Lakota Lets Costs Control Them: Government schools do not control costs

As you are reading this at 8:00 PM on April 25th 2012, Monroe Local Schools is having a special meeting with their school board to ask the public what to do about their multimillion dollar operating deficit. For some unknown reason, the district seems to believe that their costs magically spring up from the ground like grass, and they pretend they didn’t plant the seeds. The school board like all school boards everywhere plays dumb as to what put them into their financial situation to begin with, which are their labor costs. Monroe desperately wants another operating levy from the public to solve their financial problems, but they don’t want to end up like their neighbors to the south—Lakota and look like a bunch of bumbling fools going to the public three times in two years only to be rejected handedly each time.

It was only yesterday that Superintendent Mantia at Lakota and her public relations staff–that charges $60 per hour to the tax payer–made the final announcement that after several school board meetings, the school board finally agreed to cut 141 jobs to offset a $9 million budget deficit eventually slashing $10.5 million for the next school year. After the Monday night meeting similar to Monroe’s, Mantia and her empire of looters put out the call to the media around town that the cause of the cuts to the Lakota school system was the result of several levy defeats in recent years.

Serious……………..that’s what she said!

It’s no wonder all these schools are broke, no matter how much money tax payers send their way. Superintendent Karen Mantia of the Lakota school system makes $165,000 a year with up to a quarter million dollars in total compensation and she can’t even identify what the real problem is in solving her budget. What she does know how to do is complain about how sad it is that these 141 jobs are going to be cut, and how much every person on the layoff list has contributed to Lakota and the students. “They have served in every school, some in every grade level, and they have taught across the spectrum in many subjects. They have combined years of experience and the loss of these people is regrettable.”

She continued to say, “By experience, we know that we will receive some resignations in the upcoming months. We do have a recall list. We will recall employees up to two years as job openings arise and after that they will go through the usual hiring process.” Listening to the superintendent go on and on about how sad it is to lose all these jobs, it is easy to see what the priorities of the school are, and that is to provide jobs to the employees of the school, and the school believes that if they somehow cannot provide jobs to teachers and administrators then they have failed.

That’s the only way to explain Superintendent Mantia’s complete lack of understanding of what her budget problems are. She specifically stated that the problems were “caused” by the failed school levies over the last couple of years. She did not acknowledge the fact that the “cause” of her budget problems were that Lakota had too many employees making too much money on the pay role. She also did not say that she could have kept all 141 positions if she could have asked the labor union at the LEA to take a 3% pay reduction to save their “brothers and sisters” jobs at Lakota. No—nobody suggested that—except me.

Instead the superintendent of Lakota and the school board continued to display that they have no idea why they have a budget problem. This is why they allow their budget costs to control them instead of doing what the rest of the world outside of government does and that’s control costs. Mantia sounded just as dazed and confused as Timothy Gietner did recently declaring that the Obama Administration would do nothing to get out in front of the coming Medicare/Social Security meltdown except raise taxes on the rich, as if it wasn’t the Obama Administration policies that caused the problem. Lakota schools and the rest of the school boards across Ohio are all guilty of the same kind evasion, they truly seem to believe that they did not cause their own problems by making public school jobs some of the most coveted positions available in the modern economy, because nowhere else can an employee work so little and be paid so much. All these public employees have a nice little scam going, as if they truly believe the solution to the world’s problems is to give everyone a government job and everything will solve itself. Gietner certainly believes such things, and his boss Barry Obama certainly does—and without question Superintendent Mantia of Lakota does. That is why she’s so sad to see all those jobs go, even though most of them should have been cut a year or two ago anyway.

I know one of the positions at Lakota that will be vacant soon is Keith Klein who interviewed today for an assistant superintendent position in another distirct. Klein is currently the principle at Lakota East. That’s good, because once Klein leaves Lakota will save an additional $110,000 per year in wages. Since enrollment will be down at Lakota in the coming years that means there will be many more employees like Keith Klein who occupy wages at the top of the pay scale will also be leaving to avoid the kind of things that are crawling around in the wake of good ol’ Keith. In fact, the layoffs that Mantia announced are just the start. Within a few years there will be a number of school buildings that will be empty as there just won’t be enough students to fill them, and thus—no need for the employees any longer. Lakota’s budget next year is set to be $154 million, and as enrollment demands drop off, and employees like Keith Klein continue to turn in their resignations saving the district millions with their departure, Lakota looks to have a promising future.

But school officials are having this activity happen to them by default because the communities have taken the steps of turning off the money to these bottomless pits of government school budgets. They didn’t come up with these management methods on their own, which is why Superintendent Mantia looks like she just got blasted out of a cannon, because everything that is happening to her goes against her training as a government school employee—which was to make good paying jobs off tax payer money. Suddenly the tax payers have said they’ve had enough, and no more money is coming, so the schools have to figure out how to solve their problems—like they should have always been doing.

Monroe schools hopes that they can avoid the fate of Lakota by dancing around the issue as long as they can. Hopefully for them–if they are lucky–they will see many of their top wage earners employed at their school retire or leave for another school system so that budget room will be freed up. This is how you balance a budget. If your revenue is limited, which at some point they all must be, then you ask employees to live within the budget with pay reductions, or you reduce the number of employees to meet your revenue. Throwing a fit like a small child is not acceptable, and spending even more money on public relations manipulation in an effort to make the public feel sorry for the management of the district is pathetic, and pretentious. Hopefully Monroe will learn something from Superintendent Mantia and not make fools of themselves with a lot of noise that essentially means nothing, because the voice of the public must be obeyed and not twisted maliciously as Lakota has attempted to do which divided the community in half politically. In the end the community will come to realize in Monroe what has been learned in Lakota, and that’s all government schools are microcosms of the macrocosm of government in general. And attempting to feed that monster is a worthless enterprise and the sooner people stop doing it, the sooner they can stop being eaten by a system that never stops being hungry and seeks to devour everything in their path on a mission to destroy private enterprise, private property, and enslave the whole world into more and more government.

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Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior


  1. you called it months ago–calling KK “mr future superintendent” who would go to any lengths to suppress or control a scandal. Very typical pattern, to run somewhere else when things get a bit too hot. amazing.


    1. You are welcome. Happy to do it. And after the way they came after me, I am more motivated than ever to put a light on every single thing they do, every hire they make, every scandle they attempt to sweep under the rug. They will have to live with the fact that EVERYTHING they do will be looked at closely and read by the thousands of readers who come here every day. We are doing here what the newspapers around town won’t do, and that’s hold their feet to the fire.


  2. wow…….even with the facts squarely in front of their face….he is rewarded. I’ll give Mantia credit, he was RUINED here in Lakota…..she’s managed to get rid of pretty much everyone involved in that mess……What other skeletons are in the closet? Who will be the new person to bury them?
    Yes Rich I agree, it appears that the “newly neutralized Rich Hoffman” has more influence than ever.


      1. Update on Monroe, they are going for a 1% tax increase. And Keithie was accepted by the West Clermont school district as an assistant superintendent last night with a 4-1 vote by the school board. The one vote against knew the information involved with that guy, but the other school board people elected not to listen.


  3. I you are not aware…..
    Shows number of graduating seniors in instate colleges that have to take remedial math or English.
    It is from 2009 so it must be worse now.
    Pickerington is terrible and rated excellent with distinction. Lakota not as bad but bad enough.
    The ratings are a joke. Should we be getting a rebate on our “education” “investment”?


    1. My wife has been teaching courses at night at a popular Technical and Community College for quite a while. She is shocked at the number of students that need remedial courses. Her anecdotal evidence says that it’s worse every year. I help grade her quizzes and tests and I can attest to the fact that I’d be appalled if you told me these were high school students…to think that this quality of work is being turned out by “college” students is truly scary.


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