Muhlenberg County Schools
amazed

Cadiz, KY

#275 Aug 29, 2014
Old Man River wrote:
<quoted text>
Ha...Todd is looking good? That is hilarious. Its like a spouse that spends all your kids college money and then runs off, leaving you to borrow to get by. This didn't happen overnight. If you were bright you might see that construction pet projects like the astroturfed stadium, the Felix Martin Hall, the tech wing and funding that new Park led us down this path. Not to mention creating positions out of thin air to give your friends wife a job.
So...anyone know what went down at the SPECIAL MEETING last night?
Granted...too much money has been spent on everything except educating the students, I think the problem everyone has with the current board is that they knew it and kept on spending anyway, simply to meet their personal agendas. This board has been haywire from the very first and spending money like it grows on trees. What special meeting?
culture vulture

Madisonville, KY

#276 Aug 29, 2014
Why is it so bad to have a theater like the Martin Hall? Most large high schools have large scale theaters, but most don't provide as many events for the public too. It was totally worth the $$. And the park is built by the Martin Foundation and local businesses. The school only provides maintenance. These are the things that make life good, art, music, parks… Martin Hall cost the school around $7 million. They had a gigantic surplus of millions, so why not improve our education in the arts, music, theater? These things are education too! Should we only teach our kids how to pass the tests to get the govt. funds? They deserve more! Go see a student show at the Martin Hall and tell me they are not being served by this wonderful theater! Hundreds of our students were involved in plays and music concerts last year, and it is only growing each year. Find another scape goat. Long live the arts!
Blackhawk Down

Cadiz, KY

#277 Aug 29, 2014
Old Man River wrote:
<quoted text>Ha...Todd is looking good? That is hilarious. Its like a spouse that spends all your kids college money and then runs off, leaving you to borrow to get by. This didn't happen overnight. If you were bright you might see that construction pet projects like the astroturfed stadium, the Felix Martin Hall, the tech wing and funding that new Park led us down this path. Not to mention creating positions out of thin air to give your friends wife a job.

So...anyone know what went down at the SPECIAL MEETING last night?
Are you really that stupid? Boards are audited each year and without question those audits would have shown that dollars were spent unnecessarily and pointing the district toward bankruptcy. Plus if the board could not afford construction the state would have stopped it. The state has to approve all construction. Previous boards saved $25 million for those projects and they voted to build buildings not the superintendent. Everything is pointing to this current board's spending and lack of intelligence to see that the reserves were down and make necessary cuts. They have increased staff knowing the budget couldn't support it. Everyone knows of their unnecessary spending like an interim for one example. The interim was here when last years budget was formed and Randy man this year then suddenly the first month of school they say oh my we are 5 million short? Someone wasn't paying attention the last too years and that put the district in a critical position. Go back and look at the board records. This board created more jobs the last two years then most people know and yes boards create the jobs the supt can't create one new job without board approval. You need to catch up with the times old man river.
avantguardian

Greenville, KY

#278 Aug 29, 2014
culture vulture wrote:
Why is it so bad to have a theater like the Martin Hall? Most large high schools have large scale theaters, but most don't provide as many events for the public too. It was totally worth the $$. And the park is built by the Martin Foundation and local businesses. The school only provides maintenance. These are the things that make life good, art, music, parks… Martin Hall cost the school around $7 million. They had a gigantic surplus of millions, so why not improve our education in the arts, music, theater? These things are education too! Should we only teach our kids how to pass the tests to get the govt. funds? They deserve more! Go see a student show at the Martin Hall and tell me they are not being served by this wonderful theater! Hundreds of our students were involved in plays and music concerts last year, and it is only growing each year. Find another scape goat. Long live the arts!
Reality check. Pretty stadiums and theaters are great if you have a dedicated tax base that can and WANTS to afford it. We have one that wants all the free stuff (like you) but doesn't have the money to pay. No industry equals no funding. All of this is built on TVA dollars that are leaving quick. Your concept of spending is way off if you thing 7 million is a small amount. Martin Hall is not even big enough to host graduation or an artist of any stature...so its not good for school functions and not big enough to make money.

Arts are important, but you don't need a 10 million dollar room to teach them in...ask anyone who went to school pre-Felix. We have some of the worst basic education, graduation and testing numbers in the state. Have you been to this county? An afternoon of Celtic dance performance isn't fixing the basic problems.

The Park...well its not even school affiliated. Its a total public park, like any other in the county. 200 plus acres was GIVEN to the parks system for nothing (hundreds of thousands gone) and they get to rob our children's education to pay for watering and mowing the sod.
culture vulture

Madisonville, KY

#280 Aug 29, 2014
I am happy to pay taxes, so please don't lump me in with those who do not want to pay their fair share. Our school district has the lowest tax rate in the state. They haven't raised taxes since 1993, and still won't. If I can pay a few dollars more to have jobs for teachers, smaller class sizes and education in the arts, I'm happy to. It is irresponsible for the board to keep on taxing at the 1993 rate while most schools in the state are preparing for a mandated 2% raise that comes for all staff next year. Still denying the reality they are living in… Raise taxes to match most school districts of our size and make the community pay their fair share for PUBLIC education - only dollars for most - instead of bankrupting our school district and blaming it on projects that were approved by the Kentucky Department of Education after analysis of the school's financial standings.

And please spare me the sob story about the people not being able to afford paying taxes to educate their children. New vehicle… check! Top of the line cell phone with mega-data plan… check! Free breakfast and lunch for the entire student body… check! The savings from not having to feed their children alone is enough to cover a few dollars in property tax.

For a school district to sit on millions and not spend it on buildings and improvements is stealing from taxpayers. They did the right thing by building new facilities. They did the wrong thing by ignoring the financial climate that was creeping up on them, for who knows how long. Why can't we have things like theaters, parks, stadiums? Money well spent, in my humble opinion.
old man river

Greenville, KY

#281 Aug 29, 2014
Blackhawk Down wrote:
<quoted text>
Are you really that stupid? Boards are audited each year and without question those audits would have shown that dollars were spent unnecessarily and pointing the district toward bankruptcy. Plus if the board could not afford construction the state would have stopped it. The state has to approve all construction. Previous boards saved $25 million for those projects and they voted to build buildings not the superintendent. Everything is pointing to this current board's spending and lack of intelligence to see that the reserves were down and make necessary cuts. They have increased staff knowing the budget couldn't support it. Everyone knows of their unnecessary spending like an interim for one example. The interim was here when last years budget was formed and Randy man this year then suddenly the first month of school they say oh my we are 5 million short? Someone wasn't paying attention the last too years and that put the district in a critical position. Go back and look at the board records. This board created more jobs the last two years then most people know and yes boards create the jobs the supt can't create one new job without board approval. You need to catch up with the times old man river.
Goodie!!...I love people who ramble off BS and try to pass it as fact.

I checked those numbers for you. According to the KY DOE the number of Staff have DECREASED from 457 to 455 in the last two years. Full time Teaches DECREASED from 382 to 380. Link is here.

http://education.ky.gov/districts/FinRept/Pag...

Now for a lesson on audits & budgets.

Audits are simply an accounting. They have no indicator/projection for millions being lost from TVA. The state BOE does not stop construction funds unless the cash on hand/revenue vs debt reaches below a certain ratio...which we still are not below. Spending reached its heights in 2010-11 with over 17 million in construction costs that year. Not to mention Todd's salary that was 40k more that the current superintendent. Everyone except you knew this ride couldn't last forever and its only going to get worse. 95% of the construction projects were on the table before the change of the last board. Apparently you thought you could spat off and no one would question you.
avantguardian

Greenville, KY

#282 Aug 29, 2014
culture vulture wrote:
I am happy to pay taxes, so please don't lump me in with those who do not want to pay their fair share. Our school district has the lowest tax rate in the state. They haven't raised taxes since 1993, and still won't. If I can pay a few dollars more to have jobs for teachers, smaller class sizes and education in the arts, I'm happy to. It is irresponsible for the board to keep on taxing at the 1993 rate while most schools in the state are preparing for a mandated 2% raise that comes for all staff next year. Still denying the reality they are living in… Raise taxes to match most school districts of our size and make the community pay their fair share for PUBLIC education - only dollars for most - instead of bankrupting our school district and blaming it on projects that were approved by the Kentucky Department of Education after analysis of the school's financial standings.
And please spare me the sob story about the people not being able to afford paying taxes to educate their children. New vehicle… check! Top of the line cell phone with mega-data plan… check! Free breakfast and lunch for the entire student body… check! The savings from not having to feed their children alone is enough to cover a few dollars in property tax.
For a school district to sit on millions and not spend it on buildings and improvements is stealing from taxpayers. They did the right thing by building new facilities. They did the wrong thing by ignoring the financial climate that was creeping up on them, for who knows how long. Why can't we have things like theaters, parks, stadiums? Money well spent, in my humble opinion.
Your humble opinion needs to be more humble before volunteering everyone's hard earned dollars.

By all means, speak for the entire county even though half are not paying taxes. You don't seem to understand the funding problem. This is all due to a loss in TVA dollars coupled with construction debt. You cant raise taxes to make up 11 million in this economy.

Spending for actual education is not why we are in trouble. Cut the luxury astroturf , 10 million dollar theatre and Dog Park plans and you still have a fully functional school with teachers, staff and small class sizes.
culture vulture

Madisonville, KY

#283 Aug 29, 2014
But why would anyone assume that TVA should pay for the education of OUR kids? That mentality is the root of the problem. It has been some really sweet icing on the cake, but it's gone! TVA icing junkies, that's what we are!

Keep the teachers and the nice things! It's a minimal contribution. Why are you assuming all the county is as greedy as you are? What's a few hard earned dollars for a better quality of life and a wider opportunity for our kids? That is something people should be happy to spend a few dollars on. We certainly spend our hard earned money on less important stuff everyday.

Glad to see the usual slinging and name calling though, for a moment I forgot I was on Topix! ;P

Also, great link in the above post to the KDE site. Thanks!
avantguardian

Greenville, KY

#284 Aug 29, 2014
culture vulture wrote:
But why would anyone assume that TVA should pay for the education of OUR kids? That mentality is the root of the problem. It has been some really sweet icing on the cake, but it's gone! TVA icing junkies, that's what we are!
Keep the teachers and the nice things! It's a minimal contribution. Why are you assuming all the county is as greedy as you are? What's a few hard earned dollars for a better quality of life and a wider opportunity for our kids? That is something people should be happy to spend a few dollars on. We certainly spend our hard earned money on less important stuff everyday.
Glad to see the usual slinging and name calling though, for a moment I forgot I was on Topix! ;P
Also, great link in the above post to the KDE site. Thanks!
I'm glad you agree that the county is hooked on free money. I never said TVA should pay for our childrens education. In fact, I don't thing that tax on TVA should exist at all if they pay property tax like any other business, thus getting rig of the Icing junkies and its not just school employees that are hooked. Look at whole county and coal severance. Same story. You must not see the huge percentage of kids that are below the poverty level. Where exactly will they work when TVA is gone, mines are gone and our tax rates keep industry running scared. Just keep raising taxes on the few? If you want a viable local economy, you are going to need jobs. Everybody cant be a school teacher.

Maybe you should decide how to spend your extra earned cash and Ill decide how to spend mine.
Blackhawk Down

Cadiz, KY

#285 Aug 29, 2014
old man river wrote:
<quoted text>Goodie!!...I love people who ramble off BS and try to pass it as fact.

I checked those numbers for you. According to the KY DOE the number of Staff have DECREASED from 457 to 455 in the last two years. Full time Teaches DECREASED from 382 to 380. Link is here.

http://education.ky.gov/districts/FinRept/Pag...

Now for a lesson on audits & budgets.

Audits are simply an accounting. They have no indicator/projection for millions being lost from TVA. The state BOE does not stop construction funds unless the cash on hand/revenue vs debt reaches below a certain ratio...which we still are not below. Spending reached its heights in 2010-11 with over 17 million in construction costs that year. Not to mention Todd's salary that was 40k more that the current superintendent. Everyone except you knew this ride couldn't last forever and its only going to get worse. 95% of the construction projects were on the table before the change of the last board. Apparently you thought you could spat off and no one would question you.
The state figures you mentioned do not show classified hires nor does it show this past summers hirings and just shows figures as of Sept each year not who is hired after that date. Board had 30 million they saved in past years and those projects were all approved by state. That's what the TVA money was earmarked for. I believe Todd's first four year contract was for 83,000 a year and this board starts the new supt at 125,000? That is public record if you want to request it like I did. Plus don't forget the salary they paid their interim hit man that first year.
The facts show this new agenda driven board come on and followed their agenda not caring what the budget shows or how it hurts kids. The reserves were being used and they were asleep at the wheel following Don Richey's lead. They had 2 years to adjust the budget and make cuts to balance the budget and they sit there and continued spending foolishly. They could of just not hired back the teachers and classified that left the past two years and saved nearly 3 million dollars. Oh by the way the tech wing under this new board has grown an additional 4 million dollars. My brother worked part time for the construction company and the head contractor told him they needed him longer because the school district keeps adding on until it's reached 4 million from the original contract. That helps explain the 5 million shortfall. TVA dropped a million last year and this board didn't make cuts? How stupid is that? No doubt budget cuts were looming but this board ignored Travis, Yonts and everyone else trying to tell them to pay attention but they kept on spending. They along with McCarty turned a budget decline into a budget disaster because they were asleep at the wheel and didn't listen to those who was warning them of financial problems.
And an audit does say if a organization is financially solvent and everyone in this county knows TVA is changing that will affect school dollars. Everyone except this board.
clarify

Cadiz, KY

#287 Aug 29, 2014
When discussion on here says "adding positions", I'm not clear if that means adding positions back after people retire or increasing the staff totals compared to the previous year. It seems at a minimum you don't increase your numbers when budgets are tight and in this situation it sounds as if the board should have not replaced people that left meaning a reduction in staff. Don't want a debate, just my thoughts but I'm not up on school business.
old man river

Greenville, KY

#288 Aug 29, 2014
clarify wrote:
When discussion on here says "adding positions", I'm not clear if that means adding positions back after people retire or increasing the staff totals compared to the previous year. It seems at a minimum you don't increase your numbers when budgets are tight and in this situation it sounds as if the board should have not replaced people that left meaning a reduction in staff. Don't want a debate, just my thoughts but I'm not up on school business.
It is true that per student we have more teachers & staff than most counties but that increase started many years ago and took several years. This didn't happen overnight.

According to the KY DOE the number of Staff have DECREASED from 457 to 455 in the last two years. Full time Teaches DECREASED from 382 to 380.

Link is here.
http://education.ky.gov/districts/FinRept/Pag...

clarify

Cadiz, KY

#289 Aug 29, 2014
old man river wrote:
<quoted text>It is true that per student we have more teachers & staff than most counties but that increase started many years ago and took several years. This didn't happen overnight.

According to the KY DOE the number of Staff have DECREASED from 457 to 455 in the last two years. Full time Teaches DECREASED from 382 to 380.

Link is here.
http://education.ky.gov/districts/FinRept/Pag...
Thank you. So that means the board and superintendent replaced all those who retired or left the district the previous year except for two? Maybe they shouldn't have done that to save money. IDK just wondering how they could have saved money recently since their budget was so tight. Seems like the reserves was dropping so I wonder why they replaced those who retired or left.
Right

Paducah, KY

#290 Aug 29, 2014
avantguardian wrote:
<quoted text>
Reality check. Pretty stadiums and theaters are great if you have a dedicated tax base that can and WANTS to afford it. We have one that wants all the free stuff (like you) but doesn't have the money to pay. No industry equals no funding. All of this is built on TVA dollars that are leaving quick. Your concept of spending is way off if you thing 7 million is a small amount. Martin Hall is not even big enough to host graduation or an artist of any stature...so its not good for school functions and not big enough to make money.
Arts are important, but you don't need a 10 million dollar room to teach them in...ask anyone who went to school pre-Felix. We have some of the worst basic education, graduation and testing numbers in the state. Have you been to this county? An afternoon of Celtic dance performance isn't fixing the basic problems.
The Park...well its not even school affiliated. Its a total public park, like any other in the county. 200 plus acres was GIVEN to the parks system for nothing (hundreds of thousands gone) and they get to rob our children's education to pay for watering and mowing the sod.
AMEN TO ALL YOU SAY!
old old board member

Cadiz, KY

#291 Aug 30, 2014
Tax base has nothing to do with pretty stadiums and Martin hall. Those are built and paid for with TVA reserves. TVA dollars have decreased but far from leaving. When these structures were built TVA dollars were at an all time high according to Rick Newman. The district had such a reserve it had to use it or take the chance the state would change the funding formula and lose significant money from now on. I'm sure TVA dollars were used for all the new elem schools too so it's not like they spent all their money on a stadium or auditorium.

The park was built and funded by the Martin Foundation based on a county needs assessment conducted by the Martin Foundation when the generous Mr Martin passed and left 50 million to be used in Muhlenberg Co. You say it shouldn't be built but the survey showed most of Muhlenberg Co did or it would not of been a priority. They only received a few acres too by a lease from the schools not given 200 acres. I don't think watering or mowing the park will rob our children of an education. In fact I'd say a park for kids to play and be proud of will be a big plus.

You complain about Martin Hall being too small but it's as large as any school auditorium in western Ky.. You would be complaining if they spent more money on it to make it bigger.

Test scores some of the worse in the state is way off base. Check the KDE website to see county rankings. Our elementary and middle schools are doing well with the high school lagging behind. Don't discredit all schools when most are well above state average.
We need jobs and industry? I agree but you don't think industry would not be impressed with the facility at west campus? It's very impressive and a recruiting tool used by the county as they try to recruit industry.

District reserves were saved for years to go toward facilities. No doubt they were decreasing the last few years but the current board did nothing to reduce spending or reduce staff to account for the declining reserves. This new board just kept on spending when they should have noticed hey our reserves are low we need a plan. Then TVA drops last year and again this year and bang suddenly we have a deficit. When they took office they did not have the reserves past boards had because previous boards saved over the years to keep more teachers and build buildings. But the new board spent and acted as if the reserves were still there and plentiful. You can say the previous board spent too much but the money was available. The new board kept spending when the reserves were not there thus creating a major deficit. Todd and McCarty will be blamed but boards control construction decisions, budgets and number of personnel the district can afford each year.
worried mother

Greenville, KY

#292 Aug 30, 2014
Pamala wrote:
Thank you Whatever..I never claimed to be an educated parent.I guess that is why I have been fighting so hard for my autistic child.Also my thoughts are usually faster than I type.
I to had to pull my autistic son out of school this year.
amazed

Cadiz, KY

#293 Aug 31, 2014
worried mother wrote:
<quoted text>
I to had to pull my autistic son out of school this year.
That is just too sad...there are some wonderful teachers and programs in the county for autistic children! Why did you have to pull him?
Finally

Central City, KY

#294 Aug 31, 2014
Thanks Old Old Board Member. You have it right!
Billy

Crofton, KY

#295 Aug 31, 2014
culture vulture wrote:
I am happy to pay taxes, so please don't lump me in with those who do not want to pay their fair share. Our school district has the lowest tax rate in the state. They haven't raised taxes since 1993, and still won't. If I can pay a few dollars more to have jobs for teachers, smaller class sizes and education in the arts, I'm happy to. It is irresponsible for the board to keep on taxing at the 1993 rate while most schools in the state are preparing for a mandated 2% raise that comes for all staff next year. Still denying the reality they are living in… Raise taxes to match most school districts of our size and make the community pay their fair share for PUBLIC education - only dollars for most - instead of bankrupting our school district and blaming it on projects that were approved by the Kentucky Department of Education after analysis of the school's financial standings.
And please spare me the sob story about the people not being able to afford paying taxes to educate their children. New vehicle… check! Top of the line cell phone with mega-data plan… check! Free breakfast and lunch for the entire student body… check! The savings from not having to feed their children alone is enough to cover a few dollars in property tax.
For a school district to sit on millions and not spend it on buildings and improvements is stealing from taxpayers. They did the right thing by building new facilities. They did the wrong thing by ignoring the financial climate that was creeping up on them, for who knows how long. Why can't we have things like theaters, parks, stadiums? Money well spent, in my humble opinion.
I suspect you don't own much property, if you did you would realize that it is more than just a few dollars more. Certainly the increase in taxes would be more than feeding my kids a couple of meals a day. I wish that you would take into account that not everyone just owns a house, some of us have significant investments in property, and we do pay taxes, AND we provide jobs! New buildings are great if you can afford it but the money spent in this county in the last few years has gotten a little ahead of common sense. Yes we want nice things, attractive buildings, yes it is nice for recruiting, but we can do so at a slower pace than has been.
GMC

United States

#296 Sep 1, 2014
Billy wrote:
<quoted text>I suspect you don't own much property, if you did you would realize that it is more than just a few dollars more. Certainly the increase in taxes would be more than feeding my kids a couple of meals a day. I wish that you would take into account that not everyone just owns a house, some of us have significant investments in property, and we do pay taxes, AND we provide jobs! New buildings are great if you can afford it but the money spent in this county in the last few years has gotten a little ahead of common sense. Yes we want nice things, attractive buildings, yes it is nice for recruiting, but we can do so at a slower pace than has been.
I not there anymore but my two kids got a good Ed in Muhl. They applied themselves, gave good effort and was prepared for college. Many of their classmates didn't make the effort. I know a board member and spoke recently to him. Don't look for a rise in property taxes even with the shortfall. However they will vote for a 3 cent utility tax after the election. They want to wait and make sure Don Richey gets re-elected this Nov. They have to generate new revenue and a utility tax can be voted on at any time and seems to be more fair than a property tax increase. That's what I understand the plan is. This board member also said they were not aware of the money shortfall that the new supt nor finance person told them till this August but I think it is their responsibility to know those figures when considering the next year budget. Just glad I'm not there anymore and my kids graduated because kids and employees will pay the price for a board caught napping.

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