SWCS school board's actions make litt...

SWCS school board's actions make little sense

There are 64 comments on the ThisWeek Community Newspapers story from Jul 15, 2009, titled SWCS school board's actions make little sense. In it, ThisWeek Community Newspapers reports that:

I just finished reading about the South-Western City Schools Board of Education saying now they need a state performance audit and community advisory committee to show them how to save money and be more prudent with spending.

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Jo-Jo

United States

#1 Jul 15, 2009
I know facts can get in the way of a good story, but the district has passed but ONE levy in the last 15 years - in May of 2005 - on the third try. There was no levy on the ballot again until November 2008, and here we are again on our third try - let's hope the third is a charm.

And the writer of the last letter needs to do some homework of his/her own before lauding the homework capabilities of Terry Jones. Terry Jones' facts come from all kinds of weird and outdated "sources". He claimed recently, as reported in the newspapers, that the median income in this part of Franklin County was around $22,000 - either a huge mistake, a gross exaggeration, or a flat-out lie. As of 1999, it was $52K (source: http://www.localcensus.com/city/Grove_City/Oh... ). I'm glad you considered meeting him to be a pleasure. As someone who has taken the time to educate herself on the actual facts, I find his disingenuous ramblings to be nauseating. Our kids deserve better than his drivel.
CRob87

New Albany, OH

#2 Jul 15, 2009
"IF" the Board Would've tried the Pay to Play route AND NOT put Chains and NO Trespassing signs up around the GCHS facilities, I would've given them Some Credit for trying and probably would've voted YES.

BUT, since they refused to even Try because of their "All or Nothing, Take My Ball And Go Home" attitude, they made this into an US against Them kind of thing.

So...NOW my vote is going to be NO in August.

NO is the way to Go !!!
F SWCS

Columbus, OH

#3 Jul 16, 2009
The levy will FAIL!!! And then what? Waste more money to put it back on. This board is ridiculous.

HELLO!!! EVERYONE IS BROKE FROM ALL OF THE HANDOUTS IN THIS BAD ECONOMY. <---That means I could care less about whether or not 'extra curricular' activities are there or not and more about what I get to keep to live. The people wanted pay to play and SWSC wouldn't even entertain the idea. All that says is they don't listen nor care. They need the money for their paychecks and not for the kids...I mean pawns.
Taxpayer

Columbus, OH

#4 Jul 16, 2009
And where are YOU putting our children in "an US against Them kind of thing" Please , let's use our heads and common sense in this situation. Please don't make our students the "LOSERS". Because, we ALL will lose in the end. We will lose the the upstanding members and leaders of our community who are truly interested in education, quality of life, property values, and have community pride. Do I need to tell you what we will be left with???
Bob Jones

Galloway, OH

#5 Jul 16, 2009
First let me say that stats are being thrown out by both sides that are basic manipulation and can't be trusted.

The best example is the "yes" voters saying that teacher income is in the bottom 3rd of Franklin County while "no" voters point out they are in the top 15% of the state. Same number, manipulated vs a different group to prove a point.

That said, I have to laugh at Jo-Jo. She's calling a guy (who I've never met and don't care what his position is) a liar. She then misquotes him: She said MEDIAN INCOME. He said AVERAGE PER CAPITA ANNUAL INCOME.

Obviously she doesn't understand what that is. The part that is funny, however, is she provides a link to a site that verifies his statement!

He claimed 22,173. The Links shows 22,305. She of course is counting "Grove City". While he is counting "SWCS district". So there'll be a difference.

So Jo-Jo, it's fine to point out why taking per capita income is not the best thing, but to simply call somebody wrong because you don't know what it means and then complain that THEY are uneducated? Now THAT is funny!

I agree with CRob87. True colors of the board was shown this summer. They clearly hurt the tax payers and kids to try to prove a point: pass the levy or else. That's sad. Wrap your mind around that. The SWCS administration purposely, knowingly and willingly hurt the students and tax payers to get more money. Which of course 81% of which goes straight into their pocket!
Austin

Columbus, OH

#6 Jul 17, 2009
BJ, your friend Terry is a nutcase. Sorry, but that's a fact. Have you been to a meeting where he rambles and carries on and shouts when there is no indication that anybody there is extremely hearing-impaired? I was at the board meeting on Monday night. He was allowed free reign for his full five minutes. No one interrupted him in any way or tried to talk over him. But he still felt the need to scream like a madman.

We are all passionate about our positions, I can assure you. But no one else felt the need to act that way and make a complete donkey of himself in front of the community and the press.

We had the side show of Terry Jones and some guy named Ron who "forgot" his speech and tried to make a big show of giving money to Mr. Garside and here's the big kicker: he didn't even live in the school district. Still, Mrs. Johnson was gracious enough to let him speak, although he had no standing and apparently limited executive thinking skills.

Wow - you guys came off like REAL professionals. I really wish it was possible to take the opposition seriously. I mean that. Then we could have a really serious, thoughtful debate and that would benefit a lot more people than the sideshow that SWAT tries to create everywhere they go.

As far as facts and figures, Jones just said in his "guest column" that he "doesn't care about facts and figures". That much is obvious. Have you visited his... uh... website?

And even if jojo didn't realize he was talking per capita as opposed to median (who ever knows what he's talking about?- it's hard to process when someone is screaming at you or a whole room full of people), he is being disingenuous because even by your own agreement with his account, he is using 10-year-old figures to further "bolster" his claim.

Using per capita income is the extremely misleading and Terry Jones knows it - that's why he uses it. Most people don't think in terms of "per capita" when it comes to income; they think in terms of household income. The household income is what is available to support a particular household. So it is pretty clear why he uses "per capita" - so that people like you will truly believe his whole ball of wax - and obviously, it works. The district's figures are public record and open to careful scrutiny. Jones's figures? Not so much.

Has Terry Jones done a careful analysis of what teachers in our district make as compared with what people in professions requiring similar education levels make? Yeah, I didn't think so, because that would be a comparison that didn't bolster his case.

As far as teachers making in the top 15% of the state in income (he provides no source, but whatever), I wonder if it has occurred to Jones that they are educted within the top 15% of the population of the state. Isn't that who we want teaching our children - those who are highly educated? Is it their fault that the residents of SWCS have one of the lowest college graduation rates in Franklin County? Of course, teachers are going to make more (eventually) than a lot of people who live here.

BTW, I am not a teacher nor in any way employed by this or any other district.
Bob Jones

Galloway, OH

#7 Jul 17, 2009
Austin wrote:
BJ, your friend Terry is a nutcase.
Don't know him. I don't feel his personality has anything to do with rather people should vote yes or no.
Austin wrote:
Wow - you guys came off like REAL professionals.
I really wish it was possible to take the opposition seriously.
Who are "you guys"? This position is very important for people however.
Austin is "not taking seriously" 55% of the voters who said no. FIFTY FIVE PERCENT of the voters said you do not need this levy and you are not taking that seriously?
No change was made to make more cuts. No attempt to lower salaries or address issues. No reduction in the amount of money requested. Just more blackmail against the kids.
I understand you don't take no voters seriously! That is a huge reason SWCS is failing. The administration and board discount anyone with the nerve not to give in to their blackmail and holding the kids hostage!
Austin wrote:
he is being disingenuous because even by your own agreement with his account, he is using 10-year-old figures to further "bolster" his claim.
I said it was odd that he choose that number as it makes little sense. The irony is that the "yes" voters are using the very same "disingenuous" type of tricks to support their positions. "bottom 3rd of franklin county" but never mentioning they are in the top 15% state wide!
Austin wrote:
As far as teachers making in the top 15% of the state in income (he provides no source, but whatever)
He provided no source because he did not make that claim. Those figures are easy to find at the ODE. The claim is NOT top 15% of the state population in income. The claim is top 15% of TEACHER salary when compared to districts state wide. Districts like Hilliard, Upper Arlington, New Albany are at the very top. It's why they are used as comparisons rather than state wide! It's, in your words, disingnuous.
Ashley

Galloway, OH

#8 Jul 17, 2009
All our taxes are going up and our income down. I just can't afford to give more. Sorry, but I'm voting no.
We the people

Columbus, OH

#9 Jul 17, 2009
I'm willing to call their hand on this levy,My vote is no also.....learn to deal with less like the rest of us hostages.
Bob the Builder

Galloway, OH

#10 Jul 20, 2009
It's all about the kids. Blackmail that is. Let's use the kids to make the voters give us their money!

The school has their own interest at heart, not the kids!
State Budget Watcher

United States

#11 Jul 20, 2009
Jo-Jo wrote:
I know facts can get in the way of a good story, but the district has passed but ONE levy in the last 15 years - in May of 2005 - on the third try. There was no levy on the ballot again until November 2008, and here we are again on our third try - let's hope the third is a charm.
Jo-Jo, your facts are in error. SWCS proposed a 1% income tax levy that was on the ballot in November 2006. It failed (quoting Dr. Bill Wise) "by historic margins."

The fact and reality is that the district did propose (once) a funding method that was constitutional and fair for all residents of the district. Once the proposal was made, the district and the current levy backers sat on their hands and made zero effort to actually pass the November 2006 issue. Why? It would have actually worked. And a number of wealthy individuals who live in this district would have actually had to *pay* their fair share. There were no yard signs, no rally's with Jim Tressel (who had campaigned for the 2005 issue), no bands driving up and down the streets, no leaflet drops, no phone banks, no NOTHING. And the income tax issue failed. And the school board can say "we tried that and it didn't work," thus allowing the continuation of business as usual. Oh, and incidentally, had that issue passed, the district likely would not be on the ballot today even with these economic trials because school district income taxes are a percentage and are allowed by law to GROW as incomes increase. The numbers quoted by the treasurer (in 2006) were that 1% of income tax is equal to 9-10 mills of property tax.

So what do we do? We try again to pass a fixed term, fixed amount property tax and pull out all the stops to make it happen.

OY!
Time will tell

Galloway, OH

#12 Jul 20, 2009
THe income tax was proposed.
The problem the district seems to have passing anything IMHO has more to do with the split in the districts "two halves" than anything else.

They can't pass a property tax because the Grove City folks feel they are paying too much for the "others" in Columbus and won't support it. The Columbus area won't support an income tax. It's a catch 22 with no end in sight.
GC Resident

Hilliard, OH

#13 Jul 21, 2009
I have lived in my house for eight years and my mortagage payment has gone up only $200.00. While some levies are permanent in nature most are not. The millage decreases every year and eventually falls off. The $300.00 in increased property taxes will pale in comparison to a reduction in my homes value if this levy fails. (my opinion only) What family will want to move to an area that doesn't have athletics but band, drama club, proms, ROTC, chess club, french club, and others that are out there.
Bob Jones

Galloway, OH

#14 Jul 21, 2009
Possibly the 80%+ that aren't involved in any of those things?

That is if you believe they ACTUALLY will drop activities. Given their history it's hard to say you actually believe they won't come back with some new plan on August 5th. I'd bet that on August 5th, should the blackmail fail, they will suddenly say they have listened and start a pay to play system. They don't have the guts to cut sports or band and they know it is too little cost to matter.
NO TO ISSUE 2

United States

#15 Jul 22, 2009
What in the world does Jim Tressel have to do with Issue 2? I am wondering how much they paid him for his endorsement? They haven't gotten any S/W or Columbus players that I can think of. What a bunch of douch bags. Still voting NO!
Kelly Lecker

Columbus, OH

#16 Jul 22, 2009
There will be a live online chat with South-Western Schools superintendent Bill Wise on Thursday at noon. Log onto Dispatch.com to join the conversaton and ask your questions.
The chat will be at: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_ne...
Austin

Columbus, OH

#17 Jul 22, 2009
Bob Jones wrote:
That is if you believe they ACTUALLY will drop activities. Given their history it's hard to say you actually believe they won't come back with some new plan on August 5th. I'd bet that on August 5th, should the blackmail fail, they will suddenly say they have listened and start a pay to play system. They don't have the guts to cut sports or band and they know it is too little cost to matter.
Hopefully, Issue 2 will pass. But if it doesn't, it would be great to watch the faces of those who buy into this line of reasoning, especially if you have kids or grandkids who were counting on being able to be involved in those activities.

These things HAVE ALREADY been cut. Hopefully, this community won't have to find out how correct that is.

If you don't want to vote for the levy, fine. As we can see, there are some with seemingly zillions of reasons to vote "no". And it's the right of every American to vote however they choose. However, I would strongly suggest that you don't vote "no" simply because of the reasoning that "they won't really cut extracurriculars when push comes to shove".

These cuts were made in February. These activities are GONE. Only the passage of Issue 2 can RESTORE them.
Bob Jones

Galloway, OH

#18 Jul 22, 2009
I've given you some of the "zillion reasons" as you say. Rather the board decides to drop athletics and band or not is up to them. If they do without allowing them to find a way to pay for it on their own that is their choice I guess.

As you point out, these "cuts" were "made" in February. They continued activities for the next four months after they were cut. After saying they'd be cut "for sure" with no second chance if the May vote failed. Then after it failed they said: "well we mean August and THIS time we really mean it!"

We shall see. Why believe them this time? The just went back on the very same pledge in May!
Bob Jones

Galloway, OH

#19 Jul 22, 2009
I want to point out that there is no question they could have these activities funded outside the budget. Their choice to hurt the kids rather than try, knowing that losing this hammer means they'll never get more money to do what ever they want, shows where the administration really stands! The kids are simply tools to get what they want, nothing more.
tommyboy

Columbus, OH

#20 Jul 22, 2009
Bob Jones wrote:
I want to point out that there is no question they could have these activities funded outside the budget. Their choice to hurt the kids rather than try, knowing that losing this hammer means they'll never get more money to do what ever they want, shows where the administration really stands! The kids are simply tools to get what they want, nothing more.
The whole reason for NO to pay to play stems to the over PC sensitivity that Bob Jr can't afford the pay to play even if his part is $200, so since this isn't fair, no one can play. If Bob Sr can't afford to pay, than sorry Bob Jr can't play. I would really like to see an attempt at pay to play if the levy fails. The board can't bring extra-curriculars back in their former state or they would certainly lose all credibility, all though they would still lose credibilty bring it back in pay for play form since they took that off the board too.

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