#26019 Jul 23, 2013
Check out the excerpts from an excellent report by the Education Action Group:
Springboro’s old philosophy was like that of many public school districts: Teachers were given annual “step” raises and administrators received nice salary perks, whether there was money in the district’s budget or not. If the district couldn’t afford it, voters were expected to approve tax hikes to pay for it all, or accept cuts to student services.
That old “adults first” approach was on full display in 2009, when district officials chose to address their financial woes by eliminating busing for high school students, laying off 30 district employees, and raising pay-to-play fees for after school activities.
Not long after that, Kelly Kohls, a mother of five and a former college professor, joined the Springboro school board and a new “children first” philosophy began to emerge.
Kohls’ approach of challenging the “business as usual” mindset has proven very effective. The district now requires employees to contribute more for their health insurance plans. Backdoor bonuses for administrators have been eliminated, annual teacher “step” raises have been frozen, and a variety of spending cuts have been implemented.
The results are evident in the school’s financial trajectory. A few years ago the district was projecting a $30 million deficit. Today it’s projecting a $4 million surplus, even though the community is still reeling from the weak economy, which has caused a 400 percent increase in the number of people needing assistance from the local food bank, according to Kohls.
Kohls’ self-described “kids first” approach has caused a lot of heartburn among Springboro’s school establishment. During her brief tenure on the board, district officials have publicly blamed Kohls for the defeat of a $6 million school levy, the departures of a superintendent, a district treasurer, a school board president and the large turnover in school administrators.
Members of the Springboro Education Association – the local teachers union – use school board meetings to excoriate Kohls for opposing teacher pay raises and proposing budget cuts.
“Some people get so entrenched in the old philosophy that it’s tough to get them to think whether or not something is going to help the kids,” Kohls says of the criticism.“We need a different way of thinking.”
Voters seem to agree. Last November, they elected two of Kohls’ allies, giving fiscal conservatives control of the five-member school board, which began its current term in January.
Kohls says her approach has been to “ask a lot of questions” and to explain the board’s spending decisions to the community.
#26020 Jul 23, 2013
During her campaign for school board, for instance, Kohls asked why Springboro taxpayers were paying both the district’s and administrators’ contributions to the state retirement fund, especially since high school busing had just been cut to save money.
She reasoned that the amount of money spent on the retirement perk ($180,000) should be used to reinstate high school busing ($125,000). Kohls shared her proposal with the community on the Educate Springboro website and now the administrative perk is gone.
When the district’s health insurance costs increased by $830,000, Kohls proposed that employee contributions be raised to 20 percent – in line with what average Springboro residents paid – to offset the extra costs. She thought it made sense, especially since the district was in the middle of a financial emergency that left schools unable to purchase new textbooks or make basic building repairs. Her fellow board members at the time didn’t agree, and the district absorbed the increase.
But Kohls used the Educate Springboro website to bring her case to the public, and the philosophical shift became evident.
“People started looking at the other four board members, and asked,‘How could you say yes to the increase?’” Kohls says.
Today, employees pay 15 percent of their health insurance costs, and the district has joined a health care consortium which has resulted in nearly $6 million in savings.
Since January, the new board has enshrined its “children first” philosophy in a series of 28 goals, which include setting district money aside to help prepare students for the ACT test, among other things.
The board has switched to zero-based budgeting, meaning that school budgets will not automatically increase every year. Instead, teachers are being asked to submit annual budgets outlining specific resources they need.
The board is also developing policies that prioritize district spending, to ensure that student-centered spending needs are met before employee benefits and wage increases are considered. Kohls is crafting a point system to determine which employees will receive bonuses from the leftover funds.
#26021 Jul 23, 2013
BOARD APPROVES AGREEMENT WITH TEACHERS AND UNPRECEDENTED 15 PERCENT ROLLBACK ON NOVEMBER RENEWAL
The Springboro Community City Schools Board of Education (BOE) voted unanimously in favor of a new agreement with the Springboro Education Association (SEA) at its board meeting on July 16. The announcement comes less than a week after the BOE approved a new agreement with the Springboro Classified Employees Association (SCEA).
“This is outstanding news for our employees, taxpayers and students and their families,” said Kohls.“We have an agreement we can afford and that will make our school district more competitive. We will be able to retain our best teachers and attract new top-notch teaching staff.”
According to Kohls, one of the main reasons the BOE voted unanimously was the board’s agreement that a 15% rollback on the $9.2 million renewal levy scheduled for November will be instituted. That means the renewal levy will not only add no new taxes for residents, it will result in a reduction in taxes.“If the levy passes in November, we will be able to move forward without any type of levy for some time to come,” Kohls confirmed.“By reducing the renewal levy, we are helping our community during challenging economic times while underscoring the need for this levy to pass.”
“When we projected our agreements with the SEA and SCEA, we found we will have a $7.2 million carryover in 2017,” said Kohls.“The community should be aware that our five-year forecast considers all aspects of funding and revenue streams as well as anticipated expenses.”
According to Kohls, the BOE transformed the school district into a district with a projected surplus.“This was accomplished while the BOE improved bussing, added technology, purchased needed textbooks and invested in capital improvements in buildings and grounds. It could not have been accomplished without outstanding financial planning and management by the board, administration and staff.”
The highlights of the two-year agreement with the SEA include:
• 80/20 healthcare insurance with employees paying 20%, and school district paying 80%
• 2% raise on base pay for both years one and two
• Step raises for two years
• Establishing a committee to put an equitable performance pay system in place
In comparison, the four-year agreement with the SCEA includes these provisions:
• Step raises for three years
•$1,000 annual stipend for three years
• 80/20 healthcare insurance with employees paying 20%, and school district paying 80%
#26022 Jul 23, 2013
In May 2013, the BOE prepared a five-year forecast with reasonable assumptions. This May forecast indicated a carryover or surplus of $7.55 million in 2017. The five-year forecast, after the approval of both union agreements, shows a carryover of $7.2 million in 2017. This surplus, along with the projected additional funding emanating from the governor’s budget bill that will start to be realized this month, encouraged the BOE to consider a reduction in the renewal levy.
The Springboro treasurer has been informed that the district will receive 6.5% more in 2013-14 than in 2012-13, an increase of approximately $828,000 as well as 10.5% more in 2014-15, an increase of approximately $1.2 million.
Since the start of the 2012-13 school year, the school district has begun to receive $3.5 million per year as a result of a pipeline that has been completed. It is possible that a second pipeline will be completed during the 2015-16 school year. While the BOE believes this second pipeline will become a reality, its current five-year forecast does not include the additional funding it may bring to the district.
“As the Springboro BOE looks into the future, we continue our commitment to working with a zero-based budget, which we call our ‘Children First Budget’,” said Kohls.“We found no reason to ask the community for more funding than we need. The board has been fiscally prudent. We have a generous community that has felt the pain of plummeting property values, lost income and financial insecurity. We want an excellent school district to help keep property values high and draw people to live in Springboro.”
Kohls continued,“Even with the rolled-back renewal levy in November, we do not forecast the need for additional taxes for years to come. This will be accomplished because the BOE and administration will continue to apply innovative financial management principles and maintain a dedication to our Children First Budget.”
“The board is pleased with the agreements with our teachers and non-teaching staff,” Kohls said,“We can walk into the future both unified and strong. It helps to have received additional funding from the state and from the pipelines that are being constructed in Springboro.” She continued,“We have an agreement in place that will provide a surplus in 2017, and that is something our community will appreciate.”
Kohls concluded,“The Springboro School District continues to provide a quality education. For eight years it has been honored as “excellent with distinction” by the Ohio Department of Education. We thank our parents, students, community, teachers, administrators and non-teaching staff for these achievements. We look forward to continued excellence in the future.”
#26023 Jul 23, 2013
In the direction of unity…..
With the first day of school upon us in late August, we enter into the comfortable routines of a new school year. Each year begins with the hope and prayer of a fresh beginning on both sides of the fence, teachers praying for well-behaved students and children fervently praying for “nice” teachers.
The new year also brings with it new employment contracts with our support staff and our teachers. Combine that with the technology plan being assembled and implemented, new buses for our children’s safety, a sustainable facilities maintenance plan, a tax break for our taxpayers, and our district is in an entirely different situation from recent years when wave after wave of levy campaigns sought to raise taxes.
Circumstances may change; however, if we maintain our fiscal conservative spending patterns and husband our resources wisely, no new taxes are projected.
My place at the table is to represent the community—the taxpayer, the landowner, the voter. My fiduciary duty is also to this institution. It is important to remember I represent the voice of those who pay for our local schools. Tonight, we step forward for our teachers and our community. In doing so, we are demonstrating that as our voices come together we can write a single, better, unified story. It is not a story of the past, always disregarding the needs of the district. It is not a story of teachers and staff holding out for more. It is not a story of higher taxes (in fact, just the opposite). This is a story where everyone wins.
Although we occasionally may disagree with the means to an end, the final goal is the same for all involved: a better education for our children.
#26024 Jul 23, 2013
Through Children First Budgeting, zero based budgets, sound leadership, plans that prioritize educational needs, infrastructure and our staff, it is possible and now proven that we can live within our means. These phrases imply debt or sacrifice, but that is not the case. Not only have we proven that we can live within our means, but now every stakeholder in this district—our students and families, our staff and teachers, and our taxpayers–will benefit from this board’s leadership.
First, our students benefit as we direct funds to textbooks, curriculum, new buses, technology, and we dedicate attention to supports for college and career—STEM, PSEO, AP courses and more.
I have stated in that past and it is worth repeating, that it is impossible to educate a child without skilled teachers and staff and without giving them the tools to be successful. With these new contract agreements, every teacher, every staff member, every employee, every custodian, and every bus driver of the Springboro Community City Schools will be paid more. They will be rewarded for their skills and commitment to our schools and our children.
In any negotiation, especially collective bargaining, each party must at least be willing to move forward knowing neither of us will get everything we want. I am willing to make the commitment to pay our teachers as they requested and they are willing to take reformative steps in their salary schedule and health benefits that respect the values of our entire community.
This agreement with our teachers must be more than a promise that sits on the shelf. The agreement to establish a merit / performance pay committee and diligently work with the health care committee, will dictate actions that demonstrate accountability by both sides. We all must strive with our best intentions to make sustainability the priority—to work within our current revenue rather than insist we need more.
The community can see after just 18 months that Children First Budgeting works. It is transparent and inclusive, and it drives our attention and resources toward investments in facilities, technology and teachers. It is most evident in the new contracts.
But what will be most evident to the taxpayer is lower taxes. Even after plans to invest millions in technology, curriculum, buildings and buses, and even after providing every employee with raises, we are financially prepared to give something back to the taxpayer – to give back to our community by reducing their tax burden. The renewal levy on the ballot in November will be set at a lower mileage rate to reduce taxes generated by that levy by nearly 15 percent.
This reduction of almost 15 percent is equal to $1,353,800 per year ($6,769,000 over 5 years) that we are giving back to our community. That’s right, every homeowner in the Springboro Community City School District will receive a raise just like our staff! Children First Budgeting makes sense and today everyone wins.
Steven Covey says that,“What you do has far greater impact than what you say.” So now we put the words—spun in social media, exclaimed in online petitions, threatening as well as entreating, angry as well as earnest—behind us. We’ve emerged stronger than before.
Congratulations to our board, to our central office staff, to our teachers and students, and to our community. All sides were heard – and the outcome is fair to all sides. All have gained ground. And that success can only continue if we act in good faith to work together to put Children First.
#26025 Jul 23, 2013
Why are Neighbors for Springboro Schools, who want to INVEST more money in the schools, only willing to INVEST everybody's money?
Why don't the NFSS tax and spend lovers make donations to the school at the public board meetings and get the glory of INVESTING all that they can afford; instead of grandstanding only to badger taxpayers telling us how much WE can afford to INVEST? Now wouldn't that be awesome to hear the NFSS bragg about their investments; instead of badgering taxpayers to INVEST more, more, more....
#26026 Jul 23, 2013
Just think...with the $900,000 Kelly Kohls defaulted on and stuck us with she could have paid for the next two replacements of the turf at the stadium! Then maybe we could rename it "children first field"..
#26027 Jul 23, 2013
No reason, no reason at all to elect a person to office who will use their influence to stifle the first amendment rights of our neighbors, directing staff not to hire a qualified candidate because their political views differed:
Lawsuit: Teacher wasn't hired because of political feud
Former leader says school board president ordered him not to hire teacher
Read more: http://www.wlwt.com/news/local-news/news-warr ...
No reason, no reason at all to elect a person to a position that is responsible for oversight of millions of dollars of our tax money when they allow corruption, embezzlement, and fraud to occur under their watch:
No reason, no reason at all to elect a person to watch over the responsible spending of our money when they walked away from $908,110 in personal debt through bankruptcy, and then took their family of 7 on an all expenses paid vacation at an all-inclusive resort out of the country:
No reason, no reason at all to elect a person that will allow and encourage their tea party friends to make extremely insensitive, racially charged remarks as they wave a confederate flag in our school board meeting, once again putting Springboro in the headlines and making a mockery of our district:
No reason, no reason at all to elect a person that uses her position as a board of education member to further her interests as a tea party member and to promote her extreme version of politics within our local community and school district:
The citizens, parents, and community of Springboro have had enough of Kelly Kohls antics, and come November 5th we shall show her the door!! This community deserves better!!
#26028 Jul 24, 2013
The time has come for Springboro voters who respect their community, their neighbors, and their children to vote Kelly Kohls out of office. Our community has been in the news for all the wrong reasons consistently since Kohls came to power. She grandstands around the state in front of the TV cameras proudly proclaiming that she is the president of the Springboro BOE and that she has the majority to do whatever she pleases, including putting guns in our classrooms, teaching a warped class on the US Constitution, and proposing an inflated levy amount only to reduce to it well beyond what they really need just to put her name back in the paper again.
Time to go Kelly! Let's get this scumbag out of office on November 5th!!
#26029 Jul 24, 2013
This is likely not going to happen due to an extremely close, sometimes overlapping set of wallets amongst Springboro Booster & NFSS families.
Besides, do you think Neighbors for Springboro Schools would be interested in obtaining money that's already long spent? Of course this would involve expensive legal action. Instead, in the eyes of our NFSS friends, it's so much more convenient and easier to unnecessarily raise everyones property taxes.
Unless we begin to speak up and be heard, I suppose this is just the type of awful destiny we deserve here in this Excellent but notoriously Proficient school district.
#26030 Jul 24, 2013
Here is a repulsive and sickening example of the influence of our Springboro Education Association's false indoctrination of the state-mandated "religion" of Unionism, that has the political system of Ohio tightly bound to the violation of Ohio Citizens "private property rights."
Big labor's power of forced unonism has crippled America's competitive edge, forced countless companies overseas, and polluted our political process for nearly half a century! This foul polluted political process is being play out in Springboro by our school district leaders promoting their "love for professional educators" and demanding that "we the people" join in the worship of these false gods by "giving up our daily bread" on dinner out at a time, and INVEST our daily bread in the ministry of the false gods of Springboro Education Association hypocrites, wearing the union red label of "Professional Educators!" Such blasphemy! Woe unto these vipers and hypocrites!
Babb/Maney/Malone revealed in March 2012, the sickness of this community's worship of this insanely popular false god of "stoopid" knowledge, Ron Malone, who rules over the minds of our students of Unionism, who mock and ridicule students in our schools classrooms and hallways who do not wear "the black for Victim Ron!" Woe unto these vipers and hypocrites!
What hypocrites are these Neighbors for Springboro Schools who roam throughout our neighbors looking for "strangers to their hypocrisy, so that the NFSS can "take them inside our excellent schools AND indoctrinate the innocent to just how Wonderful are these professional educators who are nothing more than "wolves in sheep’s clothing" whose only creative INTENT is to steal and rob you of every cent that you have earned, demanding that you INVEST in their "rotten to the core" standards of indecent, NO-PRINCIPLED values of the professional educators wearing the "oppressive to the people red union label.
Babb/Stuckey/Malone equals November Renewal Levy Failure!
Our professional educators need a "remedial economics class" to teach them that "level of education service demanded in Springboro does not have ATM withdrawal advantages from Springboro taxpayers household budgets. With no renewal levy, the SEA professional educators can start attacking one another, eating their own corrupt flesh in the "survivor of the fittest."
#26031 Jul 24, 2013
What hypocrites are these Neighbors for Springboro Schools! They roam our neighborhoods drumming up sympathy for the school superintendent, who is now being opposed by the unanimous vote of our elected BOE members who have approved agreement with teachers and unprecedented 15 percent rollback on November Renewal! These NFSS greedy hypocrites are now demanding that the board reverse their vote and give it all to the SEA! And what is their "economic plan" for our children's future?
Their "stoopid" plan is to bully every household in this school district to give up "dinner out" and urge the BOE to take back from taxpayers so that this $400,000 turf replacement can be laid on the backs of Springboro families! Just how "green" with greed and envy can our Neighbors for Springboro Schools grow from the roots of this artificial "grass?" And do taxpayers really want to know? I think NOT! Just Say NO to renewal level and help us help our Neighbors for Springboro Schools stop this rotting of their souls -- coveting all that rightfully belongs to individual households, and not to the union's "collective bargaining legal rights" that are so wrong for the future of our schools and community.
#26032 Jul 24, 2013
Highly popular? Hahaaaaaa.
#26033 Jul 24, 2013
The money was repaid!
#26034 Jul 24, 2013
Out of the mouths of babes....
Recently our Springboro Education Association, in all their glorious one-rule authority, presented to the public their SEA Youth Representative of the false religion of Unionism, that rules over Springboro politics. This young high school student stumbled and stammered a bit as he testified to Springboro taxpayers (who have generously supported the education of our young people for decades) "God has no place in this country." This young man echoed the failed "principles" of the highest legal and moral authority in our democratic system of government, the President of our great nation, who is fond of
repeating "America is not a Christian nation."
Now that our "future generation of leaders" in Springboro that we the people have INVESTED in educating "God has no place in this country" but God is LOVE; so are we to substitute our "Love of God" with the false religion of "our BELIEF and LOVE of Professional Educators?
What does it profit a man if he gains control of money and power in the global economy; but loses his own soul, that cannot thrive without our daily feeding of God's LOVE?
#26035 Jul 24, 2013
Certainly Worth Repeating wrote:
<quoted text>Someone should ask the Neighbors for Springboro Schools folks, who are now activated to attack Springboro families for Increased Taxes, why the Neighbors for Springboro Schools folks don't go after the $400,000 of their kids money that the Boosters Board stole from our schools athletic program.
Appears that $400,000 could be used to replace the turf at careflight field. Taxpaying homeowners are not going to vote increasing taxes on our family homes to replace that turf for the football field, not without a fight in MY community
To clarify this very brief four-word response, you're making a claim that ALL the stolen Booster has been repaid?!?
This is absolutely hilarious but in a very sad way. Without a doubt you are living in a fantasy that this community is predominately naive. Better guess again!
#26036 Jul 24, 2013
Our school board president IS highly popular with the Springboro community of taxpayers, who ARE the silent majority of busily employed taxpayers in the private sector of professionals; and who are ABSENT from all this grandstanding in our board meetings of those trying to get "five minutes of fame" in front of the TV cameras. Now, you vipers and hypocrites have often pointed out your envy and hatred of Kelly Kohls, publicly taunting board authority, "where are the people who agree with you?"
How Silly and Childish is this schoolyard bullying? Why would
"we the people" who agree with our Children's First Budget, and fully support Kelly's OSBLC leadership, stop our daily activities going about doing good, to answer the "summons of you hypocrites" to come forth in public meeting, and declare to the SEA our religious beliefs, our political preferences, our level of higher education, and the status of our family's finances? Get Real, do you vipers and hypocrites really think that the "fiscal responsibility" principles of our reform minded BOE majority will fall to the union's rule of NFSS "tax and spend STOOPIDY" IF our insanely popular Malone's vote for revenge "Takes out of elected office OUR Kelly Kohls?
Now the way I see it, there are only minority protesters in the board room, with the malicious INTENT of INVESTING their time in this OEA war of words against the success of our reform-minded school board president, Kelly Kohls, politically persecuting this Springboro parent and good neighbor, who dared exercise her First Amendments rights of free speech and "tell it like is" inside the powerful and corrupt business of educating our children the OEA false indoctrination way.
#26037 Jul 24, 2013
It's true that indoctrination of our Springboro student’s minds is on going by the highest paid professional educator in our schools.
This indoctrination of "praise and worship" of "love for professional educators” and specifically the insanely popular Ron Malone, was conducted recently by Todd Petrey, Superintendent of Schools, as he "interrogated" our high school students on a survey of questions asking what "our 14-17 year old high school students” wanted in the hiring of a NEW high school principal! This unprofessional “government-nanny” leadership of our superintendent was called to his attention, privately, by an average taxpaying-homeowner and Springboro voter; whose "one non-union voice- one vote" was ignored by our professional educator; who later brought the results of his "interrogation of our high school students" to the public school board meeting, and arrogantly and proudly exclaimed his "surprise" that the insanely popular Ron Malone had won the popular vote! Can you believe that most of the kids wanted Principal Ron to return next year with a new contract to inspire them with a daily smile and have a nice day! The superintendent went on to proclaim to the TV cameras that it would take THREE inexperienced professionals, earning less pay, to replace the "Value" of this one double dipper insanely popular "has been a high school principal for 13 years."
In turn, Mr. Malone gives "due respect" to himself (re-enforcing Mr. Petrey's "praise and worship) in Malone's interview in Springboro Life magazine. When asked, "What do you think of the future of education?" ... Mr. Malone’s replies "There needs to be a re-emphasis on the VALUE of the educator."
Stay Alert Voters -- The threesome of Babb/Malone/Stuckey for next BOE majority elected officials is All About Money and Power -- and the SEA Lust and Greed to grab control of both.
#26038 Jul 24, 2013
As reflected by the Warren County Board of Elections postings of petitions pulled by Springboro School Board of Education prospective candidates, Babb/Malone/Stuckey is 100% as low as professional educators can go in our excellent schools with no distinction of professional educators from greedy SEA union scumbags.
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