A couple of things occurred lately on the education front concerning my friend Kelly Kohls and the labor union interest centering on the contract being negotiated at Springboro schools. A labor supporter who writes me often passed along a letter he sent out to public education teachers encouraging them to work less, if districts are not going to pay wage increases. Not only did he name me in the letter but other education reformers in Southern Ohio as well who stand against tax increases.
I am very disappointed that Kelly is asking for a renewal levy. I would like to see her walking taxes backwards, not trying to maintain the current tax amount, which should be the goal of every governing body. I hope that voters will take this chance and vote down the renewal levy so that Kelly can then take that mandate from the community and further cut salaries in the Springboro schools system bringing down their per pupil costs.
As to the perception of value that the letter writer represents he forgets what I have told him privately many times, that I do not have a value for the teachers he’s advocating for. I would like to see competitive options to public education that would drive down the cost of education, and give families alternatives to left-leaning education practices. When labor unions declare that their teachers are the pillars of a community, the question that must be asked is for whose version of “community.” My version of community is far different from William Schmidt. He sees his treasured teachers as a value to children; I see them as parasites that rot the minds of creativity and puts chains upon their thoughts before they can hardly read a book. Test scores and social observation support my opinion. I would like to see public education dismantled and for parents to take responsibility for educating their own children with the saved money that roll-backs would provide them. If Kelly’s district of Springboro defeats their levy forcing the school board to make financial adjustments, the tax money saved by residents could be applied to a charter school that teaches something other than progressive education.
When Schmidt says below that nobody has come up with “creative” ways to fund education that is because the value of education is in question, not the dollars that should be found to pay for it. The type of education is the current problem. That must be solved before ways of funding it can be analyzed. In the most simplified form, teaching and the responsibility of education must shift back to the parents and away from government, particularly at the state and federal level. The collective summation of all a community’s children thrown into a big pot of stew while the parents run around doing whatever they feel like as community funded baby sitters take care of their offspring is not working. The parents get lazy because public teachers are raising their kids. Teachers get lazy at their jobs because there are no measurements of quality to keep their job. They get paid pretty much the same whether they are good or bad teachers because their collective bargaining agreement says so, an agreement that robs money from every home in a school district for a system that is a complete failure.
I’m including the letter Schmidt sent to me so that it can be seen how the other side thinks. I don’t think he’s a bad person, just as a lot of people on that side are not bad. But they believe that the wrong things are important. They hide their misconception about reality behind a shield of children. Regardless, I am disappointed that Kelly is putting a renewal levy on the ballot. That’s why she’s a school board member and I’m not. She still wants the system to work, and I don’t. I want it defunded, and re-invented with competition as the foundation. And that answers the second issue to Mr. Schmidt, it is not my job to find a way to raise the “community’s” kids, and pay for the labor of it with a government school. I support private tutors, and if people can’t afford that, then home school the children. Children are better off with a parent who has limited knowledge about the world, but a lot of love to give them than a teacher with a doctorate who makes too much money and is instructing children to vote for progressive causes ruining the mind of young people for the first 15 years of their life, till they wake up at age 35 and realize that all the leftist causes they believe in were the creations of their public schools. They spend the rest of their lives unlearning all the garbage they learned in K-12 education. It would save them a great deal of headache later to not learn those things at all and let a computer at home teach them the basics like math, English, science, then letting The History Channel teach them everything else. That would be much more effective than even the best public schools paid for with stolen property tax money.
Sent by William Schmidt:
During its meeting on June 19, the Springboro Community City Schools Board of Education (BOE) voted in favor of placing a $9.2 million renewal levy on the November ballot.
“We want to underscore that this is a renewal levy, and we are not asking for new money. As a result, taxes will not be raised for residents,” said Kelly Kohls, BOE President. “The renewal is necessary to continue to fund the academic programs that have helped our school district achieve an Excellent with Distinction rating. We are committed to operating the district within the budget that Springboro taxpayers have approved. With the renewal levy, the board believes the district will be sustainable until 2017.”
This renewal levy announcement comes while negotiations are in progress between the Springboro BOE and the Springboro Education Association (SEA), the union representing the teachers and support staff employees.
“The board and administration have worked diligently together to manage the budget,” Kohls added. “By applying fiscally prudent measures across the school district, we have been able to reinstate textbook purchasing, technology upgrades, bus replacements and facility improvements. We have also provided necessary intervention at the elementary grade level, as well as enhanced services for gifted children.”
For more information, visit www.springboro.org.
What I find interesting is that somewhere in Springboro’s past, this money that is suggested to be renewed was new money. Originally, why didn’t Springboro live within their means and and sustain their Excellence with Distinction without this money? I can’t find out when this levy (now needing renewal) was passed. But since then it seems that Springboro has needed these funds.
Now, however, Springboro seems to not need any new money. The logic is lost to me. It seems that as long as the labor force is willing to accept pay freezes and no step increases and many other concessions, the district can sustain itself without asking for new money. Why didn’t it do that before passing the levy (now needing renewal) in the past? Why does it need this renewal to fund academic programs to remain excellent?
The real fact is there is an assumption that the labor force will sustain their current efforts of sacrifice and working extra hours in the face of pay freezes and dwindling benefits. I contend that this assumption is what is truly not sustainable.
Once again, I call on the teachers of Lakota and now Springboro to stop working outside of the borders of their contract. Work a normal day and then use time that used to be devoted to school outside a 40 hour work week and seek employment elsewhere with that time or devote it more to their own families. Once a plan is in place to sustain the extra efforts that teachers have provided in the past, then they can go back to a more professional approach. School budgets can always be sustained without new money and levy passage as long as the increased burden is placed on the labor force. North Coast, No Lakota Levy, Educate Springboro, Sharon Poe, Arnie Engel, Rich Hoffman, Kelly Kohls and other like-minded groups and individuals have never looked into the future and tried to solve the issues of school funding. They have only used ideas, void of creativity, to find ways not to raise taxes, regardless of the burden they place on the labor force. Will any of these groups or people ever suggest that new money for schools be needed?
The fact that Springboro needed a new money levy some years ago and needs it renewed now seems to suggest that The Springboro School Board policies are not forward thinking. They need to consider if their current dealings with the teaching staff are truly sustainable. I think not.