How about a pay cut instead?
If he heard the question once, Pasco School Board vice chairman Allen Altman heard it 1,000 times.
Why not just cut every school district employee's salary by a set percentage to avoid layoffs, furloughs, program reductions and the like? Why not, in other words, let everyone share the pain?
Unfortunately, Altman said, the facts are getting in the way of what might be a good idea.
"To get to the $55 million (shortfall) figure, every employee in the district would have to take an 18 percent pay cut," Altman said, noting that would not include the state-mandated 3 percent pension contribution. "Because so many people presented that, I just thought that number ought to be shared."
To which teachers' lead negotiator Jim Ciadella blurted out, "I don't think that would be a popular choice."
Instead, the board is considering furlough days -- four for annual employees, three for everyone else -- to be prorated over all paychecks after they are negotiated with the United School Employees of Pasco.
The district's explanation of this and other frequently asked budget questions document is now online. Already board member Steve Luikart has questioned the veracity of the four-day school week section. See anything interesting in there?