School Choice and the Sand Castle

Greg Olson of School Choice came on 700 WLW to discuss funding options for education. There was a great discussion after Greg went off and Jennifer Miller, the former Mason School Board member came on at the end of the discussion to talk about diversity training in schools, so the range of serious discussion was extreme, and very useful.

What comes out of all this discussion is that education is on the precipice of change. It will not be the same old way of top down education that we’ve had in the past.

It’s probably obvious by now, that my extreme dislike of organized labor is due to the way they slow down the process of innovation. In many ways, schools should already be offering classes online as the norm, and not just an unpublished option. There are many innovations that should have already been commonplace, but are not, because unions need stability and predictable cash flow.

That’s not just the case for education, but virtually all business. Innovations are more hampered from politics than the technical challenges and to me that is a crime.

But when the discussion is about education, and hung on the backs of children, emotions cloud the minds of otherwise intelligent people. Parents gather on a Saturday afternoon to watch their children play basketball, and thoroughly enjoy seeing their children in a group oriented activity. Sports is one of those issues that has been confused with education as unions have made the push over the years to constantly justify their existence with lobby power in the ears of sleepy politicians just cruising through their positions.

I spent my weekend playing a fantastic video game called, Fallout: The New Vegas, and was amazed at the level of action and detail put into the game. I’m about 15 hours into an experience that will probably go on for 70 to 110 hours before I get to the end of the game. These games are so involved, and there are so many decisions that a player has to make, that reality truly does get altered while you are playing. I was playing with my youngest daughter and her boyfriend, who is a real game wiz, and I couldn’t help but be impressed with their ability to rapidly process information. And I realized that kids these days are passionate about technology, and they are taking in a tremendous amount of information, and their education tomorrow will be along the lines of technology.

A school building with a school bus, a class-room, an auditorium, a lunch room with lunch food, a sports program, even a library, is things that are going away, and they’ll go away within the decade. What we are seeing is the first vision of the market place creating options, but the resistance of organized labor to accept that change is the first reason that I despise organized labor, because they are too slow to accept innovation.

The other reason is the current way of educating students is simply too expensive. From what I read of the situation anything over $6,500 per student in the traditional school is being wasted on inflated costs. And what are we paying for, social indoctrination? What business is it of anybody what our kids eat, or if they are going to be exposed to gay rights. Those are political issues that are introduced to our kids subtly, and have no place in our publically funded institutions. Things have gotten so bad that a little boy playing at recess can’t even make a “gun” with his hand to have a pretend shoot-out with his friends. These schools inject themselves into the minds of children to such an extent as to participate in social engineering, which I don’t think anybody that is right in the head wants to pay for. Most good people over-look that kind of thing in school because they want the other things the schools are offering. Most parents are not so sensitive and will let those kids play fun video games where you can actually shoot your friends with CGI guns. And I have news for you politicians, you aren’t going to legislate that behavior out of people. The need for those types of games are primal and part of the human consciousness. Little girls tend to enjoy playing with dolls, and little boys like to play with guns, because that is part of the human experience. Don’t confuse education with social engineering experimentation funded off the public dollar.

Probably the worst however is that inflated costs that are used to disguise entire industries are built to supply the status quo. A caller in the mentioned interview brought up school books, and this is true whether you are talking about college or grade school education. In college, I used to stand in the book store on the University of Cincinnati’s campus and ask………..WHY! It was as plan as day to me, even as a young man of 21 to 22 years old, that professors were actually serving as book salesman. Many of the books being dictated for use were incredibly expensive, because students had to have those books. When I was in college, the Celestine Prophecy which was a spiritual fiction book popular at the time was at least 25% higher in cost than what I could buy the same book for at the local mall. But most of the books students had to buy couldn’t be bought at the mall. And wasn’t around yet back then, so there wasn’t any other option.

Now I’m a guy that likes to buy books. I buy a lot of them, and always have. I love to have a book in my hand, I love the smell of the print, I love books! But for students, there is absolutely no reason that most text books couldn’t be downloaded to a Kindle type of device, which would dramatically bring down the cost of book buying for all students. And that is the future. Kids could download all their text books on their phones if need be, and they’d be more inclined to read their assignments while they are at the movies with their friends waiting for a film to start, or whatever they’re doing. Kids don’t want or need to lug around a whole back pack of books any more.

But that one easy to understand innovation will never change until the whole structure of education changes dramatically. Has the Obama Administration even discussed such a thing when proposing to bail out education services? Of course not, because what will all the people that currently make a living off those services do if education changes.

The future will demand that we all change our jobs, and our comfort levels many, many times. Things will not stay the way they are today; in fact they will change dramatically within just years. Education cannot survive under the current funding model. It’s broke financially and terribly inefficient. The people that adapt to that reality sooner rather than cleaving to it, will find life much better and personally profitable much quicker.

Those options are programs like School Choice. This isn’t just some rant from my libertarian oriented mutterings. This is a fact of life, and education institutions at all levels are dangerously close to making them irrelevant by not becoming more innovative. And that isn’t just a problem in education. Many things are changing, quickly, and those that ride that wave will do well, and those that refuse will be washed away like sand castles on the beach.

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

Bulldog and the Streetcar

Streetcar of no desire update:

Bulldog Nation did a very nice bit of reporting into the streetcar issues surrounding the planned project due for construction in downtown Cincinnati. It’s well worth watching.

For those of you that don’t know who the “Bulldog” is, he’s Eric Deters, local attorney and part-time WLW host. He’s a passionate guy that I enjoy quite a bit. If the world had more people like Eric, we wouldn’t have too many problems in the country.

American’s don’t always have to agree. But American’s do need to care in order for our republic to work, and no one can accuse The Bulldog of not caring.

Now, because he is passionate, and I can relate, he has plenty of enemies. So for those of you that are putting together the name Eric Deters to the recent Enquirer controversy, you have to understand the nature of politics. Bulldog has recently produced a fantastic video dealing with the U.S. Border issues in Arizona, and now he’s done this thing on the streetcar. So special interests are coming after him.

One of the great things about Eric is he’s not afraid to speak up though, and I’ll put up his defense of those allocations here, so any doubts that might come up which might detract from the great video on the streetcar issue, can be settled right now.

If Cincinnati doesn’t watch Eric’s video about the streetcar and step in to stop the whole thing before it’s too late, the city will pay dearly for years into the future.

Many of the same people who spoke out about the stadium deals in the 90’s are the same people warning about the streetcar now. How are the financial situations surrounding those stadiums today?

And 5 to 10 years down the road, the streetcar will be another drain on our local economy. But it won’t be because the information wasn’t given to the public beforehand. It’ll be because people sat on their hands and did nothing.

Besides, who wants to ride a trolley when better technology is on the way.

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

The Majestic Adventure of Space

A sure way to clear your mind is to think from high places. Two of my favorite places on planet earth are the Kennedy Space Center and the Epcot Center because both of those places are about ideas, and perspective.

That’s why this video is a thing of beauty. It is a fine example of the best and brightest that the human mind has yet produced.

The following video is a collection of Space Shuttle launches from 1981 to 2010. I first fell in love with the shuttle program when I was able to stand in one at the Kennedy Space Center. And I will never forget the 3D Imax film they showed at the Center of a shuttle docking with the International Space Station. This video is of the same caliber and is a true thing of marvel.

And here is a camera view from the booster rockets during launch and decent when ejected after the stage 1 process. Enjoy the ride to space and back to the Atlantic Ocean again. When you see the splash down, the rockets will be approximately 150 miles northeast of the Kennedy Space Center.

Once in space there are many questions that transcend the things we think are important back on earth. Perspective is relative. The definitions of what we consider to be time changes subtly at first, then radically.

Ironically, we discover when studying the very large reaches of space that it is the very, very small that affects everything we experience.

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

Fly A SkyCar Today: The Future of Transportation

So how does America become a primary manufacturer again, where we are exporting something the rest of the world wants, instead of being a primary importer? It seems like a daunting task, after all, we’ve lost the car market to the East, the computer age was born here, but now is developing in the East, and we are no longer pushing the space race in America. In order to recapture the technological lead on the world stage, America would have to invent something dramatically, and radically new, that every person on the face of the planet would want.

Let me introduce the M400 Skycar. It’s a personal Skycar with a top speed of 350 MPH and has a range of 750 miles and a flight ceiling of 30,000 feet. It is the future. Now, there are a lot of videos here. This is one of the rare times that I’ll say the videos are more important than the text I provide. So take your time and watch the videos, all of them. And pass this link on to a friend so the word can get out. I believe this is extremely important to the United States in 2011 and on.

I’ve followed the work of Paul Moller for most of my life and am a tremendous fan of his. So much so, that I dedicated a large part of my book The Symposium of Justice to the M400 Skycar in hopes that the military would see the potential for applications, and get the ball rolling.

Paul Moller is the equivalent to the modern-day Henry Ford, or Bill Gates. His idea could be just as explosive if only politics would embrace the concept and accept that highways, manufacturing unions, and current aerospace manufacturers and their government contracts, are becoming obsolete. Can you imagine the changes that would have to take place in the airline industry? Can you imagine the airline industry lobby against the Skycar concept? Do you think GE would want this technology to emerge unless they had their feet already in the game, which they don’t? If the TSA employees join a union, can you imagine the protests trying to protect their jobs that would be leaving as people gained the independence of personal transport and wouldn’t need TSA Security any longer; all the vehicles would be controlled by GPS Systems? Nobody would be running into buildings with these things because they’d just be riding around like a passenger while computers do all the flying. Of the large aerospace companies, only Boeing has entertained the construction of Skycars so far, so the protective interests are actively in place.

I gave a Powerpoint, to John Boehner so he could possibly do something to help with the lobbyist politics that exist on K-Street and other places so the M400 Skycar could enter the marketplace. I also sent the same Powerpoint to the current President and to the head of General Motors, giving them the idea to “re-invent” themselves. They of course are committed to building electric cars, which will soon be irrelevant.

Does it work? Yes! Now that these tests are completed and on the record, even if Moller never gets this M400 into production, the steps have been taken, and a vertical takeoff personal vehicle will emerge for personal use. The sky is the future because it costs less to maintain and eliminates costly infrastructure need. There will always be need for highways for shipping reasons, but personal transportation of 50 miles or more needs to go to the air. That might seem like science fiction, but it’s currently science fact. All that fact needs is for public consciousness to catch up and accept the technology, and that will happen when people understand how they’ll benefit.

Here is the testing of stability in flight, hovering controls. Pretty important so the vehicle can land in a parking lot with reliability. This is one of the most difficult technical feats the vehicle had to overcome, and it has been successful.

So who is Paul Moller? Meet him here. He has testified before congress on this issue and has worked with NASA. This entire infrastructure is in place now. All it will take to bring it to a reality is for you to demand it. Paul will explain the whole concept, just listen, and enjoy.

I personally can’t wait to have one. For my life style, it will be perfect. I could be in New York within a morning, take care of my business, and be back that night for dinner without any difficulty. Same for Atlanta, Chicago and Washington D.C. since all those cities are within 500 miles from Cincinnati. In other places around the country, the trip from LA to Las Vegas would be minutes, and from San Fran to LA under an hour with most of the flight time being accent and descent. New Yorker’s could be out of the city and up into Connecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts within an hour. No traffic because the GPS system would stack all the destinations at different elevations. Weather conditions would be the only variable, but conditions would be favorable over 95% of the time. Only heavy wind and thunderstorms would prevent flight.

Image the trip from London to Paris, which currently takes a few hours by their high-speed rail system that goes under the English Channel from the time you buy your ticket, get on the train, and arrive at your destination. You could literally travel from the British Museum of Natural History and arrive at The Louver Museum in well under an hour including getting into the Skycar and exiting.

However, there is a lot of resistance to the Skycar out there, particularly from the existing infrastructure, and politics and I have a sincere concern that Paul Moller’s dream may be all too reminiscent of one of my personal hero’s, Preston Tucker. If you don’t know the story, Tucker was a GREAT car builder and was WAY ahead of his time. His car was so ahead of its time that the Big Three put pressure on the government to prosecute Tucker though Senator Ferguson, who was taking lobby money from the Big Three, before he could launch his car to the public. Listen to this clip from the film Tucker: A Man and His Dream as delivered by Jeff Bridges.

This is one of my favorite films. If you haven’t seen it you are missing a classic from Executive Producer George Lucas and Director Francis Ford Coppela.

I don’t want to see Paul Moller become a Preston Tucker. I see dramatic parallels between the two men. I think Moller is a lot more level-headed, and more classical engineering minded where Tucker was a salesman first and an engineer second, Moller has the great ability to stay out of trouble.

Eventually, the Big Three automakers would adapt to the innovations that Tucker introduced in 1948, by the 1970’s. If we were a smart society, we’d learn from history and listen to Paul Moller now, and not shove him into the corner to protect the status quo, and put off technology we need today. Because we may lose it to the East, or to a costly two or three decades only to have it emerge in the distant future anyway. It’s really up to the United States.

Tucker died shortly after his trial, which he was of course innocent, but the experience cost him market delivery of his vastly superior automobile. The Big Three grudgingly adopted many of Tucker’s features but not for another 20 years. The Big Three didn’t want to absorb the cost of competition, so they put him out of business. And that is the problem that Paul Moller will have to overcome. It’s not the technical obstacles that are the problem. It’s the political ones that hold back our country. Here is Tucker’s story.

You can have the world you want if you have the courage to put horse-sense ahead of politics. If that happens, then you could have a Skycar to drive and fly within a decade. You may have a job in the Skycar emerging field in the same time frame, and the United States could return to the world stage as a primary manufacturer of something the rest of the world wants, while China and Japan continue to make cars, which will decline in importance, and become a secondary market item similar in usefulness to a motorcycle or bicycle, and certainly high-speed rail which is next to useless compared to Skycar technology.

But I suspect that history will repeat itself and Paul Moller will go the way of Tucker obscurity, and our great nation the United States will too drift into the cloudy recesses of a foggy morning in history, which once lifted everyone, will wonder if the fog had ever been at all.

It’s up to you.

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

Yes Lakota is Misleading People: Painting over the dirt

Submitted on 2011/01/20 at 11:14 pm
Evil prevails when good people do nothing. I am a good person and I am about good education. I am doing something: speaking out. Rich Hoffman is misleading people. Teachers teach children so they DON’T end up working themselves into an early grave and barely making payments on a lot in a trailer park. The good teachers will go elsewhere in order to make a living wage. Rich Hoffman raised children and his wife didn’t work. Apparently he is making too much money. Yet, I hear no one attacking him. Some of us have to have both parents work in order to put food on the table.

Georgetta here reflects many of the comments that I get from people who think just like her. The premise is this, that education is a right, they hide the actual numbers in the scribble of government bureaucracy, and if you show that you don’t support it, or if you even question their reasoning, they use “peer pressure” to shape the community to their will, just like kids on a playground. That’s the mentality. They end up sounding like children with their minds wrapped up in extreme assertions to make their points seem to carry more weight.

The first thing they do is attack you “the tax payer” and your ability to pay the increase in tax. They’ll say, “Public education was there for your children, but now that you don’t have children in the school, you don’t want to pay.” They do the same with business leaders, “We built the good schools and you provided the homes, and now you don’t want to pay.” What doesn’t get said is that as all this growth was going on, the LEA, the teachers union at Lakota, negotiated an aggressive contract in October of 2008 that was focused on wages and that contract is bankrupting the community because at the same time, indications were that state funding was on a decreasing trend. So the contract was irresponsible, and what is happening now, is the community is establishing the parameters of future contract negotiations, because we can’t trust school officials to do the job, otherwise it wouldn’t have gotten this far out of control.

These pro levy people will attempt to proclaim that nobody but them can look at the numbers and understand the situation. They sadly put out apologist groups to plead the case like what you will hear in the below interview. What they don’t want to discuss is why there is a financial crises. They simply discuss finance as if it were beyond their control. When listening to this interview ask these questions, if cutting only a million here, or there isn’t much because the numbers are so large, then why is it such a large savings that cutting busing to 9000 students will only save $600,000, then why cut busing? And how has Lakota done everything it can do before cutting busing. Did the LEA come to the bargaining table to renegotiate their contract? And how does the tax dollars stay in the district when the union spends the union dues on political candidates. One of the reasons the LEA wants its teachers to make so much is so that the teachers will want to pay their union dues without hardship. But nobody talks about any of that here. The sum of this discussion is that there isn’t an answer. These are nice parents that just want the system to work long enough for their children to get an education. Nobody wants to play the hot potato game when the music stops, and the music is stopping. All they can really do in an interview like this is paint over the dirt.

All businesses whether they are service oriented or manufacturing oriented have a responsibility to keep their costs in line. One way that businesses do that is to use the 10-80-10 rule as it’s applied to labor. That rule states that 10% of your workforce will be your typical “top” performers, and they will get the most dramatic increases, 4% to 15% depending on the situation. 80% of your workers are average, and will typically get a standard 2% to 3% increase, otherwise considered a “cost of living” increase. And of course every place of business has approximately 10% that are poor performers and they won’t get an increase of any kind. Why? Because those bottom 10% you want to look for another job, and you want them to leave so you don’t have to pay them. It gives you a chance to hire somebody that might want to compete for the top 10% percentile. If you manage things correctly, your bottom 10% are the kind of people that your competition is hiring at the middle 80%, and you want that so you can maintain a competitive edge.

What you don’t do is uniformly advance everyone in your place of business with some socialist “everybody is equal” policy like what we have in school systems, and unions advocate. That’s a disastrous concept and gives employees like Ryan Fahrenkemp time and the luxury of job security to participate in an evil deed like child pornography. I would argue from experience that if Ryan had to fear for his job, and didn’t feel comfortable hiding in the muddy 80%, he probably would have not indulged in his warped perversion while at school. He might have done it in hiding, or in his mother’s basement, but not with his students, and not with school equipment. And he certainly wouldn’t have been making 70K at only age 42 no matter how much experience he had with the amount of tenure he’d accumulated in a relatively short time.

I used Fahrenkemp as an example because he belonged in the bottom 10% and somebody didn’t do their job in the review process of weeding him out. And that didn’t happen because he was protected by the complicated process created by the OEA which the president of the LEA had been a big part of, and knew how to manipulate the system to the advantage of her members.

So I’d say to you Yes Lakota people, who say that I am misleading people. Who is doing the misleading?

I’d say you are, by telling the tax payers that the budget just “grows” on its own. That the school system had no way to deal with people like Fahrenkemp, and that all teachers are worth over 62K, and if the community doesn’t pay it, those beloved teachers will leave the district for another one.

I would say any teacher that would leave Lakota is only in it for the money, and those are personalities that I would rate low on a review, and may be tempted to put them on the bottom 10% anyway, so for them to leave would be desirable.

All the Yes Lakota people have to argue with is emotion,
• “The money is for the kids.” No it’s not, if it was, the LEA wouldn’t have threatened to strike in 2008 to get more money, and again in the spring of 2010.
• “We have to offer top pay for top teachers or they will leave.” No they won’t because the other districts are broke too and are getting ready to go through the same process Lakota is.
• “We have to protect property values by voting for the schools.” No you don’t. If taxes keep increasing that will kill real estate values anyway, tax payers in the district already pay $11 per $1000 assessment on their property.
• “I’m for education.” No you’re not. If you were, you’d keep the budget under $160 million. Throwing money at something doesn’t mean you’re for education. It means you don’t value the source of the money but want what the money can buy.
• “We have had explosive growth and must adjust to it.” Growth, like budgets can be controlled. If the cost is too high, growth will slow down, and growth will slow down because of the economy. Growth will also slow down from parents wanting to go to Lakota who aren’t willing to pay for the extra things they want, too. One of the reasons Yes People want sports and extracurricular activities is so enrollment will increase, so parents looking for those items can move to the district and participate cheaply. It’s all about job creating and getting parents used to programs that the district tax payers fund collectively. No different from colleges with NCAA programs that are nationally known for their sports, will see increases in enrollment. It’s always about increased enrollment so money can be justified.
• “The state is forcing us to all-day kindergarten.” No, the OEA lobbied to get all-day kindergarten passed, and the Republicans in the state house are getting ready to eliminate that unfunded mandate along with many other mandates lacking funding. So that anticipated requirement will be taken away from district budgets.
• “We have to spend $50,000 dollars to get the best superintendent we can get.” No, you are throwing money at the situation like you do everything else. It’s that kind of mentality that locked us into the contract with the LEA that is causing the current financial crises. Money does not equal quality. It seldom does. Money can be used to create competition, but it is useless without competition. If money is not getting you dramatic results, it is simply killing your budget.
• “Paying for a school levy keeps your money in the community.” No it doesn’t. The union dues collected by school unions are directly applied to liberal politicians that further perpetuate the bureaucratic mess creating expensive economic necessity. The OEA had revenue of over $62 million dollars in 2008. Where did that money come from? They don’t make any products that they can sell? Check the info for yourself here. All that money comes from union dues, paid from the salaries of teachers that are paid exceptionally well by the local tax payers. The average pay at Lakota for teachers is 62K per year. So the money doesn’t stay in the community.

Those are just some examples of how the Yes Lakota people are misleading the good people of the Lakota District. And they will continue to treat the voters like the fools they believe they are as long as it works.

Get ready for the next levy announcement for May. They’ll do it because they don’t know how to do anything else but ask for more money.

And you Yes Lakota people go ahead and leave your comments. I’ll post them, and I’ll use them. People need to see your thoughts. For those of you wanting to see some of them, read the comments here. I am quite aware that there are many people at many levels reading all the posts I’ve put up here and you’re looking for a way to spin it to your advantage. For an example, have a look at the work David Little from Progress Ohio attempted. I’m happy to fight your sloppy facts with the truth and if you want to spin the community around and make them so dizzy they can’t tell which way is up or down, I’ll continue to prevent it, as I have. And I’ll do it because I love my community, and I want to see education continue to be an option for families in the future. But it won’t be in a form controlled by organized labor. Those days are over.

Don’t believe me; read this from your parent union the OEA, this is how bad the financial situation is. Even the union staff is threatening to strike and the union itself is participating in union busting strategies.

The Ohio Education Association and Its Goose

The executives of the Ohio Education Association sent a memo informing local presidents that if the union gave in to striking staffers’ demands, it would require an $80 to $90 dues increase per member. Such an increase would raise roughly $10 million. That sounded familiar to me, so I checked the archives and found this, in the May 8, 2000 EIA Communiqué:
Ohio Education Association in Severe Financial Straits. The last time the Ohio Education Association negotiated a staff contract, in September 1997, it resulted in a two-week strike, restraining orders against picketers, and a lot of bad publicity. That contract expires this year and it’s bad financial news all around for OEA, its members, and the staff. OEA recently informed its local presidents that the union is facing a projected deficit of $6.3 million for next year. The union is asking staff to accept benefit cuts totaling $4 million. The rest of the deficit would be eliminated through a dues increase of up to $25 per member.

“Specifically, and regrettably, we can no longer afford to sustain the current number of OEA employees at their current level of compensation and benefits and continue to provide the expected level of services and programs without significantly raising OEA dues for you and every other member,” reads a memo from OEA President Mike Billirakis and Executive Director Robert Barkley.

Read the rest of the article here:

If our community is going to continue to be a “great” and “excellent” district, we have to get in front of this problem. Not avoid it by tossing more money at the problem. And the Yes Lakota people need to listen to the No Lakota People, because the solution is in good business strategy. The same tired old bullet points won’t be valid any longer. I’ll make sure of it.

Now, these video links exist elsewhere on this site, but I’ll put links here for your convenience. These are radio spots specifically dealing with education issues. Feel free to listen to the hours and hours of debate so you can form your own opinion about things. There are many radio personalities here, so the view points are varied. But the topics and discussions are fantastic.

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

The Superintendent of Tomorrow

Bill Cunningham had on a superintendent from Clermont Northeastern that has been very successful at saving his district money by thinking “outside the box.” Listen to that interview here.

Here is a link to the district website:

What’s interesting about that interview is the superintendent is actively pursuing innovative cost savings as opposed to the approach at Lakota where they spent over $50,000 just searching for a new superintendent to replace the retiring Mike Taylor. The Lakota method is the “old” way, where inflated costs are built into every step of the process, and the footprints most always lead to organized labor.

The superintendent of tomorrow will find ways to save money at every turn, including the elimination of such extraordinary candidate searches as Lakota participated in. The School Board elected to spend $40,000 looking for a treasurer, and $50,000 looking for a superintendent that they haven’t yet hired.

The superintendent of tomorrow will not be bullied by union leaders as what happened at Lakota on the last Thursday of October 2008 where the teacher’s union of 1,200 members threatened to walk out on all 18,000 students they profess to think so much of. What was the primary issue in that proposed strike? Pay!

The superintendent of tomorrow wouldn’t have paid into the union system for 25 years or more and then take a passive position at the negotiating table as what happened when both sides, the LEA and the Lakota officials sat down after school that memorable Wednesday just before Halloween and finally hammered out an agreement at 12:30 AM Thursday morning, the day the LEA was ready to walk off the job.

I know quite a few teachers around the country. Specifically, in Oldham County, KY, which is one of Kentucky’s most exclusive communities, there is a teacher with a master’s degree in science that teaches geology, and his rate of pay is just shy of 50K. Doc Thompson a few weeks ago had on another teacher that was from Atlanta that was making wages in the mid-40’s, and I thought he had some valid arguments.

At Lakota, the LEA has been successful at convincing the School Board and the Superintendent that teachers should be paid on average over 62K per year, which is what they are currently being paid at Lakota. In fact, Mike Taylor is quoted saying, “I don’t think teachers are paid enough.” Such superintendents have recklessly encouraged the extraordinary wage rates that are occurring at Lakota.

And the economic disaster that is being described which is hitting Lakota is caused by these same wages that are too high if it is considered that state money is not a factor and that the communities must fund the budget on their own. The superintendent of tomorrow will help keep wage cost in line to protect the communities they serve and still maintain great teachers for a good price.

The superintendent of tomorrow will reflect the community, and will build an administration that does the same, and not be lap dogs for powerful unions, that takes the union dues collected from each teacher and applies those funds to progressive political candidates that only exacerbate the situation further at the state level. When it’s said that our tax money stays local, it does not. Those union dues work in a way to support democratic and progressive candidates, and are only a cleaver way invented by organized labor to prop up the candidates they support. The money originally comes from the local tax payer that just wants to have the community schools teach their children.

When we find this superintendent of tomorrow, we can begin to solve some of the problems of today, but not until then.

Now for those of you that want more information check out this press release from from the Buckeye Institute. I’m not the only one saying this stuff. Feel free to check the link at the end of the press release.   Oh, and you YesLakota people, I’m for education too.  Keep it under our 160 million dollar budget and we’ll all get along.  But don’t ask the community to pay for your poor business understanding.  Go ahead, check the link below

Buckeye Institute News Alert
Where Transparency Is More Than A Slogan And Ideas Really Do Matter

PRESS RELEASE January 18, 2010

Contact: Matt Mayer,

2010 K-12 Teacher Salary and Estimated Pension Data added to Searchable Database along with Search Counter

COLUMBUS – The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions today released on its website the 2010 K-12 salary and estimated pension data for all Ohio public school teachers. Unlike the data collected for previous years, the 2010 data includes salary and pension information for many superintendents, principals, and other administrative staff members. The pension data includes each teacher’s salary based on a 2,080-hour year (40 hour work-week, 52 week year) so users can properly evaluate teacher pay, as most teachers are contractually limited to working 1,350 hours per year.

In 2010, approximately 1,800 school employees earned over $100,000 per year. Due to increasing staffing costs, Ohio’s 613 public school districts are expected to face a $7.6 billion funding deficit by 2015, with personnel expenses consuming 96 percent of tax revenues.

In the last election, citizens used the Teacher Salary Database to hold their school districts accountable for spending choices, citing that average teacher salaries had grown at rates that, in many cases, far outpaced inflation.

In addition to the new data, the website now contains a search counter which records the number of searches performed in the eight database tools (State Salary, Federal Salary, Higher Ed Salary, Teacher Salary, Local Salary, School Data, County Data, and State Lobbyists). Since the website’s launch on April 30, 2010, visitors from 473 Ohio cities, the 49 other states, and 119 foreign countries have spent over 20,000 hours conducting almost 1.5 million data searches.

Buckeye Institute President Matt A. Mayer stated: “With so many school districts under financial duress, it is now even more important than ever that taxpayers know how school districts are spending their money. Instead of cutting staff positions, sports, bussing, and other programs, most school districts could balance their budgets without raising taxes through cutting staff compensation packages by a small percentage.”

The Teacher Salary data tool is available at

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

The Lakota Busing Cuts: Going Forward in Reverse

Seeing miles and miles of backed up traffic the morning that Lakota’s busing cuts were implemented was like watching a world of sanity coming undone and going backwards into a time of primeval foolishness. Scott Sloan and Tracy Jones capture the lunacy wonderfully.

It was the day after the dreaded “B Day” busing cuts at Lakota when I discussed the aftermath on The Big One with Doc Thompson.

So what’s the next step? Without question, the school system is poised to put another levy issue on the ballot targeting the roughly 10% that are anti-tax but only moderately. Those people will have to decide if they will be steadfast, or buckle under the pressure extorted by the busing cut strategy, because it’s all about converting a few percentage points in voter turnout, into a “yes” vote.

Oh, and click here to get a taste of what Doc was talking about regarding college education.

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior