Saturday, December 18, 2010

Where Does Billionaire Monopolist Bill Gates Get Off Saying Bigger Class Size and Fewer Teachers Is the Education Solution?

From June Hughes, December 17, 2010
"But if you follow the money, it leads to very rich people who have two sets of educational standards: One for their kids, and another for ours."
"They want to fire experienced teachers because they cost more, increase class size, and commit our kids to online learning -- none of which they would consider for their own children," said Haimson. "It is the height of hypocrisy."
Where Does Billionaire Monopolist Bill Gates Get Off Saying Bigger Class Size and Fewer Teachers Is the Education Solution?
By Scott Thill
Posted on December 17, 2010
Once dominant, now America is just average when it comes to education. Its public solution, recently communicated by Microsoft mogul Bill Gates? Increased class sizes, decreased teacher counts, fewer advanced degrees, and probably more mediocrity.
It's the type of technocratic cure-all one would expect Gates to champion, and it will doubtless perform as lamely as Microsoft, which currently hobbles at $30 a share while its more intuitive tech rivals like Apple and Google respectively hover around $200 to $600. But Gates' short-changing of the nation's education system is just another strain of neoconservative austerity going viral in our global village. And it's just as short-sighted as the disaster capitalism that destroyed America's economic integrity: Increasing America's class sizes and downsizing its teachers could cost us more than it could save us.
View complete article here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Minutes for the December 9, 2010 CORE meeting

From Dave Parshall, December 15, 2010

The meeting began with a welcome by CORE President Dave Parshall and the introduction of several first time attendees. Two gentlemen and CORE supporters from Jefferson County were in attendance. It is a long drive to Columbus from Jefferson County so their effort was warmly received by the 30 plus members in attendance. Donna Thorpe and Ruby Fisher brought a guest to the meeting from Clinton county. Virgene Peterson taught for 50 years and has done substitute teaching for the past 18 years. WOW! We all were astonished by this woman and her drive.
Old Business: In the absence of CORE secretary Marie Fetters, who was away on family business, it was motioned and approved to suspend the reading of the October board minutes. It was also decided by default that Dave Parshall would do the December minutes.
Treasurer’s Report was given by our new CORE treasurer Carole DePaola. The CORE fund is secure and continues to grow. Carole is off to a great start.
Dave Parshall presented highlights of the November STRS board meeting. Once again, under Member Benefits, a lengthy and informative health care presentation was made by the STRS staff. The bottom line is that we are using principal in the fund to pay claims. It is still estimated that our health care fund will be gone by 2021. At that time we will have to start to pay the entire cost which they estimated at or around $2,900 a month. Parshall pointed out that as the ORC reads now STRS has to provide the coverage equal to Medicare and pay half the cost. There are 9,636 30 year teachers who are 65 or older and don’t qualify for or have Medicare Part A. We all may need the new healthcare bill state pools one day.
A discussion followed about the plan to help the retirees with $30,000 pensions and who were 30 year teachers with a straight pension. The STRS board voted to take no action at this time. I will revisit this with several board members and even ORTA after we are done with our lobbying efforts with the new legislature and whatever the new bill might be. But it is hard to see why freezing the 3 % COLA for the 30 and below retirees is called charity and the restoring of the COLA for future retirees back to 2% and the grandfathering of the unearned 88% enhancement that will cost us money for decades to come is not also charity.
New Business: A discussion was held about plans for lobbying the new state legislature. It was decided that out January meeting would end with a work session to come up with possible talking points etc. to give to our members to use during visits with house members. While the final points can’t be finalized until after we see what is in the real bill, we can begin to organize now. CORE members need to find a lobbying partner to visit house members when they are back in their home districts or here in Columbus. So please plan on attending this very important meeting in January. Dr. Alice Faryna will give us a power point presentation on meeting with and talking to members of the legislature during our January CORE meeting.
Debbie Silverstein presented a fine and informative presentation about HB 159, known as The Health Care For All Ohioans Act. This bill will save Ohio Taxpayers over $2.3. Our healthcare system is bankrupting our country. Debbie is a retired teacher and CORE member Alice Faryna are members of Single Payer Action Network of Ohio. You can learn more about this organization at After her presentation she asked for CORE to be one of the many groups lending their name and support for HB 159. It was agreed to ask the CORE board and officers to vote on this request. The voting is underway now.
The last item for discussion was a request by Parshall for permission to upgrade our CORE website with new officers and to remove other dated information. The motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:10 pm. The next CORE meeting will be on January 13, 2011 at STRS-----HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Prepared and submitted by Dave Parshall

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Want to know more about the new Health Care Law and how it might affect you?
Click here (pdf format).

More from Maryland re: YOU CAN'T TOUCH RETIREES' COLA!

From John Curry, December 14, 2010
Pension Commission Delays Decisions – But Is Told It Can’t Reduce COLAs - By Len Lazarick
December 14, 2010
The commission examining changes to state retirement benefits put off any decisions until at least next week, but staff on Monday told the members that they couldn't alter employee cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) - one of the largest areas for potential savings.
Freezing or capping COLAs for current and future retirees for five to 15 years was one scenario suggested to the Public Employees' and Retirees' Benefit Sustainability Commission. But Michael Rubinstein, a legislative analyst staffing the commission, told the commission that "simply from a legal question that approach is not viable."
Both the assistant attorney general for the State Retirement and Pension System and the general counsel to the General Assembly said, "You cannot change the COLAs for current retirees" or for those active workers who had already earned benefits, Rubinstein said.
Like Social Security beneficiaries, state retirees did not see increases in their pension checks this year because the cost of living did not go up.
There seemed to be growing consensus on the eight-member commission that health benefits for current workers and retirees need to be changed. The state has an unfunded liability of $15 billion in promises for health care it has made over the next 30 years, and it has put aside only about 2% of that.
"There's no question that Maryland needs to come more in line with other states," said former state Sen. Barbara Hoffman.
State treasurer Nancy Kopp said, "I sense there is a consensus that health benefits ought to resemble other states."
These changes in plan coverage would lower the costs to the state by 10% or about $100 million a year and raise the costs to employees, according to the "Decision Guide" the commissioners were given. But Warren Deschenaux, the legislature's fiscal policy chief, told them such changes "would have to be brought to the bargaining table" with the state employee unions.
Depending on how they use medical care, the changes could cost employees and retirees anywhere from $400 a year to thousands of dollars.
By far the biggest long term savings for health care would be to shift all Medicare-eligible retirees to Medicare Part D to cover the cost of prescription benefits. In the long run, that could save the state $5.5 billion over the next 25 years, or about $420 million a year.
None of the changes in pension or health care benefits would save any money for next year's fiscal 2012 budget, for which a $1.8 billion deficit is projected.
Commission member Aris Mardirossian questioned the fairness of trying to cut employee benefits when the underfunding of the state pension system was caused by the reduction in contributions to the pension system, and "the failure of the investment strategy" during the last two recessions.
The panel also reviewed several scenarios for shifting some of the costs of teacher pensions back to the counties.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Word has been received of the death of former CORE trustee Chuck Chapman on December 12, 2010. Condolences are extended to his wife, Marilyn, and to his family. Always a cheerful presence and a positive force, he will be greatly missed by many.

View obituary here or here.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ohio Education Association Annual Salary Summary information from the U.S. Department of Labor

From John Curry, December 12, 2010
The following OEA annual salary information came from U.S. Department of Labor. The OEA employees’ salaries listed are classified as “Column D - Gross Salary Disbursements - (before any deductions)." This information was filed with the U.S. Department of Labor in November of 2010. LRC stands for Labor Relations Consultant - a Labor Relations Consultant assists with negotiations and grievances for educators.
I have grouped these employees in two groups:
....I. Those with Gross Salary Disbursements of over $100,000
...II. Those with Gross Salary Disbursements between $60,000 and $99,999
John Curry
Concerned Ohio Retired Educators (CORE)
I. OEA Salaries Over $100,000
Patricia Frost-Brooks (President) $172,288
William Leibensperger (Vice-President) $149,450
James Timlin (Secy.-Treasurer) $150,426
Larry Wicks (Executive Director) $185,108
Mark Allison (CIS Consultant) $124,330
John Avouris (LRC) $108,055
Susan Babcock (AED Start./Workforce) $151,769
Ann Bayou (LRC) $124,546
Marla Bell-Gombita (LRC) $124,519
Rodney Bird (LRC) $136,101
Lee Blandon (LRC) $124,823
George Bozovich (LRC) $124,537
Robin Busby (LRC) $124,501
Gary Carlisle (LRC) $128,541
Elizabeth Chandler-Mark (LRC) $126,746
Melissa Clark (Lobbyist) $126,550
Airica Clay(LRC) $101,125
Darren Clum (CIS Consultant) $124,109
Joseph Cohagen (Dir. Accounting) $128,124
Patricia Collins (Dir. Region 1) $140,370
Jeanette Cooper (Dir. Region 4) $123,272
Mark Constantine (LRC) $124,742
Doug Crawford (LRC) $175,133
Donald Dalton (LRC) $124,482
Demetrice Davis (Ed. Reform Consult.) $117,909
Robert Davis (Lobbyist) $125,711
Vicky Davis (LRC) $128,548
Matthew Dotson (Lobbyist) $124,558
Betty Elling (LRC) $112,304
Fritz Fekete (Dir. I/S & Research) $137,820
Ruth Field (LRC) $126,952
Linda Fiely (General Counsel) $124,627
Randall Flora (Director EI & I) $134,910
Gregg Gascon (Research Consultant) $127,491
John Grafton (LRC) $124,793
Russell Harris (Ed. Reform Cons.) $124,460
Jonathan Hart (CIS Consultant) $118,834
Donald Holub (Research Consultant) $122,493
Lynette Howell (LRC) $124,449
Talmadge Hutchins (LRC) $125,330
Paul Jewell (Research Consultant) $124,296
Charles Johnson (LRC) $124,520
Rachelle Johnson (AED Mem. Serv.) $144,455
Jan Jones (LRC) $124,478
Bonnie Joseph (Political Consultant) $124,565
Thomas Jowhar (LRC) $124,508
Suzanne Kaszar (Comm. Cons.) $127,556
Jeffrey Kestner (LRC) $136,673
Amber Kirkwood (LRC) $112,276
Gary Kovach (LRC) $106,536
Annette Kubiske (LRC) $124,468
Kim Lane (LRC) $124,256
Chloann Leidy (LRC) $124,558
Mark Linder (LRC) $144,024
Linda Lindsey (LRC) $124,558
Lavonne Lobert-Edmo (LRC) $127,289
Michael Mahoney (Dir. Comm.) $128,176
Victor Marchese (LRC) $126,795
James Martin (AED Bus. Serv.) $153,914
Robert Murkowski (LRC) $126,607
Helen Matusick (LRC) $118,179
Linda May (LRC) $124,565
Michael Mceachern (LRC) $156,089
Bonnie McMurray (LRC) $124,523
Darlene Messer (LRC) $118,413
Donald Messer (LRC) $126,254
Diane Miller (LRC) $124,519
Tim Miller (LRC) $124,298
Cristina Munoz-Nedrow (Dir. Reg. 5) $129,548
Henry Musilli (LRC) $124,495
Alfred Nelson (LRC) $130,500
Julie Newhall (Editor) $124,334
Jeffrey Nolasco (LRC) $124,682
Parry Norris (Dir. Region 2) $134,305
Kathleen O’Connell-Burt (LRC) $118,052
William Otten (LRC) $138,345
William Pearsol (LRC) $126,741
Cynthia Peterson (Ed. Reform Cons.) $124,466
Herman Pipe (LRC) $118,286
Michelle Prater (Comm. Cons.) $124,544
Dinica Quesada (Ed. Reform Cons.) $116,190
Ronald Rapp (Dir. Gov. Serv.) $120,968
Marci Reimund (LRC) $124,482
Thomas Reynaud (LRC) $124,520
Lynne Rumsey (LRC) $106,565
Sheila Saad (LRC) $124,446
Venita Shoulders (LRC) $143,163
Carrie Smolik (LRC) $124,417
Jerry Squires (LRC) $127,102
Edward Stephenson (LRC) $124,486
Mary Suchy (Dir. Of Membership) $137,965
Melodie Terman (LRC) $124,640
Ann Thomas (LRC) $101,148
Diane Tieman (LRC) $124,473
Patricia Turner (Research Cons.) $124,171
Eric Urban (LRC) $111,939
Rebecca Illimani (LRC) $129,229
Cecelia Weldon (LRC) $174,285
Cathy White (LRC) $125,132
Don Williams (LRC) $141,734
Debra Wing (LRC) $118,328
Michelle Winship (Ed. Reform Cons.) $100,506
Norman Young (LRC) $124,396
II. Salaries from $60,000 to $99,999
Jolynn Austin (Staff Accountant 1) $67,905
Alexandru Barbu (CIS Consultant) $84,866
Lynn Bartlo (Admin. Secy. II) $62,280
Katherine Boerger (LRC) $85,867
Gail Botz (Comm. Tech.) $72,942
Lisa Brooks (Ex. Asst.-Counsel) $76,927
Richard Castorano (Ex. Asst. Memb. Svcs.) $85,019
Graciela Chanfrau (Dir. Human Res.) $74,909
Danielle Chute (Staff Account. II) $69,628
Cathy Cline (Admin. Secy. II) $61,536
Tad Colbeck (LRC) $85,628
Shelly Colyer (Admin. Secy. II) $64,285
Margaret Crumrine (Admin. Secy. II) $61,955
Elaine Davis (Admin. Secy. II) $62,540
Daniel Day (LRC) $96,040
Arlene Doubledee (Admin. Asst.) $65,059
Dawn Elias (Ex. Asst. H/R) $86,506
Joyce Facchiano (Admin. Secy. II) $62,117
Kathleen Gallagher (Admin. Asst.) $71,483
Sandra Gonzales (Admin. Secy. II) $62,378
Schalet Jackson (LRC) $93,968
Todd Jaeck (LRC) $95,495
Barbara Johanson (Admin. Secy. II) $61,989
Patricia Johnson (LRC) $82,997
Esther Jones (Admin. Secy II) $61,605
Teresa Kalkaska (Memb. Account.) $74,060
John Kappes (Tech. Operator) $77,799
Rose Keller (Mgr. Legal Servc.) $93,203
Linda Kelm (Data Entry) $66,297
Diedri Kennedy (LRC) $85,450
Sally Kidwell (Staff Accountant II) $81,876
Susan Lehman (Ed. Reform Consult.) $94,131
Donna Lester (Admin. Secy. II) $63,460
Beverly Martin (Admin Secy. II) $61,698
Debbie Maynard (LRC) $95,874
Vickie Miller (LRC) $67,527
Linda Mills (Account Asst. ) $62,264
Daniel Mueller (LRC) $85,967
Lori Navin (Admin. Secy II) $61,766
Judy Nelson (Admin. Secy. II) $61,579
Kerri Newgard (LRC) $95,852
Sharon Obrien (Admin. Secy. II) $62,313
Crystalle Phillips (Admin. Secy. II) $66,221
Barbara Picker (Admin. Secy. II) $61,405
Debra Puterbaugh (Admin. Secy. II) $62,744
Sam Radel (LRC) $97,436
Patricia Ray (LRC) $85,588
Phyllis Reed (Admin. Secy. II) $61,958
Allison Roberts (LRC) $70,368
Debbie Roberts (Admin. Asst.) $69,284
Miriam Rosa (Admin. Secy. II) $61,926
Beverly Sekella (Ex. Asst. Memb. Svcs.) $66,786
Laura Simonyi (Admin. Asst.) $68,766
Rebecca Slaughter (Mgr. Gov. Relations) $93,126
Peggy Smith (Admin. Secy. II) $61,594
Connie Starcher (Admin. Secy. Ii) $63,733
Joyce Stewart (Admin. Secy. II) $61,559
Angela Thompson (Admin. Secy. II) $62,891
Renee Townley (LRC) $85,988
Delores Tufaro (LRC) $86,623
Jerrilynn Volz-Costell (Executive Asst.) $88,043
Diana Watson (LRC) $90,825
Theresa Whitney (LRC) $90,966
Leroy Wittemire (Exec. Asst. Bus. SVC.) $83,309
Amy Yevincy (LRC) $85,846
Susan Dodge (LRC) $64,188
You can verify the information above by doing the following:
1. Go to . When the page opens, ignore all the blanks; just look for "Basic Search" in bold red letters near the top, and the blue words, "File Number" under that.
2. In the box next to "File Number", enter this employer number: 512-490 and click the "Submit" button.
4. On the next page (titled Union Detail), under the Fiscal Year column, click the first item, "2010 Report." Scroll down to SCHEDULE 11 - ALL OFFICERS AND DISBURSEMENTS TO OFFICERS
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
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