2 school districts seek new taxes

Full story: Columbus Dispatch

Two Licking County school districts will be on the ballot this fall after the failure of recent tax requests resulted in program cuts for the coming school year.
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21 - 38 of 38 Comments Last updated Aug 1, 2011
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justacouplethoug hts

Mount Vernon, OH

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#21
Jul 29, 2011
 
Upnorth wrote:
Northridge and Mr. Hudson, this is cruel. They said no twice, you are being greedy asking a third time.
Lets work just as hard to remove Mr. Hudson as we will to defeat the INCOME TAX.
VOTE NO.
There are such hostile feelings in the comments for this article that I am in shock. First of all, it is the right of every citizen to learn about the issues and make their own decision when it comes to their vote. If you truly want to use the voting system correctly, encourage people to learn about things on their own and make the decision in the best interest of the students and the school district, not just tell them to vote no. That is not your right!

The next issue is the personal attack on the school district's employees. I have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Hudson on several committees and as a relatively new member of the Northridge District, he works tirelessly for the well-being of our district. To say such hurtful things is simply NOT necessary and as a taxpayer and voter, would make me question the motivation of the person writing the comment. I can attest to the fact that Mr. Hudson is trying to make creative ways to more efficiently spend the tax dollar while this time saving the taxpayers money. It is impossible for any school or any employee in that school to please everyone. Sometimes you just can't have it your way, but that doesn't mean those in charge are dishonest, deceitful, or corrupt. There are so many things that impact school funding that are out of a local school district's hands, many of which we may not know or understand, but overall the majority of school employees want only the best for the district and their students.

I feel we all have the right to express our opinions and I for one have a positive opinion on the schools. We need to have a little compassion for people trying to do their best and comment without being rude or personally attacking these individuals. There is never an excuse for manners like that. Can you imagine at your job if people were allowed to anonymously write about you?

I would like to thank the school personel for trying to figure things out in this very uneasy financial times to keep our district afloat, and also tell the administrators, board members, and Mr. Hudson thank you for your hard work. I am sorry some people can't give their ideas without getting personally insulting!
not the enemy

Columbus, OH

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#22
Jul 29, 2011
 
Linda wrote:
The well has run dry school districts, learn to live without.
No problem doing without you just have to do the same. No transportation, no free lunch and breakfast, no tutoring, no sports, no extra curriculars, no latch key or before or after school programs, and if your kid can't keep up we'll hold them back until their 18 and then out they go.
Upnorth

United States

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#23
Jul 29, 2011
 

Judged:

1

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1

Tru Blu wrote:
LMAO!!!! Don't hold the Tea Party up as some kinda patriot. Tea Party only wants less government - as long as it is someone ELSE's government that is cut. Fools.
The public schools are the best innovation our country has had. It educated a mass populace, assimulated immigrants into our system, and spread more of the national ideals of life, liberty, and happiness than any of the far right ideologues now running this State and country into ruin. Teachers start at around $36,000/yr, charters at $30,000/yr. The average is $56,000/yr. Your ilk has been so turned against teachers by the wacko right, that you have our your pitchforks and nooses ready to hang 'em all in some kinda Nazi-like mob rule. Way to go demonizing our educators, that will really help the next generation. Geesh.
Remember, a solid Middle Class is not the norm. Check your history books. We could easily slip to a full-fledged plutocracy is the GOP gets its way. Wake up, don't be fooled by what you read in the Dispatch or hear from Rush. Otherwise, you're like the proverbial frog in the frying pan.
<quoted text>
While you are laughing, we are voting, and we will vote no because:

1. Teachers making an average of $56,000 for 9 months of work (185 days, with 12 paid sick days to boot) is too much, more than most in the community make, and is cruel to ask us to pay more in step increases and yearly raises.

2. Teachers retirement is skewed so that it becomes outrageous to the average taxpayer funding the system (yes, teachers pay in some portion, but the schools pay in more, and the schools are funded by us). They retire after 30 years, which is usually age 52. If they work 5 more years, they can retire at 57 with 80%+ of their last three years wage. This usually works out to well over $55,00 - for life. We poor taxpaying suckers, on the other hand, have paid into social security and have to wait until we are 67 and our retirement is capped at about $28,000. Until the schools realize this system is unfair, it will battle for every dollar.

3. Administrators pay is above average, there are too many of them, and their benefits are cruel and outrageous. Pick-ups of the pick-up (having STRS count as pay the school system picking up the employee side of retirement), paying zero for a sweet heart retirement (88% of their LAST year's wages for life - a crime),$5,000 -$12,000 annuity payments to achieve even more in retirement (that one takes the cake), free cell phones, car allowance (to go watch kids pay to play), more life insurance than teachers, and for free, buy-back of vacation (ha - buy back, nice double speak, its actually them getting a check for unused vacation each year, because they are granted an exorbitant 25 days, which they find hard to use it all).

When the schools fix these three items, then maybe we will sit down and listen to some other issues. Also, I am very proud of tea-party members - if it wasn't for the tea party, these crazy benefits and pay and overspending issues would fly right through the system in the guise of "helping our children". No, they are greed and cruel and we, the taxpayers, just like during the revolution we stuck it to King George, we will stick it to the people hiding the truth and using their supposed power and control agaisnt us.

Vote No. Vote No. Vote No.
Upnorth

United States

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#24
Jul 29, 2011
 
not the enemy wrote:
<quoted text>
No problem doing without you just have to do the same. No transportation, no free lunch and breakfast, no tutoring, no sports, no extra curriculars, no latch key or before or after school programs, and if your kid can't keep up we'll hold them back until their 18 and then out they go.
Pleae institute these items. Then, maybe the schools will get down to the only thing we want - a good education in the classroom. We don't want all these services and can't afford to pay the inefficient school systems to deliver them. They can barely deliver the education, let alone all the other items you list.

When you get defensive, you make our case - thank you. It is so much easier to vote no when the education establishment gets defensive and rattles off their list of services which they deliver so poorly.
reality check

Columbus, OH

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#25
Jul 29, 2011
 
NO, and umm let me thing NO.
Upnorth

United States

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#26
Jul 29, 2011
 
justacouplethoughts wrote:
<quoted text>
There are such hostile feelings in the comments for this article that I am in shock. First of all, it is the right of every citizen to learn about the issues and make their own decision when it comes to their vote. If you truly want to use the voting system correctly, encourage people to learn about things on their own and make the decision in the best interest of the students and the school district, not just tell them to vote no. That is not your right!
The next issue is the personal attack on the school district's employees. I have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Hudson on several committees and as a relatively new member of the Northridge District, he works tirelessly for the well-being of our district. To say such hurtful things is simply NOT necessary and as a taxpayer and voter, would make me question the motivation of the person writing the comment. I can attest to the fact that Mr. Hudson is trying to make creative ways to more efficiently spend the tax dollar while this time saving the taxpayers money. It is impossible for any school or any employee in that school to please everyone. Sometimes you just can't have it your way, but that doesn't mean those in charge are dishonest, deceitful, or corrupt. There are so many things that impact school funding that are out of a local school district's hands, many of which we may not know or understand, but overall the majority of school employees want only the best for the district and their students.
I feel we all have the right to express our opinions and I for one have a positive opinion on the schools. We need to have a little compassion for people trying to do their best and comment without being rude or personally attacking these individuals. There is never an excuse for manners like that. Can you imagine at your job if people were allowed to anonymously write about you?
I would like to thank the school personel for trying to figure things out in this very uneasy financial times to keep our district afloat, and also tell the administrators, board members, and Mr. Hudson thank you for your hard work. I am sorry some people can't give their ideas without getting personally insulting!
It is my right to complain and to point out facts and truth so that people will vote no.

And, Mr. Hudson throwing this vote at us a third time is simply outrageous and cruel - and I will not stop saying it.

These are just the facts. Just because you are pro-school doesn't mean my take on the facts are wrong or mean.

I have the right to vote no, and point out to as many readers why they should vote no.

Again, Mr. Hudson's putting this issue on for the 3rd time in a year is wrong. In fact, I find it pretty mean of him.
justacouplethoug hts

Mount Vernon, OH

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#27
Jul 29, 2011
 
Upnorth wrote:
<quoted text>
It is my right to complain and to point out facts and truth so that people will vote no.
And, Mr. Hudson throwing this vote at us a third time is simply outrageous and cruel - and I will not stop saying it.
These are just the facts. Just because you are pro-school doesn't mean my take on the facts are wrong or mean.
I have the right to vote no, and point out to as many readers why they should vote no.
Again, Mr. Hudson's putting this issue on for the 3rd time in a year is wrong. In fact, I find it pretty mean of him.
You are correct that you have the right to voice your opinions but these are your truths and that doesn't mean that it is "the" truth. Mr. Hudson doesn't make the decision alone to put up a levy and I certainly think that when people are trying creative ways to help a district stay solvent while at the same time helping taxpayers offset the taxes by returning a portion to their pocket books, he should be commended. I just don't think it is necessary to personally attack him, and that is my opinion. Once again I will say, you certainly have the right to vote no, but others should find the truths for themselves so they can be assured they are getting the truth and not just a random opinion. I will have to respectfully disagree with you and hope we can find a way to support our district so our children do not suffer.
Pipper

Mount Vernon, OH

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#28
Jul 29, 2011
 
Upnorth wrote:
Northridge and Mr. Hudson, this is cruel. They said no twice, you are being greedy asking a third time.
Lets work just as hard to remove Mr. Hudson as we will to defeat the INCOME TAX.
VOTE NO.
I don't think you understand very much about school funding. By singling out the treasurer, Jim Hudson, you seem like a typical axe grinder who is probably not capable of comprehending how a school district operates. It is too bad that taxpayers won't put their children and grandchildren in front of their own ill-informed ideas because that is exactly who suffers. You seem like a real negative person and I wonder if you had a bad experience in your own school.
Linda

Galloway, OH

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#29
Jul 29, 2011
 
I don't have a problem with any of your suggestions.
not the enemy wrote:
<quoted text>
No problem doing without you just have to do the same. No transportation, no free lunch and breakfast, no tutoring, no sports, no extra curriculars, no latch key or before or after school programs, and if your kid can't keep up we'll hold them back until their 18 and then out they go.
Upnorth

United States

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#30
Jul 29, 2011
 
Pipper wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't think you understand very much about school funding. By singling out the treasurer, Jim Hudson, you seem like a typical axe grinder who is probably not capable of comprehending how a school district operates. It is too bad that taxpayers won't put their children and grandchildren in front of their own ill-informed ideas because that is exactly who suffers. You seem like a real negative person and I wonder if you had a bad experience in your own school.
Generally, I am a very upbeat and happy person. Had a great experience in school. Learned very much and received a super education. Have a degree and a professional license. Dad and sister are in education. Own my own business, employee people, pay their health insurance, make a great living.

Axe to grind, yes: When a school system is told twice in one year to NOT TAX MY INCOME, then it makes me terribly upset, and I want to vote no, convince others to vote no, and when the Treasurer (and board, and superintendent, and others) try to put it on the ballot a THIRD time, I become unnerved. Now its principle: its wrong, its cruel, it hurts, and I enjoin fellow taxpayers to come out and vote this thing down.

Vote NO.
Old Timer

AOL

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#31
Jul 30, 2011
 
Upnorth wrote:
<quoted text>
Generally, I am a very upbeat and happy person. Had a great experience in school. Learned very much and received a super education. Have a degree and a professional license. Dad and sister are in education. Own my own business, employee people, pay their health insurance, make a great living.
Axe to grind, yes: When a school system is told twice in one year to NOT TAX MY INCOME, then it makes me terribly upset, and I want to vote no, convince others to vote no, and when the Treasurer (and board, and superintendent, and others) try to put it on the ballot a THIRD time, I become unnerved. Now its principle: its wrong, its cruel, it hurts, and I enjoin fellow taxpayers to come out and vote this thing down.
Vote NO.
Upnorth...given the fact that schools have made the cuts necessary, the question is where do they get the money to operate their districts?
tuvet71

United States

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#32
Jul 30, 2011
 
Suck it in, it is only going to get worse. It is time to live witnin your means. Remove all non essential programs, etc.Put a cap on administration cost, consolidate management.
Upnorth

United States

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#33
Jul 30, 2011
 
Old Timer wrote:
<quoted text>
Upnorth...given the fact that schools have made the cuts necessary, the question is where do they get the money to operate their districts?
Live with what they have. What is your definition of "necessary cuts"? Mine definition is - cuts necessary to balance the budget so that expenses equal income. Interesting that if a person makes $30,000, he has to live on that. If another makes $50,000, he has to live on that. But if the schools are short, they don't have to stay within their means. They overspend, then they beg and beg and beg and try to guilt us into giving them more. No, they have enough, have gotten salaries, benefits, administration, and facilities way beyond what is called for, and now we taxpayers are fed up and are voting down the levies so they come to the understanding - you've spent more of our money than is appropriate, so stop.

We want the schools to change their definition of what is necessary. Cut administration, cut extras, cut the extravagence, come back to reality - when you are spending other people's money its time for some prudence, efficiency, belt tightening, wisdom, and plain ole' suffering. I have had to do it in my own life when times are tough. I cut back and cut back and cut back until I am living within my means - no matter what the means are. Why can't schools do that?

But, its all ok - the means have run out - we taxpayers aint got no more to give. We are defending ourselves by voting no and no amount of "its for the children" when all the money goes for salaries and benefits (which are much higher than community averages) is going to get it. The cold hard facts of math will finally set in (and it is starting - finally) and the schools just might get it that the taxpaying public is done with their step raising, early retirement, over administrated bananza.
dingydougie

Reynoldsburg, OH

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#34
Jul 30, 2011
 
Tru Blu wrote:
The choice is either public schools for most or private schools for few. Most of the anti-teacher spewers on this forum have no trouble collecting government services when THEY need them. Typical Tea Party mentality. I love watching all those 65+ somethings on Medicare delivering the Health Care ballots wearing "No Government Mandated Healthcare" T-shirts. Height of hypocrisy.
With most of the wealth concentrated in 10% of the population and most of those Americans are over 55, it is no wonder the schools are given scraps behind the true drivers of the national debt - Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Careful of what you wish for. Using age discrimination as an excuse to fire older teachers is ageism. That is a slippery slope that leads to questioning many of the nice benefits the elderly get now in our population. The GOP cares nothing for America and only its wallet. You could be next on their hit list.
<quoted text>
"schools are given scraps"? Public schools would have enough money to last a lifetime if the greedy and corrupt officials who are entrusted with it behaved in a fiscally honorable way. Again, the problem isn't insufficient funds but uncontrolled and wasteful spending.
Old Timer

AOL

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#35
Jul 30, 2011
 
Upnorth wrote:
<quoted text>
Live with what they have. What is your definition of "necessary cuts"? Mine definition is - cuts necessary to balance the budget so that expenses equal income. Interesting that if a person makes $30,000, he has to live on that. If another makes $50,000, he has to live on that. But if the schools are short, they don't have to stay within their means. They overspend, then they beg and beg and beg and try to guilt us into giving them more. No, they have enough, have gotten salaries, benefits, administration, and facilities way beyond what is called for, and now we taxpayers are fed up and are voting down the levies so they come to the understanding - you've spent more of our money than is appropriate, so stop.
We want the schools to change their definition of what is necessary. Cut administration, cut extras, cut the extravagence, come back to reality - when you are spending other people's money its time for some prudence, efficiency, belt tightening, wisdom, and plain ole' suffering. I have had to do it in my own life when times are tough. I cut back and cut back and cut back until I am living within my means - no matter what the means are. Why can't schools do that?
But, its all ok - the means have run out - we taxpayers aint got no more to give. We are defending ourselves by voting no and no amount of "its for the children" when all the money goes for salaries and benefits (which are much higher than community averages) is going to get it. The cold hard facts of math will finally set in (and it is starting - finally) and the schools just might get it that the taxpaying public is done with their step raising, early retirement, over administrated bananza.
You are on to what ails schools. The problem is that every year, school income is stagnant. A levy has a cycle that has a built-in spending increase, so we are being hit with levies every three year on average. We were able to go 12 years without an additional levy by utilizing emergancy levies and renewing them, a small income tax of 3/4% which provided inflationary growth, and holding salaries down for everyone. If the solution you prescibed were to be done, salaires would need to decrease to offset inlationary growth of fixed costs.
Justacouplethoug hts

Mount Vernon, OH

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#36
Jul 30, 2011
 
With all this discussion of our district living within it's means, I would like to remind voters that the first of the three levies was a renewal, so that was money in the district's budget. To renew that levy, there was no additional cost to the voters, it was already money people were giving for the education of the children. Add that loss to the state/federal budget cuts it's no wonder they asked again.
Also, the teachers of Northridge have not received a raise in many years.
The "step" is similar to a cost of living increase, but steps are not an annual increase for many teachers because they are not offered each year they are employed. These teachers also pay the largest percentage of insurance premiums of all the Licking County Schools. Lastly, educators pay for up to and many times over seven years of college tuition to become certificated and continually go back to maintain these certifications. Their salaries are hardly inflated.
Upnorth

United States

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#37
Jul 31, 2011
 
Justacouplethoughts wrote:
With all this discussion of our district living within it's means, I would like to remind voters that the first of the three levies was a renewal, so that was money in the district's budget. To renew that levy, there was no additional cost to the voters, it was already money people were giving for the education of the children. Add that loss to the state/federal budget cuts it's no wonder they asked again.
Also, the teachers of Northridge have not received a raise in many years.
The "step" is similar to a cost of living increase, but steps are not an annual increase for many teachers because they are not offered each year they are employed. These teachers also pay the largest percentage of insurance premiums of all the Licking County Schools. Lastly, educators pay for up to and many times over seven years of college tuition to become certificated and continually go back to maintain these certifications. Their salaries are hardly inflated.
Very simply - we cannot afford a tax increase.

Vote no.
Justacouplethoug hts

Mount Vernon, OH

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#38
Aug 1, 2011
 
Equally simple - It wasn't an increase. It originated as a renewal.

Vote Yes..

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