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By Neil Rubenstein
Observer Columnist 

Neil's Rebuttal To Anders' Letter


December 14, 2017

Here’s my attempt at a rebuttal to Bruce Ander’s letter written November 30-December 6, 2017.With so many dozens of brand-new teachers with little or no real classroom experience having been hired by the district in the past three years, one would think that the district’s average cost of its teaching staff would be way down. But, if you check out the CCUSD/CCFT negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreements (on the district’s website under Fiscal Services) covering this and last school years (2016-2017 and 2017-2018) you’ll find that the average compensation costs (combined salary and benefits) per teacher is $91,775 and under the CCUSD/CCFT Collective Bargaining Agreement on Health and Welfare it shows the average cost of a teacher’s health and welfare is $5,222. To find the teachers’ average salary you would have to just subtract and district’s average health and welfare costs from the teachers’ average compensation. In doing the math you would come up with $86,553 as the teachers’ average salary—not the far-fetched figure that Bruce Lebedoff Ander gave. His is almost $20,000 off the mark and $7,300,000 less when given to all teachers. It may have been $67,270 at one time but that was probably a long time ago. Wasn’t it five years ago when some current board members agreed to a five-year plan to give district-wide staff a raise; that, at the time, was of an unknow size? They helped pay for it by taking millions of dollars out of our district reserves, and that, its final district cost turned out to be almost $20.M and equal to giving district staff an unprecedented 30 percent salary increase? But, that’s not even counting the district’s annual Step & Column’s increases of three percent to 4.1 percent for teachers with less than ten years’ service in the district. For those fortunate teachers their salary increases could well have been between 45 percent and 50 percent over the last five years. Now, Cousin Bruce has the right to express his own opinion of me. But, hopefully next time when he tries to throw around monetary figures he will check the accuracy of his sources before putting out such wildly untrue and misleading information into the public discussion.

I would like to share with you an email received from Seidi, Zach December 6, 2016 ( Subject: ICYM: Rep. Bass Statement on Trump Admin Attack on Native Lands. Hey all, just wanted to flag the below statement on Bears Ears. It focuses heavily on the impact on Native peoples. Https:// For Immediate Release, December 4, 2017. Representative Bass Statement on Trump Administration Attack on Native Lands. Washington – December 6, 2017 Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) released the following statement following President Trump signing proclamations to shrink two national monuments in Utah. This is the first time in more than 50 years that a United States President has undone these types of environmental protections. The orders signed lifts protections of thousands of Native American artifacts and cliff dwellings and endanger the environment. ͞This attack on the environment must also be combatted as yet another instance of dog-whistle politics, this time a targeted and calculated attack against Native Americans in Utah, ͞said Rep. Bass. ͞Just 4 days after the end of Native American Heritage Month, President Trump has seized the opportunity to erase a legacy left by President Obama and attack the lands of Native Americans at the same time, all the while exerting total disregard for the work of five sovereign Tribes of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition. Under the guise of hunting protection, these proclamations will expand oil projects like the Dakota Keystone Pipeline and other projects that will hurt our environment and impact native lands. I stand in solidarity with these Tribes as they fight back against these terrible initiatives.͟Okay, this year (2017) has seen Hurricanes, Floods, Fires and Floods, but have you thought about asteroids? 2.8 was the width in miles of the asteroid, nicknamed Florence that flew past Earth on September 1, 2017; approximate 4.4 million miles away; the largest asteroid to pass so close to our planet since NASA started recording such occurrences in 1890. The five states with the highest obesity rates: West Virginia 37.7% up 2.1% 2015Alabama 37.7% up .1% 2015Arkansas 35.7% up 1.2% 2015Mississippi 35.3% up 1.7% 2015Louisiana 35.5% down .7% 2015A recent study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Spain found adults who drank four or more cups of coffee per day had a 64 percent lower risk of dying during the 10-year follow-up, compared with those who rarely or never drank coffee. Are you an Elvis Presley fan? My sister Linda was probably his biggest fan in 42 states and the District of Columbia and if she was still with us she and our niece would be making plans to visit Graceland and spend a week at the Guest House going on tours, watching his movies and visiting a new museum complex that opened across the street in March 2017. For a mere $30,000 guests can join the Founders which gets them discounts and access to special events.

A white police officer in St. Louis mistakenly shot an off-duty black colleague who intervened after hearing a commotion near his house. The black officer described as an eleven-year veteran was treated in the hospital and released. Since January 2017, 88.000 undocumented immigrants have been removed from the United States. Did you ever notice when you put the two words, ͞the͟ and ͞IRS͟ together they spell ͞Theirs͟?

For those who missed an article, all my commentaries can be found at; strolling down the page and underneath Opinion look for Rubenstein.

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