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School levy- what is truly at stake

441 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

Yes. Some would argue that they should have played the "sports card" a lot earlier than they did.

Now it is on the table, face up.

Sports are not mandated by the state. Plain and simple. Although I can make the case that they are sooooo linked to academic success. Doesn't matter.

But you would have thought bussing would have motivated folks.

We can't take this next vote for granted.

eq, all I can say is wow...

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Yes, the goal is to discuss these issues as outlined from Dr. Nasbe. I will be happy to repost them again for review. Thanks for the invitation to expand the discussions about these important issues.

IF the levy does not pass in August, the list includes the elimination of all K- 8 sports and extra curricular activities. Night custodians have already been cut since last March so access to school buildings is already limited. Should the levy fail in August, there are further personnel cuts affecting the access to our schools to an even greater extent. This would also include the parent groups like PTA, music boosters, athletic boosters ect.... At least while they could exist....

Now if the levy fails in November, be prepared for ALL K- 12 cuts affecting sports and extracurricular programs that help to build the community of our schools. The enrichment programs such as GTE, GTA, band, orchestra to mention but a few. Sprinters club, Math Club, Robotics club at the lower grades plus the many clubs and groups that conprise the HS experience for our students. Deeper cuts in transportation will have to be implemented. Plus more personnel in all areas across all areas.

Not to mention that the Winton Woods City School district is the largest employer in Greenhills. How does this help the revenues of our village when we vote to cut the few jobs our small community supports??

Where is the outrage for the loss of these programs??

I too am a great fan of Baseball- If you want to talk about Baseball, next year there are rumors of the HS baseball being cut from the sports programs.

These facts all outrage me....

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Posted · Report post

I understand a lot of the frustration. An unconstitutional school funding formula is hugely to blame here. We need to aim the angst where it belongs to the governor and the state legislature. Financial difficulties will continue with many districts similar to ours. There is not a lot of business or industry in the district. There are lots of foreclosed houses that help reduce home values and thus produce less in tax revenue. The district has been fiscally responsible. Many of you have talked about the downward spiral the district will take. This is not a levy to add new things on; it is basically a levy to keep what we have financially. I can understand the tough choices in hard financial times. Something has to give...

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Posted · Report post

Yes, the goal is to discuss these issues as outlined from Dr. Nasbe. I will be happy to repost them again for review. Thanks for the invitation to expand the discussions about these important issues.

IF the levy does not pass in August, the list includes the elimination of all K- 8 sports and extra curricular activities. Night custodians have already been cut since last March so access to school buildings is already limited. Should the levy fail in August, there are further personnel cuts affecting the access to our schools to an even greater extent. This would also include the parent groups like PTA, music boosters, athletic boosters ect.... At least while they could exist....

Now if the levy fails in November, be prepared for ALL K- 12 cuts affecting sports and extracurricular programs that help to build the community of our schools. The enrichment programs such as GTE, GTA, band, orchestra to mention but a few. Sprinters club, Math Club, Robotics club at the lower grades plus the many clubs and groups that conprise the HS experience for our students. Deeper cuts in transportation will have to be implemented. Plus more personnel in all areas across all areas.

Not to mention that the Winton Woods City School district is the largest employer in Greenhills. How does this help the revenues of our village when we vote to cut the few jobs our small community supports??

Where is the outrage for the loss of these programs??

I too am a great fan of Baseball- If you want to talk about Baseball, next year there are rumors of the HS baseball being cut from the sports programs.

These facts all outrage me....

Paula, I wouldn't get to worked up on the few "no's" you have in Greenhills, if you want get this passed you need a full court press on FP where 60% of the vote resides. I would hate to think about the losses that this district will incure if this levy doesn't get passed in 2009. There is a point of no return and 2010 might just be it.. MS Teacher is correct, there needs to be more noise at the state level. I just don't think that this district can hold out for that day.

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Posted · Report post

Paula, Dr. Nasbe spoke to the HS this morning. She said virtually what I just said a while back.

Sports/clubs are not madated by the state, but are a vital part of the educational process. Anyone that has had children go through school should know this.

The mood was gloomy today.

Debate on here, ultimately, is like the presidential candidates fighting over who will win Montana.

We know what the keys are to victory for this levy. 7000 people voted yes in November, 1900 in May. The votes are there. We must reel them in.

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Posted · Report post

I understand a lot of the frustration. An unconstitutional school funding formula is hugely to blame here. We need to aim the angst where it belongs to the governor and the state legislature. Financial difficulties will continue with many districts similar to ours.

You're on to something there. smile.gif

until the district literally goes belly up and the state takes over.

And Machoman.....Hmmm....I like that.

Motive established?????

Hey our national economic plan was destroyed so the gov't could

save they day, why wouldn't the state love to get its hands on

local schools?

Keep us fighting eachother while the real agenda plods on.....?

Ah well...I'm just day dreamin' huh? wink.gif

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Posted · Report post

I think that Dayton Public and Middletown are a lot, lot closer to being taken over by the state than we are. Last I checked, the Ohio ODE has no idea what to do with them.

Big shock.

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The much larger efforts are not confined to this unique forum, but I enjoy the debate as it serves to spark my enthusiasm and energy.

School funding is the next battle and a huge one,but in the meantime, we have to take care of the needs of the children in our school district. It is left to us as a community and if we chose not to do something, no one will.

To those who may "peek", but not speak in these discussions, please take positive action to protect the investment in your home and in the future of our children.

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If you want "yes" votes on the the levy, the district needs to do something to make people want to vote yes. Not announce cuts to be made to the point where nobody wants to live here. Isn't the job to be attracting students? Well, you have heard what the people who care enough to vote wish for. Those who don't give a crap (apparently 60% of the largest part of the district) aren't going to show up. They haven't shown up since the presidential election, and then didn't support or even cast a vote for the levy. The same old isn't working; people, who can, are leaving the district. A new direction needs to be taken or all that will be left is the people who don't care at all. Focusing on FP, which has the largest majority of students attending the district , isn't going to matter. Somehow this district needs to appeal to the folks that vote and do still care.

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The much larger efforts are not confined to this unique forum, but I enjoy the debate as it serves to spark my enthusiasm and energy.

School funding is the next battle and a huge one,but in the meantime, we have to take care of the needs of the children in our school district. It is left to us as a community and if we chose not to do something, no one will.

To those who may "peek", but not speak in these discussions, please take positive action to protect the investment in your home and in the future of our children.

Paula,

I have been searching for these answers for three levy's now and I never seem to get a straight answer. If you can answer them for me, I will consider voting for the levy.

1.How does the leadership of the WWSD work at establishing and communicating the schools philosophy, direction, priorities and strategies for addressing the stakeholders needs, especially those of students. (Accountability, discipline etc.).

2. How does the leadership of the school strive to create a high perfoming school? Why is our rating always so low? How do they foster an educational environment that promotes improvement?

3. The school systems continuous improvement plan should be an improvement plan that is based on the needs of ALL stakeholders. What is the plan?

4. How does the school establish high expectations for students? How do they continually assess student progress. A student told me (correct me if I am wrong), that a student can hand in work at the end of the quarter if he did not do homework and still get credit. How does this promote accountability?

5. Are ALL students provided with an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills that will help them compete on a global basis. (I have heard that "troubled" students are sent to the White Building. What is the cost to the community for that? Why can they not be taught at the high school?

6. How many employees in the district have retired and are now "double dipping"?

Could another teacher be hired with lower salary requirement? I am not knocking this, just asking the question.

7. Are all school employees credentialed and certified in thier field?

8. How will discipline be improved? What is the plan?

I admire your dedication to the school system. You and WWW are a credit to the community. We may disagree at times, that does not diminish my respect for you.

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Posted · Report post

I think that Dayton Public and Middletown are a lot, lot closer to being taken over by the state than we are.   Last I checked, the Ohio ODE has no idea what to do with them.

Big shock.

I went to the Ohio Auditor of State to see what "being taken over by the state" actually means. Frankly, it's not all bad. In fact, it may be an opportunity to bring in local management with actual business experience. They develop a commission with appointees. Page 11 states "During the formulation of the plan, the commission is required to seek appropriate input from the school district board and from the community." It's a pretty easy read and is interesting.

http://www.auditor.state.oh.us/LGS/Publica...alEmergency.pdf

Once a school district is declared in fiscal emergency, a commission is formed. The primary function of the commission is to prepare of a long-range financial recovery plan designed to remedy the school district’s financial problems. The plan is intended to be a detailed, step by step guide agreed to and accepted by both the board of education and the commission. Once the plan is in place, the role of the commission is to insure that the plan is followed.

Commission:

When a fiscal emergency has been declared by the Auditor of State, a financial recovery planning and supervision commission is established. A commission consists of five voting members. Two members are ex-officio while three are appointed.

Ex-Officio Members: The director of budget and management and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction serve as ex-officio members representing the State. Each ex-officio member may designate an individual to attend meetings on the member’s behalf.

Appointed Members: Three local members of the commission are nominated and appointed within fifteen days of the declaration of emergency. One member is appointed by the Governor, one by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and one by the mayor of the municipal corporation having the largest number of residents in the school district or, if more than fifty per cent of the residents of the district reside outside the municipal corporation containing the greatest number of district residents or if there is no municipal corporation located within the district, by the county auditor.

The commission members appointed by the Governor and the mayor or county auditor must have knowledge and experience in financial matters, financial management, or business organization or operations, and possess at least five years experience in either the public or private sector in the management of a business or financial enterprise, or in management consulting, public accounting, or other similar professional activity. Each member’s residence, office, or principal place of business must be located within the school district.

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Posted · Report post

I sent an email out to our City Manager and Council asking for official clarification on what the "closing of the grounds" entails. Hopefully, I will get a response back soon.

I was told last night that the letter was mentioned at the Council meeting.

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Yeah, well, the people making those promises are in no position to actually make that statement a fact.  The board is not going to be "accountable" in the terms detailed by some on this site.  The district will just get worse and worse, along with your community and neighboring communities, until the district literally goes belly up and the state takes over.  At that point, I will congratulate my neighbors on making their dreams come true.

You do what you believe is right, I'm personally going to hold the Board accountable, and I will do it with my vote. If the levy does not pass, don't blame those who voted "no", blame those who didn't care enough to even get to the ballot box.

I would take the time to review the School District Fiscal Emergency plan. I'm going to contact the state today and see if I can get more information regarding the process and a list of schools that have gone through this procedure. I'm personally going to thoroughly review "being taken over by the state" before I percieve it to be a negative. After review, it may be the ticket for accountability. Here's an easier link to read from the state:

http://www.auditor.state.oh.us/lgs/FiscalW...olFactSheet.htm

A blog I found from The Lorain School District

http://thewomblog.com/?p=574

As a "scare tactic", it's not going to work for me. In fact, I may welcome it.

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Posted · Report post

Christine,

If the state would take over the district, would they not cut to the bare bone only what they require as the minimum of what a district needs to offer for education?

They would find that AP classes, sports activity, afterschool clubs and organizations, music programs are all above that minimum requirement line that ould be cut to meet the cut to make budget. Where I sit I see that is what the BOE has been doing and have been advising us that they will need to do if funding by the votrs is not approved. As you show from the body of the explaination the BOE would still be involved and a body of outsiders would oversee all activity of the district.

We would still need to pass a levy to fund the district to recerate the classes that they loose if he state takes over control. My question is, in you oppinion, where is the win - win for the communities?

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If you think it is difficult to sell your house because of the school district now, just wait.

The property value argument doesn't fly with me because the way I see it, it can't get much worse. Adding another $200-300 onto the tax bill will cause far more damage to house sales in Greenhills than not passing a levy right now. We have already been told we have not had offers on our house due to the high property taxes coupled with the income tax here. I am not too concerned about what a failed levy is going to do to the value right now.

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Especially since a co-worker of mine was interested in Dar's house. The taxes killed that sale...

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The property value argument doesn't fly with me because the way I see it, it can't get much worse. Adding another $200-300 onto the tax bill will cause far more damage to house sales in Greenhills than not passing a levy right now. We have already been told we have not had offers on our house due to the high property taxes coupled with the income tax here. I am not too concerned about what a failed levy is going to do to the value right now.

My daughter and her husband (a doctor and a teacher)just bought a house in Greenhills. The quality of life trumped the taxes. OLR nearby, Winton Woods, easy access to anyplace in Cincinnati, friendly people, Riley's, the pool on summer days, great place to run and bike, great police and fire dept., wonderful village employees, the diversity of Greenhills, etc. beat out Mason, West Chester, and other areas.

The only negative was the school system.

You can get a wonderful house in Greenhills and when the economy improves, so will housing values.

Scare tactics about the school system will not deter those looking for family and economic values.

I personally don't think the WWSB has the guts to eliminate sports. WWHS would look like a ghost town if they did that.

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It is hard to support a levy when I already paid 52.7%of my real estate taxes to the schools. That is a big chuck of change and what am I getting for it. I would really like to see some changes as other have written. I do not want to rehash these ideas over again.

The breakdown for the first half taxes paid by us.

(from the HAmilton County Auditors Website)

School District $1,060.94

Township $0.00

City/Village $527.46

Joint Vocational School $56.26

County General Fund $63.58

County Voted Bond Debt $3.94

HLTH/Hospital Care - Drake $19.64

HLTH/Hospital Care = Indigent $44.70

Mental Health Levy $41.36

Mental Retardation $84.65

Park District $21.88

Crime Information Center $4.10

Children Services $46.32

Senior Services $25.00

Zoological Park $8.90

Museum Levy $4.68

First Half CalculationsTax Distributions 6/3/2009Go BackHalf Year Real Taxes +

I expect more for what I pay.

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I cannot believe what I'm reading. People are actually entertaining the notion that being taken over by the state is a good thing? What do you suppose happens after all of their analyses? They will bring back GHHS? "Neighborhood" schools will return? Do you think that they will care about the integrity of each of the communities?

I know that some of you are unhappy with the ratings drop. I would be furious. But I guaran-damn-tee you that this slash and burn policy will result in total destruction.

In the meantime, while you all are pushing your various agendas, there are 1st graders who, for all the world, just want to learn to read; there are 4th graders who are mesmerized with the solar system; there are 7th graders (believe it or not) who are catching on to the thrill of writing their own books; and there are 11th graders who have been captivated by literature. Here's another tidbit, the average 7 year old thinks that there is nothing cooler than "riding the big bus". It's the parents that get all gooey about walking.

You would cut all of these students off at the knees leaving them with NO options while you fight over whether you like the reconfiguration or not. Silly me. OF course there are options...parochial schools. Couldn't interest enough families into investing in OLR in your own neighborhood so you are recruiting, in your oh so subtle ways, to pull kids out of this neighborhood to go to parochial schools. But, wait. Doesn't that cost money? I'm sure that the parochial schools will be willing to absorb ALL of the WW students regardless of their ability to pay, or their special needs.

Vote "no" if you must but advocating for the total destruction of the district so that the state takes over is beyond the pale.

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GoBucks, this village is left with a school district that has passed 2 levies in 17 years, that's a problem. In addition, these levies have failed recently with very strong "pro-levy campaigns". If the trend continues, maybe in 2015 another levy will pass. The Board does not acknowledge the issues, they only acknowledge what an incredible job they have done. They have no intention at looking at other options, and no intention of changing their direction. They have no intention of going to the people who have the money (taxpayers) and asking them "what will you support", "how can we get your money", "what do we need to do so we don't have to keep begging you for money", "what do we need to do so you will give us your money willingly because frankly, we're tired of fighting for our survival". The only people hurting this district is the Board. They are the one's who should be held accountable and they are the one's with the power to change the direction, right now, if they choose. They are the one's who can get a levy to pass. They are the one's with the power, they know they need the levy to pass and they know the taxpayers are the one's with the money. It sounds simple to me. My "no" vote has nothing to do with the success of this school district because whether the levy passes, or doesn't pass, the Board will still not address the real issues, and the Board will not reorganize the district in a manner that will get levies passed. Therefore, the district will not be the success it can be.

This disrtict has been in a "state of emergency" for several years now, they just don't want to recognize it. If the only way they will review possible change is through the force of a State Commission, I'm not going to be opposed to that. And, I'm certainly not going to be threatened by that.

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Could the state be any worse than the Keystone Cops we have now ?

Maybe, but they'd have to try really hard.

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DO ANY OF YOU ACTUALLY HAVE CHILDREN WHO ATTEND WWSD???

What about the kids whose parents cannot afford private or who don't believe in religious schooling?

Just asking. I think these kids deserve quality too.

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Let's play this out, then. What do the taxpayers, on junedale.com specifically want? Over the past couple of years these are some of the themes I've heard:

1. Return to neighborhood schools.

2. Make the "white building" a K-8 or K-12 building.

3. Create a"community" based system. That is, FP has it's own schools, GH has its own schools, SFT has its own schools.

Those are the concrete options I've seen. Of course, there are more nebulous wants like "improved discipline", "accountability", and several others none of which are accompanied by specific ways of achieving those. In fact, sometimes one gets the impression that implementing the 3 themes above would solve all of the other problems.

Anyway, in return for those things the taxpayers will agree to pay whatever it takes to make the changes, continue to fund operating costs and agree to providing (paying for) the best possible environment for learning to take place? Of course, that has it's limits and, then, here we go again.

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Some have said the District has been broken for quite a while. Others say it has been great but now seem to acknowledge it is on the verge of breaking.

My personal opinion is that this ship isn’t turning around; it’s sinking. As with most big sinking ships that’s a process that started slowly, almost imperceptibly, but near the end it gets quite rapid and dramatic. It seems we’re getting closer to that end point now. Rearrange deck chairs, keep playing Bach quartets, or bail your heart out with a little bucket all you want. Too much water has been taken on to keep this thing afloat. Again, that’s just my opinion. Others may differ.

Broken, breaking, or just misunderstood; whatever you believe about the District, you’re still left with the reality that the votes needed to pass the levy haven’t been there and aren’t likely to be there. What has changed? Not the structure, not the rating, not the voting habits of the population, not much at all. No intervening force has popped up that’s likely to change the dynamics concerning the school levies. The smart thing to do is to prepare for the most likely result. Given the tenor of even the most ardent District supporters, it doesn’t feel like an exaggeration to say that the collapse of the District is possible, maybe likely, perhaps even imminent.

And in that regard, my question now is the same as it was when I addressed the Greenhills Village Council 6 – 8 months ago: What is the Village of Greenhills prepared to do to improve the educational opportunities for our residents? Are we just going to rely on Barts, Vivs, CHCA, Central Baptist, SJV, Gabes, homeschooling and whatever happens to be left of the public system? Or are we going to do something on our own? We can’t control the fate of the district. I don’t know why we’d even want to try. But we have a much greater ability to control what happens here in our town. Charter? Local private? Something else? Nothing else?

How ironic would it be if the last folks to acknowledge the importance and severity of this issue were the ones in the GH Administration Building?

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Let's play this out, then. What do the taxpayers, on junedale.com specifically want? Over the past couple of years these are some of the themes I've heard

3. Create a"community" based system. That is, FP has it's own schools, GH has its own schools, SFT has its own schools.

Those are the concrete options I've seen. Of course, there are more nebulous wants like "improved discipline", "accountability", and several others none of which are accompanied by specific ways of achieving.

Go Bucks,

Look to the private schools to see how they implement discipline and accountability. Do not be afraid to take charge of your school. Go Bucks, I challenge you to walk around the high school or middle school when school dismisses and you will see what a lack of acountability and discipline can do to a school system.

The taxpayer does not have to tell the "professionals" how to improve accountability and discipline. They are supposed to know how. Why do other similar school systems have good discipline etc, while WW does not? The "professionals" are supposed to tell the taxpayer how they are going to improve the system. When they do that, and actually fix it, the levy will pass.

Greenhills and ST would gladly take thier own school, combine them and I would be willing to bet achieve an excellent rating with solid neighborhood schools. I am sure the "leadership" would not stoop to threats, would listen to the constituents and yes, there would be discipline and accountability. Probably no potholes in the parking lot either.

Even better, there would be no "Go Bucks" due to the fact that she would be busy saving the other school district.

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