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Rockwood Teachers Secure New Salary Agreement

Rockwood National Education Association (RNEA) and Rockwood School District officials agreed to a two-year salary package with a 5.5 percent increase, per an announcement made Thursday at the Rockwood board of education meeting.

teachers will receive a 2.75 percent increase during the 2012-2013 school year, and another 2.75 percent increase during the 2013-2014 school year, according to an agreement announced Thursday at the Rockwood board of education meeting held at Crestview Middle School in Ellisville. The motion to pass the agreement passed unanimously.

The agreement contains a clause for the 2013-2014 school year only, which reopens salary negotiations if an increase or decrease of 5 percent deviation occurs in the district's total operating revenue.

Rockwood Superintendent Bruce Borchers said the district's officials believed the agreement was fair, given the Rockwood's financial limitations. "We must be able to attract and retain the best teachers in the state."

The current contract with RNEA expires June 30. District and RNEA representatives met in the fall and established ground rules for what they deemed "Interest Based Bargaining" on Oct. 27.

RNEA President Suzanne Dotta stated in a joint news release that RNEA leaders were pleased to recommend this contract for ratification, which occurred at RNEA meetings held Feb. 14-22 with a vote of 404 in favor and 20 opposed.

One change reflects counselors' future roles, including counseling philosophies, expectations and priorities. District representatives will meet with principals to discuss sharing duties that cannot be part of counselor duties.

Another change is that a committee among elementary staffers will be established to review procedures in crises or unique situations. Committee members will hold meetings twice a year with lead teachers in buildings to review new procedures and expectations.

The district also will establish elementary and secondary committees to continue work regarding standards based grading.

To review the full agreement, click here.

"Rockwood teachers are focused on helping all students be successful," stated Dotta. "RNEA and the district have created an agreement that honors the commitment and professionalism of our dedicated teachers."

foxxydrummer February 29, 2012 at 05:22 AM
Gee, a district that is supposedly facing financial hardship has money for raises for teachers and administrators? While the taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet, sounds fair to me. Folks, your district is out of control, and major changes need to be made to bring these wasteful spenders back to reality. Make sure everyone votes against the upcoming money-grab by Rockwood.
Michael Rhodes February 29, 2012 at 02:57 PM
The current bond issue can only be used for infrastructure exspenses (building repair/upgrades, technology enhancements, etc..) the money can not be used for staff salaries (state law). Should the bond issue fail then the district would have to pull money from the operations budget to meet maintenance and repair needs. That can only be accomplished through reduction of staff at schools and in administraction. Two seperate funding sources. Since you say "your district" and not ours I can only take it you are not a Rockwood tax payer. I have seen what the district wants to spend the bond issue money an and do not see anything listed I would consider wasteful.
foxxydrummer March 01, 2012 at 04:40 AM
It's also my district, I used "your" to address the sheeple that keep giving the spendthrifts more money. Rockwood's facilities are more than adequate to dispense their state sponsored propaganda. If you want the district to have better facilities, how about being a real man and bucking up your own money, instead of extorting more of my wealth, when I receive zero benefit from the exorbitant tax rate? Hmmm? Get the checkbook out, Michael. You're not going to? Surprise, surprise! It's easier to spend other people's money.
Jennifer Jordan Kelly March 09, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Has anyone ever read Plunder! by Steven Greenhut?
William Brown March 09, 2012 at 04:33 PM
It is very sad to me that we are seeing so many people "hide" on the internet behind "cute" screen names and attack others. Agree or disagree with Mr. Rhodes, but he isn't resorting to name calling (i.e.--sheeple) and he attaches what I assume is his real name instead of hiding behind a moniker such as foxxydrummer.
William Brown March 09, 2012 at 04:37 PM
In the effort for full disclosure,,,I am the William "Bill" Brown who is currently a candidate for the Rockwood School District Board of Education.
Michael Rhodes March 09, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Real name. Once I read foxxydrummer's response I knew it wasn't worth my time to respond to.
Michael Rhodes March 10, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Where can we see those solution reports. I would be curious to see how they address the shortfall and still manage to maintain buildings and provide upgrades/improvements.
Eileen Tyrrell March 10, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Michael: Please send your email address to rsdstakeholders@gmail.com and one of the RS for RS core team will send you copies. The financial report was given to Director Doell in October. The organizational was given to Superintendent Borchers in January RS for RS has never professed to be perfect, just working towards and solution, instead of more problems. Thank you for your interest.
Eileen Tyrrell March 10, 2012 at 03:12 AM
A few financial facts to bring into this debate. 1. For every $1.00 spent on direct instruction; $.86 is spent on support staff. This includes 14 million each year for building level administration and 6.4 million for executive administration. See page 16 and 17 of the 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report - you can find it on the RSD website. 2. Bond debt principal and interest is $295,955,508.00 with a general obligation through 2027!!! 3. Total revenue for 2011 251,466,537 with total expenditures at 288,232.556. page 45 Folks we THIS DISTRICT IS IN TROUBLE and they won't be solved by taxing and taxing and taxing whether is it via bond issue or a tax levy, it still a TAX!!! We all have to come together and work on solving the spending problem in this district. RS for RS has presented two types of solution reports to our district officials; financial and organizational. We are ready to come to the table.
Eileen Tyrrell March 10, 2012 at 06:01 AM
Eileen Tyrrell 8:51 pm on Friday, March 9, 2012 I agree Bill. RS for RS has one of those on their facebook page, "Don Plimpton" However, we still engage him/her due to the importance of the exchange of opinions and ideas in these troubled times. It is not always easy putting yourself out front in the line of fire.
Michael Rhodes March 10, 2012 at 02:00 PM
I understand. I took it the post (looks like it has now been deleted) "solution reports" meaning they had a viable solution to put into place. I see mention of a Facebook page, but could not locate it. What is it? I will send an email to the address provided, thanks.
Julie Brown Patton (Editor) March 10, 2012 at 02:35 PM
@Michael Rhodes: As editor of this site, just wanted to be clear that I did NOT delete the comment that now is not available. I appreciate the exchange of information here. I also encourage you to use the Patch search function on the Home page and you will find quite a bit of articles written about the Rockwood School District over a long period of time.
Michael Rhodes March 10, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Nope, didn't think the Patch did it. The poster may have, or someone could have marked it as inappropriate making it disappear until reviewed. I pointed that out incase someone else read I my post and was thinking "what is this idiot talking about". I can call myself that right :)
Julie Brown Patton (Editor) March 10, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Michael, you are correct about the two ways comments may be withdrawn. Thank you for knowing and reiterating the Patch "terms of use."
Josh March 10, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Feel free to look at www.buildrfutures.com to read why Rockwood needs to pass Proposition R. Lot of the myths and inconsistencies posted online about the bond issue are answered there.
Pam Lieber March 10, 2012 at 11:44 PM
@Josh- what myths are out there online?Could you name them specifically?I have voted YES on almost every Rockwood bond issue in the past. However, I will vote NO on this one(Prop R). Rockwood wastes a TON of money and they need to get their financial house in order before I give them anymore money. Your site is called "buildrfuture".........I have 2 kid's and the last thing they need right NOW is more debt in their future. Do you realize that although it says "no tax increase" that we are tacking this bond money onto Rockwood's debt? Do you think that we are just getting that money for FREE?? If you think that is the case, can you please explain how that will be possible.....??
Corri Hoppe March 11, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Each citizen has the opportunity to "let their voice be heard" when they vote in local, state, or national elections. As citizens, we are fortunate enough to have a chance to vote for who we think would best represent us. What is so amazingly baffling is that we HAVE NO VOICE as a Rockwood School District taxpayers/stakeholders to even be heard regarding the extension of the Superintendent's contract and pay raise. In reading some of the comments from Board members (where we do have a voice and vote) Thursday evening, they displayed much animosity about RSD for RSD for interfering with "business as usual." Simplified, the Board members essentially communicated, "Why doesn't the group of citizens concerned about equity, truthfulness (in a variety of circumstances), and the right to be heard go away because they are interfering with the educational process; we have operated for years without having to answer to anyone and this is a huge inconvenience." Think about what that really says about how important/lack of importance the Board and the district (per Kim Cranston) they show about the TAXPAYERS/STAKEHOLDERS/PARENTS. In essence, they would prefer we go away and stop asking questions about things that need to be answered and are perfectly relevant to ask about and be rightfully provided with honest answers that MATCH Rockwood policy. Each sign of rebuttal or overtly negative statements creates more questions about the trustworthiness of the district as a whole.
Eileen Tyrrell March 11, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Josh: Your comment referring to "myths and inconsistencies posted online", is directly under my comments regarding a few financial facts. Josh, these figures come straight from the 2011 RSD Comprehensive Financial Report on the RSD webiste. Here is the link: http://www.rockwood.k12.mo.us/finance/Pages/default.aspx I respectfully ask that you clarify what myths and inconsistencies you were referring to, especially since you posted it directly under my comment. Thank you.
Josh March 11, 2012 at 05:06 AM
Eileen, Your post seems to argue against Proposition R and I was simply pointing out a site that argues for the bond issue. The site www.buildrfutures.com does a good job educating everyone about Proposition R and answers many misconceptions people have regarding bond issues in general. The site shows what the bond will pay for, what each school gains and explains how everything is paid for.
Eileen Tyrrell March 11, 2012 at 05:29 AM
Josh, it is one thing to direct people to a site which provides them with information about PROP R and another to refer to FACTUAL FINANCIAL information linked and referenced; as "myths and inconsistencies". No myths here: Bond debt principal and interest is $295,955,508.00 with a general obligation through 2027. Let me break it down for the readers: This is the bond debt BEFORE the proposed $43 million from PROP R. *Principal: 231,810,000.00 Interest: 64,145,508.00 Josh, how about you ask the master of the website buildrfutures.com you refer Patch readers to; to inform the voters that IF Prop R passes what would be the TOTAL BOND DEBT broken down in prinicpal and interest and how many more years BEYOND 2027 will it extend the TAXPAYERS GENERAL OBLIGATION. Now, that would be equitable information.
Michael Rhodes March 12, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Pam. Not trying to speak for Josh, but I can tell you what I have seen. Most against the Bond Issue put it out there like it is a "new" tax or that home owners property taxes will go up with the bond issue. They also indicate that there are other ways to meet the infrastructure needs using the opperations budget. There was a post on here (since deleted) that said RS for RS had provided solution reports to that effect. Kind of like your statement "Rockwood wastes a TON of money". It may be true and it depends on what you mean by it. I guess I would ike to see the specifics behind that as well. I know some do not like the current super and that he hired co-workers to work here with him and consider that a waste. Although I think that should have been handled better I don't have an issue with it. It happens in the private sector. That is why some companies make employees sign an agreement limiting recruitment of co-workers (mine is 1 year for example). Both sides will try to convince voters and it is up to the voters to weed through it and vote they way they think is best for themselves (only a few will care what is best for the district) their focus will solely be on thier tax rate. We have a great school district and pass or fail it will stay that way for a few years to come. 10 or 20 years down the road could be a different story though.
Michael Rhodes March 12, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Just to be clear I do support the bond issue for a couple of reasons. With the economy still in early stages of recovery (hopefully) interest rates are low and with the construction industry begging for work I think the district will get more for it's dollar now than in the past. Now, maybe next year it would be better, but indicators are showing a recovery has started (although slowly). Which means higher interest rates and greater costs could becoming. Waiting a year or two could actually decrease what can be done for the same money (could also increase if the economy slides again). Kind of like gambling in that respect. Also, I think if we wait to make sure there was no waste (soem have sugegsted placing the bond after the state audit is completed) we could be impacting classroom education. Should the bond not pass some of these infrastructure repairs will still have to be done. That will have to come out of the operations budget. Which means less money for the classroom (teachers/books/music/art) could all be impacted.

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