Our school levy: Middletown OH Full text
It was interesting to read a letter in the Journal from Atrium CEO Douglas W. McNeill supporting the upcoming school tax. After reading his letter I was wondering this: if he ran his hospital as poorly as our School Board has run our schools would he still be working there? If the Atrium Hospital had met just 16% of the state’s standards for the year would he be bragging about how much they had improved?
We, as taxpayers, have only one way to register our discontent with the folks we have elected to run our schools; by denying them our tax dollars. The upcoming school tax levy has an interesting feature which no one who is supporting the measure ever mentions. If the levy passes you never get to vote on this money again! It becomes a permanent tax. Funny think about taxes, first they’re for an “emergency,” then they keep getting renewed and then we are told this is not a “new” tax. I guess the “emergency” from the mid-1990’s is still upon us.
Of course, you may think that our schools which have over the years fallen into “academic watch” and “continuous improvement” are acceptable and wish to show your support for the School Board by voting this money in perpetuity.
Before you head to the polls and get guilt tripped into voting for this levy “for the kids,” let’s look at some of the recent shenanigans our School Board and administration have pulled with our student’s best interest in mind. Then ask yourself, “Do we really want to relinquish control of our power over this money forever?”
- The last time we said “no” to school taxes former Superintendant Price made “cuts.” These cuts were not designed to save money but to punish parents for not doing what Price and the School Board wanted. Cutting bussing and shortening the school day saved very little money and hurt single parent families and poor the most. More money could have been saved by laying off excess administrators and paper pushers on Girard Street.
- When looking for a new Superintendant the Board spent close to $40,000 of your money in a secretive and futile search which yielded one viable candidate. Then instead of demanding a refund from the search firm and reopening the search, they accepted the last candidate standing as Superintendant by Default.
- In an effort to increase revenue the School board wasted hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars trying to grab land from the Franklin School District. This suit also cost Franklin Schools over $100,000.
- The man they later hired to be Superintendant said in a public meeting that if given the job he would be “up to speed” three or four months after his arrival.
- The board is now wasting untold thousands of dollars sending us information about this tax levy. If the School Board and administration were producing results would they wouldn’t need to cajole us for money. We would gladly support their requests.
- Let’s also remember the hundreds of thousands of dollars the last administration wasted on The Pacific Education Group, an organization with which Dr. Price denied any relationship. However according to parents in his new Missouri district he has claimed to be a “consultant,” for PEG.
I want to give our new Superintendant a chance so I have a suggestion. Let’s vote “no “on this levy. Our new Superintendant can show us what he is planning and his ideas for improving our schools between now and November. Then the Board could put the request for the money on the ballot as a renewable levy and we’ll let you know if we think you are “up to speed,” and worth the $18 million. Finally, a note to Superintendant Rasmussen, in a recent article you said you wanted to hear from “stakeholders.” I am not a stakeholder, I am a taxpayer. “Stakeholder” is a buzzword. Taxpayers are the people footing the bill.