Saturday, March 30, 2013
Tom Burns, BOCES Supt. Interview
BOCES Superintendent Tom Burns was interviewed this week at Clarkson University's WCKN studio as part of North Country Matters: Strategies to Maintain Educational Solvency in Fiscally Challenging Times - Long-Term Solutions for School Reform. Mr. Burns discussed a number of topics. Among them:
~ LOCAL SOLUTIONS: Problems facing North County schools will, in all likelihood, have to be solved locally.
~ LEARN FROM MORE SUCCESSFUL EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS: School leaders would be wise to look to highly successful school systems to see how they are achieving such success. Among them...Finland, Shanghai, and Canada.
~ MAYBE THE PROBLEM IS NOT THE MONEY: The US is outspending other countries in education but not outperforming them.
~ HAVE SCHOOLS OVERSEEN BY EDUCATIONAL POLICY MAKERS RATHER THAN POLITICIANS: This is done in a number of countries already.
~ HEALTH INSURANCE AND PENSION COSTS: Supt. Burns noted that schools will soon have more retirees than active employees which will present serious financial problems for districts because they are contractually obligated to pay health insurance for retirees. (Health insurance currently costs about $20K annually for family coverage.) School district in this region also pay most of the cost of health insurance for active employees. Tom also discussed the need for NYS to have systemic reform in regards to enormous growth in the cost of pensions.
~ REDESIGN CONTRACTS: Mr. Burns also discussed the need to"redesign the work force and labor contracts because existing contracts were designed in the 1960's and 1970's when demographics were very different."
Take a look at the interview. Mr. Burns has much more to say that is important for the public to know.
* The interview was made possible by Donna Seymour (AAUW), Dan Dullea (Clarkson University) and the students in his Communications class.
Posted by Ann Carvill at 7:28 PM