Monday, February 11, 2008

You Can't Make Me

The following email notification was broadcasted by the School District today:

"As efforts continue toward reaching a new labor agreement with the Hilliard Education Association on its contract, the district is in the regrettable position of announcing the cancellation of certain activities for students. Teachers have elected to "work to the rule" under the current contract, which means they will no longer volunteer to help students outside of their regularly scheduled work time.

Teachers have indicated they will only make themselves available during the scheduled work day, which is 20 minutes before and 10 minutes after regular school hours for preschool through fifth-grade, and 10 minutes before and 10 minutes after regular school hours for grades six through 12.

To that end, activities that include, but are not limited to, before- and after-school tutoring sessions, OGT test preparation sessions and various enrichment activities will have to be canceled.

Regularly scheduled performing arts performances and events, as well as regularly scheduled athletic practices and games/scrimmages should not be impacted; staff assigned to such activities work under supplemental contracts outside of the regularly scheduled day."


  1. It's time for the teachers to stop acting like victims and like little children. The rest of the world - even unionized employees - are now contributing towards their health care costs. It is absolutely ridiculous that in this economy that they are getting raises double than the rest of corporate America and they are getting their health care for FREE!!!

    Another comment about the teachers "working to the contract". How many teachers have already been doing that for years already...putting in the minimum and getting the same raises as everyone else. They know how to work the system. They take all of their sick days and manipulate the system for their benefit. The worst part is the administrators have absolutely no control over teachers that abuse policies because they are protected by the union. I might have some sympathy for the teachers if we didn't have so many bad ones. Maybe we were just not lucky. Maybe it is because we have a child with special needs. These same teachers only want to teach to the average child in the class. They are annoyed by 504's, IEP's or any special meeting that they have to go to for a child that is not "normal". It creates more work for them. It all makes me sick. This district wants a levy passed? You've got to be kidding! We've got some of the highest foreclosure rates in the state, home prices are declining, no one wants to move to Hilliard (unless they are from outside of the area and don't know better), our city has teachers that don't want to teach and teachers that are ungrateful for their jobs. What a joke!

  2. Message sent to School officials on Feb 11 regarding their community-wide email about teachers....

    Completely irresponsible communication to the parents and community members. I understand you are in negotiations with the HEA, but do you really expect those of us who work closely with the educators of our children to NOT see through the propaganda?? It's not an issue of deserving/undeserving. We understand that these are difficult times and EVERYONE needs to contribute to the solution. The people of Hilliard are smart enough to know this…. As are the teachers and hopefully the administration. However, as a parent, I'm insulted that HCS would send such a juvenile communication attempting to paint educators as money-grubbing mongers who do not care about the kids. Completely false! When I drop off my 2nd grade daughter to school (see I have to drive her to school because the very mean administration won't allow a bus ride of 1.5 miles to my 8 year old) teachers were there in the freezing cold manning their stations to ensure safety and coordination of all the parents forced to drive their kids to school. I also see the teachers that are their early to tutor, late to prepare, and who pay a lot of money out of their own pockets to provide a quality education. We parents see this! In fact, we see all sides of the issue. As tax payers we want good teachers who care, an administration that leads, and financing to keep it all going.

    We as tax payers are providing the funding as requested. But based on your email, I'm not convinced we have an administration that leads and as YOU would have me believe, teachers that care about my child. Perhaps I should not vote for the levy so we can get rid of some of the deadbeat teachers YOU hired and are so quick to point out as without regard for the well-being of my child. If the teachers are as selfish as you say, and the administration is as juvenile as you presented by today's email…. I have no desire to vote for any of you. I'll just send my gifted child who can't get a bus ride to a private school and leave you guys to fight it out in the trenches. OR…. I can be a mature, supporting member of this solution and vote for the levy, while the administration no longer sends childish emails to me in an attempt to convince me they are all good and the teachers are all bad!

    Which do you think is the better option?

  3. It appears that some people here will not vote for the Levy "to show those greedy teachers" we aren't going to pay for their lofty salaries anymore. Do you not agree that the district's ploy of painting a negative picture of the teachers actually will backfire and lessen support of the levy? Because of the public negotiating tactics of the district, voters now believe that a vote FOR the levy is a vote FOR the greedy teachers. Nice move by the district! Duh!

    the Levy is not FOR the's FOR the kids. Yes, it stinks paying my $7,200 property taxes. And it will stink even more paying over $8,000 if this levy passes. BUT, these are the cards we are dealt. Our only option is to support this current levy and try to fix the root cause problem of ever-increasing school taxes (GROWTH). However, the unprofessional and ridiculous ploys of the school board and administration has now made the levy a vote FOR greedy teaacher pay! Backfire big time! Way to go so-called leaders!

  4. I find it hilarious that a fiscally irresponsible district has suddenly "found religion" on the eve of this levy and is now hanging the teachers out to dry. Instead of gradually introducing health care payments (which, of course, teachers should've been paying long before now), district leaders appear to be trying to make up for their own past fiscal ineptitude, without admitting their role in the mess.

  5. I feel really bad for "Anonymous." He must have had some negative school experience as a child and is therefore using it as ammunition to attack people whom he knows nothing about. When was the last time, Mr. Anonymous, you saw these so-called lazy teachers who "[put] in the minimum and [get]the same raises as everyone else?" You are in the schools everyday to witness this kind of behavior on the part of our community's educators? You have documented evidence to support such allegations? Or is this because you had one negative incident with such an individual, and suddenly, teachers are "those people." I thought once we got through the Civil Rights era, we would dispense with such racial slurs as "those people," but I guess in Hilliard, the Civil Rights era just sailed on by.

    I further enjoy Anonymous' logic that it would serve those teachers right to NOT vote for the levy. Ever hear of the saying, "He cut off his nose to spite his face?" I guess Mr. Anonymous is going to ruin his property values to spite those teachers, when in reality, he is only going to hurt himself. Who do you REALLY believe is going to be hurt if the levy does not pass? The teahers? No, the kids and taxpayers. The good teachers and good programming that our children could possibly lose out on if the levy fails to pass will one day be the voters who decide if Mr. Anonymous' Medicare, Social Security, and prescription benefits are really what they care about voting for. Maybe they'll think, "I don't have grandparents, so why should I care what happens to these old people?" Or maybe they'll think, "Well, I remember they did NOT vote for me when I was in school, so why should I vote for THEM?"

    In addition, the taxpayers will suffer, of which I am one. My husband and I purposely moved to Hilliard a year ago, not because it is some utopia of civilized society, but because it is a good community with a great school system, and thus, good property values which would help us when/if we have to sell. When I hear people like Mr. Anonymous raging about not voting for the levy, I fear that moving to Hilliard was a grave mistake, as the people in the community seem more concerned about being righteous and less about the realistic ideas of property value and a sound educational system.

    I'm sorry, Mr. Anonymous, that you have had some scarring experience with teachers. I'm sorry if you feel your special needs child has been "slighted" by teachers who only want to teach "the average child in the classroom." I'm not sure which school your child is in or which teacher(s) your child has had, but I can assure you that if you keep fighting the fight you are fighting now, you will, in a matter of time, not have to be worrying about those teachers ever again. This is because Hilliard City Schools will become yet another "bad school" district and the "bad teachers" you believe are teaching your child now will be nothing compared to lack of teachers the district will face as all the good teachers leave the district and head elsewhere for a better administration and community support.

    On another note, Mr. Anonymous, if you feel so angry about "this economy", perhaps you should look back at who you voted for 4 years ago. If he had a "W" in the middle of his name, then I think you have YOURSELF to thank for the jam we as ALL Americans are in right now. But, I'm sure, you will be able to sleep easy with that decision as it is not YOUR fault that our economy and schools are in the shape they are's the teachers' fault...right?

  6. I find it interesting that many of us seem to have all the answers to all of our problems. Maybe we need to stop looking to put the blame on everyone but ourselves. We are the makers of our own castle. We're supposed to be adults and take responsibility for our own actions, but instead we want to place the blame on someone else. Take for instance the teachers. We only look at all of the positive perks they have, but most of us have never really walked in their shoes. I know that working with kids all day long would drive me crazy, and I don't think there is any amount of money that would truly make it worth it. Okay, I'm sure there's some amount of money, but still. I think it's fair to say that most educators go into the profession without having money or benefits in mind. Teachers are no different than any of us. They want the best possible pay for what they do, and they also want to be respected by the community. Is it really the teacher's fault if the district has allowed them to have things better than they should have? And if having it better than they should have is true, would you be willing to go from what you currently earn to now making less money? Who in their right mind would? I think the board is to blame for allowing this to get out of hand. The board is the executive council that has the upperhand when it come to making fiscal decisions. And who makes up the board? Regular old community members, you and me.

  7. Please, everyone, take a deep breath! We all feel the frustration of this situation, and we need to keep level-headed. No one can deny that there are many in our community that simply can not afford to send their kids to school with an extra $10, let alone any increase in their tax rates. I live in a good neighborhood, and am staring at a house across the street that was sold at auction and is now empty. And yet, I must support this levy, reluctantly as it may be. We will wince when it is time to write our check to the county, but be grateful that we can continue to live here (we are all just one catastrophy away from financial disaster, whether we want to admit it or not, whether it is caused by newly diagnosed cancer, child or parent illness, or unexpected loss of job, whether you are blue or white collar). I pray the levy passes, and I hope then the administration and the teachers themselves get serious about what the district can afford. Yes, afford. The state has drastically reduced spending to districts such as ours - no denying that fact. The board did not do this. The board can only spend the money it has. And the teachers are not money mongers. I've seen good and bad - mostly good. If there are other issues besides the health care, then I'd like to know about it, because I can't be sympathetic to their refusal on the last offer on this point alone. We pay much more (as a percentage of income) than that on our health plan - and the cola my husband gets doesn't cover the annual increases -- why should the teachers expect that theirs always will? It's the cost of living in America today, and the only real solution is true health care reform for all of us. Let's continue to hope for the best and work to keep our district strong for our kids - and keep the name calling and finger pointing out of it. Let's lead by example on all fronts.

  8. We have had a great experience with teachers in Hilliard but that is not the issue here. The benefits/pay package that the union is asking for is out of touch with reality. We cannot afford to break the school system with a Cadillac pay/benefit package. I say to the teachers, "Welcome to 2008 where everyone has to significantly contribute to their health insurance costs and NO ONE is getting raises because the economy is slow." I am a professional and have never had all of my health care paid for and am astounded that teachers feel they deserve this. Then they show a total lack of appreciation for working in a great school district by the "working to the contract" letter. The nature of being a professional is giving "extra time" but I have had it with the whining of teachers about their extra duties and supposed low pay. Teachers from anywhere else in Ohio would be glad to have a job in the Hilliard School system. I am so outraged at this mess because to vote against the levy is not in the best interest of the school system. But to vote for the levy is vote for the outrageous demands of the teachers. I think the teachers have made a grave error because we are the people who have been sympathic to teachers. NOT ANYMORE. My husband and I have decided to vote against the levy.

  9. Everyone needs to think clearly hear.

    The school administration mae a grave error in judgement when they sent the email that is referenced above. The language chosen and tone of the message is a complete misrepresentation of reality.

    In today's Hilliard paper, the so-called "written" communication from teachers related to voluntary overtime ACTUALLY said that the union SUGGESTED that teachers work to the contract on FRIDAY'S. Not Monday, not Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.... FRIDAY. It's a symbolic gesture. Also, the the union's letter said it was up to each teacher and each building. As a parent, I have first-hand knowledge of two buildings.... in NEITHER building are the teachers following the union suggestions.

    I sent an email to the school administration calling them on their poor decision and pointing to the fact that they have taken the negative approach by publlicly negotiating and using tactics to turn favor against teachers. In truth, all they've done is killed the levy. Just as we see above, the community now sees a vote for the levy as a vote FOR the greedy teachers. NOT TRUE!!!! These issues are completely independent. The school district did respond with an insulting PR response that implied the administration had no choice to cancel these events.... it was for the safety of the children. God Bless 'em! At least THEY put the kids first! PUKE!

    Related to Health Care.... I'm not a teacher, but do have first-hand knowlege of the situation.... the teachers are willing to pay for health care. They are also willing to take a lower raise then the last contract. The sticking point is that they are being asked to pay a "blind" premium. Accepting up to 10-12% of premiums over the next 3 years. this year the premiums increased 30%. The union just wants a cap put on the premiums such that is doesn't offset negatively to the raise.

    Who among us would take a pay cut (not just a lack of a raise, but a pay cut) three years in a row??? WHo would sign up for a blind cost (12% of what??)?

    The teachers are willing (and have already acknowledged) they will be paying premiums. They understand that it's just the way healthcare is going. However, No raise with a blind premium payment, an extended work day of 30 minutes, a very large increase in out of pocket medical costs this year, AND a complete lack of professionalism from the BOE and administration is causing the snag.

    Look, it's clear that the BOE can't or won't do anything in the way of negotiating an acceptable offer until the Levy vote. Not a bad move really. However, the failure here is that they are KILLING the levy with their stupid tactics to turn facor against teachers. In the end, all they've done is cost the school district the levy it needs.

    If nothing else, don't listen to the contract nonsense and PLEASE realize that the levy MUST pass. Measure the levy on it's own merits or demerits. Please don't allow emotions of a negotiation process lead you to the wrong decision.

  10. Did anyone actually rad the article in today's Hilliard News??? Doesn't that article give a completely different tone than the email sent by the district office? Am I the only one that feels the district over-stated the issue and made a knee-jerk reaction without needing to?

    Or was it a very bad political ploy made in poor judgement that will likely end up killing the levy?

    If the levy doesn't pass....DO NOT blame the teachers!!! I've seen nothing but support from teachers.... but blame the PR machine of the BOE. They have tainted the palate of this levy vote and will likely have to live with the consequences.

    I know 5 people that WILL NOT get my vote! Wanna guess?

  11. Spin versus reality...

    In the email that Paul re-printed above the district claims...

    Teachers have elected to "work to the rule" under the current contract,


    which means they will no longer volunteer to help students outside of their regularly scheduled work time.


    Teachers have indicated they will only make themselves available during the scheduled work day,


    To that end, activities that include, but are not limited to, before- and after-school tutoring sessions, OGT test preparation sessions and various enrichment activities will have to be canceled.


    I'm sorry, I'm jsut insulted and discouraged that we, the public, are being leveraged as pawns in this public negotiation tactic of the district. Completely irresponsible.

  12. Some of the recent bloggers have made some interesting points. I too find it difficult to believe that the teachers expect for the district to incur all of the costs of their healthcare, but there are several points that are not being mentioned. Take for instance the fact that the teacher's union has saved the district an estimated $18 million in spending by switching healthcare providers nearly every year over the past several years, causing them to have to find new doctors with different plans. Yes, the board acknowledges this fact, but from their standpoint "that was then, and this is now." So what was the point of doing that to help out the district in the first place? At least that is the question I would ask if I were a teacher. The other misconception is that the board is stating that the main reason for why they haven't agreed to terms of a new contract is that the teachers want 100% of their medical premiums paid. Again, this is not true. The teacher's union acknowledges that they should have to pay for part of their medical coverage, yet the teacher's union wants to pay a set dollar amount, where the board wants a set percentage to be paid. The teacher's union knows that most likely they will have to switch healthcare providers again next year, and there's no gurantee that premiums won't increase dramatically. Eight percent on two different premium amounts can be a huge difference in total net dollars. So I can't blame the teacher's union for not wanting to pay a percentage, rather than a dollar amount per pay period. It's obvious that the teachers across America are never going to win a battle in the media. It's unfortunate that we take more pleasure in our society trying to find ways to bad mouth the very same people that serve our community and children. Do we talk this way about firemen or policemen? They provide our community with safety, medical attention, and many other types of services. Do you have any idea what the Hilliard police officers and firemen make when it comes to salaries? Let's just say it's more than the average teacher, and they get to that amount much quicker than a teacher. And don't firemen only work one 24 hour shift, then have 48 hours off? (In regards to all of the time teachers have off.) Yes, 24 hours straight is a long period of time, but believe me, they aren't sitting around waiting for a fire all of that time. They have their opportunities to sleep during their shift. And who do you think taught these fine gentlemen and ladies? Teachers. The bottom line is that people are going to believe what they want. The facts do not lie, but they really don't matter to some people. Some of us would rather see others go down with them because their fortunes aren't that much better. We all work hard and want to be paid accordingly. I don't think the teachers are asking for anything unreasonable, matter of fact they are asking for much less than they've been given for the past three years, yet the cost of living has only increased during that time at a faster pace. People just get all bent out of shape when it comes to money. You know how you fix this? Instead of having the U.S. government spend $40 million on a plane they aren't going to ever use, they could distribute that money to the schools. If education was made a higher priority, we wouldn't have to rely on local taxpayers as much as we do, instead we would receive more money from the federal government. But that's not going to happen, so things are what they are. Hopefully this negotiation issue can be settled in a fair, matter of fact way. Both sides have to be reasonable, and to be honest I think the teacher's side has been. Of course, I'm just one person.

  13. A few observations:
    1) A union is in the business of negotiating generous pay and benefits for its members, and is not required to have a long-term interest in the financial health of its employer.

    2) Unions in the auto, airline, and other industries are finally facing a financial reality...that years of generous contracts have put their emoloyers, and their own jobs, at risk.

    3) Ohio's "school funding crisis", with levy fatigue setting in statewide, is evidence that the continued compensation demands of teachers unions threaten Ohio communities, and Ohio families in much the same way. (After all, it is Ohio's communities that are "the employer", in the case of our public schools.)
    4) The community (the employer) has a right to know what their levy dollars pay for, right? Wrong. Because the collective bargaining law prevents the community from knowing anything about the contracts that drive the levy needs, until the contracts are finalized by the school board...the five elected officials that are supposed to represent the interests of the STUDENTS and the TAXPAYERS at the negotiating table.

    Conclusion: As we have just learned, not much could make the union madder than to let the public know the terms of a fairly generous contract, that apparently was not generous enough for the union. Then to publicly report that only 41 teachers would agree to accept a contract with quite generous base AND automatic salary increases, 14 weeks vacation, employer paid health insurance, and retirement provisions that would be hard to beat anywhere...that might be pretty hard to explain(?)

    Final Word: Most teachers work hard, and truly deserve our admiration, our respect, and at least resonable compensation. The union that they pay to be their voice, on the other hand, is the party that is ultimately responsible for putting these teachers in a position that many might not wish to be in.

    Sorry, but that's how it looks from here.

  14. To anonymous above: I do very much agree with all you said. I personally am not a fan of unions and feel they have had a very negative impact on our economy over the past 40 years.

    No question the perks of being a teacher are great. If not for the low-income, I've always felt my calling was to be a teacher. I tutor a lot of kids in math and science and really enjoy it. But, having a career in the engineering field was far more lucrative.... and I don't have to deal with the public ;-)

    If you are a teacher...

    1) you get to stay home when it snows

    2) you don't work summers

    3) you get all those good government holidays off (like national potato day)

    4) Until recently, you got free healthcare premiums

    5) You have a nice retirement plan

    HOWEVER... as a teacher

    1) you get to pay for your own professional development. It's mandated by the state to keep your job, but YOU have to pay for it and do it on your own time. An avergage of $1,000 to $1,500 a year (That would certainly never cut it for those of us in the business world.)

    2) you get to deal with a specialized plan for each student, many with issues well above your professional training, but they must be "mainstreamed" just the same (Not a complaint, just an observation)

    3) you get to pay for your own office supplies (who in the business world does that?)

    4) you get to work all day with a 30 minute break (to eat, make calls, prepare, etc.). Planning periods, especially in elementary, are a thing of the past.

    ok, so is teaching a good job? HECK YES! But there are pros and cons, just like any other job.

    Our issue should not be with the teachers, the union, the school board, or the district administration. We are all fed up with picking up the tab for less fortunate communities, ever-increasing operational costs due to development, and the continual pressure by the state to do more with less. Public education is in disarray and will only get worse.

    Everyone (teachers, administrators, parents, community leaders) needs to step up and be a part of the solution. If that means something as simple as paying health care premiums, then so be it. It could also be as simple as developing a grass-roots effort to change the funding methods of public schools. That's really the only way schools will get fixed without breaking the bank of the tax payers.

  15. I won't be here next school year. I'm taking my kids and my tax dollars with me.

    I'm sick of the way this school district is run. I'm fed up and done with the teachers of this community. I don't have health insurance, and neither do my kids. We can't afford it, with the way the economy is right now. For teachers to think they shouldn't have to contribute anything towards their health insurance, while my kids can't even go to the doctor, all the while asking for more money, is preposterous!! How insulting to those of us struggling to remain in this district.

    I won't contribute another cent to the inflated salaries of Hilliard teachers. They aren't here for the kids, they're here for their wallets, and I find that outrageous. I work 6 days a week, ALL YEAR LONG, and don't make that kind of money. I don't get FREE health insurance either! Raises? What's that?!! I haven't had one in 2 years, because I NEED my job.

    I don't support any union and feel they should be abolished. There was a time in this country when we needed them. That time has long since passed. Now it just protects its members from the reality of life. Times are hard - suck it up and do your jobs!

    I hope the teachers DO go on strike. I'll be out there picketing against them. For the children, indeed! For your wallet, is more like it.

    I'm moving some place where my 7 year old doesn't have to walk a mile down a busy street, because we can't afford buses! But FREE health insurance for teachers? Hey! No problem! Raises? SURE!! No problem!

    Welcome to the REAL WORLD!!

  16. kj,

    Your thoughts and ideas are very admirable and I agree with them 110%, but they are, most unfortunately, lost on most of the "anonymouses", and for that matter, the owner of this blog. We could write a treatise and hang it on the door like Martin Luther, but it will come to no avail. No matter what we say or what we do, some people will always think that teachers are lazy, overpaid babysitters, and yet, it is these same naysayers who entrust teachers to educate their children everyday. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!

    I'm done trying to convince people who are just too narrow-minded and, frankly, bigoted, to see past their own concerns and problems. All these "anonymouses" just care about one thing: themselves. And all they can see is that THEY work hard, and yet EVERYONE else, from ditch diggers to doctors, work LESS HARD than them. I have never understood people who are so egocentric as to believe they alone contain the problems of the world, but there you go.

    I guess, kj, the only thing we can do is keep fighting the good fight, stand behind our spouses and friends, and hope that one day these ignorant people will see the light. And if they don't, let them leave the district (as one recent "anonymous" staunchly wrote) or home school their kids. It seems everyone is an expert on education until someone says,"Oh yeah? Why don't YOU try it for a day?" I'm just tried of trying to convince people that maybe, just MAYBE..there are two sides to an argument and maybe, just MAYBE, the media (and the blog owner) do not present all information from both sides factually or fairly.

  17. DLK:

    With due respect, I have never said that teachers are overcompensated, or that they don't deserve every dime. My own kid is a school teacher, and I hope that during her career she has a chance to enjoy the same kind of compensation Hilliard teachers receive.

    My beef has always been with the withholding of important information and the ongoing attempts to manipulate the public with partial truths.

    If you read through this blog, you'll see that my main target for this criticism has been the School Board and the Administration.

    But the HEA is guilty of this as well. They've been party to manipulating the community into thinking teachers are underpaid and have to scrape by on 3% raises. Now that the whole truth is coming out, people are angry.

    We'll never have a meaningful and satisfying dialog about school funding and school expenditures until we all share a common perception of the truth.

    That's all I'm trying to accomplish.

  18. Paul, I get what you are saying. I really do. But in this particular case, the truth is that the levy IS NOT entirely required due to increase in salaries or benefits. It's also, and primarily, due to the need for additional staff and operating funds for the new high school.

    I fear folks have lost site of that fact and have turned Issue 26 into a vote only for teacher's raises. Yes, costs (i.e., salaries) go up over time. Perhaps they shouldn't go up as often and with such magnitude. But to vote down the levy blindly, without considering the most important reason for the levy is unfortunate.

    There is a $65 Million dollar high school that is sorely needed. Without this levy, it can not be staffed and will site idle while Davidson and Darby continue to be overcrowded. And will likely result in split sessions at some point. A NO vote is a bad bad bad idea! And the poor communication of the BOE, the district, and even HEA is to blame. But that is irrelevant when we consider the NEEDS of the student population.

    We must vote for Issue 26! People, it is NOT a vote for greedy teachers! It is a vote to hire additional staff and resources for our third high school. Why can't people understand that?

  19. Many interesting posts. Good valid points. Here is my take

    Having worked in the professional world. Guess what. Minimal holidays off. Off Monday, no, Raises, based on merit. No cola, no step. Tuition reimbursement to upgrade skills. no

    Lunch breaks, please Planning time
    In the evening. Health insurance,
    pretty expensive and has been for some time. The staff does a good job. I respect them. But the fact is that with the current contract there were significant increases
    great medical converage. It has caught up. Poor job as usual by
    the Board and Admin. It is the same old group. Same old ties.
    The economy is tough, will get tougher for awhile.

    A 3 year deal with 1.5 raises and
    no step increases. Start at a
    3% 4%for the last two on medical
    It would graduate the medical increase pain. Think about this
    in real life. Last 3 years
    1 2% merit raise for exceeding expectations, increases in medical insurance monthly cost and co pays
    60 hour work week. 8 holidays
    1 week vacation 3 personal days
    3 sick days. Last increase from last levy took 2% plus increased
    taxes on others. Now $510 increase
    with this levey Do the Math

    How true about Bradley, overcrowding. But unfortunatly
    everyone keeps voting for the same
    people. What have our state reps
    and State Sen. doen for us.
    Increased Taxes. Same people on the board, same group on city council. Remember your state senator, has stated publicly that he was in favor of eliminating that business inv. tax. Guess where that tax shift is going. To you.
    He also stated he would not commit
    to voting against new school mandates that are not funded by the state. So who pays all these increase costs that your wonderful
    mr. stivers, mr wolpert keep voting
    to not cut taxes but shift taxes to the homeowner. Who could have put some brakes on the home building
    craze locally with impact fees,
    developer fees, etc. The city could have worked with the Schools and vice versa. They chose not to.
    The political network here is causing all of us a lot of extra tax money,

    I am still trying to make up my mind on this levy. On the one hand
    we need Bradley open, the overcrowding handled. But unfortunatly I cannot trust the
    Adm, and the teachers now come off as whining a bit,playing the poor card which is just not the case.

    Our city government needs just an old fashioned everyday citizen who
    isnt a lawyer, ceo, last name that is well known, of only one party
    and who is a registered independent
    Our school board needs the same
    Volunteering is great, PTO this
    Last name very famous, too many people with school ties, not independent thinking who will look
    very closely at every expenditure
    every contract, every new program
    and truly justify it.

    Unfortunatly many seniors, those on fixed income, those layed off
    lost jobs due to closing, etc
    want to vote yes, but given all
    the lack of leadership on both sides are probably going to say no.

    Wonder why there has not been
    a city wide forum so people can ask questions. This controlled house by house thing is simply hoping the no voters dont pay attention and dont show up at the polls

    Poor planning by the adm and board again, same people running the
    show and campaign, not very effective.

    Comment on employees leaving for greener pastures and they might
    heaven for bid leave! Dont let the door hit you on the way out.
    Say that out there in the real world and you can be gone that day !!!!!!!!!

    Why would anyone make such a threatning comment. I am taking my toys home! There are plenty of
    teachers who would love to teach in Hilliard.

    A last thank you to the teachers who do a great job. But everyone is up against this economic
    downward treadmill thanks to the worthless people we vote into office
    Problem is it takes big money
    (developers sound familiar)
    to get elected.
    Our worthless current state senator will spend millions to get a house seat. Guess who he will represent
    Not the everyday family, the
    moneyboys who tell him how great he was. Oh yes, he went to IRAQ so what, many have gone, and come back and made no fuss about it telling us how great they were. They served proudly, did their job
    didnt beat their chest about it

    Thanks for listening

  20. This response is intended mostly for Pam. The teachers' union is not opposed to paying for a portion of their health care coverage, nor have they ever been. That was a bunch of baloney reported to the media by the school board. The teachers simply want the board to give them a dollar amount cap that they would be responsible for paying rather than dictate a percentage of an unknown premium, which for many would result in less take home pay than they are currently receiving, even after the proposed 3% raise. As for the "working to contract letter", that too was baloney coming directly from the administration NOT from the teachers! If you want to discuss the issue of raises, I encourage you to contact the school board to inqure about the hefty raises dolled out to district's administrators. Let's be honest here, if we want to cut the fat out of the school district's budget, we should be starting directly at the top! Lastly, the proposed levy has nothing at all to do with the current contract negotiations. Passage of the levy will simply allow the school district to offer the same level of staffing, programming and maintenance that they have right now. Should it fail, the quality of education that our students receive will suffer. There will be millions of dollars worth of cuts which in reality will result in a less than quality school system. If that happens, we can kiss our property values goodbye because no one will want to move into Hillliard. Our students will receive a less that quality education and in turn, they and our community will suffer in the long run. I hope that you will think long and hard before you vote against it.

  21. There is truth in what you say of course. Neither the School Board nor the Administration have been forthcoming about the current employment terms of the administrators. Nor have they explained why the total employment of the district has gone up 1.8 times the rate of student growth over the past 10 years, even though the student/teacher ratio has remained constant at 20:1 over that same period.

  22. KJ agrees: "I personally am not a fan of unions and feel they have had a very negative impact on our economy over the past 40 years."

    I would go a step further, and say that the teachers unions in Ohio have had a fairly negative impact on the escalating cost of public education for our communities.

    Again, levy fatigue is becoming rampant, and as communities try to understand why, they are starting to realize that the primary driver of costs is the union contract, which delivers salary and benefits that are far out of line with what average citizens recieve themselves.

    The other part of this is that years of generous contracts have reduced the amount of programs and opportunities that the community could otherwise provide for the students.

    The community is not saying, "Don't pay the teachers"...but they are starting to wonder how much is enough. I think it is that simple.

    Is that fair...for the community to have an understanding of what they are being asked to pay for, so they can assess the "need" for themselves?

    Ultimately the union, as the voice for its member teachers, is what this is all about.

    In Ohio, teachers unions have a unique power, the right to strike, which is not the case in most other states. Right or wrong, this gives teachers unions the right to negotiate, while holding the fate of our children's education as a bargaining chip.

    Personally, I'm not sure I like that.

    A case in point is the current issue of "working to the rule" in Hilliard.

    No it is not a "strike", but based on what I have read, the union DID suggest this action to its members, and urged them to carry it out on some level. (If I am wrong, please straighten me out.)

    Is this not a case of the union intentionally suspending the education of our children for their own benefit? (It's certainly not for the benefit of the children.)

    The point has been made that many or most teachers are ignoring this directive, but what was the district supposed to do, take a poll for which sites and teachers would continue with their normal routine, and which ones would not? (Sorry, but I'm pretty sure that would have been seen as an effort to divide the teachers, and publicly identify the "good ones" and the "bad ones" don't you? Really, that would have been an absolute disaster, I believe.)

    The bottom line is that generous union contracts have driven many American industries into decline, as the costs cannot be sustained indefinitely.

    Ohio's "school funding crisis" is very much a result of this same union driven cost spiral. And, as I mentioned before, the comunity is the employer that is being driven to the brink by the rising costs, costs that the community deserves to be aware of.

    One more thing. I can understand the union/teacher perspective on not being interested in agreeing to pay a percentage of a premium with no cap.

    However, I have a point and a question.

    The point: The community, as the employer, still picks up well over 90% of any health care increase, so the employee is still VERY insulated from these escalating costs

    The question: Is it fair that THE COMMUNITY is responsible to pay over 90% of all escalating healthcare costs for over a thousand teachers, with THE COMMUNITY having no "cap" on how much more THE COMMUNITY will pay?

    Just food for thought.

  23. I think it is important to note that I agree with many that say they appreciate the efforts of our teachers and that they do deserve to be well compensated for what they do.

    However the tone of the negotiations
    given the absolute fact that money is very tight in the district shows a lack of respect for the taxpayer by both sides.

    We have debated the merits of
    work to the contract, medical costs
    step raises etc. Unfortunatly our administration granted all of this and chose NOT in the previous contract 3 years ago, not to stop
    the large increases then. In the meantime we continued to grant top level raises for the adm. and support staff.

    A quick suggestion

    3 year contract 1.5% raise. no step increases the first two years
    2.5 step in the 3rd year.
    Start the copay year 1 at 6% go to
    7.5in the next two. Thoroughly reveiw with our insurance carriers ways to hold cost. Throughly review every adm. position. Reduce
    adm.salary 2% across the board
    Review every program we offer and
    make reductions with some programs that may have limited appeal and participation.

    If the district shows real restraint, not the smoke and mirrors supposed 1 million dollar
    reductions. It is interesting adm raises were still handed out if we are in this crisis.

    Bradley needs to open to avoid
    the overcrowding, but we also have to hold the city fathers accountable on this one also due to their lack of accountability on growth and the effect on student growth.

    This is a tough call. Hopefully in the next week, both sides will
    change their tone, tune, and attitude. Otherwise this levy will go down.

    The levy is about economics. 90% of our costs are personnel driven
    And the raises across the board have been way too generous and not just with the teachers.

    So it is time to hold the fort the next 3 years. No other way to
    handle it. Cuts have to be made
    It is about raises for personnel
    the kids dont get raises!

    Comments about losing good teachers
    if we dont give raises.
    Guess what, then it really isnt about the kids then is it !
    Plenty of good teachers who would
    WANT to teach here. Plenty of great current teachers who wiil
    NOT leave !

    Look at the economy, use some common sense that a 3% raise in these times is an insult to the taxpayer no matter what the offset in medical.

    Lastly, did you vote for your current city council, mayor, school board members, local state rep. local state senator.
    They like to tax shift from their
    financial contributors to the homeowner.
    No one is talking about that except one other poster.


    Their hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work nine or ten months a year! It's time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do... baby-sit!

    We can get that for less than minimum wage. That is right. I would give them $3.00 dollars an hour and only the hours they worked, not any of that silly planning time. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 AM to 4:00 PM with
    45 min. off for lunch).

    Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now, how many do they teach in a day... maybe 30? So that's 19.5 X 30 $585.00 a day. However, remember they only work 180 days a year! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.
    Let's see . . . that's $585 x 180 = $105,300 per year.

    (Hold on! My calculator must need batteries!)

    What about those special teachers and the ones with master's degrees?
    Well, we could pay them minimum wage just to be fair, round it off to $7.00 an hour. That would be $7 times 6-1/2 hours times 30 children times 180 days =$245,700.00 per year.

    Wait a minute, there is something wrong here!

    There sure is, duh!

    (Average teacher salary $50,000/180 days =$277per day/30 students = $9.23/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student.) Very inexpensive babysitter and they even educate your kids! Crazy!

  25. Paul,

    I am curious as to what you feel a "common perception of truth" really is. Is it the truth as the media presents it? My guess is, you would say yes, as you quote the Dispatch and NW News in many of your blogs, even though we all know the media exists to perpetuate itself, not to give us the 100% true "news." Is it the truth as your fellow private sector workers see it? I would also guess yes from how you, in so many words, accuse teachers of being lazy and self-entitled with titles of blogs such as "You can't make me."

    Do you really think that because have a child who is a teacher, it gives you some insight into teaching and the teachers' unions? I come from the South where there are no teachers' unions. As abhorrent as unions are for many industries, I can tell you from a teacher standpoint, unions protect teachers. I am not saying the HEA is some Angel Gabriel coming to save teachers from the big, bad administration and school board, but to have someone stand up for your salary, insurance, and rights is something many teachers in the South do not have. I cannot tell you how many districts I know have simply not paid teachers because they "ran out" of money; of how teachers were fired without any warning or trial; of students being able to accuse teachers of terrible acts of crime, without any evidence, and yet the teachers are thrown out, as they were guilty until proven innocent; of how even speaking of organizing a group of teachers, like a union, in order to protect their rights is cause enough to get your fired in some districts.

    Obviously, the union has their own agenda as the school board has their own. And I think you truly believe, deep down, that you seek "the common perception of truth." I just would like to know which "truth" you want to sell to us today.

  26. DKL:

    I do my research reading many different sources, including the original documents, such as the HEA contract. In fact, I have requested many documents from the Central Office that were never disclosed to the public, such as the easement agreement between the District and Homewood Homes.

    Unfortunately our local papers allow themselves to be manipulated by both the district and the union, so you're right - you have to dig past them to get to the truth. You'll find that I have written numerous letters to the editor correcting the local papers when I feel they've gotten something wrong.

    Nor have I ever said that having a kid who is a teacher gives me insight into the unions, or what it means to be a union member. I'm simply saying that I'm not against teachers being paid well - for many reasons, one which includes having a kid who is one.

    And the title of this article is meant to make the point that these job actions by the HEA are childish and self-defeating. Can't the union leadership think of a more productive way to nurture support? Why not host some public meetings and make your case directly to the people of the community?

    Talk with the adults instead of taking it out on the kids.


  27. I do have to agree on one major point about the unions. I truly don't understand why they suggest teachers should work to contract as a show of the "extras" that teachers do.

    I suppose it's because the BOE doesn't know all the extra things teachers do. Well, ok, I understand that teachers for things outside the contract. So do most good employees in any organization. But, my point is, it's a benign type of "protest", with limited negative impact on the kids and/or community. HOWEVER..... what is the positive side of the gesture? Seems to me it really doesn't make the BOE understand anything nor does it demonstrate anything to the public except to be "babies".

    THANK GOODNESS our teachers (for the most part) didn't take the advice. BUT, the damage is done. The HEA told the papers... and then the BOE used that suggestion to gain sympathy of the community.

    Again, I think ultimately the teachers and the BOE will come to a common ground. It will be something around a 2 or 3% (TOTAL) annual raise with the teachers paying a reasonable share of insurance premiums.

    This is what I hate about negotiations and unions.... nothing good ever really comes out of it. Because we have SIDES... people will then CHOOSE sides. That puts one enitity AGAINST the other entity. And that equals DIVISION. And that's a shame.

    I have NO problem with teachers receiving a 3% raise each year. That's extremely fair. The "effective" raise of 7.95% (per Paul) is too much. I agree. Especially given that state funding is in decline and school growth is on the rise.

    If we weren't an ever expanding school district, the salary increases of teachers,admin's, etc., wouldn't be such a big deal. But the fact that we are constantly being asked to add a new schools, new teachers, and new operating costs because of growth, the raises in salary are felt even more. It's not necessarily wrong, but it's one of MANY things that are costing us.

    One comment for one of the "anonymouses above" (wish you guys would at least put initials in or something): If you go to the Hilliard website, you will see that program are not being cut (at least not yet). We are very fortunate that we have all kinds of "special" programs in this district. Mainly, because WE have chosen to support them, and rightly so.

    If the levy fails... regular classroom teachers won't be the hardest hit. Sure, their class sizes will grow, but the biggest hit will be in "special" programs. And that affects our kids and ultimately our economy.

    It won't be the federal programs that are cut (ELL, Title Reading and Turoring).... it will be gifted programs, music and arts, clubs, and all the other programs that makes our district one of the best as far as offerings go.

    I come from a small town in Ohio. We had the basics! A teacher, a book, and 30 kids in 5 rows of 6! Because we are an affluent community (believe me, we are affluent), we are able to provide a lot of wonderful programs to our children that provide them a very complete education. And we can advance those children that show promise to greater heights because of it. Take those avantages away, and we discontinue the "edge" we give our kids.

    Anyway, something else to think about.

  28. Had to respond to the "babysitters"
    post. It is starting to look like the teachers, the board, and admin. deserve each other.

    There seems to be starting an entitlement mentallity in this district. Please tell me who is going to foot the bill for what you think you want or deserve. The fact is the board has in the past given very postive increases. Wont even go into the step raise area, as it affected most but not all.

    Everyone is aware of the extra time
    the school employees put in.
    It is appreciated, but everyone these days with any type of responsibilty is doing it.
    60 hour weeks, each week of the year. No Holiday tommorrow for Presidents Day. No spring break
    No Christmas Break. Co pays at
    $25 and monthly contribution of
    150 plus, extra for vision and dental. This is what a majority of people are paying.

    I decided to take a poll at random
    and am up to over 100 people. All walks of life. Exactly zero have gotten 3% or more in the last 3 years. 8 expected some type of merit raise this year. 52 expected some type raise about 1 to 2 but medical is also going up. The others expect nothing.

    I think many teachers are happy with what they have gotten actually.
    The others can go to another district, move to another state

    So basically it isnt about the kids its about the money I deserve from the taxpayers, when the money is not there.

  29. Out of 100 people, ZERO got a raise of at least 3%? Not one person?

    I must be completely out of touch. If I asked 100 people, I'm guessing at least 25 (and that's low) would say they got at least a 3% raise. a recent salary survey indicated that national salaray increases averaged 3.7% in 2005, 2006, and 2007. It was actually expecting a 9% increase in that number for 2008 (to 4% average increase).

    Which brings up a good point.

    Is teaching a professional job or a "blue-collar" job? To me, it's a professional job. Anyway, that's an interesting little survey you did there anonymous.

  30. To KJ. The poll I took was very random. It included a variety of
    occupations, blue collar, white collar. It also did not take into account, business closings, layoffs

    There very well be people getting
    3% raises and above. The government also publishes inflation rates, which are bogus
    Anyone been to the gas pump and the grocery store lately.

    My point is that many people due to the economy, business closings
    are not in the minority any more
    Things are tough. I respect what has to be accomplished and taught in the classroom, planning time etc. But many people are finding out that in the past the staff and adm,have received, consistent raises, medical costs minimal. So
    we need to understand why people are questioning $500 increases in taxes when they are not receiving
    raises or ones that are minimal.
    Dont forget the MRdd levy will also be on the ballot. I can see city income tax going up.

    So again I ask, what has your local hero's in the state legislature done for you lately?
    Tax Cuts, no, tax shifts. It ends up on everyones property taxes.

  31. Paul,

    I'm glad to hear that you get your information from more than one source, but I will say that many of your articles are slanted in such a way that it makes one believe that you do NOT necessarily do this. So, I am glad to hear you are more open and hope you will post things quoting more than just the, frankly, lousy Dispatch and the NW news.

    While I am also glad to hear you say that you think teachers should be fairly compensated, again, you have to look at it from another perspective. Many of your articles, in not so many words, make it sound as if you are very anti-teacher, or at least, anti-teacher's being adequately compensated. If your intention was otherwise, perhaps you need to think about how someone who was a teacher might view some of your blogs. Just food for thought.

    Furthermore, I think an open community meeting would be a good idea, but I also think we would be "preaching to the choir." Those who support us would be there, and really, it's not that group that needs to hear what the HEA has to say. I hate to be negative, but I have to say it: a majority of the people in Hilliard do NOT have children in Hilliard schools, and therefore, I do not honestly believe they would come to an open public meeting the HEA hosts. The 1-2% who do not have children in our schools who would come would be the exception, not the rule. I have heard too many people on TV and in person who are Hilliard citizens who have blatantly said, "We don't even have kids in the district, so why should we care?"

    I do not say this to insinuate that only Hilliard citizens are lazy and thoughtless, but to illustrate the fact that as a society, we Americans take our basic rights of freedom of speech, assembly, voting, etc. very much for granted. Why else would the Franklin Board of Elections, and every other states' boards of elections, be practically PLEADING with people to vote when citizens in other countries are dying for the mere chance?

    I am just not as optimistic as you are about the citizenry being so willing to hear the HEA, or even the teachers, out. I think many of the "anonymous" postings on here that are clearly anti-teacher speak volumes as to what kind of draw and open public forum would garner.

  32. DKL:

    At this point I have written nearly 100 articles over two years in this blog, and there are only eight of them which are tagged as being about the teachers. Only a couple of the most recent are in any way critical of the teachers, and the criticism is about the wisdom of the current job actions as a means for getting your contract settled.

    The rest of the articles have a common theme - communications. None of the leadership - Board, Administration, labor - are doing a good job of it and it's the root cause of our problems.

    You're right about our apathetic society. At the 'Meet the Candidates' night before the last School Board election, only about 50 people showed up, and most of them were friends and family of my fellow candidates. And I've been at many a School Board meeting where - after the host school's program is over - I'm about the only civilian in the room.

    If I achieve nothing else with this blog than get people to ask questions and seek answers, it will be enough.

    I used to have a sign in my office that said:

    "There are three kinds of people in the world: 1) people who make things happen; 2) people who watch things happen; and, 3) people who bitch.

    I choose to be of the first kind. I suspect you are too.


  33. Paul,

    Once again, I am glad to hear that you are not anti-teacher, and I see from your latest posting that it is not all doom and gloom on your blog. I think, though, in trying to make some people see the light, as it were, we can sometimes come off as supporting one side or another. I guess the rule for us all, then, is to think about how we want people to dissect the information we give out, or rather, how we think they will probably comprehend such information.

    As for the way in which current job actions have been played out during negotiations, it is, of course, neither a perfect nor desirable situation. Unfortunately, it is THE situation, good, bad or otherwise at the moment. In defense of the community, it is not fair that they are not given all the facts, that the school district has to ask for another levy because funding of public education, on a federal level, is so bad. But, as I previously and you also said, even if given the facts, many just don't care or don't come to events where the facts are given. So, whose fault really is it if people are misinformed or even uninformed? And as I told one "anonymous" on here, if you hate how school funding is handled, ask yourself how you voted in the last presidential election. That might be the root of the problem.

    In defense of the teachers, I will say that though the HEA and the teachers' actions may seem ridiculous, petty, and even self-righteous to some, they are lucky to even have a union stand up for their rights, to even have the right, in general, to stand up as a group, with or without the union. Many teachers in rural or urban districts, in which there is extreme poverty, little or no resources, and unsafe or unsuitable facilities, could only dream of being able to argue over such things. Hilliard is lucky to be one of the few districts in the United States where there is not blatant disparity within the district itself from school to school. All are quite equally staffed with good personnel who are both competent and compassionate. Such situations do not hold true for many districts.

    So, we can sit and bicker over who is not telling the truth, who is to blame, who is being self-entitled, but in the end, we in Hilliard should be thankful for what a good school district we have. That levies and negotiations, while very serious issues, are our biggest educational community issues, rather than gang-related violence, high drop-out rates, or rampant drug abuse. At least all of our children have teachers who care, who are well-qualified, and who stand up for their rights to show them when it's their turn, they will need to stand up for their own.

  34. DKL:

    I agree, and said as much in a posting written back in November.

    You and I could probably have a long debate about how schools should be funded and administered. My belief is that government should be as small and as local as possible, and therefore would prefer that the federal government stay out of school funding as much as possible. I don't even like the state government being that involved.

    My preference is that you let free market forces influence individual behavior, and individual behavior drive the market.

    My family settled in Ohio over 200 years ago, and seven generations are buried in the family cemetery in Lawrence County. The school systems down there are as impoverished as any in the state, and if any deserve aid it's those folks (ironically, the place where my family settled is called "Aid Township.").

    But you know what? The economy in that part of the state sucks and it probably won't get better any time soon. My ancestors hacked out an existance there 200 years ago to seek a better life - they didn't wait for the government to give it to them. Many of them prospered first as entrepreneurs, and later as workers on the railroad and in the factories.

    But when the factories shut down and the railroads shrunk, my family moved on. It wasn't easy, but it was the best for them and for their children. I'm thankful they did. I made the same kind of choice for my family, which is how we ended up in central Ohio.

    I don't have much sympathy for folks who refuse to take responsibility for their own economic wellbeing, and instead want to sit in improverished areas and collect welfare, unemployment and food stamps.

    Sam Kinnison said many years ago that if we want to help the starving people of Somolia, don't send them food, send them U-Hauls. Guess what, we did, and now they're here doing very well for themselves.

    Sudden changes are hard. It was probably a mistake on the part of the School Board to jump from no contribution to benefits to wanting 6% from the teachers. It would also be a mistake to just cut off the schools in Lawrence County and let them fail.

    But we've got to gradually unwind some of these subsidies and motivate people to take care of themselves instead of expecting the government to take care of them.

    I suspect you feel differently, and I respect that.

    Now let's get to work.


  35. A couple of thoughts, non specific to anyone in particular.

    1) My first admission is that I stopped reading about halfway down. The responses were great, but I thought after a while I'd heard it all in a variety of tenses, spelling forms and grammatical interpretations.

    2) While I am a teacher, I don't live in Hilliard, nor do my kids go to school there. Quite simply, my family can't afford it.

    That said, on to my response:

    I disagree that it is the result of the teachers' unions in Ohio that have caused the current crisis in regards to overextended budgets and levy fatigue. Quite frankly, it is not the unions, but the school funding system in Ohio that must be fixed; it is reliant on property taxes, which is inherently elitist and self-serving. Your 9.5 mills of levied taxes (should it pass) will pull up more $ per mill than in my district, where it is more reliant on state money.

    It's sad that your community is experiencing levy fatigue; many across the state are. Ask yourself this question-- what would happen to your community if the levy were to fail? The single largest factor in the overvaluation of Hilliard is not the industry or patterns of land usage throughout the district; it is the sound educational system which has inflated your property values and done a great job of educating your children.

    What if we consolidated school districts? Combine the 620 districts in the 88 counties and merged them together into 88 county-wide districts, as they do in the southern states? Instead of paying for 620 school superintendents (and related numbers of central office personnel) you'd get down to economies of scale, and as a result you'd get much more bang for your buck. How about that?

  36. Phil:

    Thanks for your comment. We share some thinking.

    While I prefer that we fund schools with a 100% voucher system (every kid gets $10,000 to be spent in any accredited school, and for a school to be accredited it needs to, among other things, accept the $10K as full tuition), a consolidated metro system with open enrollment is probably the extreme of political acceptibility.

    The truth is that metro school systems in Ohio are configured the way they are to perpetuate segregation, except that we have learned to use wealth as a replacement for race. The various funding mechanisms being contemplated are simply ways to perpetuate that segregation, but feel better about it.

    And I'm a conservative...