Strike Two!

As we wrote in a blog earlier this year, the Neshaminy School District in southeastern Pennsylvania had a teacher strike, the first in the 2011-12 school year. As of Monday, teachers in that District walked out on the picket lines again, (first time was in January) and they are allowed to stay out until next Friday the 15th so as to leave enough time to complete 180 days before the end of June per state law.

The board and the teachers’ union are still working on a contract that expired in June of 2008. It is important to look at the "three e’s" of the District, all obtained through the most recent CAFR, that show what has happened in recent years.

Enrollment-it has fallen since 2002, about 11%, and stands at just over 8,500.

Employment-it has also fallen since 2002, but at a slower pace than enrollment (7%).

Expenditures-are up 33% since 2002.

That means per pupil expenditures in the District have grown significantly in the last decade, but as with many negotiations the issues of pensions and health benefits are center stage. Taxpayers don’t want to pony up more for benefits in a district where the median salary is over $89,000, even though union officials have suggested a tax increase is one way to go toward ending the impasse.