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School Facilities Conversation 9/27

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Posted · Report post

Shortly after the 2006 reconfiguration, if I remember correctly, system wide there were on the order of 800 students attending private (St. X., Roger Bacon, Moeller, Cristo, MND, other private) plus around 100 home schooled. The 800 came from , I believe, the transportation department.

If you review the ADM Detail in the following link, you'll get an idea how many students are in a charter school setting.

FY2017 SFPR Report

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Posted (edited) · Report post

One further note, see Pupil Transportation Levels

When school systems face financial shortages they are required to identify areas where expenses can be reduced, since they cannot operate on a deficit budget. In many cases, local staff will seek to identify nonclassroom related areas where expenses can be reduced. Since the majority of districts provide transportation that exceeds the required state minimum, transportation consequently becomes an identified cost savings.

With an average annual cost of $789 to transport a student to school, a significant reduction in expenses can be realized through a reduction in transportation. While there is state funding provided to assist districts with transportation expenses, during the current budget cycle the state budget does not restrict the use of this funding to pupil transportation. Consequently, districts who reduce their costs in pupil transportation are able to use those funds to help support other needs at the local school district

Edited by Mirth

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Posted · Report post

Shortly after the 2006 reconfiguration, if I remember correctly, system wide there were on the order of 800 students attending private (St. X., Roger Bacon, Moeller, Cristo, MND, other private) plus around 100 home schooled. The 800 came from , I believe, the transportation department.

If you review the ADM Detail in the following link, you'll get an idea how many students are in a charter school setting.

FY2017 SFPR Report

Those numbers look correct for district wide, not just GH.  It has historically been around 20-25% of available students are in private schools, heavier % in the township, lighter % in FP, pretty similar percentage in the Village.

These are some somewhat outdated figures from five years ago.  They would probably still be somewhat close in proportion. I'm told the current WW enrollment is now closer to 3,800 vs. the figures below in 2011-12.

Winton Woods/45218 Greenhills 2012-13 Enrollment
Grade - # of Students
KG - 36
District Pre-School 8

01 - 38
02 - 30
03 - 24
04 - 28
05 - 25
06 - 26
07 - 18
08 - 30
09 - 16
10 - 22
11 - 26
12 - 27
Total Greenhills students attending Winton Woods - 354 or 63%
Total Non Public School - 157 27% School District Provides Transport, Special Needs Services
Total Charter School - 3 1% School District Provides Transport and transfers $5,700 to charter school
Total Home School - 50 9% District offers classes and activities

564 Total

2010 Census Ages 5-18 - 585 representing 16% of Greenhills Population of 3615
2010 Census Ages 5-18 - 3,671 representing 19% of Forest Park Population of 18,720
2010 Census 4,223 Population of Winton Woods District living in Springfield Twsp.
2010 Total Population within Winton Woods School District 26,558
Historic % of students attending Non-Public Schools 20-25%
Winton Woods Enrollment as of 2011-12 State Report Card 3,300

336 Charter School students come from the district, but only 3 reside in Zip Code 45218.

The number of home school students in 45218 is pretty much at the same level as it has been for the last 10-13 years. The overall district % is much lower.

The number of AVAILABLE children in age group 5-18 going to school in Zip Codes 45218 and 45240 (FP), as noted before, is pretty much the same 16% from 45218 and 19% 45240.  45218 has an average resident age (39 yrs.) is considerably higher than that of 45240  (35.8 Yrs.). Values for 45231 are more difficult to determine as it encompasses up to 7 different school districts.

Overall in the district, 80% of district voters have no direct or indirect relationship with the school district (school age children or grandchildren regardless of school). This has been the case from my experience since the 1990's. Enrollment has changed from population shifts (there were 8,000 WW students in 1976 to 3,400 now----under 5,000 in 1991 when HS combined). The population of Greenhills in that same time period went from a high of 6,000 to its present 3,615. Forest Park actually grew considerably but has only just leveled off in the 2000-2010 census years.

 

Greenhills Census Data for 1990 showed a population of 4,393, of which 19% were between the ages of 5-18 and an average age of all citizens was 33.3 years.  That average age has grown to 39 years now based upon 2010 data.

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Posted · Report post

A few of you asked me to let you know what happened at the facilities meeting tonight by posting it here:

Overall, it was well done.  Mr. Smith did a presentation, then Mr. Denny did a presentation.  Mr. Smith's went on a little too long - it was mainly a pep talk (what some of you refer to as "cheerleading") and not a lot of facts, whereas Mr. Denny's was a powerpoint chock-full of facts about the buildings. 

Then there was a question and answer period afterwards.  At first, I was dismayed because the presentations went until 7:18 pm, using up 48 minutes of the hour and leaving only 12 minutes for questions.  (I feared it was going to be a case of talking "at" instead of talking "with.")  And then some of the administrators piped up during that 12 minutes, eating into the little time left.  But I was happy to see that they extended the time for Q & A and went until almost 8 pm answering questions.

Of course, there was a lot of "spin" during the evening - such as Mr. Smith proudly mentioning the district's jump from an F to an A in student growth (progress) with nary a word about the rest of the scores, which gave the impression that the overall score  of the district was an A.  But overall it had a respectful tone to it and they did try to answer everyone's questions.

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Irrespective of the arguments about "doing it for the kids", etc.   The demographic of the "I 275 loop" west of I-75 is becoming decidedly poorer as wealth continues to flee to Butler and Warren Counties.  Gentrification efforts within the City of Cincinnati (The Banks, etc.) are also attracting people there.  In places like Princeton, you have a huge commercial tax base that can shoulder the burden.   GH and FP are already two of the highest taxes places in SW Ohio (as judged by property+income tax rates).  Even factoring in the benefits of new construction, do they think people will pay a huge premium (considering there is no tax base) to support such a plan?

Just a fair question that people are asking and probably the biggest hurdle to a 37 year commitment.

Edited by equalizer

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Posted (edited) · Report post

...do they think people will pay a huge premium (considering there is no tax base) to support such a plan?

 Apparently they do. A 37 year boat anchor and a near term (within 2 years) operating levy will sink this community. Now is the time for the BOE to think through district realignment instead of building and expecting a new outcome.

Edited by Mirth

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Posted · Report post

One of the people asking questions did bring up that we have one of the highest tax rates, and I believe that Mr. Denny clarified and said it was the fourth highest in the area.  The administrators' main point that was repeated over and over is that it is cheaper to build than to renovate or repair, and it's going to cost something, so building new is the cheapest and smartest route.

I forgot to mention the demographic make-up of the audience.  From what I saw, there were only four parents in the audience and we were definitely outnumbered by administrators and board members  (at least nine I can think of off the top of my head - Mr. Smith, Mr. Denny, Mrs. Denny, Ms. Wilson, Mr. Sanker, Mr. Martin, Ms. Kuhn, Mr. Berte, Ms. Rugless) and by senior citizen community members (probably about eight, if you're counting Mr. Pennycuff in with the senior citizen community rather than in the administration/board camp.)  The audience was overwhelmingly white (I think only one black parent, and all white community members), but divided pretty equally in terms of gender.  It was definitely an older crowd in terms of community attendance - as I said, mainly senior retirees, although the largest segment of those in attendance was the Winton Woods insiders (administrators and board members.)

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 Apparently they do. A 37 year boat anchor and a near term (within 2 years) operating levy will sink this community. Now is the time for the BOE to think through district realignment instead of building and expecting a new outcome.

Totally agree!  Additional taxes makes no sense -- there are other alternatives that can make our schools and communities much stronger.

EQ mentioned the "I-275 loop west of 75" becoming poorer in wealth.  He is dead on about this.  It's not only important to have strong schools, but you must have strong communities, not only in your backyard, but surrounding your backyard.  Princeton has a strong commercial tax base, we don't.  So, what do you do?  Well, you can't just keep taxing people.  We have reached what I call a "saturation point".  No different than "squeezing blood out of a turnip".

Take a look at Finneytown, they have old schools and their "per child $$$" is higher than ours.  Let's assume at some point they want  new schools.  Their tax base can't support it -- so they end up with retaining what they have -- or they vote for new schools and families looking for new communities opt out of purchasing homes because of the high taxes (demographic decline). Their decline is our decline.  People need to see that, people need to understand that.

If you take the "redistribute/disband WWCSD" option, then our students get absorbed into other districts.  Princeton already has a new school -- so good for those kids who would attend Princeton.  Mount Healthy already has new schools -- so good for those kids (because we all know that NEW = IMPROVEMENT), open enrollment options, etc. But wait, you still have Finneytown with old schools.  Yes, but if you pool two communities together to potentially build -- you dilute the costs.  Suddenly, $1,000 turns to $400 in taxes, which people can digest more easily, especially if each community gets it's own elementary school.  The result: new schools all around in an area that is becoming "poorer in wealth".

There are options that have not been considered!!!  The only people who can push the "option alternative" is you the voter.  Say "NO".  Even if you want new schools you should vote "NO" because you should have ALL options in front of you.  Not just the one that will increase taxes without a guarantee that this approach will create success.  I can't imagine anyone who would disagree with "show me all my options".

Warrior Bond Together (Facebook) states:

Question: What is the plan if the bond issue is approved?

The Pre-School – 12th Grade Facility Master Plan is as follows:

• Build a new Pre-K through 6th Grade elementary school on the current Winton Woods Middle School campus in Greenhills
• Build a new 7th – 12th Grade secondary school on the current Winton Woods High School campus in Forest Park
• Close & abandon six current schools and develop a building & land use plan with community member, business partner and municipal leader input under the direction of the Board of Education.

VOTE FOR for new schools on ISSUE # 50 on November 8th and vote FOR community development on a scale not seen in our community in 50 years!

Here's my response:

-- What do the new schools look like?  And if you don't know, why don't you know?  The levy has already failed more than once.  Why should we spend money on something where we have no idea what we are even purchasing?

-- If Greenhills has a K-6, at 200 kids per grade, this small community is going house/traffic 1,400 kids on a daily basis?  What does that look like?

-- What's the plan for the abandoned schools; nursing home, demolition, charter school, are they going to sell it to Hamilton County to build a half-way house or prison?  I don't know?  Do they?  Do you really trust them to do the right thing for Greenhills?  I know I don't.

-- The district complains about old buildings and how they are not cost effective and unusable.  They want over $100,000,000 -- yet, their plan is to retain the oldest building in their collection (Greenhills Community Building)?  Why?  That's the first thing that should go.  A staple in the Greenhills community that can have potential growth to this community is going to be kept by the district?  Nonsense.

-- Has anyone completed a 5, 10, 15, 37 year forecast that takes into consideration a potential decline in enrollment?  What impact would that have on "if new school are even worth it"?  Probably not.

DEMAND DUE DILIGENCE!  VOTE NO! REVIEW ALL OPTIONS:

  • Build New
  • Redistribute WWCSD district into other districts
  • Work with surrounding districts to see if there is a possibility for realignment that can help pull up the demographics in all communities
  • All-In Voucher District (100% Voucher)
  • Redevelop into Career Academies
  • Other

 

 


 

Edited by Christine

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Posted · Report post

One of the people asking questions did bring up that we have one of the highest tax rates, and I believe that Mr. Denny clarified and said it was the fourth highest in the area.  The administrators' main point that was repeated over and over is that it is cheaper to build than to renovate or repair, and it's going to cost something, so building new is the cheapest and smartest route.

 

Christine or Mirth or GG.. do you see real desire to disband the school district?  If it were put to a vote, what kind of percentage do you think it would be in GH and SOTL?

Has this alternative been marketed to the voter by any group or groups?

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If disbanding provided a better educational system for the kids and brought value-add to the communities -- I believe there would be a very high interest. It's not hard to sell something that makes sense -- a cost benefit analysis would be required for all options. Unfortunately, the district "as is", as a whole,  is not effective from an educational perspective, nor does it add value to the communities.  In fact, it has been the single greatest factor than has lowered the demographic.

But to answer your question, if you placed it on the ballot right now -- even without a thorough analysis -- my guess is that you'd get a "yes" vote from the majority of those who voted "no" for building new schools, plus you'd get a decent percentage of those who voted "yes".  They may have voted "yes" because they use the schools -- but given the option to go somewhere else?  I think they'd take it.      

Edited by Christine

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Posted · Report post

Christine and Mirth,

When I bought my first house in the Winton Woods district, I actually thought it was in the Finneytown district. (That's what the buyer told me.)  I was single at the time, so I didn't really care one way or another.  When I got my first tax bill, I saw it was Winton Woods, and was fine with that.  Years down the road, married and with a 4-year-old, my husband and I called to inquire about enrolling her in Winton Woods and they were confused and told us we couldn't enroll her because we were in Finneytown.  (We were the only house on our street in WW - all our neighbors were in Finneytown, so that's what caused the confusion.)  WW sent us to Finneytown to enroll her, and Finneytown said, no, you're in WW, but we'd be happy to have you if you want to annex your property to the Finneytown district.

We started the legal process, and in the meantime, went to an open house at a WW school and liked what we saw and decided not to pursue it, especially since Finneytown said WW would put up a fight about losing our property to Finneytown due to the tax loss.  So we have a little experience in the territorial transfer of a home because we were right in the middle of that for a few months.

On another topic, Equalizer, you asked if I saw any desire to disband the district.  Yes, there is definitely that desire in some parts of Springfield Township.  In fact, we are surrounded by neighbors who would love to do just that, and none of our kids' friends who live in the township part of the WW school district attend WW schools - they all go to private schools such as John Paul or McAuley or St. X, and a few go to Walnut Hills.  Our kids are the oddballs with their neighborhood friends, as well as their friends in township recreational groups such as Scouts and sports teams, because they are the only ones who go to Winton Woods and all those kids go to school somewhere else.  Since none of these people have their kids in WW, they have very little loyalty to the district and have remarked that it would be better if the state took it over or if it "went away" in some fashion.  Sometimes our kids as Winton Woods students are made to feel like the illegitmate children at a family gathering when they are with their township friends.

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Posted · Report post

Christine or Mirth or GG.. do you see real desire to disband the school district?  If it were put to a vote, what kind of percentage do you think it would be in GH and SOTL?

Has this alternative been marketed to the voter by any group or groups?

EQ I gave this substantial thought last night and I'm going to revise my answer.

I believe with "very little effort" this would pass easily in Springfield Township and Greenhills.   In fact, if you put this on the ballot now and said "hey we just added something to the WWCSD levy as an option, make sure you read it" --  it would pass.

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Christine, EQ,

I asked some of  my neighbors: 2 couples with no children, 2 couples retired, 3 couples with children (1 with 4 children and 1 with 5 children, 1 with one child), and they responded "it is about time to get out of this.  Actually it was time 5 years ago!

So YES with "very little effort".  As I understand it Springfield Township is very upset to lose a school and with it the income tax.  Again without input from their side.

The Mad Botanist

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Mad Botanist,

Yes, the Springfield Township folk are upset about losing the school - it seems their main beef is possibly not the loss of the school itself but the perceived attitude that Winton Woods doesn't care about the Springfield Township taxpayers and just wants their money.  This morning, when I mentioned to a neighbor that I had shared on this site that township residents seem to have very little loyalty to the Winton Woods School District, the response I got back was, "They don't care about us, so why should we care about them?"

I have noticed myself some things along the line of what my neighbor pointed out - such as the lack of district events in Springfield Township.  Other than this "community conversation" tonight at Primary South, between the two of us we could not think of one district-wide event in the township - they are almost all in Forest Park, either at the high school, the board offices, the Forest Park Senior Center, or a church in Forest Park. 

In fact, an interesting topic came up in the discussion.  This neighbor said that it seems the district has mainly become a Forest Park district rather than a unified district, with Forest Park being the center of the district and the main focus, and Greenhills being a secondary consideration and Springfield Township being such a distant third that it's basically not even considered, so he thinks that here would be a lot of support from the Township and Greenhills residents in the district to secede and form their own district.  (I don't think he realized what he's basically saying is go back to how it was before the merger of Greenhills and Forest Park.)  I pointed out that I didn't think the money was there to support that, and he said, "I'd be willing to pay for community schools.  As it is now, they plan to take away our only community school and want us to pay for schools in other communities."

Interesting. What do you make of this?

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Posted · Report post

Almost forgot, some of you asked me to report on the meetings if I went to them, and I did go to the last part of the meeting in Forest Park last night.

I was late, so I didn't see the presentation that I saw at the Greenhills meeting, but I assume it was the same presentation.  As I mentioned previously, it was a well-done presentation by Mr. Denny (after a introductory speech by Mr. Smith), with a lot of data about the buildings.  They said they will put it on the WW website and I'll provide that link once they do that.

The one-hour meeting started at 6:30 and they didn't start the question-and-answer period until 7:20, leaving only ten minutes; however, they did go over the 7:30 cut-off to allow more time for questions.  Mr. Denny did an excellent job of answering questions, in my opinion - thorough, honest, and respectful.

The crowd at the Forest Park meeting was about twice the size of that of the Greenhills meeting (about 40 people there last night in FP) - again, tons of administrators as always, but there was a larger community representation at this meeting than at the Greenhills meeting.  The demographics were more diverse in terms of race and age - a mix of races and age groups - whereas the Greenhills crowd was more homogenous with mainly older white folk.  This crowd also seemed more pro-bond than the Greenhills crowd - there were a few WW parents who stood up and spoke about the poor conditions of their children's schools and how new buildings were needed. 

I have a conflict with the township meeting tonight, so if someone could go and report back to us here, that would be appreciated.  My husband may be going if he's off work in time; if he makes it to the meeting, I'll post what he has to say about it.

 

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Posted · Report post

GH and FP are already two of the highest taxes places in SW Ohio (as judged by property+income tax rates).  Even factoring in the benefits of new construction, do they think people will pay a huge premium (considering there is no tax base) to support such a plan?

 Eq., you have made mention before the lack of tax base, which I agree with. Maybe now is the time to consider the long term educational experience this district can financially provide. If the focus truly is on the student, do Paula et al. believe ever increasing property taxes alone is best way to support these students? Apparently so. In the long term are Paula and company undermining and in fact limiting the breath of experience these students could see? The requested bond levy is 6.95 mils, the previous emergency operating level expires in December of 2019. What then? Paula et al. are fixated on new construction believing that is best for the student, is it? I'm not convinced it is best for the student or community and is certainly not best for the tax payer.

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If you look at the presentations (and this goes back years), most of the support for bond issues and levy requests comes from "district insiders" and those connected to the school fairly directly.  Normally, these campaigns are led by community members.   The late Joe Nuxhall always was the "honorary chairman" every time Fairfield wanted to pass a levy or whatever.  WW doesn't have their Joe Nuxhall. I think this is fairly problematic and I thought it was problematic when I was holding the signs at Winton/Kemper.

While it is true that voter turnout in a presidential election will bring out a lot of voters that probably don't pay property taxes (college students, for example).. it is difficult to see a long term trend of homeowners willing to pay ever higher taxes for much of anything.   At some point, Forest Park will have to raise taxes since the commercial tax base can't continue to support the level of services required.  This is a result of what we were told 10 years ago by Dr. Ray Terrell (Former mayor of Woodlawn).  Poverty is moving out from the City of Cincinnati into the outer ring suburbs.

Mt. Healthy is at 2.00% as is Reading and Woodlawn.  It is naive to think that FP won't soon follow suit.. as well as requiring its residents to pay taxes to the town where they work (another 1.5% if you work in Springdale).  FP is a fine town.. but is it a cost-effective place to live?

Again, West Chester, Milford, and even the far west side suburbs are growing.. in part.. because of a commercial tax base that can sustain things like new schools.  FP doesn't have the market cornered on diversity as Fairfield and even West Chester have significant minority populations. (In WC, there is a significant Indian and Asian population that reflects the many professional businesses out there (P and G, etc.)).  I hate to be disrespectful, but what exactly does FP and GH have to offer that other lower cost places do not?   Even if you think GH is kick *** awesome, is that the long term thinking?   Is that what the business community is telling you?

Places like Hamilton are actually investing a lot of money in turning their business districts into art communities.  

Everyone wants to be "FOR" something... but being "FOR" something and agreeing to pay for it for 37 years requires a level of faith and confidence in both the community (is this place on an upward trajectory?) and the people in charge of the governmental entity making the request.  Some people in the district clearly are in a better position to shoulder such burdens.  I can tell you, in my canvassing, that a lot of families clearly are hurting and are looking to fix their broken screen door before they provide WW with a bunch of new doors.   Even people that are pretty happy with WW are not happy with the concept of parting with another $20-$30 a month.  If options such as "open enrollment" were explored, would that change the stance that building a new school is the only option?

What might that look like?  Let's take the HS (1100 students).  Could those students be divided between Fairfield, Northwest, Finneytown, Colerain, Mt. Healthy?  I don't know.  I think it would be a pretty interesting experiment to say the least. 

I think that, in 2016, that the idea that you must attend and support schools that are in geographic proximity to you are not necessarily over, but the concept really can be challenged in a day and age when there are many ways to attain the same goal... IF the community thinks that it is the best option.

For some people, this vote is sentimental.  You graduated from GH or FP or WW and you want to see that school be there until you die.  You want to be able to see your children and grandchildren graduate from there.  That's not an entirely terrible premise.  You feel that you have an obligation to "pay it forward".   In some cases, the community demands and expects that a school serve the people of that community.   Yes, virtually every other community around WW approved new school construction.. but what are those bonds like between the people and their schools?  Even when I worked there, I lamented the fact that support for anything a WW was event specific.  Very few people "bleed blue and green".  Contrast that to your typical Colerain or Princeton fan.  Am I wrong on that?

But, and this is key, can you sustain that desire?  It's easy for a college student to say "Yeah.. I'll vote for that"... but they won't be around to foot the bill.   It is my understanding that apartment managers / leasing companies aren't going to eat any increased property taxes... regardless of source.  They will pass along the property tax increase in the form of higher rent or reduced amenities.  This is a bad thing... but they have to make money too.   I don't think that any of Bass Pro is in the WW district, but a portion of it is in Forest Park.  When it moves out, the taxes go away and those burdens will now be shouldered by the homeowner as well. 

Katrina Rugless hit the nail on the head.  There really needed to be a community discussion after the last defeat showed only 29% approval.   Believe me, we worked hard to even get that number.  Now, the request has been trimmed by about 20% due to an increased state funding.  Okay, but the fundamental request is still the same.  I wonder how they will cross the finish line since you have a big NO wall in SFT.  They may only have 15% of the students in the district, but they have probably 33% of the vote.  Let's say GH is a wash.  I wonder how they believe that they will get 2/3 of the vote in FP.  Maybe they will, but would anybody lay money on it. 

In the repair/replace/new scenario, "NEW" clearly wins.. but that is based on the premise that no other options are available.  That, to me, appears to be huge.

Perhaps the lack of attendance at these conversations suggests that most people have their minds made up.

I am not saying anything to disparage the wonderful and awesome administration of the Winton Woods school system.....but I am presenting the "bear" case for all of this from those that I am speaking with.

 

 

 

Edited by equalizer

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Mirth,

This is the time when we have to have  the conviction, determination, and courage to come forth for what we believe in.  Remember than in a true Democratic Government we have the Government we deserve.  Soooo I guess we deserve to have Paula and Berte represent our integrity and morality?  Somehow they are in the position to make decisions for the students in the district and some number of voters put them there to also gamble with our hard earned money and retirement.

I was stopped at Kroger's to ask by a number of people where I stood.  I will stand in my ground that two shinny buildings without a sound plan to educate the students in this district has no where to go.  I  was asked if I was not afraid to say it.  One lady said that she was afraid being a single parent and having made the mistake of moving into Forest Park and taking out the children from a much better school system.  I urge them not to be afraid to exercise their most fundamental right "the freedom of speech", and above all the most powerful and incredible freedom "to cast their NO vote".

Once thing I have learned through the Bond Issue Battles is that the people running such campaign have resorted to the lowest possible way to intimidate voters and are the ones who lack the most valuable asset  which is "allowing, accepting, and respecting the other side.  Their values and opinions are equally important, and  yet dismissed  as a used commodity because they already got their taxes cashed in. 

Last time the photographing of VOTE NO signs homes of which there was evidence with cameras and having small children in the lawns it was one more example of not believing in the right to dissent so those will fear exercising one of their rights under the Constitution that so many have given their lives to preserve.

I found that is one of the casualties that we may not overcome. 

Most sincerely,

The Mad Botanist

Edited by Mad Botanist
correction

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Posted · Report post

I sent you a p.m. mad botanist

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Posted (edited) · Report post

EQ,

1.  GG is not looking at $20 or $30 a month. She is looking at $108 a month with two kids to send to the University.

2.  For retired people $20 or $30 a month is a big deal.  ( an inhaler co-pay  can go from $75 more if it is a rescue inhaler and that is with Medicare and another secondary insurance)

3.  Results are not there with the Academics department.

4.  Katrina hit it right on the nose:  without dialogue with the communities "Houston we have a problem".

The Mad Botanist

Edited by Mad Botanist
missing a letter

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EQ,

1.  GG is not looking at $20 or $30 a month. She is looking at $108 a month with two kids to send to the University. 

2.  For retired people $20 or $30 a month is a big deal.  ( an inhaler co-pay  can go from $75 more if it is a rescue inhaler and that is with Medicare and another secondary insurance)

3.  Results are not there with the Academics department.

4.  Katrina hit it right on the nose:  without dialogue with the communities "Houston we have a problem".

The Mad Botanist

1) GG's children are earning free college credit tuition and book costs free while still in HS and MS for that matter- this is a program offered by the state of Ohio. Many of our district's students academically qualify for this benefit further reducing future higher educational costs.  So attendance at our own school will allow this financial saving for her family and countless others unless the state changes this plan.

2) Appreciate fixed income concerns but for the largest investment of your home, not keeping up maintenance or community will further reduce the value when selling. But many retirees appreciate the importance of education and feel this contribution is imperative. Currently property in GH is selling very well at full market prices- my neighbor is transferred to Columbus and sold house in less than 24 hours with 4 prospective  buyers who paid full asking price. The buyer: A young engineer who is engaged. It is for these new young families who will need the new facilities and new educational programs.

3) Academic Results are  Progressing- please review report card with note to PROGRESS with an "A" -  This is the goal for every standard but without progress and this effort to create positive changes, this is tremendous indicator of movement to this direction. I know this does not fit the narrative of those who relish bashing the district, but this is delivery of this drive for academic values for our students. I can also attest that there are brilliant students within our district who have benefit every day from the programs, amazing teachers and administrators, generous parents, and the community who support these endeavors, 

4) Community engagement- there were 37 meetings from 2011- 2012 with engagement from citizens in ST, GH and FP from various walks of life who after consideration of numerous concepts adopted this 2 campus proposal. This concept was designed with mandate to be fiscally lean while delivering desired excellent  academic and supplementary services.  

5) I will add the current school buildings built in rapid succession during rapid growth of our community have been well maintained , but time and aging create the conversation of how to pay for repairs, updates, updates and replacement of these schools. The State of Ohio says the cost for renovation exceeeds 67% of cost for new buildings. In this equation just as with any equipment, the recommendation is to replace with new construction. The state so strongly believes this is vitally necessary that $48.8 MILLION dollars will be cofunded toward this end. Basically offering our community a Buy 1 get 1 FREE opportunity.  BUt to get this funding, our community must meet our financial contribution. 

Talk is plentiful and easy as demonstrated on this site, but true, meaningful action for constructive, positive change is hard work. 

Personally, this work was done by past generations to whom much is owed but should be paid forward for the next generation. This is a TREMENDOUS opportunity to reinvigorate our community =revitalize our aging infrastructure and infuse much needed resources benefiting the entire community.

Edited by paula

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 Eq., you have made mention before the lack of tax base, which I agree with. Maybe now is the time to consider the long term educational experience this district can financially provide. If the focus truly is on the student, do Paula et al. believe ever increasing property taxes alone is best way to support these students? Apparently so. In the long term are Paula and company undermining and in fact limiting the breath of experience these students could see? The requested bond levy is 6.95 mils, the previous emergency operating level expires in December of 2019. What then? Paula et al. are fixated on new construction believing that is best for the student, is it? I'm not convinced it is best for the student or community and is certainly not best for the tax payer.

This initiative will benefit long and short term fiscal goals stretching our dollars longer. This program will provide specific funding for  facilities only thus freeing up instruction dollars currently needed to pay for costly. frequent repairs. The state had determined the cost for replacement of existing buildings exceeds their formula of 67% so the $48.8 MILLION from state will only pay for new facilities. IF this option is declined, this would result in the substantial increase of cost to our tax payers while delivering no appreciable value or benefit. No future operational savings will be earned.  

This initiative will provide much needed expanded all day preschool and all day kindergarten as a powerful gain for increased academic success. Our overflowing preschool programs have long waiting list and this academic program delivers  powerful educational results. attracting new, younger families to our communities. 

This initiative provides relief for the increase of student enrollment over past 3 years. The demand for strong, public education continues. This equal opportunity for all citizens has been the hallmark for future success. This allows children to benefit no matter the uncontrolled circumstances into which they were born. 

This initiative is not a hand out but an investment for a bright future. 

And yes, the only emergency operating levy from 2009 will need RENEWAL in 2019- this is not an increase to taxes but a renewal to existing taxes paid. 

I, for one,  believe our community and our children are worthy of  the investment, How about you?

Edited by paula

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Paula,

You make some excellent points such as the huge improvement in the "progress" category of the state report card, the much-needed expansion of all-day preschool and all-day kindergarten (we pushed for that when our kids were little, but it came too late for them), and that new buildings would benefit the community and not just the students.

One clarification - while my kids are benefitting from College Credit Plus, this is not a Winton Woods program, but a state program, and Winton Woods can't take credit for it.  The state law allows for any student in Ohio (public school, private school, online school, or homeschool) to use the College Credit Plus program if they meet the universities' admission requirements.

When I put up the sign in my yard touting the district music program, I got a lot of flack from my township neighbors.  They harbor a lot of resentment because they feel that the district is not interested in them other than for their money, so I would suggest that the district have some huge, district-wide events at Primary South to make the township residents feel that they are valued by the district.  My neighbors have mentioned to me that all district events seem to be centered in Forest Park, which is on the opposite end of the district from Springfield Township.  I understand that that's where the board offices are, and where the largest auditorium is, so it makes sense in some regards that that's where all the action is, but if you want to win some more township votes, you may want to start having more events in the township.  Maybe the board meetings could rotate locations so that they aren't always in Forest Park - last week the meeting was in the high school library instead, so couldn't the meetings be in the various school libraries?   Just a suggestion to help you reach out to the township residents.

 

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