Fourth time the charm?

213 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

So much for that.

You're right. The only thing to do is to keep putting levies on the ballot and make folks feel like they don't care about the schools or children or community if they don't support them. That's been working out well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

But Longtime, this board did exactly that last year.  I remember one meeting in particular.  Who was there?

Folks on the WW payroll.  About 95% of them.

EQ, you're full of it.

The meeting I attended was filled with parents who said, one by one, if you reconfigure I'll pull my kids out. In fact, in our group the "faciltator" stated "so what you are saying is that you prefer the option where K-4 stays together". No, what they said was "if you reconfigure, I'll pull my honor-role, gifted kids out". The theme was very clear, yet very much avoided by the district. A couple of parents put in a great deal of time and effort to make a presentation to the board. These parents worked very hard to obtain data, feedback from other Winton Woods parents, and sought other community input and feedback. Something that the board should have done. These parents clearly represented the people of the district and they were completely blown off by the board.

We can't pass levies, people are leaving these communities and your input is; "I once saw this movie" and "there's this one show on MTV"? The only question that remains is; what are you smoking, and can Dazed have some? blink.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

what are you smoking, and can Dazed have some?

that was uncalled for

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

conversely, one could identify the problem, implement a stunningly brilliant solution (which, because sinister forces were at work, was never implemented before) and have it fail because you failed to identify the potential roadblocks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

If you run a project correctly you cover all your bases, including; assumptions, risks, impacts, "roadblocks", etc. It really isn't rocket science, but it does take a strong methodology with open minds to get the desired results. The goal would be to develop a strong school district that is supported by the people who use it and financially support it.

Why are some people so opposed to doing what's right? Whay are some people so opposed to seeking answers that may help the district? Why are some people so opposed to creating a product that can help produce the much needed revenue? I just don't get it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

that was uncalled for

It was just a test to see if you actually read my stuff. smile.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

conversely, one could identify the problem, implement a stunningly brilliant solution (which, because sinister forces were at work, was never implemented before) and have it fail because you failed to identify the potential roadblocks.

i meant to include dazed's quote about eq's posting (boy, that was convoluted). it is not meant as criticism of people who want change, or of the plans they propose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

You all are such experts! How come none of you are in charge?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

You all are such experts!  How come none of you are in charge?

You're right Trixie, unless you are currently the Supertintendent, or on the school board, you can't possibly have any knowledge, or an opinion about the topic. In fact, how dare you even make suggestions. Your role is to simply hand over the money and keep your mouth shut.

I'd love to be in charge for one year. I'd do something so daring, so unique, so innovative it would make your head spin. Prepare yourself for the unthinkable...

I'd go out to the taxpayers and ask them "what do we have to do to get you to vote "yes" for the levies"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

So how can we get YOU in charge? I'm being serious. Passion leads to greatness!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

i think christine has only answered this question a bajillion times, as my son would say. blink.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

The community schools were consolidated to save money. The board had to make changes to save money. I do not believe the board was motivated to create grade-level schools for any reason other than they were too expensive to maintain with the losses in funding.

The board combined the high schools and middle schools for the same reasons in 1990. The district could no longer afford two high schools and two middle schools. It had everything to do with money.

I love community schools. I love separate high schools. But they are expensive! This district cannot affort them with the current state of funding. To implement them would be illegal because the Board of Education cannot certify a budget that cannot be balanced. Ask the treasurer.

School funding in the State of Ohio is unconstitutional and has been declared such on two separate occasions by the Ohio Supreme Court. The property tax system as it exists is unconstitutional but the state legislature has refused to fix the system. Until that part of the equation is fixed all of the other ideas put forth by the citizens or the board with be for naught.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

School funding in the State of Ohio is unconstitutional and has been declared such on two separate occasions by the Ohio Supreme Court.

Try 4 times. Click here

I have often wondered if any action could be taken against the state legislature for not implementing change. The legislature keeps avoiding the issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I stand corrected. Four times.

State legislators must be held accountable and their stand on public education needs to be known by the voters. If the voters really paid attention to state representatives and state senators they would know where the trouble lies. Use their stand on public education as a litmus test for their support for ALL education in Ohio, including private schools, charter schools, and public schools and anything else we can dream up.

The voters need to know how the system works. The Board is often at the mercy of the State of Ohio and the only alternative is to continually ask for money from the taxpayers. When the taxpayers say no the district is in an untenable situation; less money from the general fund and less money from the taxpayers. The results are: no community schools, no AP classes, no Gifted and Talented, no magnet schools, nothing beyond the basics. The districts must cut. That is the reality.

Decide what sort of schools you want and then take the very hard step of paying for them. That is the reality faced not only by our community but every school district in the state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Didn't mean to sound snarky ThreeHats. I agree with you on the state funding issue. (Didn't mean to sound like I was correcting you - just noting the ridiculousness of it all.) This issue frustrates me and I do not have kind words of our ineffectual, spineless state legislature. It's a political hot potato for them and they are gutless when it comes to initiating any positive change really. They give us lip service about change but no one does anything about it. Strickland may do something but only if he gets elected for a second term. Then he will have nothing to lose due to term limits. Sad isn't it? It's all about their political careers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

The community schools were consolidated to save money. The board had to make changes to save money. I do not believe the board was motivated to create grade-level schools for any reason other than they were too expensive to maintain with the losses in funding.

The board combined the high schools and middle schools for the same reasons in 1990. The district could no longer afford two high schools and two middle schools. It had everything to do with money.

I love community schools. I love separate high schools. But they are expensive! This district cannot affort them with the current state of funding. To implement them would be illegal because the Board of Education cannot certify a budget that cannot be balanced. Ask the treasurer.

School funding in the State of Ohio is unconstitutional and has been declared such on two separate occasions by the Ohio Supreme Court. The property tax system as it exists is unconstitutional but the state legislature has refused to fix the system. Until that part of the equation is fixed all of the other ideas put forth by the citizens or the board with be for naught.

cool.gif The only thing is that I sat in those community meetings where the options were discussed, and while option #3 I believe was the one that saved the most money, option #2 saved nearly as much and was significantly more popular among those in attendance. That was the K-4 community model with a 5-6 intermediate school. I was at a table of 9 or 10, and the dominant statement at our table and the ones next to us was "we'd rather not change, but if we do it should be the K-4 model". The other dominant statement was the strong belief that option #3 was a sealed deal going in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

So how can we get YOU in charge? I'm being serious. Passion leads to greatness!

I don't have to be in charge. You call the board and ask for change. You call your friends and ask them to ask the board for change.

Secondly, "passion does not lead to greatness". I believe greatness comes in numbers. One passionate voice is nothing compared to 1,000 voices who come out and say "yes, I care". "It does matrter to me that you're making decisions without asking people what they want". "It does matter to me that you say you have an open door policy, an yet when someone uses it the door is slammed in their face, in hopes that they won't notice".

The people who should be asking for this, more than just the taxpayers, are the parents who actually use the system. The rest of us either don't use the system because there are no school age kids, or we have other alternatives. Do you want the levies to pass so your kids can get a better education? Do you believe passing the levy is important to the district?

With regards to state funding, the system may not be great, but it's what ALL the schools in Ohio have to work with. How is it that other schools are succeeding? How is it that other schools, not all, are being supported? Why should Winton Woods be given a "bye" because of the state funding situation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

That is EXACTLY how I remember it Neveron............it was a done deal. Period. EVERYONE wanted it to either stay the same or at least give us the K-4 option. Why have options if they were never real options in the first place?? We've moved on....literally, but it still is mind boggling how that all went down. blink.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I don't have to be in charge. You call the board and ask for change. You call your friends and ask them to ask the board for change.

Secondly, "passion does not lead to greatness". I believe greatness comes in numbers. One passionate voice is nothing compared to 1,000 voices who come out and say "yes, I care". "It does matrter to me that you're making decisions without asking people what they want". "It does matter to me that you say you have an open door policy, an yet when someone uses it the door is slammed in their face, in hopes that they won't notice".

The people who should be asking for this, more than just the taxpayers, are the parents who actually use the system. The rest of us either don't use the system because there are no school age kids, or we have other alternatives. Do you want the levies to pass so your kids can get a better education? Do you believe passing the levy is important to the district?

With regards to state funding, the system may not be great, but it's what ALL the schools in Ohio have to work with. How is it that other schools are succeeding? How is it that other schools, not all, are being supported? Why should Winton Woods be given a "bye" because of the state funding situation?

Wow you know everything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

That is a valid criticism of the board's decision-making process. We all want more transparency. However, even if the decision was totally and completely transparent to everyone's satisfaction, the fact is cuts had to be made.

The point is moot, however, because even THOSE plans are not sustainable currently. With the loss of this latest levy attempt K-2, K-4, doesn't matter because the board has $2 million more to cut. That is why the funding problem is so critical.

The downward spiral of funding can only hurt the students. I cannot see how $2 million in cuts gives MORE options to students.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

If I have this right, the argument that led to the finding that the school funding system is unconstitutional has to do with the discrepancy among districts in the funds that would be available, largely due to the differing property values from district to district.

What we're finding now is that the argument about funding at the state level has more to do with the unwillingness or inability of districts to even pass levies. I think that's a bit of a red herring, and it worries me.

It's worrisome because the focus is going to be not just the mechanism for funding, (from property taxes to whatever the ultimate funding vehicle will be.) The change is, I'm afraid, also going to take us from a situation where local voters have a say as to how, when and to what extent their schools will be funded, to a situation where there is a funding vehicle set by formula without voter input. We vote on local fire, police, road, and other levies related to local services at the community and county level, but when this school funding fight is over we're probably going to lose the ability to vote in any way on local school funding.

Picture our current district, with current leadership, with access to all the money they'd want. The discussion about what direction our schools should take would never get off the ground. They'd have even more ability to force their views on the district residents and we'd have even less of a voice than we do now, if that's possible.

The problem is not money. The problem is a lack of accountability, the inability to admit that mistakes have been made or that drastic change is needed, and the desire of elected representatives to act not as representatives of their constituents but as technocrats who think they know what's better for our communities and our kids than we do.

For those begging for changes in the state funding system, be careful what you ask for: you just might get it. My guess is you'll end up with less freedom, not more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

You make some absolutely valid points. Those very points are why it is so difficult to fix the problem. We don't want to give up local control, but so many outside of the local community control a large part of the money. Discrepencies in property values from district to district make for a very uneven level of education for our citizens. Is that fair? On the other hand, is it fair to otherwise pool all money and distribute it equally to all districts based on student population? What about No Child Left Behind? A poorer district still has to meet all those special needs regardless of where the money comes from. A district that has lots of industry may have lower property taxes. Our district depends inordinately on property taxes. It's a big problem because education is very expensive.

The problem is not about passing or not passing levies. The problem is the reliance on property taxes to pay for schools. What other funding vehicles can we utilize to pay for schools and still be fair to all taxpayers?

Accountability is hard to assess, I hate to say. Forest Hills has an 'excellent' rated district but has to cut because their levy failed. Has the school district been accountable? Is that their reward for continuing 'excellence?' Our district was 'effective' for two years and is now in 'Continuous Improvement' even though some buildings are 'effective' even now. Is the district worse than it was two years ago? Is Forest Hills better than Winton Woods?

If the funding problem is fixed will our district be better off? As you say, be careful what you wish for. At least, if the problem is fixed and constitutional then we'll know that the funding vehicle is no longer the main problem. I would take that chance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Wow you know everything.

No, I don't know everything, but I have my own opinions and I do hold people accountable. You should try it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

The community schools were consolidated to save money. The board had to make changes to save money. I do not believe the board was motivated to create grade-level schools for any reason other than they were too expensive to maintain with the losses in funding.

The board is doing what it can to create "one community". They want people to see themselves as "Winton Woods residents", not Greenhillians, or residents of Forest Park. How do I know this? Because Pennycuff said so himself. Maybe they did think the reconfiguration was the only way to save money, but in the process they moved one step closer to achieving their goal of "Winton Woods residents". The names on the schools is clear evidence.

At the meeting I attended I asked for a detailed report on the cost of increased busing for each reconfiguration, I never got it. I'm not even sure if a thorough analysis was done. It would have been interesting to the see the "low and high" financial analysis and the impact that would have had on the "cost savings".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

At the meeting I attended I asked for a detailed report on the cost of increased busing for each reconfiguration, I never got it.  I'm not even sure if a thorough analysis was done.  It would have been interesting to the see the "low and high" financial analysis and the impact that would have had on the "cost savings".

You'll never see it. With all due respect, just shut up and vote for the levies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now