In the latest round of recriminations between Gov. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and the state's teachers' union, the Governor last week vetoed a conditional 3-percent pay raise for teachers and other state employees.
"If we have $30 million [the estimated cost of the salary increases], it should go to the children," Mr. Alexander said in a statement. ''Thirty million would pay for the first-year costs for the entire Better Schools Program."
The Tennessee Education Association lobbied successfully recently to postpone consideration of that program, the Governor's $210-million education-reform package. In addition to a controversial pay-incentive plan for the state's teachers, the program included provisions for such things as the purchase of classroom computers, mandatory kindergarten for 6-year-olds, and the hiring of additional mathematics and science teachers.
"When push came to shove in the last few days of the legislature [earlier this year], the teachers' union grabbed a raise for its members at the expense of programs for their students," Mr. Alexander said. ''Sometimes I think the children need a union."
The bill Mr. Alexander vetoed would have provided teachers and other public employees with automatic raises in November if state revenues for July, August, and September exceed collections from the same months of 1982 by 8.25 percent. Mr. Alexander said this would be an unlikely situation.
Representatives of the tea were unavailable for comment last week.
In another development, Mr. Alexander recently vetoed legislation that would give the Tennessee Education Association the right to a seat on the state's Insurance Committee, which oversees the management of Tennessee's state-employees' insurance system.
John Parish, a spokesman for Mr. Alexander, said the Governor favored the intent of the bill--to give public-school employees a seat on the insurance panel--but considered "undemocratic" a stipulation in the legislation requiring that the public-school representative be selected by the tea
The tea represents about 37 percent of the state's 100,000 public-school employees.
Alice G. Pinderhughes has been appointed superintendent of the Baltimore City Schools. She has been acting as interim superintendent since December, 1982, when John L. Crew retired after seven years as superintendent of the 125,000-student system, which is one of the nation's 10 largest.
Ms. Pinderhughes has made her career in elementary education and has been with the Baltimore City School system for 40 years as a teacher, assistant principal, supervisor, project director, and executive director of elementary education. She served as assistant superintendent from 1976 through last December.
She will earn $70,000 a year and has an indefinite contract.
Vol. 02, Issue 36