PTO tackles Patriots on levy | The Co...

PTO tackles Patriots on levy | The Columbus Dispatch

There are 214 comments on the Columbus Dispatch story from Jul 17, 2011, titled PTO tackles Patriots on levy | The Columbus Dispatch. In it, Columbus Dispatch reports that:

Amanda Tonjes and Patti Wigington say the Pickerington school district needs more money to stabilize its budget and preserve high-quality teachers and programs.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Columbus Dispatch.

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Old Timer

AOL

#1 Jul 17, 2011
Wow. I noticed how Mr. Giglio speaks to his patriotism of "We beat them the last time". What is patriotic about reducing a good school system to less than average? Mrs. Koebel doesn't even send her children to the public school, so her argument has a bit hostility towards the less desirable "public kids".

I do agree with them that wages have maxed out for the educators. A salary range of 35-83K for a school years is more than adequate, especially whwn adding insurance and pension liabilities by the board. The monies being requested are to maintain and not add programs, and I'd bet to recall laid off staff.

As for the tax rate currently being paid, it is not al all exhorbitant. Remember you get what you pay for, good or bad. Have a system go into the crapper and you ratchet up crime, unemployment, and you'll lose a sense of community, which is what really provides a sense of well being.
RS in Pickerington

Columbus, OH

#2 Jul 17, 2011
There is plenty of evidence out there that more money does not equate to excellent schools. Yet, school systems continue to run up their budgets and keep asking for more money from the taxpayers. Property taxes in Pickerington are high, and we have a 1% income tax to boot. The typical resident pays roughly $150,000 over their lifetime in taxes that go directly to the school. We should have Mercedes-quality education already with that type of investment, and what we truly have is a school that is better than average, but definitely not excellent. The issue with the budget is that salaries were run up significantly over the past several years in the midst of a severe economic downturn. The article never mentioned anything about that... just that the PEA came forward with a reasonable concession last time. But, does this contract make up for the excesses over the past several years? We definitely have a lot of great teachers in our system, and I hope they do very well financially. On the flip side, however, is that we have also plenty of bad or less than average teachers who are not helping our kids succeed. These same teachers are also getting the same raises and pay as the great teachers. If you want to solve the budget problem, start with the poor teachers in the system. Manage them up or out, and pay them less until they are able to truly help our kids. Those who are against this levy want responsible schools who can do a great job educating our kids with an investment that is already more than sufficient.
Summer Kelly

Columbus, OH

#3 Jul 17, 2011
Pickerington is the Olentangy wannabe, without the 300K homes they can't be with the top dogs like Dublin and New Albany and Upper Arlington. They need to stay in their level with Whitehall and Reynoldsburg.
Old Guy

Reynoldsburg, OH

#4 Jul 17, 2011
Before we go pounding the Pickerington Local School district, the board, the administration, the teachers, and the unions, for their "irresponsible", "self centered" and "incompetent" methods, let's remember that PLSD has and has had one of the lowest expenditure per pupil of any school rated "excellent" by the Ohio Department of Educations in central Ohio for over 20 years.

Below is the Fiscal Year 2010 statistics.

Disctrict $$ PP Rate

Grandview Heights City 14,977 EX
Columbus City 14,904 CI
Upper Arlington City 14,840 EX
Bexley City 14,785 EX
Worthington City 12,965 EX
Dublin City 12,881 EX
Gahanna-Jefferson 11,832 EX
Hilliard City 11,475 EX
Whitehall City 10,964 CI
Groveport Madison 10,893 EF
Westerville City 10,067 EX
South-Western City 9,894 EX
Pickerington Local 9,876 EX
Delaware City 9,822 EF
Reynoldsburg City 9,678 EF
Canal Winchester 9,604 EF
Olentangy Local 9,603 EX

My vote is "Yes".
Pookiebear60

Newark, OH

#5 Jul 17, 2011
The Patriots are right. Love the way it's put in this article, "They recently agreed to a contract that gives them no cost-of-living pay raises for the next two years. The contract also withholds step increases - raises based on years of service or education levels - in the first year of the agreement." Sooo.. they're 'sacrificing' two years of a cost-of-living raise, and one year of a step raise. Anyone know what kind of percentage those are? In most districts, it's somewhere between 3-5%. Do the math: These teachers are making an avg of $59,000....how much are they really 'sacrificing' here. Lots of private workforce employees have not had 'cost-of-living' raises OR 'step-raises' in the past two years. Why are these people, required to work only 184 days per year so much better than anyone in the private workforce GUARANTEED a step raise year after this? I'm not. Is ANYone in the private sector??

What about any other kind of increases? Do they also get 'longevity' raises? See...the really bad part of all of this is that these kinds of articles don't really give ALL of the facts. Just how much money are we talking here? And what about non-union administrators? You see, it's not a common realization that they are given the same benefits as the teachers. What about all of that money?? It's all done under the blanket of 'it's all for the kids'. Really??

$1300/100,000 valuation is a lot of money...where is it going? The only fact that's fairly solid here is that the avg teacher makes $59,000 for 184 days work. That's over $42/hour. The voter must think: what is REALLY going on here? And are we REALLY able to sustain this kind of fiscal acrobatics?
CW taxpayer 2

AOL

#6 Jul 17, 2011
Our schools have failed to earn the money we give. We are all suffering from cutbacks. For these two reasons alone, I cannot continue to support the public school system.
Marcus

Pickerington, OH

#7 Jul 17, 2011
Summer Kelly wrote:
Pickerington is the Olentangy wannabe, without the 300K homes they can't be with the top dogs like Dublin and New Albany and Upper Arlington. They need to stay in their level with Whitehall and Reynoldsburg.
Hey numbnuts - stop out here any time of the day and I'll not only show you 300K homes but I might even find several hundred that are even 500K!! Get out more often you stupid azz!
RS in Pickerington

Columbus, OH

#8 Jul 17, 2011
Pookiebear60 wrote:
The Patriots are right. Love the way it's put in this article, "They recently agreed to a contract that gives them no cost-of-living pay raises for the next two years. The contract also withholds step increases - raises based on years of service or education levels - in the first year of the agreement." Sooo.. they're 'sacrificing' two years of a cost-of-living raise, and one year of a step raise. Anyone know what kind of percentage those are? In most districts, it's somewhere between 3-5%. Do the math: These teachers are making an avg of $59,000....how much are they really 'sacrificing' here. Lots of private workforce employees have not had 'cost-of-living' raises OR 'step-raises' in the past two years. Why are these people, required to work only 184 days per year so much better than anyone in the private workforce GUARANTEED a step raise year after this? I'm not. Is ANYone in the private sector??
What about any other kind of increases? Do they also get 'longevity' raises? See...the really bad part of all of this is that these kinds of articles don't really give ALL of the facts. Just how much money are we talking here? And what about non-union administrators? You see, it's not a common realization that they are given the same benefits as the teachers. What about all of that money?? It's all done under the blanket of 'it's all for the kids'. Really??
$1300/100,000 valuation is a lot of money...where is it going? The only fact that's fairly solid here is that the avg teacher makes $59,000 for 184 days work. That's over $42/hour. The voter must think: what is REALLY going on here? And are we REALLY able to sustain this kind of fiscal acrobatics?
Great comment. To add to this, the average salary in Pickerington is actually $64k. My kids are in the system, and my oldest is in junior high. He's had some very good teachers, no doubt, and I think we should treat these great teachers like gold. But, he also has had some truly awful ones. My middle child had a kindergarten teacher who taught him very little, and she makes $77k per year! If it were truly about the kids, we would stop asking for money and do something about the teachers that aren't doing a good job. Why do we treat bad teachers the same way as our best performers? Does that make sense? Why do we reward poor performance? School performance and the budget issue can be solved by simply doing the right thing with the teachers that aren't getting the job done.

Since: Dec 09

Columbus

#9 Jul 17, 2011
Here’s the math

Ratios
10,600 students with 1000 staff = 10.6 students per staff

10,600 students with -125 staff = 12.11 students per staff

2013-13 year
10,600 students with -30 staff = 12.54 students per staff

Cost
$100,000,000 budget =$9,433.96 per student

-$13,000,000 cut =$8,207.55 per student

2012-13 year

-$7,000,000 cut =$7547.17 per student

The numbers add up to heavy costs for staff and wasted funds going somewhere.
bmw120556

Columbus, OH

#10 Jul 17, 2011
Summer Kelly wrote:
Pickerington is the Olentangy wannabe, without the 300K homes they can't be with the top dogs like Dublin and New Albany and Upper Arlington. They need to stay in their level with Whitehall and Reynoldsburg.
Pickerington does have $300,000+ homes. Some are a half million and up. What has been draging Pickerington down is rental developement, which adds people to the system but not as much revenue as single familiy homes.
Black Lion

Columbus, OH

#11 Jul 17, 2011
Cut those teachers and administrators pay over $55,000 by 7%. cut the 14% pension contribution from 14% back to 5.75% to be the same as social security. Take away COLA raises and step raises substituting merit raises in their place. Cut the number of administrators by 20%. These moves leave a surplus sufficient to fund all sports and extracurricular activities with no new taxes.
RS in Pickerington

Columbus, OH

#12 Jul 17, 2011
Old Guy wrote:
Before we go pounding the Pickerington Local School district, the board, the administration, the teachers, and the unions, for their "irresponsible", "self centered" and "incompetent" methods, let's remember that PLSD has and has had one of the lowest expenditure per pupil of any school rated "excellent" by the Ohio Department of Educations in central Ohio for over 20 years.
Below is the Fiscal Year 2010 statistics.
Disctrict $$ PP Rate
Grandview Heights City 14,977 EX
Columbus City 14,904 CI
Upper Arlington City 14,840 EX
Bexley City 14,785 EX
Worthington City 12,965 EX
Dublin City 12,881 EX
Gahanna-Jefferson 11,832 EX
Hilliard City 11,475 EX
Whitehall City 10,964 CI
Groveport Madison 10,893 EF
Westerville City 10,067 EX
South-Western City 9,894 EX
Pickerington Local 9,876 EX
Delaware City 9,822 EF
Reynoldsburg City 9,678 EF
Canal Winchester 9,604 EF
Olentangy Local 9,603 EX
My vote is "Yes".
So, if the vast majority of public schools overspend, then it must be ok for Pickerington as well. Is that your argument? Also, 48% of the school districts rated by the state are classified as "Excellent" or "Excellent with Distinction", so that classification only indicates that Pickerington is slightly better than average in the state. The state has no motivation to classify the true state of their schools... why would they? If you want to prove how good the school system is doing, provide some facts about how well Pickerington students are doing after high school is complete. How many of them are not ready for college? How many have to take remedial courses if they are able to go to college?
Marcus

Pickerington, OH

#13 Jul 17, 2011
The laws need to be changed so that people with NO children shouldn't have to pay for your brats to have a decent education! I'm just sayin ... why is that my responsibility or obligation! What a crock!
get informed

Reynoldsburg, OH

#14 Jul 17, 2011
Old Guy wrote:
Before we go pounding the Pickerington Local School district, the board, the administration, the teachers, and the unions, for their "irresponsible", "self centered" and "incompetent" methods, let's remember that PLSD has and has had one of the lowest expenditure per pupil of any school rated "excellent" by the Ohio Department of Educations in central Ohio for over 20 years.
Below is the Fiscal Year 2010 statistics.
Disctrict $$ PP Rate
Grandview Heights City 14,977 EX
Columbus City 14,904 CI
Upper Arlington City 14,840 EX
Bexley City 14,785 EX
Worthington City 12,965 EX
Dublin City 12,881 EX
Gahanna-Jefferson 11,832 EX
Hilliard City 11,475 EX
Whitehall City 10,964 CI
Groveport Madison 10,893 EF
Westerville City 10,067 EX
South-Western City 9,894 EX
Pickerington Local 9,876 EX
Delaware City 9,822 EF
Reynoldsburg City 9,678 EF
Canal Winchester 9,604 EF
Olentangy Local 9,603 EX
My vote is "Yes".
Again with the "cost per pupil" straw man BS.

There are only 2 districts on this list that even start to compare to Pickerington in tax base make up, Canal and Olentangy and they are both spending LESS than Pickerington.
And again, if you are trying to argue that if we spend more per pupil , the schools will stay "excellent", look at the $14,904 per pupil in CITY OF COLUMBUS schools and they SUCK!

All of the other districts besides the two I mentioned have much more industry in their tax base and taxpayers aren't leaned on nearly as heavily as they are here. For the adults in the room, this means simply, Pickerington CANNOT afford to spend like other districts, we just cannot. So take your "cost per pupil" and put it to bed. Taxes are already too high here and we will fight to keep them from going higher.

Teachers here have average salary of $62,777 and that is not sustainable with the recent economic downturn. There needs to be a pay cut of 5- to 10 percent across the board and that would fix it, no levy needed , no pay to play needed. no teachers will be in bread lines and their schools will still be the nice new ones we built them.
Yew People

New Albany, OH

#15 Jul 17, 2011
If you agree that salaries are in line with what you think is acceptable, why would you disagree with Mr Giglio and accuse him of wanting to wreck the school district? 85% of the expenses are for staff salaries and benefits, so if salaries are adequate, no more income should be needed.

There are three groups working in unison to create this crisis which can only be solved by raising taxes. The Union, the PTO, and the School Board. All of these groups work together to make threats of the sky falling and they always go for cutting sports programs first. The playbook of these groups is painfully predictable.

A union contract negotiation is an adversarial process. You cannot have a meaningful negotiation if all parties at the table are on the same side. The union always wants more money and more teachers. The PTO drones are convinced that their children must have more teachers and staff to get a good education and teachers are inherently impoverished. The school board members owe their jobs to the unions because the unions pick the candidates and funds their campaigns.

The parents, students, and tax payers have no true meaningful representation in a teacher union contract negotiation.

All of these groups have the same mantra. More money for more teachers is the path to a quality education for your children. Stop listening to what they say and start watching what they do. The unions simply want more dues paying members without regard to the cost. ALL of these groups are opposed to actually rewarding and retaining excellent teachers. They all say they need more money to attract the best teachers, but all of the teachers went to the same colleges and are part of the same labor pool. What happens to the really bad teacher who is hired and survives budget cuts and layoffs? Nothing. What happens to the really great teacher who gets hired and then the district realizes that it over hired? He/ she is laid off while the really bad teacher remains. It is a simple last in first out system that protects loyal union members without one shred of regard for the quality of the education of “the kids”.

We are not saying we want to impoverish teachers. We are saying that THIS IS ALL OF THE MONEY WE HAVE TO SPEND.

Finally, if you look at the “quality” of a school district, you are directed to the average test scores of the students in that district who have taken a standardized test. Since all districts operate under union contracts and very similar hiring and firing practices it is reasonable to assume that all districts have very good teachers and incompetent ones as well. Based on this I think it is more reasonable to assume that the quality measure of the district is more a factor of the quality of the students as opposed to the quality of the teachers. I know many of you will think I am crazy for saying this and it is politically incorrect, but it is true. The parents are still the overwhelming factor in raising and educating children and this is how it should be. Those in higher socioeconomic classes earn a better living generally because they are educated and they pass those values to their children. Throwing more money at a school district will do absolutely nothing to change this fact.
Reader

Columbus, OH

#16 Jul 17, 2011
"Koebel, a stay-at-home mother to 9-year-old Jacob, 7-year-old Abigail and 5-year-old Benjamin, said teacher and administrator salaries have outpaced what the community can afford.

"There is a disparity between the fortunes of the community and the fortunes of district employees, and it's unsustainable," said Koebel, 39, whose children attend Liberty Christian Academy in Pataskala.

"What I see is spending that is out of touch with what the community can actually afford," she said. "Everyone wants good teachers, good facilities and the best possible education, but not everyone can afford a Mercedes.""

OK--so someone who can afford to stay home and not work--while sending three kids to a private school thinks that teacher salaries have outpaced the connunity and the community cannot afford high quality schools>

Wow--talk about out of touch. Look in the mirror, hon. I bet you are counting the days until our Governor finds a way to send you some tax dollars to pay your private school tuition, eh?
Yew People

New Albany, OH

#17 Jul 17, 2011
Reader wrote:
"Koebel, a stay-at-home mother to 9-year-old Jacob, 7-year-old Abigail and 5-year-old Benjamin, said teacher and administrator salaries have outpaced what the community can afford.
"There is a disparity between the fortunes of the community and the fortunes of district employees, and it's unsustainable," said Koebel, 39, whose children attend Liberty Christian Academy in Pataskala.
"What I see is spending that is out of touch with what the community can actually afford," she said. "Everyone wants good teachers, good facilities and the best possible education, but not everyone can afford a Mercedes.""
OK--so someone who can afford to stay home and not work--while sending three kids to a private school thinks that teacher salaries have outpaced the connunity and the community cannot afford high quality schools>
Wow--talk about out of touch. Look in the mirror, hon. I bet you are counting the days until our Governor finds a way to send you some tax dollars to pay your private school tuition, eh?
The state should send her a check equal to the amount they send the district per pupil. A parent has the right to educate their children in the manner they see fit. If you choose not to send your children to a government school, you should, as a taxpayer, have access to the same amount of money the state spends on students in that district.
get informed

Reynoldsburg, OH

#18 Jul 17, 2011
I will add this little jewel for the "cot per pupil" crowd to chew on.

http://www.olentangyforkids.org/index.php/dat...

Take a look at that chart folks.
Pickeringon is being taxed to max right now and there is no way for the "yes" voters to defend getting taxed more.
get informed

Reynoldsburg, OH

#19 Jul 17, 2011
sorry, meant "Cost", not "cot"

Feel free to cut and paste that link folks, it really tells the story, we are behind only Bexely in tax millage rate.
Folks that is wrong and the school board should resign.
Old School

United States

#20 Jul 17, 2011
Yew People wrote:
<quoted text>
The state should send her a check equal to the amount they send the district per pupil. A parent has the right to educate their children in the manner they see fit. If you choose not to send your children to a government school, you should, as a taxpayer, have access to the same amount of money the state spends on students in that district.
I mostly agree with you, however not everyone lives in a $100K house or more. Based upon your rational if I owned a $40K house and had three kids in school the state would owe me about $850 a year total. Not sure you can properly educate three children with that kind of money. The children would be much better off attending school instead of watching TV and eating chips all day.

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