Part of the renovation at the bus garage that cost almost
$3 million. Ask for the invoices and bids for this work.
We, the people that pay the bills, do not have access to that system or any system comparable. They have our money to use as they please. We don't hear from them until they run out money and want even more.
Today my husband and I went to the Board of Elections to cast our ballots early. Anyone can vote early by requesting an absentee ballot or going to the Board of Elections and casting a ballot there. It was shocking to learn that less than 100 have voted early at the Board of Elections and about 400 have cast "absentee ballots."
Maybe you don't know the strategy used by the district to get many of those absentee votes. The district has willing people that go to nursing homes and retirement centers. Otterbein is a great source of votes for them and usually will carry an election for levies and school board candidates that the union prefers. One election that I checked the totals for the Otterbein precinct there were only four votes were cast against the levy. We are not allowed the same opportunity to even place a post card at their door.
One key to this success is that the residents at Otterbein do not pay property taxes. Secondly, the district has a close relationship with administrators at Otterbein and thirdly two former popular teachers of the district actually go to the residents and help them vote. Their ages do help them relate to the Otterbein residents. They also get votes at other nursing homes.
Below is the language as it appears on the ballot. You can see that the district wants $4,200,000.00 per year to continue filling their coffers. What they don't tell you is that the "Emergency Levy" was originally passed to cover debts that the district had to pay. If you will remember the board had to be taken over by the state and the superintendent and treasurer had left the district in shame. The new income of $4,200,000.00 helped them pay off some of that debt. After the debts were paid the district just kept spending money at a higher and higher level. (My last post shows how the the property taxes have increased through the years.)
Did the board, treasurer and superintendent learn anything from the shame? Apparently not because they spent that emergency money (our) money and spent even more. Now they consider that large sum as an entitlement and they will do just about anything to keep that and more flowing into the treasury of the district. There will never be enough.
1 Proposed Tax Levy (Renewal)
Lebanon City School District
A majority affirmative vote is
necessary for passage.
Shall a levy renewing an existing levy be
imposed by the Lebanon City School
District, for the purpose of
avoiding an operating
in the sum of $4,200,000 per year, and a
levy of taxes to be made outside of the
ten-mill limitation estimated by the county
auditor to average 5.38 mills for each
one dollar of valuation, which amounts to
$0.538 for each one hundred dollars of
valuation, for a period of 3 years
commencing in 2014, first due in
calendar year 2015?
O For the Tax Levy
O Against the Tax Levy (please mark this one)
The important thing to remember when giving a school district money is that the district is controlled by the wants and needs of the teacher's union. The demands and power of that union has created an almost insurmountable mountain for taxpayers to fight.
The union has never and will never represent the interests of the children. It represents the job interests of the union members. All unions participate in collective bargaining with binding arbitration and a contract that states salary rules (steps), seniority as the basis for decisions of salary and appointments to the more desirable jobs. In the case of layoffs they will be made by furloughing the newest employee. No decisions are based on what is best for the children. If a totally incompetent teacher has even a few days seniority than a better teacher, the incompetent one gets the raise in position or a cushy assignment. It doesn't matter if that teacher is not the best available person for the job.
There is almost zero accountability regarding how our money is spent or for the academics that are taught and learned by our children. Even the most heinous crimes are swept under the rug. Most of the time the teachers, teachers, cafeteria heads and workers, bus drivers and even the superintendent are allowed to resign with a nice letter of recommendation in their hand. We are never told why the employee left. This is not good for their Public Relations and PR must be great in order to extract even more money from the property owners.
All unions are politically active with money and with armies of activists. Look at the show of unity recently in Mason. Kings and in Springboro. They wear t-shirts in the same color with the same logo and entice a few parents (special interest parents) to join their sea of red, sea of green or sea of black. They believe that this shows unity and union powers. They bargain for raises, benefits and job descriptions that often has the union members spend less time in the classroom for more money. This tactic also requires the district to hire more teachers.
The union is opposed to any improvement that will force them to do a more effective job of teaching. They oppose school choice and will fight for the wants of their members at all costs. The system is not designed to be effective. It is designed to give the union more and more powers.
In the case of administrators they can come and go as they please. No one accounts for their time. All of them are former teachers and very sympathetic to the union's demands. When the union negotiates a raise - the administrators get a better one. It is a poor system and is totally ineffective. Not one part of the system, from top to bottom is designed for the children and for the effective use of our money.
There will always be a need for more money, because no one in the "system" is accountable to anyone. Even the audit is made by a firm that Donna Davis Norris said "that she could work with." I would think that the accounting firm should be one from out of the area and that is not beholden to anyone.
The district doesn't even follow the rules of accounting demanded by the state. They use the Cash Basis of keeping the books because they do not have to keep an inventory of what the district owns. That would create a problem if items turned up missing. The state required GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures) and the district refuses to implement this system.
Please don't give the district any more money. They need to tighten their belt just like every family has to do. They must be forced to be accountable to the property owners and not the union. Stop giving two raises per year. Stop including luxuries in contracts for administrators. Stop getting millions of dollars in loans that we have never approved. Stop implementing Common Core. Start cutting by getting rid of the Public Relations position, consultants, and that ridiculous and unnecessary post card.
It has been proven by many studies that new buildings and large sums of money do not guarantee a quality education. It just makes the union members happier.
Tell is what is the emergency? They never speak to the public until they want more money. They just passed three levies.
The sad fact is that only about 10% of the registered voters bothered to vote on the last one. That 10% consisted of parents, registered students, teacher's union members, bus drivers, and the nursing/retirement homes. That's all they need to pass any levy.
JUST SAY NO! GET OUT AND VOTE. MANY HOME OWNERS ARE ON THE VERGE OF LOSING THEIR HOME. THE UNION DOESN'T CARE AND SUPERINTENDENT