Hilliard schools to make cuts in wake of levy loss | The Columbus Dispatch

Full story: Columbus Dispatch

Steve Bennett, 50, of Hilliard, speaks to the Hilliard Board of Education; listening at left is member Andy Teater.
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1 - 20 of 47 Comments Last updated Aug 31, 2011
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Toby

Dayton, OH

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#1
May 10, 2011
 

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Give them 16.7 million a year or they lose 51 jobs? How much were those people making.... That's ridiculous. Let's assume each of those 51 people make, on average,$50,000 a year. That would add up to 2.55 million in salaries for them... leaving 14 million dollars from the levy. Out of that, they want to save sports, gifted classes and field trips. Let's say that costs another $250,000. Hilliard would still have over 13.5 million dollars "extra" from it's levy. Which I'm sure would be wasted.

This is the problem, the numbers just don't add up. What Hilliard should have done is present a levy request that explains exactly what it takes to save the 51 jobs and the programs that are being cut.... not a levy that will make them rich. I for one didn't vote to increase my property taxes to cover 16.7 million, but may have voted to increase it 4 million if I knew exactly what was going to happen with my money.

Oh well. If the school and teachers are so upset about losing the programs, they should each give back 1000 dollars of their salary a year. That would cover it. The irony is, they want the public to pay while they don't sacrifice a thing.
Publius

Chillicothe, OH

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#2
May 10, 2011
 

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"We can eliminate athletics and busing, but that isn't going to take care of the problem," he said.

Amen brother. Salary and benfit growth that outstrip inflation are unsustainable. What part of "salaries can't continue to grow at 7% FOR EVER" doesn't the teachers' union understand?
Stuck in the Stone Age

Atlanta, GA

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#3
May 10, 2011
 

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Show more humility & professionalism, show more transparency in how the money is spent. Then, you might get the empathy and more importantly, the voting and financial support from the locals.
Axel Freed

Columbus, OH

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#4
May 10, 2011
 

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IT'S SALARIES AND BENEFITS!!!
John E on the Spot

Lima, OH

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#5
May 10, 2011
 

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Toby wrote:
Oh well. If the school and teachers are so upset about losing the programs, they should each give back 1000 dollars of their salary a year. That would cover it. The irony is, they want the public to pay while they don't sacrifice a thing.
Yes, and the police officers can give back $1000 of their money to pay for better jails, the paramedics can give back $1000 to pay for better ambulances, and ...
Honestly

Westerville, OH

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#6
May 10, 2011
 

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I don't see what's so wrong with paying teachers good money - they are required to get advanced degrees before they can even be certified. I make more than most teachers and I didn't even go to college - BUT I do agree they need to pay their fair share of their benefits. I don't think they should "give back" any of their salary, and you suggesting this is absurd considering you would NEVER do it yourself. The district needs to clearly and concisely explain to the taxpayers how money is spent and engage them more. I myself have asked these questions and get no answers.
Empty Money Bags

Columbus, OH

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#7
May 10, 2011
 

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Dear Hilliard City Schools,

I'm sorry but I can't afford you any more. Since I refinanced my mortgage in 2002 (with a fixed rate mortgage), my monthly house payment has increased by $296.00 a month...and it's mostly from various levies which have been passed for your benefit.

Since I have no children the only benefit I get from the Hilliard City Schools is increased saleability of my home. In this environment however, my only benefit of living in the Hilliard City School District has been negated as very few houses in my area are selling.

I'm sorry Hilliard City Schools, henceforth you are going to have to live on a budget, just like I do.

Sincerely,
E.M.B.
Ohio Mom

Columbus, OH

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#8
May 10, 2011
 

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The passage of SB 5 should help by reigning in salaries and benefits.
PTIP

Sunbury, OH

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#9
May 10, 2011
 

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Hilliard, like many other districts, cuts what affcts the students first, such as sports, music and program such as field trips and gifted. No school district will look at the number of administrative positions that bring no benefit to the schools.

I applaud the voters in Hilliared for saying no. Your next step is to elect BOE members that operate your schools as you the voter wishes. The BOE should hire administartyors that work for BOE not the teachers.
Scratching my head

Columbus, OH

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#10
May 10, 2011
 
Good perspective. from a simplistic perspective, I still cannot put my head around the fact that the district builds these huge state of the art facilities and continues to grow in area's of extra curriculum activites. There is a time where this makes sense and there is a time where we need to control cost. I think the time to control cost is now and this may mean the focus is simply on providing an outstanding education. I understand the value in a well rounded education that extends beyond the basics, but sometimes you have to pull back in order to move forward. Transparency in how the budget is spent is certainly needed right now. No wonder the trust factor comes into place when the numbers do not seem to make sense. Time to think outside the box and do with what you have. When things turn around for "everyone" then we can start to look forward with extra's.
Toby wrote:
Give them 16.7 million a year or they lose 51 jobs? How much were those people making.... That's ridiculous. Let's assume each of those 51 people make, on average,$50,000 a year. That would add up to 2.55 million in salaries for them... leaving 14 million dollars from the levy. Out of that, they want to save sports, gifted classes and field trips. Let's say that costs another $250,000. Hilliard would still have over 13.5 million dollars "extra" from it's levy. Which I'm sure would be wasted.
This is the problem, the numbers just don't add up. What Hilliard should have done is present a levy request that explains exactly what it takes to save the 51 jobs and the programs that are being cut.... not a levy that will make them rich. I for one didn't vote to increase my property taxes to cover 16.7 million, but may have voted to increase it 4 million if I knew exactly what was going to happen with my money.
Oh well. If the school and teachers are so upset about losing the programs, they should each give back 1000 dollars of their salary a year. That would cover it. The irony is, they want the public to pay while they don't sacrifice a thing.
Average Guy

Glenmont, OH

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#11
May 10, 2011
 

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Have a friend moving to Columbus, told him to stay out of Hilliard as the levy is going to fail. Sorry to see that I was right. Problem with Hilliard (and the other suburbs) is that with 3 high schools, middles schools etc... there is just no sense of community anymore so voters are not as inclinded to support the schools and other services.
An American

Dublin, OH

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#12
May 10, 2011
 

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PTIP wrote:
Hilliard, like many other districts, cuts what affcts the students first, such as sports, music and program such as field trips and gifted. No school district will look at the number of administrative positions that bring no benefit to the schools.
I applaud the voters in Hilliared for saying no. Your next step is to elect BOE members that operate your schools as you the voter wishes. The BOE should hire administartyors that work for BOE not the teachers.
Amen to that. This is exactly the thug mindset that Ohioans are tired of. Don't try to live within your means, start cutting out sports and busing so little Suzy and Johnny can come home and pout to mom and dad. Start the indoctrination in the class room that it's mom and dad and the neighbors fault not those that can't manage to live within their means.

I will not be voting for another single levy until the teachers and the BOE can show they know how to responsibly spend our tax dollars.
Publius

Londonderry, OH

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#13
May 10, 2011
 

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Honestly wrote:
I don't see what's so wrong with paying teachers good money - they are required to get advanced degrees before they can even be certified. I make more than most teachers and I didn't even go to college -
Most are not required to have an "advanced" degree. "Certification" is an artificial hurdle created byt he unions in order to limit supply and drive up wages. Remember to take the average salary and divide it by 2/3rs in order to get a full year equiv salary (say the Hilliard avg is $75K, they work 2/3rds of the year,$75K/.6667 =$113K), add in a cushy retirement, tenure, and great benies, and they paid great money, not just "good money". Wake up, dude.
Just Sayin

Columbus, OH

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#14
May 10, 2011
 

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Hilliard schools have spent themselves into a bind and are asking the homeowners to bail them out again. Three high schools is rediculous! They made the decision to build the third high school instead of expanding, now they have to live with the consequences. Three time the administration, support and teachers. Teachers do not work a full year but demand full pay and all the holidays and breaks. Time to get real! Pay to play and cut the biggest expenses, teacher salaries. They are supposed to be there to teach the students, but the first thing that they cut are teaching opportunities. Increase class size, get patrent involvement or have them pay for not partcipating. Get a BOE that makes the tough decisions and not be a puppet of McVey.

“Sadly it is what it is.”

Since: Nov 09

Toonville

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#15
May 10, 2011
 

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When will Westerville schools ask for more money, November 2011 or May 2012?
Concerned Parent

Pataskala, OH

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#16
May 10, 2011
 

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I think a better story to look at here is that while 57% voted against the levy it does not represent a majority of residents in the district.

The vote was 6284 to 8206. A total of 14,490. There are more people than that in the school district right?

While we all have to decide how to spend what we have, it is not only the children that suffer when vital education programs are cut, but also the local community. As the quality goes down just to save a dime, so does the value of our property in a slow economy and the value of the next generation of worker goes down as well.

Keep it up and our entire country will be working for other countries that are willing to pay for education.
Say what

Pataskala, OH

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#17
May 10, 2011
 

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Publius wrote:
<quoted text>
Most are not required to have an "advanced" degree. "Certification" is an artificial hurdle created byt he unions in order to limit supply and drive up wages. Remember to take the average salary and divide it by 2/3rs in order to get a full year equiv salary (say the Hilliard avg is $75K, they work 2/3rds of the year,$75K/.6667 =$113K), add in a cushy retirement, tenure, and great benies, and they paid great money, not just "good money". Wake up, dude.
Looks like you need to go back to learn math. Your numbers are so wrong you should be ashamed. Hilliard makes no bones that by policy they do not hire teachers with more than 3 years of experience because of costs. Period.
So, you are saying that a career that nationally has been considered one of the lowest paying jobs over time is now one of the most desired. Hmm. Looks like you have some explaining to do.
I know multiple families that are teachers. I know their homes and lifestyles. They live in nice but modest homes and don't buy new cars. They work part time jobs in the summer.
Oh, and they spend more time with your kids than you do!! Maybe you should pay for quality instead of griping bout it.
What you and the others are really saying is " I don't know how to live inside my means, please don't tax me any more or I will have to give up my BMW and my BlueJackets tickets"
mycroft6

Somerset, KY

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#18
May 10, 2011
 

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Oh boo hoo people all over Ohio have made cuts to their budgets for years now and when the greedy schools have to the whine and cry like they are the only ones.
Black Lion

Columbus, OH

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#19
May 10, 2011
 

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Honestly wrote:
I don't see what's so wrong with paying teachers good money - they are required to get advanced degrees before they can even be certified. I make more than most teachers and I didn't even go to college - BUT I do agree they need to pay their fair share of their benefits. I don't think they should "give back" any of their salary, and you suggesting this is absurd considering you would NEVER do it yourself. The district needs to clearly and concisely explain to the taxpayers how money is spent and engage them more. I myself have asked these questions and get no answers.
A masters degree is not required to teach in the state of Ohio but we pay them more money if they have one. You say that you do not have a degree so I assume one is not required to do your job. But if you got one today would your employer give you a substantial automatic raise even if it is not required. Teachers get that raise. This entire "dust up" is over their high wages and how little they pay for benefits and that their pensions are twice the level of private sector retirement.
Retired Military

Columbus, OH

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#20
May 10, 2011
 

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The majority has spoken! This community simply can't afford another tax increase at this time. It will be a while before the economy turns around. The Hilliard School Board is going to have to adjust their budget to make do with the money they have. If it is truly about the kids, donít cut the programs that affect them. Sorry to those individuals who are going to lose their positions and will move on to other endeavors. Hopefully, the remaining staff after the cuts will continue to perform the job they were hired to do. If they donít perform cut them next using a performance standard and not a tenure standard.

The education system is not a welfare system. Iím sick and tired of hearing how many hours a day it takes to be an educator. Trust me, you have it pretty well. Try a career in the military defending this great nation you take for granted. Sure you get to travel to places like Iraq and Afghanistan, but you are always on call 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Veterans like me served for the love of our country, not for the pay. Educate for the children, not for the greed of the unions and yourselves. If you are serious with the current financial state of the Hilliard School District make a sacrifice with the upcoming contract negotiations now that the majority of the community has spoken.

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