Over the last couple of days I have received dozens and dozens articles, comments from newspapers, video reports from news stations all over Ohio and Kentucky over this crazy school funding issue. Members of the Ohio Education Association seem baffled that voters are not interested in their rhetoric, as they have been in the past. People like me are not impressed with the silly stunts the OEA is trying to pull off with their 54 contracts signed this spring as S.B.5 goes into effect today, July 1st to attempt to appear that they are working with communities……..finally. With the unions, it’s all smoke and mirrors, as usual.
Unions don’t understand where the cost savings is in S.B.5, according to them. They don’t understand because those same OEA members believe they should be paid extraordinary amounts of money for teaching positions when new options such as electronic courses that could drive down the costs of education and are being resisted by the union. Now the OEA is trying to downplay S.B.5, as if they were nonchalant to the bill, even though they have aggressively gathered 700,000 signatures of their members and their families and friends to get the bill repealed.
Senator Bill Coley was on the Doc Thompson show on 700 WLW talking about some of the ways that school s can drive down their costs, and he also discusses how even with the 700,000 signatures the unions won’t be able to repeal the S.B.5 Bill, enabling unions to continue to drive up the cost of education in uncontrollable ways. Bill explains how Ohio is the first state in the nation to advance a program that will allow teachers to still make good money, but will also drive down the cost of education. But it’s competition that the teachers will have to deal with, and that’s why the union resists anything new.
A nasty email came to me the other day saying, “Mr. Hoffman, you won’t be happy till teachers are making 35K per year.” Let me say that people who think like that have gotten on my last nerve. They are fools who have played the system for years and brought all our budgets to the level they currently are. They have taken advantage of state and federal money that was passed out like candy on Halloween, and now that the governments are broke, schools and their unions believe that the budget gaps are supposed to be paid by tax payers.
Here’s the problem…….taxes are already too high. They always have been, but now that the money isn’t there from external sources, the local taxpayers are being asked to cover the difference; it is showing just how out of control the spending always has been. In schools, too much is when the budget exceeds your income. If you are losing state and federal money, then the school has to cut its costs to fit the budget. If the school has too many teachers and administrators that are making above 60K per year then it will have to dump some of those expensive employees to meet their budget. It’s pretty simple really. You don’t ask tax payers to cover the difference, because that difference is unrealistic.
I also hear quite a bit that schools are the pinnacle of a community, and that if tax payers don’t pay extraordinary amounts of money to public education then that somehow means the community doesn’t support it’s schools. This is nutty thinking by people who are grossly out of touch. Who says that money makes something good? Why can’t we have a great school at half the cost? And who says we need union labor to teach a kid to read? I’ve worked with union labor plenty of times and they always over exaggerate their importance. The typical union employee would make watching TV sound like they were making a sacrifice.
I don’t care if the labor is union or not, only if it is too expensive or correctly priced when it comes to an organization. I personally don’t want to pay money into a union because they have their roots in socialism and I don’t like socialism. But if a union wants to get together and play cards or whatever, they are free too. But they don’t have a right to collective-bargain for my money taken from my property. Whenever there are cost over runs, it’s most always because there isn’t any management controls.
I read the other day that Ben Dribble of the Lakota School Board mentioned that one of the requirements of a superintendent was to pass a levy………………………..what? So that is what a member of the school board believes? That costs just go up uncontrollably by some mysterious force and that taxes must therefore increase to meet those cost increases? People like Ben Dribble won’t know what to do with S.B.5 which actually gives school boards management control over their costs. So it may take some time for districts to find school board members that can actually manage costs, but eventually, these cost overruns will be dealt with.
Lakota like all schools must realize that even with the decrease in state and federal funding that property tax revenue will decline even further as more people move out of the district because of foreclosures or decreased property values once they go through property reassessment. Homes that were bought on the top of the housing bubble need to be devalued and should not be taxed at the higher rate. And when that happens, Lakota will lose even more tax revenue.
Apparently people like Ben Dribble and the OEA believe that it is feasible for property owners to cover the budget gap no matter how big that gap is. They believe that because they don’t understand the value of money, which is why the cost of education is so high to begin with. They are out of touch and are elements in education that need to be removed before any budget decisions can actually be discussed.
Thank goodness S.B.5 is now effective. Now let’s see if anybody has the guts to use it. Because the task of education is to get better than it is now, and also more effective without driving up the cost, anything less is not acceptable. The changes that are needed won’t happen without S.B.5 remaining intact, because it requires those changes to meet the new challenges presented. And so far, unions are standing in the way of that change and that makes them a detrimental force standing in the way of progress.