Educators should offer to pay for health benefits

As an avid reader of the Examiner, I was informed of the dire budget proposal and subsequent monumental increase bandied about by our schools superintendent in Upper Freehold.

I did some digging and found out that we the taxpayers pay the teachers’ and administrators’ benefits and 97.5 percent of their heath insurance. Being an outsider, meaning I do not have children and have never been to a school board meeting or to the middle or high school, I am outraged. I work in the corporate world and have resided here long enough to know when times are good, everyone gets paid, but when times are bad the first to go are top managers and benefits.

I decided to attend a Board of Education meeting, and what I found was even more disturbing — a room of zombies. I saw fear in their eyes as they were transfixed on the superintendent screaming the “Chicken Little” mantra, “The sky is falling. The sky is falling.” The government is Satan. It’s all their fault. We need to pay and pay and pay for the “children’s sake.”

I found it interesting that he blamed Trenton for our shortfalls and for making them use the money that was supposed to be for property tax relief. Now we are going to face an enormously burdensome property tax hike. Is he kidding? I have watched my property taxes go up every year, while my home value has shrunk significantly.

But, remember, it’s for the children. Hey, there are 350 teachers and god knows how many administrators. If each one of them paid 40 percent of their health insurance I am positive that we could not only plug the deficit, we would probably have surplus. But not once in his speech of cutting everything from the kids and their parents did he offer that.

How much longer are these educators and administrators going to hold the districts hostage? I went to Catholic school in the ’70s. We managed to have all of our sports and activities. We managed to live within our budget.

Give me a break — the state is forced into this position by a runaway train called entitlements. The unions should pay their members’ health care with the dues they collect and get off the backs of people. The party is over.
Toni Yuhasz
Upper Freehold