A Child Hit by a Car at Lakota: The terrible cost of irresponsible busing cuts

Cherokee Elementary School Principal Paulette Grady confirmed in an email sent out to parents that the injuries sustained on a young female student hit by an SUV while riding her bicycle were not serious. However this is the second time in a year, and since the Lakota School System took away busing from parents as a way to extort more money to pass a future school levy, that accidents like this have happened. Here is what Grady stated:

“The safety of our Cherokee Cheetahs is our number one priority. Together, we can ensure their safety by frequently reminding our children, to walk, ride their bikes, or scooters directly home after school, always to look both ways before crossing the street, and to be mindful of their surroundings. Our diligence and daily safety reminders are very important. Our students do hear us. Even though we take every precaution, accidents do happen.

Yesterday, one of our students was struck by a car. This accident occurred as many parents were on their way to Cherokee to pick up their children. We have been advised that the injuries to this student were not serious. The Cherokee staff and parents came together to assist in any way they could.

I would like to thank all of our families for following our safety procedures at arrival and dismissal. Our Cherokee community is awesome in every way.”

You can read more from a West Chester Buzz article:  CLICK HERE

Well, ironically over a year ago when Lakota took the first radical steps in eliminating busing from parents and students I predicted that this very thing would happen, and I told my readers here exactly why. I even showed them on a graph how little money was really saved by cutting busing, and what the school was really protecting in making the move. When I did the below video I was the spokesman for No Lakota Levy which is a group I had started a year and a half earlier that had joined with another levy fighting group in the summer of 2010.

My friends in that group had different ideas about how to continue on with this levy fight as many of them were prominent members of the community and after the levy failure of 2011 they wanted to pull No Lakota Levy into a more charitable role in the district and help pay for sports fees from the programs that were also cut. As the spokesman I went along with it, because it sounded nice and the newspapers, television stations, and radio stations loved the feel good story of the community coming together. But it made me personally sick, because the real problem was the radical labor unions that pushed to cut busing to begin with, and pushed to implement sports fees not caring at all what impact it would have on the safety of the parents and students.

So No Lakota Levy and I parted ways since that video. They wish to take the more community active path, and I wished to take on the real problem which is contained in this story of the girl being hit by a car. The cause of the accident is the cuts in busing, the poor decision to put more parental vehicles on the road with children who are forced to ride their bicycles home from school because busing is no longer available—but it should be. The residents of Lakota have paid for the busing service with very high taxes on their properties presently, and it was the labor union that the management at Lakota feared more than the tax payers, so they cut busing to protect the wages of the school employees.

As shown in the video above, the budget at Lakota is a multimillion dollar budget, and 60% of that is provided by the community tax payers. The school board has been reckless in its belief that teachers should be paid 50K per year and 60K per year routinely and my position is that they are not worth half that amount of money formal degree or not. I have witnessed homeschooled kids from parents who do not have any formal education do a better job with their children because the passion is there to teach over the publicly educated child, so I see little if any value in a 60K a year teacher. The proper management method would be to push those expensive teachers out the door to some other district and hire a fresh teacher who costs half as much right out of college. That is how the budget could be balanced, sports fees could go away, and more importantly, students would have busing so they could avoid accidents like the one that recently happened.

My friends in No Lakota Levy didn’t like having the radical elements of the community call them names for not wanting to throw endless amounts of money at education to appease a radical labor union who threatens to strike with every labor contract—the next one is coming in 2014. The LEA has threatened to walk off the job for just increases in health insurance contributions, let alone actual salary, and it is because of their aggressiveness that they make so much money to begin with. My friends don’t mind fighting them, but they also wish to participate in charity events with the same villains to prove that they aren’t bad people—which they certainly are not. But they shouldn’t have to feel that way.

With the leverage in place to pull No Lakota Levy to the side of moderation, political insiders were dragging the whole group to the negotiating table to get everyone to shake hands—kiss and make up. I didn’t agree and I made sure everyone knew it. The belief from the levy advocates was that No Lakota Levy was a creation of my friends, so the belief was that if we were separated then I could be neutralized politically. The gamble from the school board was that pulling my friends in No Lakota Levy away from me would end No Lakota Levy, and stop my ability to get my message out. The school board has shown that they will go to great measures to perform all these manipulative tasks rather than play the same game against the teachers union, because they have chosen to support the union and protect the union from people like me. That is the choice of management, and is at the heart of the problem.

I am now working independent of the guys I joined together with in the summer of 2010. They as a group want far less than I do—they just don’t want to get pillaged for more taxes. I on the other hand think the only way to fix the problem is to push the radical labor union out of the negotiation process and that is a much tougher fight that few people have the stomachs for. This is why unions have been allowed to hurt the lives of children and parents for years at great expense—because they are willing to spill blood if need be to get what they want. The union has no problem with kids getting hurt, or families going bankrupt if they can’t pay their taxes, so long as they get paid their extraordinary wages for being glorified baby sitters. Sure they might send out a letter like the one that Principal Paulette Grady wrote after an accident showing regret, but the actions of the union speak volumes as to their real intentions.

I gave an interview last year to the Lakota East magazine Spark that Dean Hume put a lid on, so the public wouldn’t see it. I spent over 2 hours talking to a student reporter about these issues and I said pretty much the same thing then as I do now. When she asked me if I thought that teaching was an easy profession I replied that it was. I also said that I could handle four classes at the same time without difficulty—and I could. I would say that teaching is one of the easiest professions on the current job market. If the teacher has passion for the job, it’s even easier. It’s only a hard job if the teacher is a dim wit—if they are the kind of people who struggle to find the words to string together a paragraph let alone a 1 hour speech every day, which for me is not difficult at all. I could speak for 6 hours a day every day and never repeat the material, unless I needed to in order to articulate my point. So I know a bit about what I’m saying when I state that teachers are not worth an average salary of 60K per year—it may be the standard in the field, but that doesn’t make it right. The costs for the teaching profession have been arrived at artificially through market manipulation—extortion like what is seen with the busing cuts—and the government position of maintaining a monopoly. Public education has done everything in its power to harm competition, and that is why teachers cost so much money.

It is for these reasons that the responsibility for the child that was hit by a car is on the backs of the Lakota School Board because it was they who chose to cave in to union demands rather than attack the actual problem. Julie Shaffer would rather post statements about me on her Facebook account rather than attack with the same vigor the president of the teacher’s union for being 20X more radical than I have been—but she won’t because they are all on the same side of thinking—which is why they have budget problems! It is also why a kid was hit by a car—because the money that was given to the school board by the community was given to the school employees to satisfy their excessive wage demands instead of providing busing. It was their choice that caused the accident not just once, but now twice at that same school since the busing cut policy has been enacted. And instead of siding with me to attack the union, they chose to side with the union to attack me—which is why I’m no longer playing the nice guy with No Lakota Levy. It is time for a more aggressive approach…………………one the school board will not like at all.

Stay tuned…………………………….

Rich Hoffman



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