Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Teacher Compensation

KJ made some excellent points in a recent comment that deserve to be repeated and amplified. He said:

The average teaching salary is approximately $62K. With benefits it's more like $90K. The average class size in Hilliard is around 20 (yes, I'm using round numbers for convenience).
The per pupil cost in Hilliard is $10,000. This includes specialized teachers, teachers, supplies, buildings and admin costs.So, simply speaking $90,000 for teacher salary divided by 20 students in each class equals about $4,500 of teaching salary per pupil. That's roughly 45% of the cost to educate a child in Hilliard. FORTY-FIVE percent!

I think when people read "90% of educational costs is in salaries" they take that to mean that 90% of the cost to educate students is in TEACHER salaries. Obviously, that is not the whole truth.

He is absolutely correct in this analysis.

While the student population of our district grew from 10,734 in 1997 to 14,851 in 2006 (an increase of 38%), the total employment of the District increased by 69%, or 1.8 times the rate of student growth.

However that growth is not due to the hiring of excessive numbers of classroom teachers. Indeed the student/teacher ratio has remained about 20:1 over the past decade, as I reported in an earlier article.

There is plenty of explaining to do about this disproportionate growth. Don't blame it on the teachers.

Thanks KJ


  1. KJ,

    Excellent post. This is very interesting information.

    May I pose a question? If this is the case, why is this issue not getting hammered at head on by the teacher's union? There is a huge gap in the numbers you shared in terms of % of money spent on classroom teachers and total $$ per student. This, in addition to the 1.8x increase in staff versus student growth sounds fishy. To me (and I have been involved in many of these discussions in the corporate world), this issue needs to be addressed. If the teachers union is so interested in fair compensation and good education, why are they not fighting against this apparent "fat" in the staffing. We have a term for this in the corporate world - deadwood. Until the Hilliard BOE or teachers union either gives a very good answer for this discrepancy, or puts some teeth into fixing it, I have no choice but to vote this levy down. Will it hurt the kids short-term? Unfortunately, yes. However, maybe it will benefit everyone long term (BOE, citizens, etc.) by forcing the district to take these issues seriously.

  2. KJ may have his own thoughts on this, but I'll answer you by saying that the members (but not necessarily the leadership) of the HEA most definitely take the position that there is too much administrative overhead.

    It is the School Board's responsibility to communicate this kind of information (ie details of administrative spending), but they just don't understand the role this kind of communication plays in building a healthy relationship with the community, who are both the owners and the customers of the school district.

    And truthfully, most members of the public don't care. They whine about costs and taxes and all that, then never lift a figure to do anything about it except to vote down levies. Most don't bother showing up even for that.

    Our School Board meets about twenty times per year. Please take the time to attend a few and speak your mind there instead of only at the polls.


  3. I understand the numbers that the 750 or so classroom teachers only account for 1/2 of the student cost quoted and has stayed at a consistent 20:1 ratio. However, it is my understanding that the HEA contract involves 1,200 staff members. What are the other staff members included? Does that mean the HEA contract actually covers closer to 70% of the total cost, albeit not all classroom teachers?

    The same questions are posed to the administrators, as their #s have stayed steady, however there are 300+ other folks on the payroll that are not covered by the HEA contract.

    I know these are the questions Paul has been challenging the District authorities to answer, and I also know it is not an argument to have in this forum. However, we shouldn't be misled to think only 45% of our costs are involved in the HEA contract.

  4. Mark:

    Quite true. The HEA represents more than just the classroom teachers. Here is the list from the HEA contract of job titles that DO NOT include "teacher":

    Reading Tutors
    Math Tutors
    Intervention Tutors
    Literacy Trainers
    Librarians/Media Specialist
    Guidance Counselors
    Speech Therapists
    Learning Disabled Tutors
    Occupational Therapists
    Student Assistance Coordinator
    School Psychologists
    Sports Medicine
    Athletic Trainer
    Head Librarian/Assistant Librarian
    Work Study Coordinators

    The following are excluded from the HEA:

    Assistant Superintendent
    Director of Business Affairs
    Director of Academic Assessment & Intervention
    Director of Gifted & Professional Development
    Director of Planning & Communication
    Director of Pupil Personnel Services
    Director of Elementary Curriculum
    Director of Secondary Curriculum
    Director of Human Resources
    High School Principal
    High School Assistant Principal
    Student Program Coordinator
    Student Services Coordinator
    Middle School Principal
    Middle School Assistant Principal
    Elementary Principals
    Elementary School Assistant Principal
    Special Education Coordinator
    Gifted Coordinator
    Technology Director
    Coordinator of Technology
    EMIS Coordinator
    School Community Relations Coordinator
    School-Business Community Partnership Coordinator
    Custodial Coordinator
    Maintenance Coordinator
    Transportation Coordinator
    Assistant Transportation Coordinator
    Administrative Assistant
    Human Resource Assistant
    Head Athletic Director
    Director of School Age Child Care
    Coordinator of School Age Child Care
    Administrator of School Age Child Care
    Members of OAPSE

  5. Mark, the 20:1 ratio (and subsequent $4,500 per pupil for instruction) INCLUDES ALL TEACHERS (Classroom teachers, special teachers, etc). So, it's even worse than you suggest.

    Believe me, I'm not into "fuzzy math". the numbers are as I stated. $4,500 per pupil for instruction of ANY kind. The rest of the cost(~$5,500) is made up of buildings (debt), supplies (which parents actually reimburse through fees), administration, administration benefits, staff, etc.

    As someone pointed out above... it is interesting, indeed, that only 45% of the cost to educate our children is in the instruction (teachers of all type) while "fat" makes up a majority of the remaining 55%.

  6. KJ:

    Let's be careful about characterizing all headcount other than teachers as 'fat.' For example, there are (as of 2006) 60 bus drivers, 92 custodians, 24 maintenance workers, 5 school bus mechanics, and 8 groundskeepers - all necessary functions. These folks are represented by OAPSE.

    And when you say 'teachers of all types' you need to include the Special Ed teachers, Vocational Ed teachers, and tutors. Adding them in takes the student/teacher ratio down to 16:1, a decrease from the 18:1 ten years ago.

    The disproportionate growth seems to be concentrated in two job categories:

    "Other Professional" from 9 FTE in 1997 to 73 FTE in 2006, an increase of 64, or 729% (the 2007 CAFR shows this category at 76 FTE, so it's still growing).

    "Planning/Curriculum" from 3 FTE to 39 in 2006, an increase of 36 or 1302% (48 FTE in the 2007 CAFR).

    Interestingly, neither the Treasurer (whose report these numbers came from), nor the HEA leadership knew what these jobs are when I asked.

    In terms of absolute headcount, the largest non-teacher growth has been in the category of "aides," which went from 39 in 1997 to 108 in 2006 (115 in 2007), an increase of 70, or 180%. The Student/Aid ratio went from 278:1 in 1997 to 137:1 in 2006.

    What are these "Aids" - does anyone know? They are listed as "Support Staff" along with Secretaries, Accounting and Personnel staff. Do they work primarily with the kids, or in the offices?


  7. Yes... hence the "quotes" for "fat". But I agree that generalizations are dangerous.

    Key point in all of this is 90% of cost in salaries DOES NOT equal cost of classroom teacher. Which I think is a critical clarification.

  8. Some excellent posts by KJ. But here again lies the problem of the electorate not trusting the communication by the board and administration.

    After all the posts and questions posed out and about, we have no updates from the admin. on admin costs.

    What is going to happen if the levy fails, is busing will be restricted, athletics wil be pay to play in the 3 to 400 hundred range
    I dont see a lot of personnel changes cut due to contracts.

    So the electorate will get hit hard
    and will either cave on the next levy or will dig their heels in

    Look at Olentangy,and Canal Winchester and Pickerington. All
    in trouble with levys up a bit less than ours.

    I think if they kept the raises
    very minimal people would buy in

    I noticed that a comment was made
    by the campaign committee that there was no organized opposition

    If the levy fails, and there are
    no adm cuts, and pay decreased
    There will be organized opposition
    How easy would that be. Door to door flyers. with, why no pay cuts
    and cuts in adm. personnel instead of cutting arts, music, athletics
    busing. No way joseeeee

    Great comments on this blog by the way. Congrats to Paul L for
    getting some good points going back and forth. Open, honest, and true feelings yet respectful. Why cant theHEA and the Board do this ?

  9. Thanks for your comments.

    Our community can work its way through this situation if communications remain truthful, open and respectful, and the parties have a real desire to find a workable compromise rather than complete victory. There are many stakeholders with varying concerns, and no solution will be perfect for everyone. So let's keep negotiating.

    Democracy is form of goverance which requires vigorous debate during the decision-making phase, acceptance of the decision once made, all-hands participation in the execution, and constant vigilance against corruption. It's hard work.

    The only thing that will kill democracy is apathy - and I fear ours is seriously wounded.


  10. What's the downside of this levy failing the first time? I assume they'll put it on the Nov ballot and if it passes then there will be no harm done and at least we'll send the symbolic message that we're not thrilled with this lame school administration.

  11. Steve:

    My understanding is that if the levy does not pass in March, the Administration will be required to prepare a budget for the 2008-2009 school year which assumes there will be no new sources of income. The Board has already stated that this will require trimming $4 million dollars.

    We can anticipate that they'll try to make these cuts have as little impact as possible, but $4 million is a lot. I imagine they'll try to avoid replacing folks who resign or retire. They might expand the walking areas (although this alone will have very little fiscal effect).

    They will certainly put the levy on the ballot again in November, with the primary goal being to secure enough funding to bring Bradley online. If it fails then, they'll try one more time in March.

    But if it doesn't pass by March 09, there will need to be $18 million in cuts in the 2009-2010 school year. I don't see how Bradley can be opened if it comes to that.

    Some say they want to vote this levy down to 'send a message to the Board.' I understand that sentiment.

    But it would a lot more useful if folks showed up at Board meetings and talked to the Board directly. While they're at it, show up at a few Hilliard City Council meetings and let them know how you feel.


  12. It sounds to me like there is a genuine interest by the community to not only be heard but also to finally organize a focused community-based movement to engage with the BOE. And I would hate to lose this "momomentum" from the levy/negotiations as we tend to grow quiet after these events occur until the next round begins.

    It also seems that this site is a great place to start such a "movement". Paul would be in the best place to answer how many people are actually on this blog or are signed up to his newsletter, but if there is a critical mass perhaps its time to organize in such a way that our collective voices can be heard and we, as a community, can become an active member of the school system once again.

    Obviously this means we need to have a common message, a common vision and mission, and a willingness to be ACTIVELY involved.

    I know I would support such an operation and would welcome the opportunity to be an engaged participant in the direction of our schools.

    I'm not trying to sign you up personally Paul, but your blog does serve as a central entity that could form the basis for such an organization. So, even if you aren't interested in leading, perhaps your site could be the catalyst for such an activity.


  13. Kj, a great idea, I think we all have some differences of opinion, but I think for the most part everyone has tried to be respectful. I would be interested in such a community group, independent of the same old, same old.

    We have a huge issue in that the status quo, both the city fathers, school board, adm, keep supporting the same people. So guess what, how would a less 'experienced" person with out all the political ties do any worse, and they would really look out for the individual
    taxpayer, not the developers and heavy money interests.

    If nothing as a group, tough questions would be asked not just of the teachers but the board as well. I will agree that the teachers have taken a hit in this latest go round, but the communication has been weak.

    Sooo what does everyone else think.

  14. KJ:

    In the past 90 days (the scope of my usage data), there have been 1,200 unique visitors to the blog, and a total of 2,500 visits. Unfortunately, what that means is about half of visitors only stop by once. About 25% visit once/week.

    The mailing list for my e-newsletter is about 120, but only about 60% open the email when it arrives.

    I'm excited to hear other folks say they want to help in my mission to get folks educated and involved, and would be proud to have my website serve as homebase. This particular blogging system even allows multiple contributors, so others could write articles.

    Sounds like a good next step is a face-to-face conversation. Interested folks, please send me an email


  15. "The average teaching salary is approximately $62K. With benefits it's more like $90K."--KJ

    That's not bad. 90K average total compensation for a job that includes: 14 weeks of time off every year, much larger salary increases than average workers, 100% paid health insurance for the whole family, and a generous lifetime pension in only 30 years?

    Is it possible that we have stumbled across a primary source of the levy fatigue that is a symptom of Ohio's school funding crisis(?)

    FYI: Average American worker makes about $38,000/yr, gets an increase of 2.9%, pays a couple hundred a month for health insurance, and will work 45 years for a retirement that is less than 1/2 of what the average teacher will recieve.

    It casts some doubt on the union's "underpaid teacher" argument, doesn't it?

  16. KH:

    While reasonable people can disagree about whether teacher compensation is too much, too little, or about right - the first step is to make sure everyone has accurate information.

    We're starting to get there.

    There is a growing dichotomy between private sector and public sector workers in our country. While private enterprise struggles to compete in a global economy - which primarily means competing in the global labor market against workers in Asia - the public sector continues with worker pay and compensation structures that are reflective of a time when America dominated world manufacturing. And as time goes on, the gap widens.

    The American taxpayer will take note of this at some point, and cease being willing to pay taxes to employee public workers performing functions that are not clearly necessary.

    By the way - none of this applies to the men and women in uniform. I have two nephews in the military - one Army and one Marine Corps. The one in the Army is a senior NCO in the medical corps and is now over there for his second tour. The Marine is the recipient of two Purple Hearts. His unit will likely redeploy to Iraq in 2008.

    His pay is about $20,000/yr, free housing in a barracks, and all the USMC chow he can eat. He doesn't contribute to his medical insurance either.


  17. I would say that the post on 2.9 is generous, of course that would include teachers increases. I would say the increase for most people would average less than 2% the medical about right. If you look at Holidays and vacation about 9 holidays. about 2.5 weeks of paid time off, vacation, sick, personaldays

    Please note that many have to workweekends, into the evening,
    and average easy 50 to 55 hours per week and many are into the 60's and they are not making 50,000 plus

    The teachers do deserve a very positive wage and benefit compensation level I believe.

    It is that neither side has the pr skills during a levey to not settle on medical contribution and 3% increases plus step raises

    I suggest freezing at zero level any step raises for the first two years of the contract

  18. Teachers are paid well. No doubt. BUT, to be fair, the MEDIAN salary (not including benefits) for 43026 is just above $70,000 (or $101,000 with benefits).

    The AVERAGE teacher's salary is $62,000. Not sure what the median value is, but I'm sure with the average experience level of our teachers at 12.5 it's pretty close to the average, maybe slightly lower if you look at the distribution of teacher's experience in the district (we have more young teachers than older teachers)

    In ZipCode 43026 72% of residents are considered "White Collar". Unemployment is right at 4%.

    I say all this to say that Hilliard is an affluent community. As a community, we do ok on our paychecks. We are a White Collar town. Our teachers are White Collar workers. 72% of us make right at or more than teacher's. So how is it we thrown stones? I realize SOME have hit some hard times (seniors, lower-income families)... but to try and sale Hilliard as this collection of struggling residents is a bit over the top.

    Teachers are fairly paid. Not underpaid as the union may have us believe, and in my opinion, not overpaid based on experience and level of education.

    My comments are not meant to be a Pro- or Anti- teacher stance. It's a reality break from all the whining that we in Hilliard are somehow underpaid residents forced to pay crazy teacher salaries. Not exactly a true representation of our community's demographics.

    We have to be careful when looking at AVERAGES or Statistical data... it can be misleading. But Hilliard residents do VERY well. Over 50% of our residents make over $71,000 a year. Those are the ones that work. When we look at averages and median values they include single-income households where only one member works (usually by choice). But what is the earning power of that household?? To be fair, we have to look at INDIVIDUAL earning power within our own economic area. Fortunately, Hilliard is not representative of the rest of the US. Our standard of living is much greater than the rest of our country.

    Like I said, this isn't PRO teacher as I think they are well paid.... but let's not put ridiculous arguments of how tough people in Hilliard have it. Please!

  19. KJ I hope you publish that 72,000 figure in the paper. I think you will find many would disagree

    So apparently we should just ante up
    and give the adm and teachers there continued free health care, Snow days
    Holidays, planning time, multiple weeks of vacation. etc. It should just be an open checkbook !

    You must be one that thinks the economy is rolling along, everyone has a great paying job, everyone has free health care, or as Ebeneezer Scrooge said, " Are there no prisons, no workhouses."

    Please forgive my as I worry about those poor underpaid teachers.
    My goodness, if we dont pay them what they want there are going to leave us. KJ Where are they going to go. Dublin perhaps,
    Olentangy Oh yes remember Olentangy is having trouble passing levys

    Please look at the raises that the teachers and adm have gotten the last 6 years. They are not poor
    Do they deserve a raise, yes.
    But they have done well with their

    Here are some averages I know from "regular people"

    Holidays 9
    Vacation 2
    3 personal days
    NO Snow days, 4 to 5 sick dayss that do not accumulate
    work 7 to 5 plus transportantion
    Average work week 50 to 55
    compensation 50 to 60
    No pension/ 25 cent match on 401
    195 PER MONTH
    2,000 DEDUCTIBLE
    does this compare with
    the average 12 year teacher.

    Yes this is what many have earned
    and it is there own responsibility
    But dont yelp the sympathy stuff
    for the school employees

    Here is the final nail in the
    board!!!!!!!! The HEA and the board and adm supported our current
    city fathers, our current state rep and state senator and the last governor.
    so guess what with no increase in state funding those groups bit the hand that could have helped. Another poster on this site has also pointed this out.

    So why blame the taxpayer when the schools have supported in the elections those same people who have cut our funding, cut taxes fro everyone else, and now the property taxes will go up

    The best reason to vote for the levy is that Bradley needs to open
    and it would be dumb to have an empty building, much better to alleviate the crowding, better education. However if this levy do es not pass, busing will be cut
    They wont buy some new equipment and books, there will be significant fee increases.
    I doubt seriously that the adm and the board will do the tough thing and try and freeze salary and benefits. Again, why did we give raises out this past year if we knew we were facing a 4m deficit
    this coming year without the levey

    But to totally ignore that our school systems are well paid, have
    super benefits, and that they could stand to have a slight increase
    and pay for some of their health care is ludicrus.
    I fear this levy will fail, as the whining that we have poor school employees who are going to lose their homes in way too funny

    Perhaps they all should have bought
    a 150,000 home instead of a 275,000
    plus one

  20. This is from the 2000 Census information for ZIP code 43026:

    Median family income: $70,430
    Average family income: $79,990
    Avg Male Income: $49,158
    Avg Female Income: $29,466

    ... I list the male/female income only to make the point that with these averages, nearly all households must have two incomes.

    Families below poverty level: 221

    Median Home Value: $143,700
    Average Home Value: $155,669

    There are pieces of other zip codes in the school district, and wide ranges in income and home values. But KJ's numbers are pretty good.


  21. I guess you don't read the first and last paragraphs of things you read.

    I believe I said many times that teachers are well paid. And I've said several times that teachers shold receive lower raises and should pay for healthcare as most of us do.

    However, my argument was that teacher salaries are not out of touch with what the rest of us in Hilliard enjoy.

    These numbers come straight from the latest census ... look them up.

    Like it or not, Hilliard (at least 43026 which is only about 40% of the school district I understand) is affluent.

    I don't think it's fair to say that teachers are being paid so far above the average person. It's simply not the case in Hilliard. Teacher salaries fall into the 50th percentile of Hiliard resident salaries. That seems fair to me.

    Granted if they increase at 8% a year while the rest of us grow at 4 or 4%, EVENTUALLY they will be paid more than the average Hilliard resident. But as of today, that simply isn't true.

    And yes, I do think the economy will be fine. The economy isn't shrinking... yet. It very well could... but to date only it's growth has slowed.

    Again... I'll put this right at the end so everyone can read it. TEACHERS ARE WELL PAID. NOT UNDERPAID AND NOT OVERPAID. The deal needs restuctured to ensure this remains the case. But as of today... teachers are paid right in the middle of a typical Hilliard resident THAT WORKS.

  22. Paul, a very good point. on two incomes. So what about 1 income
    households, sorry someone lost a spouse !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    So many people working two jobs to get to 70,000
    So if everyone is making 70,000 why are there so many foreclosures?

    Sorry I dont trust the govt figures, it is the same information agency giving us the inflation numbers each year. !! I suspect that for 2007 and 2008 the govt will tell us their is
    4% inflation !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Note to KJ Who is getting 4% raises? Many people I know get merit raises of perhaps 1 to 3
    STEP Raises.

    It is interesting I think that the same group making the 4% probably are the ones who dont want their spoiled kids, with new cars at 16
    associating with the rest of the dregs of hilliard.
    After all dont send my kid to a school with a minority or special
    needs kid!

    Lets just say that for safety sake
    that all the communication on the
    employee negotiations, the lack of money now if the levy does not pass
    was poor timing to say the least

    And again, if we do not pass the levy, and they have to cut the budget 4m. Why would you give out
    raises ahead of time to the adm, and why would you offer 3% raises
    PLUS the step raises basically knowing it was going to tick people off
    Someone please tell me why an employee with step raises gets over 7% per year and no health care

    I also dont buy the notion that if the levy passes that people will lose their homes. They will have to cut back even more, which is
    unfortunate. But the same people are allways tightening there belt
    and our school system is paying out
    raises that we dont have the money for.

    I want the levy to pass simply because of Bradley.
    However to paint the taxpayers as the villian when the HEA is whining about money and the adm has given out raises we cannot obviously afford makes one wonder.

    So if the levy fails, again, I doubt there will be personnel cuts
    You will see big increases in fees
    busing cut, perhaps some new equipment not purchased, older busess etc.

    Again, apparently everyone thinks the taxpayer should shut up and ante up whatever the board and
    teachers want otherwise we are selfish. I dont count myself amongst the group, but I fear that the group will say no

    Oh by the way, our great pr people
    keep telling us how open they are
    Asked a question two weeks ago
    Havent got an answer, but said they would get back to me.

    So why are you suprised people would vote no.

    the more I read all of the information, the more I think
    we have a huge I am entitled mentallity for the teachers and the schools and the adm. Hope we can get Bradley open. How about 1/2
    merit raises and 1/2 regular compensation raises. That would be more in line with the real world

    Finnally the wages may be close
    to the "average" but the benefits and time off are NOT

    We have also heard too much that
    the teachers are going to leave if we dont pay them. OH Well, does that mean there are no adequete
    replacements. In the real business world, people leave all the time
    and the business does not close up.

    Please do not preach how rich is everyone in this area. I dont think anyone is an expert on lost jobs, layoffs, business closings
    illness in families. But again
    everyone is making good money, everyone has 100% health care
    everyone has money just flowing
    everyone is makin 70,000

    Why is it so difficult JUST FOR once for the teachers and the adm
    to take small increase?

    If they were serious about not wanting the farm the negotiations would be settled.

  23. One important distinction in the census values is they are usually presented in 1999 dollars. Assume a modest 2% yearly increase on average, one would have to multiply these numbers by 1.2 to get 2008 dollars.

    That takes our median income up to about $91,000 BEFORE benefits.

    Point is... we are not poor. In fact less than 1% of our popuation live below the poverty level, while almost 80% live at or above an average teacher salary.

    Let's assume that BOTH adults in a family work as Hilliard teachers. There income (on average) would be about $120,000. 50% of Hilliard households make more than that per the 2000 census

    Again, just putting things in perspective.

  24. KJ Wow 80 % make more than the average teacher salary and we are making 90,000 ?


    So no reason for ANYONE to vote againstthis levy

    The levy should pass then easy with a 65 to 70% vote, as money is not an issue. People just hate the teachers.

    Stuff like this that comes from the school system, the employees and their families are why levys fail

    We need Bradley open heaven forbid if it gets out to everyone that they are very rich, 80% are making
    way more than the teachers.

    90,000 median income

    Apparently you must live in Ballentree with the rest of the

  25. I've never deleted a comment for objectionable content, but I came close on the last one.

    Please no personal attacks.


  26. Paul, I would totally agree with you if you deleted my comment. It was not intended as a personal attack
    but rather one of total amazement.

    It would appear that we are all much better off than we think we are.
    The economic situation is just a blip
    Gas prices will not rise anymore, our grocery bills will not increase and we all are getting huge raises.
    We have minimal health costs.
    I think there are a less than 80$ who make less than an average teacher salary of 62,000

    I truly believe that this is what many people whom I have talked to
    and have tried to talk to about the Bradley part of this levy are totally disgusted with. The attitude is everyone has the money,
    they have no reason to vote no.

    I know many people who have had
    pay cuts, lost jobs due to closings
    illness in there family. I do know
    seniors from my church who are struggling. To say that all of us
    are way better off than the average teacher is to be polite stretching it. One also assumes that there are two wage earners, who would then earn more than 62,00 This is
    a poor assumption.

    I apologize for an untintendedd

    Based on the folks that I know within our district, many would like to have the district medical plan, and over the last few years would have appreciated pay raises
    of 7% some years. I think it grates on people that, we need the levy, but we also have money big compensation increases.
    Again, I hope the levy passes due to the situation with overcrowding
    and opening Bradley on time.
    But this defense of people who are
    have great job security, do not have to deal with merit raises,
    have great medical coverage, and
    have a lot of time off, comes off
    as entitled and arrogant. Sorry
    to have caused such a contreversy
    thank you

  27. I'm not making these numbers up. Sorry if you don't like them, but they are available for your consumption by looking up the 2000 census.

    Type that into ANY search engine and you will see the data to which I speak.

    I was surpised myself. But truth is truth.

    A good leader can separate opinion from facts. And in this case, I have spoken far more to the facts than my opinions. In fact, during most of these discussions, the FACTS that I've looked up are in direct conflict with what I THOUGHT my opinion was.

    Teachers are WELL paid. I didn't know that a month ago.

    Hilliard is VERY well to-do. I didn't know that a month ago either.

    It seems teachers make more on average than I thought... but so do Hilliard residents.

    My point of the past few posts has not been that teachers deserve more, in fact, show me ANYWHERE that I have said that. But my last posts have been to point out that, per capita, teachers are paid just about in the middle. Kind of where I would expect.

    What's funny, is you have NO IDEA that I am voting to pay $1000 more a year, while also "campaigning" against my own spouse. I'm willing to say that my spouse (as my spouse agrees) should not receive more than 3% raises ever! And in some cases, like now, perhaps less. If that makes me an "elitist" or whatever it was you called me, then we have a very different definition of that word.

    I am PRO levy. Period. Not for any reason other than our schools need the levy. We can debate what to do to control costs in the future, and we all have some good ideas, but the facts remain that as of today, the money is needed to hire new teachers for Bradley and to pay for its operations.

    We can't change that fact. But if you, like me, want to make sure accountbility in the future is maintained... then join us in a grass-roots effort to make change.

  28. Paul, thanks for the 2000 census information (below):

    "This is from the 2000 Census information for ZIP code 43026:

    Median family income: $70,430
    Average family income: $79,990
    Avg Male Income: $49,158
    Avg Female Income: $29,466"

    My confusion comes from the difference between "Family Income" and "Male/Female Income"

    It seems that the $70,000 figure KJ started comparing to is "family income" not "individual income"(?) Is that correct?

    This may sound unimportant, but if correct, this actually means the average individual teacher ($62,000) makes significantly more than the "Average Male" ($49,158)or "Average Female" ($29,466)Hilliard resident (even if I inflate the numbers to 2008).

    Is that possible, or am I misreading the data?

  29. KH:

    Yes, I think KJ is using family, or household income. That's the reason I included male/female income, because it takes the sum of these two to get to the average family income.

    And yes, the average teacher salary in Hilliard is slightly higher than the average male salary and more than double the average female salary - although I have not tried to do any inflation adjustment in this comparison. But true inflation has been pretty low this decade, that adjustment would be small.

    It bring up another conversation that we eventually need to have: It is my understanding that nearly 50% of all new teachers leave the profession in the first five years.

    Now there can be lots of reasons for this. For example a woman I've known since she was a little girl stopped teaching to stay at home when they had their first child. A couple of relatives quit the profession because they never got comfortable in the classroom, especially with the challenge of controlling classroom behavior (the kids just smell fear).

    But some quit because the pay for junior teachers just isn't enough - especially when the new teacher is the primary breadwinner for the family.

    In the private sector, pay and length of service aren't bound so tightly as they are in teacher contracts. Pay is merit based, and a young person who really delivers will often make more than older folks with more service.

    The whole merit pay notion is mightily opposed by the teachers' unions, but the strongest voices against the idea are also the most senior teachers who benefit most from the seniority system.

    I don't have a solution. The problem with merit pay is it's tough to figure out how to measure teacher performance. You can't use test scores because the test performance of any particular classroom of kids is probably dependent more on the the teachers the kids had in prior years than the current teacher.

    But there must be something. I think many of us could qualitatively divide the population of teachers into "good" and "bad" with sufficient observation, but don't know how to do it in an quantitative manner that all would agree to.

    The real shame is when you have a senior teacher who has retired on the job yet getting paid a ton. I think/hope this is a small minority of all teachers, but if you get rid of them, it frees up money that can be used to keep the young potential stars in the profession.


  30. Paul, some great points about beginning level compensation and also about the merit pay "dilemma. Anon. asked a good clarification question in that the median total includes
    two incomes. So if we look at 70,000
    dollars, and compare that with 62 X
    2 there is a significant gap. Also the two household earner I would
    believe would have significant medical costs. With the current system in place for the school employees, that is another significant gap addition that it would appear is not being taken into consideration at all.

    In my particular case, I hit that
    male target no. 49K but there is only myself with a 3 person household. I believe a poster here said that was by choice. I think that is a broad generalization
    and is not the case here. I would have preferred that my spouse was
    still here. Also the medical costs
    are very high and the contribution
    has increased every year for at least the last 6 years to my recollection. So I certainly do not fit the 90,000 income range, and I am not rich, but comfortable because I have saved accordingly.
    I also do not receive the time off
    that the employees receive. If I dont come in when it snows, you do not get paid. I also have paid
    to upgrade my computer skills.
    I do get vacation 2 weeks, 4 sick days, 2 personal days.

    I do believe that most households
    make 70,000 actually but that is with two wage earners, and the medical costs.

    If the average teacher makes
    62K plus spouse, limited medical cost that you cannot compare to the average family, and raises in the past contract and future contract
    that will be in the 7% range,
    that also compares very favorably
    against the merit raise average
    of 2 to 3 % However the merit raise is offset by increases in medical costs. The school employees and adm have not had to worry about that offset.

    I know there are some very affluent areas in the Hilliard City Schools area. But equally at least there are other areas that are in much lower economic demographics

    It would appear that it depends on what economic bracket you are in
    to think that everyone in the area
    is rich. I do not think it is a good idea to get the issue 26 passed to start telling everyone how rich they are when they are not

    If nothing else, at least for now
    we might not need issue passed for a little while longer, as it has
    been pointed out that 4m out of the budget would have to be cut. By
    reducing the raises in half and
    having an 8% contribution on the
    medical contribution you could save the the 4 mil. right there as the board has allready stated that all
    of the money is allready allocated
    for 3 % raises, plus step raises,

    Why not eliminate the step raise
    for 2 years, and give the employees
    about 1.75% After all in the past 5 years they have received generous compensation increases.
    I think that was ok, given the situation, but now that things are tighter in the economy, and we will also be facing other tax increases
    via ballot, city fees increases
    possible income tax increases
    locally that this would be a good
    way to start.

    This has been an interesting forum
    to view.

  31. I've never really thought about it until we got this thread going, but when the mother in a traditional nuclear family is a teacher, it provides a powerful underpinning to the family. Certainly there are moms in our community who are doctors and lawyers and such, and make a great income - often more than the dad (and I have no problem with that).

    Moms who are teachers make, on average, much more than other moms, have great benefits, and the working hours are very compatible with raising a family.

    It's a good gig for a mom. And I think that's a good thing for the whole family.

    And let me reiterate once more for the record - I have no problem with paying good teachers well. Blessings on those who walk into a classroom every day and just put up with our kids, much less try to put knowledge in their heads day in and day out.

    My issue has always been about open communications and truthtelling...

    ...And also public apathy.

  32. Zip code 43026 may be very affluent however, that does not make up the entire district.

    Zip code 43328 median was approx
    59,00owith 2 wage earners. Plus health costs. Health family premium is about 195.oo so almost 2400 alone
    in payouts And you have to add in
    deductible and copays.

    Taking out single parents by choice
    a widow with two children is at a significant disparity with the school employee based on the numbers

  33. Right you are, but the school district also includes parts of 43016 (average Household Income = $94,888) and 43221 ($101,752). I think the demographics of 43026 are right in the middle and a reasonable proxy for the whole district.

    Anyone know where to find census data by school district?

  34. Paul, thanks for the update on the other two zip codes. I would agree that the 70,000 figure is pretty accurate for the two incomes.

    But as the one poster noted, people are just whining about not wanting to pay.

    I would just say that while the district increases for pay should increase. the idea of a strike over
    3% raises, plus step raises, and
    having benefitted from minimal healthcare costs, will cause some
    people to wonder if it is about the kids, or about the income. After all the kids are not going to go
    on strike. The schools have benefited in the past from very generous increases. It should not go backward, I do not believe anyone is for that. However, those families with teachers have a huge advantage besides the salary in
    benefits, medical, vacation etc.
    They also save on childrens
    child care, as they do not have to
    pay a child care provider 50 weeks a year.

  35. I would just say that while the district increases for pay should increase. the idea of a strike over 3% raises, plus step raises, and having benefitted from minimal healthcare costs, will cause some people to wonder if it is about the kids, or about the income.

    Exactly the point I made in this post

  36. I too think this has been a very interesting forum. At the risk of being called an "isolationist", I wanted to point out that I have been against large increases for teaches. 7.95% is very high, and should be reduced to a more reasonable percentage.

    I also have said I don't think there will be a strike. The BOE wants to wait until after the levy (not a bad move as I've previously stated). It's a negotiation, so both sides will "posture".

    One thing I think Paul has tried to do is to present the facts without bias. And I appreciate that very much. It seems most of us, as much as we don't want to admit it, come with SOME bias. Either as a taxpayer not willing/able to pay more taxes, a parent (such as I) who wants the schools to be superior, a teacher who wants a known liability versus an unknown, or even as a spouse or friend of a teacher (as I am as well).

    My attempt was never to say that we are all rich and without worry. But at the same time, I think facts are required to adequately assess a situation. Hilliard is affluent. Never said we didn't have people with issues. In fact, I believe I discussed seniors and low-income families in a post above. My point is that a lot was written and a tone was being taken that teachers were somehow stealing all of the treasure while the rest of us serfs were left with the scraps. Simply not true. We, as a community, do very well. Teachers, on average, do very well. Nothing wrong with that, ya know?

    Now, times are getting tougher, I admit. And I honestly can't pay an additional $1000 every 3 years. At some point, it will grow to be too much. But, I still have a responsibility to look at this situation before us and make the BEST decision. It isn't the perfect decision, it isn't one that I would want to make, but I'm faced with a choice to either pass this levy or vote it down and therefore leave an empty High School on Walker Road.

    Anyway, for those that think I'm an "elitist" I'm sorry you feel that way. I agree with many of you that something has to be done. But I'm afraid that "something" will have to come after this levy is passed. Whether it is passed now or in November, it must be passed.

    Teachers and the BOE will come to an agreement on all of this. It's sad that negotiations became the central theme of the levy campaign. And to Paul's point, they can't be completely exclusive of one another. But at the same time, we can't allow us to pick sides for the BOE or the teachers and have that influence our vote on March 4. That's been my concern all along. I only got involved in all this after the administration sent all of us, what has now been proven to have been false, email related to teachers telling the BOE they would not be working outside the contract and would not "volunteer" hours. I found it completely insulting and I didn't like being used as a pawn in the administrations negotiation with the teachers. Likewise, I don't really appreciate the teacher's union threatening to "work to contract".

    Anyway, as I've admitted previously, I am a spouse of a teacher. Fortunately, we share views on what is best for the district. And that includes a reduced rate of salary increases, payment of premiums for medical, and fiscal responsibility by the district. There is a LOT of waste that goes on that would amaze you.

    Point is.... I hope that I am able to look at this situation as a parent and a taxpayer... not as a spouse of a teacher. And if you look back at my posts, none have been PRO teacher. They have ALL been pro-levy.

    How many of us are on here complaining about our own situation and how many are willing to look at the issue as it exists. What's the RIGHT thing to do? Even if it hurts a little?

    Also, how many of us have emailed Paul to participate in actions for change? Based on the interest and strong opinions, I assume we are collecting a pretty significant number of people who will join in this grass-roots effort. We've had a lot of ideas and opinions shared. Should make for a good foundation to move forward.

    How many people do we have signed up Paul?

  37. KJ: Counting you and me...

    ... three

  38. Re: How many of us are just complaining about our own situation
    Do the right thing
    Even if it hurts a little bit

    I agree. We can all do more

    Obviously this does not apply to the HEA leadership or the Board.

    The board and HEA can settle this
    today. Both sides are getting off
    scott free. With the HEA they are working off the old contract which means depending on how you look at it continued minimal cost for health care. 3% plus step raises
    I keep hearing about making a sacrifice, and I will, when is the
    HEA going to make one. With what has been proposed they will get similar raises, but the health care
    contribution kicks in. 6 to 8% is not that tough. The board gets off easy by saying it is for the kids. They are still offering significant increases. These are the real numbers. So I dont mind
    sacrificing, if the school district and their employees will. While Bradley needs to open, and it should, the forgotten deal here
    is that the school district is handing out 7% raises again.
    I can cut the 4m out very easy and still give the employees a raise

    When the levy passes and people find out these outrageous raises were given out and we were supposedly going to be down 25 mil
    plus at somepoint, how fast can you say NEVER AGAIN but we are all rich and we can afford it. We will continue to pay increases in our taxes for pay raises that are
    exhorbentent. KJ if you say the teachers are willing to take less
    than why arent they ? Why dont they communicate to every household
    and say we will take as an example
    a 8% contrib. to our health care
    and a 2.5 % raise each year with no step increases until things settle down. Still get raises, still have a great deal on health care.
    But we have not heard that and I expect we will not.
    Hope the weather is good enough to get to the PTO meeting tommorrow.

  39. KJ
    You have made some good comments, and you have been very up front about the fact that your spouse is a teacher, so you have a vested interest that most of us do not have. We appreciate your honesty and thoughtfullness in this discussion.

    At the same time, you've made a few comparisons between Hilliard teachers' pay and Hilliard residents' pay that deserve your review, to make sure they correctly portray the census data you cited.

    I'm quite certain that any misstatement was not intentional, but "truth is truth", and you may want to set the record straight.

  40. KH:

    Here's a link to a good source of census data. It says the median family income is $70,430 and the average family income is $79,990. You might not agree with KJ's inflation adjustment, but his raw data is correct.

    Recalling our statistics, median means half the observations are less and half are more. In the set [1,3,4,5,9,20,44], the median is 5.
    Average is the sum of the observations divided by the number of observations. For this same set, the average would be (1+3+4+5+9+20+44/7) or about 12.3.

    When the average is greater than the median, it indicates that the set is 'top-loaded,' meaning there aren't so many observations on the high end, but they are way above the average.

    Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren makes the point that middle class families are making a lot of income, yet are more in debt and more dependent on two incomes than ever before. In fact, she goes on to say that the primary cause of this situation is that families have to spend a pile of money to get into, and stay in, good school systems.

    We're seeing this come to roost in Hilliard. Thousands and thousands of families moved here because of the schools, and that has directly caused the funding stress we now feel.

    It didn't help that Mayor Schonhardt and Mayor Coleman let it happen - maybe even helped it happen. No one came out ahead with this mass migration except the homebuilders (which also drew in - as cheap labor - many of the immigrant families whose children are placing additional strain on our schools). I certainly don't feel sorry for the homebuilders now.

  41. Thanks anon....

    Paul beat me to my justification of data. But the facts are that 50% of us make more than the average teacher salary.

  42. To the other anon...

    Honestly, I can't speak to why the HEA hasn't gone house to house. But, the HEA has stated that medical premiums are a sticking point, as are non-financial issues (mainly things like no-reprisal wording). Both have been highlighted in recent articles.

    In fairness, teachers know they are going to pay premiums, and they are ok with it. It's really that their is a blind liability in paying a percentage. Granted, I did get an opportunity to negotiate these things, but I'm also not apart of a collective bargaining unit. Collective Bargaining does offer the opportunity to participate in the construction of a contract. (I personally hate unions, always have).

    Anyway, the Board and HEA are only nanometers apart in what they want. But I'm convinced the board wants to wait until after the levy to make any counter offers. By the way, as of today the board has made no concessions in their original contract, HEA has. (just a fact, not a political statement).

    HEA wants a "cap" on the amount of premiums to be paid. Instead of paying 8% of an unknown quantity, they would like to cap it for lower paid teachers so that their premiums don't actually create a pay cut. Teachers have offered this and a 2% raise (not sure about steps, I'm really not that involved).

    If the Board would offer that cap, where a low-paying teacher's liability would not exceed that year's increase, the HEA would sign, in my opinion.

    Anyway, that should answer your question aa to HEA's willingness to take less. According to information I've read (newspapers and HEA news releases) it's not the idea of paying medical premiums, its the issue of signing up for an unknown amount in the future.

    I'll give the Board credit for sticking to their guns, but with the posturing on both sides... the levy is taking a MAJOR hit. That's why I'm hopeful everyone can see through the smoke and reallize, like it or not, more money is required to open Bradley. Even if the teachers take a modest 2% raise (no step) and pay 8% premiums, without this levy, Bradley can not be adequately staffed to open.

    Paul has some numbers on that and can probably give a better summary of Bradley's fate without a levy passage.

  43. KJ:

    If you can, check the actual language of what the HEA wants relative to health insurance premiums. If it's the same general language as the current contract, it's not really a cap. In fact, it's the opposite of a cap.

    In the current agreement, the HEA members pay nothing until the premium reaches a certain amount, then they pay half of the excess. So the current scheme is open-ended, but if the floor is set high enough, they pay nothing at all. This is very different than saying they'll pay 8% up to a maximum.

    It would be a lot easier if the HEA just told us what they wanted instead of hiding it. I recognize that the contract has a confidentiality provision, but how about a little common sense?


  44. Well, I believe the negotiation position is that no premium should be paid this year because the total premium cost does not exceed to "cap" of the current contract. So, in that, you are correct.

    However, as I understand it, the new contract will require HEA members to pay a percentage of the total premium. With no "cap". The HEA wants a similar monetary cap placed on the premium liability to avoid the premium actually exceeding the value of a raise. Basically, the worst case would be a wash (raise equals premium increase). This impacts lower earning teachers more so than the "average" teacher. An average teacher or above would likely have raises in excess of premium increases and would receive no cap. However, a younger teacher making, say $40K, may have a cap placed on the liability of premiums.

    Again, this is what I know. perhaps it's not fair to place a cap for lower earning teachers, as we don't have that luxury. I'll let the public decide. I'm just telling you what the sticking points are.

    Like I've said... I think the ultimate solution will be a TOTAL annual raise between 2 and 3% with teachers paying a percentage of premiums with a monetary cap.

    I'd be cool with that. And I think most would be. Problem is that none of this will be settled before the levy vote. By design of the BOE.

  45. Maybe this is semantics, but the current contract has no cap. It has instead a floor below which the HEA members pay nothing, and share 50% of anything over. In other words, the current scheme gives the teachers unlimited liability, but the practical application is that by negotiating the floor high enough, they pay nothing.

    The new proposal from the Board, as I understand it, is that the HEA members would pay a percentage from the first to the last dollar.

    Is the HEA's counteroffer that they want a no-pay floor like the current agreement, or a max-pay cap on the first-dollar percentage approach?


  46. My understanding is that they want a max-pay cap on the first-dollar percentage approach.

    From everything I hear, paying premiums is not an issue. I think the fact that the BOE couldn't get anyone to bid on a healthcare plan this year, resulting in a very bad copay plan and prescription plan (far worse than even I have and mine suck) with the addition of an unknow liability is the sticking point.

    If a cap is offered, then I think everything will work out fine. Like I said, the two sides are not very far apart. I just believe the BOE wants to wait until after the levy vote. At first I thought because they didn't want public scrutiny prior to the vote. But their mishandled email to the community kind of blew that up in their face.

  47. KJ:

    Thanks for the clarification.

    I too was stunned to hear that they got a no-bid on their Request For Proposal this year. But I would not necessarily hang this entirely on the Board or the Administration.

    It seems quite implausible to me that the Board would put the employees through the drill of changing carriers every year without asking the HEA and OAPSE if they were okay with it. Otherwise you'd think you hear the HEA screaming about being jerked around.

    My guess is that all parties thought they were being shrewd by changing carriers every year, but they were really being naive.

    No business wants to feel it's competing on price all the time - you'd like to think that good service earns you a little loyalty.

    Of course, prices are a big factor in the buyer's value decision (and in the seller's as well), but most enterprises I've been around would rather have a long-term trusting relationship where each party gets a little less financially but isn't dealing with the hassle of changing dance partners all the time.

    So the current carrier is giving us a little spanking - sending a message as it were. My guess is that if we showed some contrition, and told them we would sign a three year agreement, they might back off a little.

    This is another symptom of a big enterprise being run by amateurs, and why we need one or two more experienced large-enterprise business executives on the Board (in addition to Dave Lundregan). There's plenty of them out there in our community, but they need to step up to the plate.

    I'm very envious of Olentangy having Dimon McPherson, the former CEO of Nationwide Insurance, on their Board. It was a great act of community service for him to run (and he came back after a battle with cancer), and wise for the community to put him in the seat.


  48. I'd run... but I'm not allowed. lol

    Seriously, I would like to see some better candidates. In addition to good business managers/leaders, I wonder if it would be good to have a retired ( or former) teacher, a retired (or former) school administrator on board as well. That way all the parties can be represented and a full 360 view can be enjoyed.

    Does that make sense or am I too idealistic?

  49. I think the views of the education profession should be represented by the Superintendent, but I have no objection to there being an education professional on the Board as well.

    But I do have a problem with the Board 'bonding' with the Administration to the extent that the Board forgets it is representing the people of the community.

    This is what happened to many corporate boards during the crazy days of the dot-com boom. The boards and the management were conspiring against the best interests of the shareholders. From that we got Enron, Worldcom, Adelphia, Tyco, et al.


  50. A retired teacher and adm. on the board. ????????????????????????

    Then we will be graning 10% raises
    and company cars will be handed out.

    How about just a everyday taxpayer
    who understands the budgeting process
    Who understands basic common sense
    Not someone who has a whole list of actitivies who in turn have way too close ties to the adm and the board
    and the employees

    Who on the board right now, really represents the individual normal everyday taxpayer.
    It takes big dollars to get elected

    The teacher compensation package cannot be moved away from the levy passage. After all right now
    the employees are working under the old contract with very generous raises and health care benefits.
    But we face a 4m deficit and we are still handing out generous compensation. What has been received in the past is just fine, it was negotiated in good faith.
    Why wont anyone agree to draw the line in the sand.

    So because I am so wealthy, I get to ante up again for 475 plus in 3 years again probably at least that amount. So probably $1,000 easy
    plus they will increase fees again
    each year.

    Why the HEA is being unreasonable about the health care issue when they are getting premium raises
    is beyond comprehension.
    Try paying 190 a month, every month
    plus deductibles and co pays

    Forgot, it is not a burden

  51. Do you read any of the posts anon or do you just see what you want to see?

    Anyway, I'm not sure the board's only function is fiscal responsibility. It's a primary function, but the board also engages in operational and policy-making aspects of the district. These include the vision of the school district, the curriculum, and other non-fiscal issues facing our schools.

    My thoughts of having a diversified Board was more along the lines of the Board meeting ALL of it's requirements. Not just fiscal.

    And your assumption that a former teacher or administrator would be a "lobbyist" for "their" people is unfounded. A good leadership team will (and should) solicit input from all angles to best prepare them for making tough decisions in-line with their charter (i.e., the State BOE, the student, and the taxpayer).

    You've really got to get off the angry-train and see that this issue is not going to be fixed with a reasonable HEA contract. It helps, but the increase in funding required is also driven by growth and driven by the ever-shrinking contribution of the state.

    Yes, I will say it again.. The HEA Should (and will) pay premiums and they will accept a lower raise No one has said they wouldn't, but you continue on that train. Can you at least put that aside for a moment, and realize that even WITH a zero percent increase, and 8% premium payments, a levy will still be necessary to open Bradley. And guess what? As the district continues to grow, as we all know it will, more schools and teachers will be needed. What then? Another levy.

    So even if we fix current salaries and never ever give a raise, school funding will continue to increase beyond a reasonable level in Hilliard Ohio.

    If you think voting no on this levy will somehow stop the issue, you are so badly mistaken. Teachers will ultimately take the reduced raises and they will pay the market-standard for medical. I don't worry about that. Nor has any evidence been presented to the contrary since this whole blog topic started. But you just say the same things over and over. We got it. Now, how do we keep from having another levy in 3 years? or 3 years after that? It won't be the HEA's fault then. Who do we hate-on in three years?

  52. anon... do you know the current careers and affiliations of the current Board? If you did, you probably wouldn't have asked the question "Who on the board right now represents the common tax payer?". I know at least 2 are nurses, and I believe the other is another worked as a Bank official.

    I'm sure Paul can give us a list. But the "well connected" have been off the board for a few years now. We have some pretty "common" folks on our board right now.

  53. There is a good profile of each Board member on the District's website.

    These are all good, dedicated community servants - I've worked side-by-side with every one of them on school and community projects.

    The skill that was missing is large enterprise executive management, and newest member Dave Lundregan, who is an Senior VP at Keybank, now fills that gap. We've needed someone like him on the Board for a long time.

  54. In the best interest of the levy and getting on with it

    I hope the levy passes simply because of the need to get Bradley open

    Your economic comments though has struck a nerve and you obviously have never suffered an economic set bac
    Everyone here isnot making 100+ you seem to think they are. Your comments that everyone is making more than the average teacher
    is insulting when in fact they are not. It takes two households to get to that 70gr figure not one

    Some of us have no spouse to fall back on, they are gone, we still have kids to raise and take care of
    We dont make what you and your spouse do. But the fact is the school employees are making good money have great benefitss but yet there are protests at school, and
    the seniors are worried about graduation from comments made by
    STAFF, not the board, STAFF

    If it is for the kids, why should seniors who have worked hard, who want to graduate, get honored at there ceremony be worried about
    a strike that might jeopardize
    their fall plans.

    My fear is the levy will not pass
    and we will get the same nonsense
    after the levy, HOW COME

    The reason just might be that many have had enough of the total lack of respect for the taxpayers issues
    thoughts etc, and they will vote no
    It also could be that they cant fit it in their budget, but I am not sure the HEA, school employees
    and their families get that.
    Take a minute and understand that
    everyone is not as well off financially that you think they are.

    Last post. Everyone should vote on March 4.

  55. I saw this article today about the cost of teachers licenses going up to $200:


    I quote: "Teachers are complaining about the cost of a license tripling -- beginning this weekend -- to $200"


    "Ohio Education Association spokeswoman Michele Prater said the increase will create a financial burden for educators."

    I find it interesting that teachers jump all over the extra $$ for this as a "financial burden", yet seem 100% behind levy that will create a MUCH GREATER financial burden to almost every tax-payer in the district.

    Just further evidence to me that the teachers and their union are a business plain and simple. The concept of "about the children" seems to me and many of my neighbors to be gone. I agree on an individual level many teachers are dedicated, but they should be ashamed of how hypocritical this sounds.

    Granted, no Hilliard teacher is quoted in this article, but I'm sure they are concerned (complaining?) about this.

    Kind of stinks when you have a big increase in expense that you don't think is justified, doesn't it?

    And before I hear the "Bradley must open" cry, recall above that it was stated that only between 10-15% of the levy is needed for that (per the district themselves).

  56. You do realize that the majority of teachers are also taxpayers, right?

    I hear what you are saying, but you make it sound like teachers are for a levy for which they do not pay. Remember, teachers are also parents of students in the district as well as tazpayers.

    I'm not trying to be pro-teacher (in fact I'm on record to the contrary as far as raises and premiums go), but your argument is lacking reality when you fail to realize that teachers WILL be paying for the levy just like every other member of the community.

  57. KJ,

    I agree with your posting to a point. However, there are two things that impact this reasoning in my view:

    1.) The % of teachers that are also residents within the Hilliard district. I know 5 teachers very well (including one in Hilliard). Only one of them teaches in the district they live in. I would be surprised if 75% or even 50% of the teachers in Hilliard live in the district. This definitely impacts some teachers, but by no means all.

    2.) The teachers that do live in the district still have a strong personal financial incentive to have this levy pass. A passed levy would increase the unions ability to negotiate better raises, step increases, and health benefits for those same teachers. A failed levy hurts those efforts. It also will increase the number of teachers in the district, allowing the existing teachers to move up the seniority chart. This reduces the prospect of layoffs for the existing teachers considerably, should things come to that.

    I agree that this will cost the teachers that live in the district as well as any of the rest of us. However, I think there are many tangible financial (pay / health ins.) and job security benefits to them as well if it passes (none of which I or the vast majority of homeowners will see). To me, these arguments skew the "apples to apples" reasoning of this levy being just as painful for them as for the regular homeowner.

  58. Anon, I can't speak to "motive" as I don't really have any data to support with case. But I do hear what you are saying and more money for the school does offer more money for teachers, administrators, and staff.

    While I can't say teachers are for the levy for the right reasons or for the wrong reasons. A poster above led me to believe they thought teachers only benefited frm levies but were not responsible to actually pay for levies. That was my only point. I think sometimes we forget that teachers, administrators, and staff are also parents and taxpayers. Not all live in the district, but they DO live in A district. One that is likely facing high school taxes just we are have here in Hilliard.

    I'm guessing the levy will fail anyway. So we won't have to worry about anything but cutbacks. Hopefully after the $4Million in cuts, we will see a more fiscally responsible district (teachers, administrators, and staff) and will be able to get a levy passed in the near future so that we don't have to make cuts that really hurt.

    Trimming $4M probably isn't all that painful. But the cuts projected for the next go around (far beyond teacher and staff raises) will be quite painful for all of us.