Here is a quick link to the School Board speaker form if you’d rather not read of all this. You’re not obligated to speak just by faxing it in. The point is to express your dissatisfaction with teacher salaries during the ongoing negotiations. Negotiations are set to resume on Tuesday, May 9th and so far all UTD bargaining updates point to another year of blaming Tallahassee and rising healthcare costs for the lack of any noticeable increase in your pay check. Keep reading to find out more about possible sources of district funding that could be used to pay you what you are worth.

The Miami Herald ran perhaps the least shocking news story of the year when it reported on Friday that the Miami Dade Schools Chief may be running for a higher political office The opening of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s seat in Congress presents an opportunity for the Superintendent to finally find a place on the national political stage. According to the article, Florida Democrats are all a tingle with excitement at the thought of the Miami Supe making a run for Congress even if he’s not currently a registered Democrat. In his typical eloquent evasiveness, he gave a non-answer as to whether he would seriously consider running:

“I have a sort of moral responsibility at least to entertain their request for consideration,” Carvalho said in an interview with the Miami Herald. “At the same time, my dedication and commitment to the Miami-Dade County Public Schools is as strong and unwavering as ever.”

The Superintendent would run as a Democrat despite having no registered political affiliation, stating:

“Politically, I’m a free agent, accountable only to the people I serve,” he said. “And that’s a good position to be in.”

He describes himself as socially liberal but fiscally conservative. Ain’t nobody know better just how fiscally conservative the Superintendent of Miami Dade County Public Schools is than Miami Dade County Public School teachers! Rather than honor the grandfathered salary schedule or raise teacher salaries, the Superintendent has stock piled cash in reserves leading to a triple A rating from Moody’s. Moody’s cites the rising property tax base for the rosy financial picture for the district.–PR_903948418

“The Aa3 general obligation rating reflects the district’s substantial property tax base that continues to strengthen, narrowed financial position with modest contingency reserves and cash, and an ongoing substantial capital program, funded in part with a sizable $1.2 billion voter-approved general obligation bond authorization.”

Further evidence of rising property tax collections can be seen in the Miami Dade County Public School System financial affairs report for 2016-17. The image below to shows the property tax collection rise over $139 million in the last three years. You can read the entire report or scroll to p.154 to summary of the General Fund

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Another impressive piece of evidence the Superintendent can add to his fiscally conservative portfolio is how he has managed to make veteran teachers pay for younger teachers’ merit pay and reduce district costs on teacher salaries by eliminating the state mandated grandfathered step schedule. This excel chart shows the number of teachers at each step before they were eliminated in 2014. Note that over 4,000 teachers were earning top pay and as they retire, their replacements will be earning $30,000 less and there will be a large gap in time before any teacher makes it to the top of the pay scale again. Teachers with 22 years in the system, which should have been at the top of the pay schedule at this point in their careers making $72,000 are only making on average about $53,000. A cost savings to the district of approximately $15,000 a year per teacher. Screwing over 2500 teachers out of approximately $15,000 equals a savings to the district of almost $40 million a year! Fiscally conservative indeed!

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So consider it your civic duty dear Dade County teacher to show up at the next School Board meeting on May 24th and let the public know exactly how fiscally conservative our Superintendent is and how he has balanced the $5 billion budget off the backs of its most loyal employees during his reign of economic terror on Miami Dade Public School teachers. You may want to tape a sign to your chest and back like the one below, showing your years of service and base salary at the School Board meeting.

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UTD negotiations with the district are scheduled to resume Tuesday May 9th. Could we get a few hundred or few thousand teachers to fax in their speaker form by then? What message would that send the negotiating team?

The “Miami Teacher Salaries Then and Now” blog post had almost 15,000 views in only a few days merely by posting it in two places on Facebook and having other teachers share the post. This is possibly a more effective method of sharing information with the Miami Dade County teacher community than district email with the added benefit of not clogging up anybody’s inbox and there is no “Reply All” button!