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Any comments Ms. Andrew?

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VietVet View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jul 25 2014 at 4:52pm
Posts related to the "All's Quiet on the Western Front topic....

"Reminds me of the fleecing of the voters by MCSD & Price on the Rosedale / Miller Ridge boondoggle"

and.....


"Also, for those that paid no attention- it was indicated the deal the MCSD got in 2001 was not a good deal with the state matching contribution. How convenient they let you know they get a better rate now because of declining property values, AFTER the election passes by about 12 votes. Always seems the city and BOE gas secrets revealed after the fact, with the Journal's assistance."

Since you and your levy supporters are so adamant in defending your levy stance, what is your explanation for these statements?

I'm guessing we can file this in the "No Response" category, now that you have gotten what you want. Surprise us Ms. Andrew by providing an answer.

Or, do you wish to operate like the city building and hide agenda items from the people?    
   
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Marcia Andrew View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Marcia Andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 25 2014 at 5:52pm
Viet Vet, did you read the post under the heading, "Taxpayers could save $23 Million" ???  Ms. Moon posted the Journal article reporting on a discussion of this issue at our board meeting this past Monday -- so much for hidden agendas. If you ever bothered to watch our school board meetings on TV Middletown, you might not be so quick to accuse us of hiding things that we just discussed at length at a public, televised meeting. The Journal did a half-way decent job of explaining the situation, but NO ONE bothered to respond to Ms. Moons's thread, comment, or ask questions, until the off-topic remarks you quote below on an unrelated discussion thread.
 
I cannot "explain" other posters comments, especially when, in my view, they make no sense.
 
Here's the situation with the school construction project, very briefly (much of the background of this I posted during debates prior on this site prior to the levy vote):
 
MCSD signed up with the state for a 2-phase building project in 2004, with MCSD getting started on construction of the first phase (elementary) before its "number" came up for state funding, with the state agreeing to pay 26% of the total master plan cost for both phases, but only after our "number" came up and the district passed a second bond levy for the local share of the second phase (high school/middle school).  The 26% was locked in based on the district's taxable property tax base in 2003/2004.
 
The State then changed the tax code, eliminating property taxes on tangible business property (inventory and equipment). This had a huge impact on MCSD, where about 25% of our tax base was tangible business property, that the State wiped out with a vote.
 
The School Board has tried for 4 years to get the school construction funding law amended to fix the inequity that resulted from locking districts in based on their tax base, then unilaterally cutting our tax base by 25%.  There are only 5 or 6 other districts in the state effected in this way (because of a large industrial tax base like Middletown).  4 times, the state house and senate passed legislation sponsored by Tim Derickson to fix this, and 4 times Gov. Kasich line-item vetoed the provision that would have helped Middletown taxpayers.  (The last of these 4 times being this summer).
 
MCSD's "number" came up.  We put a bond levy on the ballot for voters to fund $55 million of bonds for high school/middle school project. It passed by 22 votes. 
 
The Ohio School Facilities Commission approached MCSD and recommended that we voluntarily walk away from our two-phase agreement, and instead apply for funding of the second phase of our project as if it was a new project, without regard for the earlier agreement with the state.  MCSD would have to give up the right to have the state reimburse 26% of the phase one costs, but the state share for the second phase would then be based on MCSD's current tax base, which would increase the state share from 26% to 64%.  Even though the 64% state share would just be on phase 2, Middletown would end up with $10 million more from the state than if we stick to the two-phase agreement. 
 
The Ohio School Facilities Commission personnel cannot guarantee that this recommendation will be approved, because it is up to a vote by the members of the Commission.  However, they say the Commission has never failed to approve such a project if recommended by Commission staff, and that MCSD has priority because (1) our number came up and we passed the required local bond issue and (2) we already have a master plan approved by the Commission.  The Commission will not vote on this until October.
 
The end result would be that, instead of purchasing $55 million in bonds to pay for construction (with the state paying another $40 million), we would purchase only $45 million in bonds (with the state paying $50 million).  The auditor will have to calculate the new millage amount, but my rough math estimates that the result would be a tax at 3.2 mils instead of the voter-approved 4 mils.  The millage for the bond levy will not go into effect until the January 2015 tax bill.
 
This is a good development.  This will lower the tax imposed on property owners to pay for the school construction, by about 20%.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 25 2014 at 7:16pm
Ms. Andrew, thank you for the reply. I didn't think you would bother with a response. In your typical way, you demonstrate a degree of testiness and a defensive posture in your response. I merely asked for your opinion and didn't realize it would border on tirade status. Your passion for defending your board position and your supporter friends is as strong as my resistance to your gameplan. The money outlay, time and time again, with no positive outcome and any additional taxes absorbed by the taxpayer for any reason are a concern on my part. It is not how much money we saved by going one way or the other as you have explained. It is the fact that ANY money is being spent on an additional "new school" theme that has yet to be proven as a sound idea since the new elementaries were built. How many more new schools do we have to build before any of the pro-levy/school supporter people realize it isn't the answer to the school's stagnated performance? Why would you make mistake number 2 (new middle school/high school additions) when you have seen the lackluster results from mistake number 1 (new elementaries)? Not logical.

The two posters that were quoted might not agree that their posts are "making no sense".....but we move on.

your last line...

"This is a good development. This will lower the tax imposed on property owners to pay for the school construction, by about 20%."

It isn't a "good development" to those who can't afford any new tax regardless of the 20% decrease. ANY amount may harm those on a fixed income with the population ever increasing in the fixed income category. This city has many seniors that match that criteria. Wonder how they feel about your tax increase?

MS. ANDREW, MY ISSUE, REGARDING YOUR LEVY'S PASSAGE INVOLVES SEEING SOME INDICATION THAT THE MONEY YOU ARE TAKING FROM OUR WALLETS IS DOING ANY GOOD. YOU HAVE BUILT THE NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS AND THEY HAVE MADE A MINIMAL IMPACT IN THE OVERALL PRODUCTIVITY AND UPWARD PERFORMANCE WE ARE LOOKING FOR. IMO, NOT WORTH THE MONEY SPENT. I SUSPECT THIS NEW MIDDLE SCHOOL AND THE ADDITIONS TO THE HIGH SCHOOL WILL YIELD THE SAME RESULTS. TIME WILL TELL AND ONE CAN ALMOST PREDICT THE OUTCOME BASED ON DECADES OF RELATIVE STAGNATION. JUST FLAT OUT NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE MONEY EXPENDED AND THAT MAKES IT A POOR INVESTMENT. IN THAT RESPECT, IT IS NOT A "GOOD DEVELOPMENT". I'D LIKE TO SEE SOME INDICATION THAT THERE IS SOME UPWARD MOBILITY IN THIS SCHOOL DISTRICT, RATHER THAN HEARING THE REPETITIVE THEME OF "JUST GIVE US ONE MORE LEVY APPROVAL AND WE'LL DO BETTER" NONSENSE. YOU GET THE TAJ MAHALS AND THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY, AND, INCREDIBLY, BECAUSE OF NAIVE VOTERS, GET WHAT YOU WANT AND THE REST OF US GET MEDIOCRITY AND MORE OF THE SAME OLD STORY. IT IS INCREDIBLE THAT THE MAJORITY DON'T RECOGNIZE THE SITUATION AND IN RESPONSE, DENY THE SCHOOL'S REQUEST FOR MORE MONEY. HOPEFULLY, THE CITY VOTERS WILL WAKE UP AND REALIZE THE REALITY OF WHAT THE SCHOOLS ARE PRODUCING NOWADAYS AND COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT IT JUST ISN'T WORTH A YES VOTE. THROWING MORE MONEY AT THIS DISTRICT IS NOT HELPING THE OUTCOME.

WE CONTINUE TO SEE THIS DISTRICT IN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SCENARIOS. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY ANYONE WOULD SPONSOR THIS GAMEPLAN.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acclaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 25 2014 at 9:48pm
I made the point prior to the vote it would be foolish to pass the levy as the initial 26% contribution from the state would actually be significantly increased if the levy was defeated in subsequent years. Instead, by a narrow margin that the city nor school board has ever acknowledged the passage was microscopic, indeed, with .001%, the BOE and its supporters told everyone this was a one time shot, a once in a lifetime opportunity, and that it would never be available again.

Based on such falsehood and the additional aspect of the city, MUM, and the MCSD comprising the third largest employer base in Middletown, the levy passed in May.

At no time to my knowledge, nor others I have spoken. did the BOE make it public nor was it on the ballot language when Phase 1 was approved, accelerated payments were being made. In fact, the first mention made was by Ms. Andrew on this site about two weeks before the May election. Now, remarkably, after the election, the accelerated payments are brought front and center as if some magical benefit manifested itself through fiduciary oversight.

As for Gov Kasisch, although I am not a fan, its ridiculous to remotely blame him for reducing tangible property taxes on inventory to make Ohio more competitive and keeping jobs within the state, and not leaving to Texas, and other states which are far greater 'tax friendly' environments. As a matter pf fact, AKS moved its location out of Middletown to West Chester driven by a reduction in local tax.

Finally, the house valuation has fallen enormously over the summer in Middletown and continues to get worse, not better. The assessments and appeals will be coming from Jan through March of 2015, and the reduction will continue for the school district. The passage of the levy, as predicted, will serve only to weaken an existing decline in valuation and taxes collected, associated with passing a levy which no tangible benefit has been seen in years, nor is expected in the future.

Perhaps President Obama can park 50,000 illegal immigrants in Middletown, for the added seats MCSD previously relied from Section 8.            
'An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.' - Winston Churchill
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote processor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2014 at 9:54am
Vet,
Ms. Andrew answered your question very factually and in a straight forward manner. All has been very above board and the BOE has done a good job minimizing the cost to the taxpayers.

Your disagreement about the need for new school buildings is a separate issue. I'm sure she understands that you think the district needs to "Earn" the new buildings through improved performance. However, it is up to ALL the voters and they approved the bond levy.

I'm glad that the BOE is continuing to seek ways to reduce the cost of the new buildings and to reduce our tax burden. I'm sure it would have been a lot less work for the BOE to just let the current agreement play out. I thank them for their continued work to improve our schools and to minimize the cost.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acclaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2014 at 10:32am
provcessor.....all have been above board?

Fact:  Campaign started a week or more advertising levy support with signage, in violation of city ordinance, that the city law director ignored and did nothing to enforce.

Fact: The greater reduction was forthcoming in subsequent years which was never acknowledged and stated all funding from state would go away, when it would have increased, and this came directly from the finance chair from Ohio Facilities Commission on new buildings before May vote.

It matters not to me. Like many, I am leaving the city as constant bad decisions and taxation serve to spur migration, which has done for many who have been in the city for many generations.

I took Vet's post to reflect his position it made great sense to have progress in performance to support the levy, not a constant 'blank check', but with a little organization, the levy would have been defeated. However, organization is not made in elections from opposition, and the outcome reflects such. The final straw for mass reduction in city population comes when the attempted raise in tax rate commences.  One would assume an opinion post election particularly on a narrowly won election, would be tolerated and respected.
'An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.' - Winston Churchill
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote processor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2014 at 11:22am
Acclaro,
I agree that the signage was in violation and once it was brought to the BOE's attention (they did not control the campaign) they probably could have taken more action.

I don't understand your second point.

Reading Vet's post he was inquiring how and why there MAY be a reduction in the required bond levy amount. Ms. Andrew answered his question and then Vet responded with his points regarding MCSD not "earning" the buildings. Anyone who has paid attention knows Vet's position regarding "earning" the buildings. This is well trod ground and won't change the outcome of the vote.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acclaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2014 at 11:32am
processor, as you stated, the election is over, and it serves little benefit continuing to state why one supported the levy, or did not. At the end of the day, it passed, or could have been contested. It is what it is.

The second point is to state the BOE and their campaign was run on the premise the funding went away from the state. That was not factual. The funding % from the state and the Facilities Commission would have significantly gone up, in fact, to nearly 40%, as opposed to 26%, in subsequent years upon defeat, based upon the state taking an assessment every three years in a district's financial tax 'health.' As MCSD tax base has declined, and is expected to continue to do so, the state would have provided MORE funds as a % of total cost, in coming years, than current.

To state there is benefit in the reduction presently is to discard the true nature and significance of a much higher reduction in local tax payer cost based upon the higher state contribution.   
'An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.' - Winston Churchill
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote processor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2014 at 12:03pm
Acclaro,
I'm not sure that your statement that the funding % would have gone up is accurate. My understanding is that MCSD had entered a contract with the state such that the state would pay 26% of the total cost provided MCSD would pay the balance. Many years after this contract was signed, the tax laws changed and using the original state formula based on the reduced property valuation the state would pay a much higher %. Our representative trying to get MCSD's agreement changed through legislative action but was unsuccessful. The choice that MCSD faced was either proceed with the current contract or don't proceed and lose the state's funding. If they didn't proceed then it was a crap shoot regarding any additional funding. They chose to take the sure thing and get the state funding. There are many districts around the state wanting the same money and there was no guarantees that MCSD would get the funding.

After the levy vote the facilities commission offered a plan "B" which, in effect, does somewhat what you suggest (but only on the new portion of the project.) It cancels the original agreement and offers a much higher reimbursement, but JUST on the balance of the project...not on the elementary schools. This is still not a sure thing, just a likely thing.

I don't see where the BOE mislead anyone...it's just some things have changed and the BOE is taking advantage of it.

Maybe Ms. Andrew can weigh in again and confirm or correct my statements.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2014 at 12:43pm
procesor:

"Your disagreement about the need for new school buildings is a separate issue"

The school levy funding to build new buildings is the topic. The funding for the school levy is the catalyst for the new buildings. The need to discuss the end result of building the new buildings is vital to the conversation, IMO. I see it as an integral part to define whether the need was justified. We disagree.   

processor:

"All has been very above board and the BOE has done a good job minimizing the cost to the taxpayers."

Disagree. It was advertised (alluded) to the voters that the schools would lose the state money if the levy was not passed, that it was a "one-time shot"....Pass it or lose it. In actuality, as acclaro has pointed out, if the levy had failed, the Middletown schools would have had a larger amount paid by the state. Apparently, the taxpayer would have been better off in the wallet, if the levy had failed. We, the people would have seen the state pay more of the tab.

I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcia Andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2014 at 1:47pm
I will try to respond to a couple of points.
 
First, the statements made during pre-election, that if the bond levy failed, the money promised by the state would go away, were and still are correct.  If we had not passed the bond levy within 13 months of our "number" coming up, as required by the state, we would have lost the money allocated for Middletown, and gone to the back of the line, with no guarantee of ever getting to the front of the line again.  We remain at the front of the line, so to speak, even if we walk away from the 2-phase agreement, BECAUSE we passed the bond levy, and have already received approval of our master plan fromt the OSFC.
 
Second, the statements made by acclaro and viet vet that the district could somehow get more state money than what the OSFC just proposed to us (64% of just this second phase project), if we didn't pass a bond levy, is not correct, unless they mean that Middletown may continue to slide in property values in relation to other districts, and if the district waits more years to apply, the percentage paid by the state could go up some more.  RIght now, the maximum the district can get is what the OSFC just proposed to us -- 64% of the high school/middle school project = $50 million.  By far the biggest change in valuation came from the elimination of the business tangible property tax; a small amount comes from Middletown's property values declining more than other districts in the recession.
 
Third, I don't understand acclaro's comments from Friday about accelerated payments.  What accelerated payments? The current recommendation from OSFC that the district drop the 2-phase agreement and switch to a new application for just the second phase, does not accelerate any payments.
 
Finally, I made many posts prior to the election on my views as to the need for new/renovated school buildings.  I have nothing further to say on that.  I posted here because I thought Vet had questions about the new development from the OSFC, which I have answered.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcia Andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2014 at 1:58pm
Processor's summary of the situation is correct.  Middletown was/is locked in to the 2-phase agreement which locks in the 26% state funding rate.  We did, unsuccessfully, try to get the percentage increased for the whole 2-phase project, but the legislation was vetoed.  The OSFC has now come to us, and not only said they will let us out of the agreement that binds us to 26%, but that they recommend it (both to us and to the commission).  That will increase the state percentage funding, for only the second phase, to 64%.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acclaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2014 at 2:50pm
As a point of clarity, although moot, and not desiring to further a debate on outcomes which may have occurred, I had contact a few weeks before the levy with the chief financial officer within OSFC in regards to the future calculation and predictability of MCSD receiving a higher % state match in the event the levy failed. Further, the question centered upon the time-frame such match would be made available.

From such discussion, using financial projection modeling forecasts, it was stated the expectation on the subsequent schools, MCSD would receive approximately 40%-45% state match, and typically, when a district levy fails, is placed in a separate category and has availability of new funding via OSFC school match, in about 3-5 years. This came directly from a senior OSFC member. One might argue the cost for capital would increase over 3-5 years associated with inflation, and other factors, but 9 out 10 typically would agree, 40-45% state match, is higher than 26%.

It is indisputable the state match through OSFC  is based upon tax valuation; that is, if a district is poorer compared to a richer district, and all districts are stack ranked accordingly, the % contribution/ match by OSFC is inversely proportional, lower tax base- higher state match.

My statement is justification for my belief in May, it was better to await a better future match, that had no material detriment to the district, by failing the levy on the contribution of OSFC at that time. It passed, and its history.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2014 at 3:01pm
Ms. Andrew:

"That will increase the state percentage funding, for only the second phase, to 64%."

For clarification.....

If the state has increased the amount the district will receive for Phase 2 to 64%, will we property owners have less to pay as was originally thought? Will we see our property tax increase re-calculated or is that an "auditor office question"? Could you tell us an approximate number as to homeowner savings versus the original plan?

Thank you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcia Andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2014 at 4:05pm
Vet--Yes, the property owners will have to pay less than originally thought at the time of the vote on the bond levy.  As I stated, if the OSFC commission members approve what their staff are recommending to us, Middletown will have to borrow bonds in the amount of $45 million, not $55 million as originally planned.  That will reduce the millage from approximately 4.0 mils to 3.2 mils. (Again, that is not the official word of the auditor. That is my math that 45 is 82% of 55; 3.2 is 82% of 4.0.)  The property tax increase has not been calculated yet, because it does not go into force until the January 2015 tax bills.  We hope that we will be able to have the OSFC vote on the new percentage in time for the January bills to reflect the lower bond amount.
 
Acclaro-- I have no way to verify who you spoke with at OSFC, or what was said. 40 - 45% is of course more than 26% but it is also, of course, less than 64%, which is what the OSFC has now told us they will match.  You say you were told that Middletown could receive funding in 3-5 years if the levy did NOT pass.  That is basically what I am saying when I say we would have to get in the back of the line.  Without any certainty that when we got to the front of the line again, the state would still have money available.  Passing the levy kept us in the front of the line, and it seems likely now that we will get more money from the state than the deal the voters approved.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2014 at 4:24pm
Thank you for devoting time and caring about the children, school system and community, Ms.Andrew. Inspiring, considering the difficult and unpopular decisions that must be made. We all may disagree on the road travelled, however hopefully we all are in synch on the destination.

Maybe time to focus more on the educational results of the sacrifice imo.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Marcia Andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 29 2014 at 9:24am
Thank you Spiderjohn.  Believe it or not, the board has been (and will continue to be) focused on improving academics.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 29 2014 at 10:23am
What does Avis and MCSD have in common? They try harder. But, Avis is number two behind Hertz. MCSD is at the bottom with 600 + Ohio districts ahead. Just give em time. Its only been 15 years now for crying out loud. It takes time. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jsmith2011 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 03 2014 at 8:23am
I understand the teacher's union informed the MCSD teachers yesterday that they cannot expect much in the way of more money in the new contract being offered to them because the school district is broke due to mismanagement of money by the board and the treasurer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 05 2014 at 7:01am
Originally posted by jsmith2011 jsmith2011 wrote:

I understand the teacher's union informed the MCSD teachers yesterday that they cannot expect much in the way of more money in the new contract being offered to them because the school district is broke due to mismanagement of money by the board and the treasurer.


js, I doubt if Ms. Andrew will respond. She and her friends of the schools have what they want. They have a new school being built for them. They have some unexpected money coming back their way. They have all relatively newly built elementary schools in place. Everyone in town seems to be very pleased with the "progress" of the schools at this time as there is no public outcry concerning performance, either scholastic or indicators. All is well in the Middletown schools and it is business as usual. The levy supporters defy logic as to their reasons for their backing of this school system. The bar is almost touching the ground at this point. We move on aimlessly with nary a change in direction on the horizon nor a hope of real progress to be seen.

As a side note, in the Journal, there is a video segment on the redo of Barnitz Stadium. In that video, Sam Ison says something about new buildings not making a major difference or something to that affect. Caught me by surprise as this same guy was a major leader in getting the bond levy approved for the new middle school being built. His message seems to be mixed here.   
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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