Tuesday, October 28, 2014
JOURNAL NEW ARTICLE 10-27-2014
The Journal News - Monday, October 27, 2014
By Lawrence Budd
"Warren County voters are considering replacement of a continuing 3.5-mill operating levy sought by the the Warren County Career Center in the Nov. 4 election.
"Approval of the replacement would nearly double annual revenue to $13.1 million and more than double the cost to property owners. Fore each $100,000 in valuation, property owners would pay $122.00 - $69 more total than under the existing continuing levy, according to the auditor."
"The revenue raised from the 3.5-mill operating levy . . . . . is $6.6 million a year."
"School officials say the new tax money would be used to pay for facility, equipment and technology needs, safety and security upgrades and to offer new programming, including courses for students starting in the 7th grade."
"The building needs an estimated $50 million in upgrades, including fire suppression, electrical, plumbing, and heating and air conditioning improvements, according to Hess."
"The Ohio School Facilities Commission found classrooms and labs were undersized during a review in 2007."
Earlier this year the WCCC sent out a colorful and expensive handbook advertising the courses offered in the Summer/Fall of 2014. It is listed as "adult education and workforce development." The book was mass mailed apparently to every address in the county. Imagine the cost of this mailing.
The following paragraph is a quote from that handbook.
"WELCOME to Warren County Career Centers Adult and Community Education Workforce Training Programs. The Warren County Career Centers Adult Division is one of Ohios Full-Service Centers. To receive this designation, a school must offer comprehensive training programs with advanced technological capabilities, modern equipment, facilities and skilled instructors. We are fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and by the Ohio Department of Education, Division of Career-Technical Education. We are part of the University System Of Ohio, Board of Regents. We are pleased to offer a wide range of diversified training programs and customized services at our two campuses. We welcome you and challenge you to join us in lifelong learning."
The book also states that they have "state of the art labs." Note that Ms. Hess stated that the labs were not up to par. Which answer is true? They also state that they will help with financial aid for the students. If they are being paid then it is not my responsibility to pay more and more to run that "school."
Offered in this handbook are courses for fire departments cosmetology management at a cost of $17,030, heavy equipment and site construction technician at a cost of $13,789, medical assistant at a cost of $10,450, medical billing and coding at a cost of $8,250. The school also offers "customized training" for companies. They will send staff directly to the business to train employees. They also offer an administrative assistant program at a cost of $5,500.
The school also sends teachers directly to the various schools in the county. This may be so that they get credit for teaching many more students and the districts maintain the state subsidy. Their hope seems to be directed to 7th graders and beyond. Recently when attending a board meeting a group of older men came in with their banjos. On the same night they were serving dinner to over 250 people as a "thank you for their support." I was told that a much larger dinner would be served in a couple of weeks.
It is great that they are able to use the building for a variety of purposes. The objection most people have is that the property owners are asked over and over again to fund the hopes and dreams of the educational establishment. If the WCCC wants to take over the jobs of well established community colleges - let them say so. If that is their aim then the property owners should not be forced to pay for these career choices by anyone with a GED and beyond. That portion of the WCCC should be self sufficient and paid by the people who take advantage of the courses offered.
The same is true for the local police and fire departments. If they want to train their people at the WCCC then they should pay the full cost of that training. If a business owner or hospital wants to have people trained for positions in their business they should pay the full cost. The property owners are the scapegoat for too many projects. Most people have no idea that they are paying for all of these projects far beyond high school. The career center has become a free training center for the people who should be paying for that training.
It is time to stop this abuse. It is time for the taxpayers to be told exactly what our schools are planning and doing with our money. The secrecy has been prevalent for far too long. I don't believe that I am responsible for paying for everyones "lifelong learning."
Vote NO on issue 1.
Let the leaders of the WCCC come out with all of the facts.