance”, but board members know it’s little help to their “valued” employees.