Print Page | Close Window

MAY BOND & LEVY

Printed From: MiddletownUSA.com
Category: Middletown City Schools
Forum Name: School Tax Issues
Forum Description: Discuss past, current and upcoming tax issues.
URL: http://www.middletownusa.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=5020
Printed Date: Aug 26 2019 at 3:41am


Topic: MAY BOND & LEVY
Posted By: Vivian Moon
Subject: MAY BOND & LEVY
Date Posted: Jan 27 2013 at 9:55am
Posted: 7:00 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013

$55 initiative topic at special meeting

By Rick McCrabb

MIDDLETOWN —

Middletown Board of Education members will discuss placing a combination bond issue/permanent improvement levy on the May ballot this week.

The board has called a special meeting for 8 a.m. Thursday in the Board Room of the Administration Building, 1515 Girard Ave. The purpose of this meeting is to approve a resolution to proceed with a May bond issue, according to Kelly Thorpe, the district’s treasurer.

At Monday’s regular board meeting, the board is expected to approve the necessity for a bond issue and a permanent improvement levy. Preliminary estimates call for a 3.6 mill levy, Thorpe said.

Thorpe must present approved issues to the Board of Elections before Feb. 6 to be eligible for the May 7 special election.

The $55 million initiative would fund building a middle school and making upgrades to the high school, the board has said. Some of those improvements include: adding classroom space for curriculum; moving Manchester classes, Success Academy and Freshman Academy back into the high school; providing a new gymnasium and support space and building a wrestling fieldhouse, plus demolishing the Middletown Middle School and Wade E. Miller Gym; and renovating either Barnitz Stadium  or the Glenn “Tiger” Ellison Football Complex.




Replies:
Posted By: bumper
Date Posted: Jan 27 2013 at 11:59am
well crack my knuckle,s !! for 55 mill and get all of that,and then some... wow...if that dosen't get a best school rating, nothing will.she could really sling the checks out the door with those funds.. just glad she's not pickin my wallet.. Big smile


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jan 27 2013 at 3:25pm
Why waste the board member's time by calling a special meeting? Just have them mail it in as approved. This, and all the other levy proposals before this, were rubber stamped along time ago when the initial story appeared in the Journal. Has anyone ever seen a Middletown school board, that when a levy was proposed, canceled the levy?

Ok, ya don't need a "wrestling fieldhouse" people. Wrestling is hardly a main line sport at Middletown. This isn't Lakewood St. Edward where the wrestling tradition is high. How about a bowling practice facility while we're at it? What nonsense and a huge money waster. Knew we were headed for the demolishing of the Wade E Miller Gym and the old high school. Like the city government, the school board is determined to tear down every semblence of tradition this town has had over the years. Bet they don't save the scoreboards, the rims/backboards or any part of the Wade E. Hell, send the trophies in the cases to the landfill too. Tradition and past accomplishments mean nothing I guess. I'm surprised they are leaving Barnitz Stadium standing. A few more bucks and they would tear that down too.

That's it! Along with the city manager, council and some key people in the city building, the entire school board must go too.

Like the last bond levy, if you vote yes for this, you'll get nothing for your money again. They will get what they want. You will get nothing. Do you actually think the performance will improve with a new middle school or upgrades to the high school? Did improvements happen with the new elementaries? Nope.

Just vote no and stop this foolishness.



-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: Bill
Date Posted: Jan 27 2013 at 7:22pm
It amazes me how this levy will ikely pass but if we wanted to put a $55M levy for a massive road repair initiatve it would get voted down.


Posted By: Marcia Andrew
Date Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 9:26am

Vet, to explain the proposal for a wrestling fieldhouse:

One of the reasons for renovating and expanding the high school is to bring all of the classrooms under one roof, for both security and practical reasons. Right now, there are 12 classrooms in the Manchester Building used for general high school classes, plus the Success Academy and the Freshman Academy (our alternative schools that are a hybrid of computer-taught and teacher instruction, for kids at risk of dropping out/failing out of regular school). Although the main building is locked at the first bell and all students and late arriving visitors must go to the main entrance, sign in and be buzzed through, this security is greatly weakened by the fact that at every change of class period, students flow from the main building to and from the Manchester.
 
Currently, the wrestling practice facilities are in the basement of the high school. That space could be renovated into classrooms if wrestling was moved elsewhere. A fieldhouse can be built for a much lower cost per square foot than the cost per square foot to add extra classroom space, due to the standards that the State requires for classroom space. Nobody asked for a separate wrestling facility. It was not part of the master plan. It is a proposal from the architects and construction manager to save money on the total project.
 
And, by the way, the Middletown wrestling program has consistently produced qualifiers for the state tournament for a number of years. Jacob Globke is ranked first in the state in his weight class, and there are others with a good shot at the state competition as well.


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 11:07am
Ms. Andrew: "this security is greatly weakened by the fact that at every change of class period, students flow from the main building to and from the Manchester".

The Manchester facility is but 30 yards away from the main high school building. If security is a concern for students (that are trending toward adulthood) then I suggest a school resource officer or one of the many assist principals accompany them to and from their journey. Wouldn't this be cheaper than asking the taxpayer to pay for rehabbing and expanding the high school? They are only a few years from going to college which will require them to walk from building to building to attend classes. Might as well get use to it now so they will be "seasoned veterans" in the art of changing classes.

Ms. Andrew:

"Currently, the wrestling practice facilities are in the basement of the high school. That space could be renovated into classrooms if wrestling was moved elsewhere"

Is there a need for more classroom space? This, in spite of a declining enrollment? Why can't you use the Paul Walker Gym for wrestling? Is it used that often that you couldn't squeeze wrestling into the schedule?

Ms. Andrew:

"And, by the way, the Middletown wrestling program has consistently produced qualifiers for the state tournament for a number of years. Jacob Globke is ranked first in the state in his weight class, and there are others with a good shot at the state competition as well"

This is justification for building a new fieldhouse for wrestling? A new building for a few individuals? Do we thrown alot of money at something to benefit a few? No matter how you look at it, wrestling is a minor sport at Middletown, with few participating in comparison to the major sports and it pulls small crowds and is not a money-maker like basketball or football appears to be.

Ms. Andrew:
"Nobody asked for a separate wrestling facility. It was not part of the master plan"

Then why consider building it if it wasn't important to begin with?

Ms. Andrew: "It is a proposal from the architects and construction manager to save money on the total project"

Well, it's gonna cost extra if they build it. How can it save money on the total project? It isn't gonna be given to the district for free.

Here's another proposal to save money......don't build a facility that you don't need and will never get value from. Again, a wrestling facility added to the overall cost of the project is money that doesn't need to be spent IMO. If you need to clear space for more classrooms (again, even as we hear that enrollment is declining) devise a contract and take the wrestling program workout to the local YMCA, use their facilities and save the taxpayer some money. They have a nice gym to hold practice and wrestling events. How about using the Paul Walker Gym for the wrestling program? It is used for girls basketball and ??????

-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: LMAO
Date Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 11:14am
Mine and a few others I know will be Voting A Big Fat "NO".Board wants the taxpayers insight but never listen.
Good luck to you Mrs.Andrew on getting this pass.


Posted By: bumper
Date Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 11:14am
mid town school board mentality is, IMO  other schools do it also, throw up a big ole $$$$ amount and try like h ell to come up reason's why it should be passed, at no matter at what it will do to the people that have to pay for the increase, in today's uncertain economy, of lost jobs, people finding other work at much lower wages to pay to put food on the table, shoes for their kids.. THIS WE WANT IT NOW when we say in a allready over taxed broke city... even call a special get together to do it, is a crock.. i know what i would tell ya what you could do with that waste.... but i can't.. cause im in a way better city with a school that has a Excellent rating at a lower $$$$$$ amount to do it... glad my grandson with parents that care and a very happy and concerned pa paw Big smile as a better chance here now then what mid town as to offer... i really need to tell mid town schools and city thanks, i knew i and my son was making the right decision to leave this good for nothing city... THANK YOU!!!


Posted By: ktf1179
Date Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 11:51am
I just move from Springboro just to get away from the non-stop School Levies. It looks like Springboro's mindset of asking for school levies to improve the schools and it's test scores have infiltrated Middletown now. Get ready to empty your wallets, as Middletown tries to keep up with other school district's like Springboro and Mason. Just like Springboro did 20 years ago when it wanted to be like Oakwood and Centerville. And if this passes get ready for more people on tight budgets move out of the city. The only hope would be to attract young people to Middletown with it's new flashy schools. 

Don't get me wrong I want good schools like the ones I went to in Springboro, but new buildings do not result in better test scores, attracting the right teachers, and getting parents involved do. And once Middletown starts showing Good or Excellent Academic scores, then I will vote for a new Building. In the mean time lets focus on results not buildings.


Posted By: ktf1179
Date Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 11:59am
I think we should make a deal with the Students, Teachers, Staff and Administrators. If you show us a major improvement in Test scores and overall effectiveness, We the Tax Payers will reward your hard efforts with a new school. I know the Middies can do it. Smile


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 12:15pm
Ms. Andrew, with all due respect, let's cut to the chase......you are part of a group of people who want the rest of us to trust your judgement and support your ambitions with no questions asked.

However, after the approval of 45 million in bonds a few years ago, and building the state-of-the-art facilities in your elementary school replacements, the district has achieved mimimal success in improving the performance to date. We have not been given any confidence that this new approval won't produce the same results. We wonder what we have gotten from the last levy approval.

You, and many others in the "we want to upgrade everything in sight" camp, either are in denial about the numbers produced in the state reports, can't see what we really have here in the district, or are willing to attempt to bilk the taxpayer out of every dime you can, despite knowing what the score is, to achieve your dreams of LOOKING LIKE a top notch district. The fact is, we are a poor community (54%, by Adkins estimate, as low income), and cannot afford the luxurious educational kingdom that you are striving for. A Chevy will do....we don't need a Ferrari. You know this as we all do. It appears that the school board, like the city leaders, have no desire to get in touch with the people, understand the demographics of the town and know that people can't afford your proposals. Why do you, and others, insist on forcing your desires on the people in the form of constant levies and the embellished stories that are used to support them?

-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: jsmith2011
Date Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 2:43pm
My vote is NO. All of the NO voters need to get out and vote. They bank on them staying home and getting the yes people to pass it. The levy won't even be mentioned the week of the vote because they try to keep it low key and get the yes voters out there. Although, I have to say that even school district employees are saying they are voting no for the first time ever.   

The school district wastes a lot of money. The "alternative" classes were at Garfield. They closed the school, tore down the building and a few years later they take just about the same employees and put them in the same situation with the same students in a different place. Of course, they had to buy all new equipment, etc. The built an elementary school at Highview then two years later they decide to make it a middle school and spend money tearing the place apart, installing lockers, etc. Now they want to build another middle school and will do the same thing to change it back to an elementary school.

The board keeps talking about how Vail is outdated. What about Verity? They can't add on it that building and save some money? Of course not.

Anyone who wants an eye opener should go the website with the school employee wages listed. I'll list all the people in the admin building and a total of their wages later....shocking....


Posted By: jsmith2011
Date Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 4:20pm
The website Opportunity Ohio lists school districts and employee salaries from 2004 to 2012. I did not compare Middletown City Schools to other districts and I could not find all employees from the administration offices listed.

The school district website lists the administration office departments as:

    Dept. of Learning which totals about $535,398.00 in salaries not including about 4 employees listed on the school website. Betsy Carter makes $108,921 to head this dept. This is also the dept. that the journal reported that the state said a person was buying Kroger cards for employees use and getting the points for herself and should not be doing that. Slick, huh?

   The Finance Dept. totals about $189,439 minus 6 employees. The treasurer makes $85,000 and the asst treasurer $63,668.

   The new Dept of Leadership that brought Dr. Isom from Lebanon totals $229,272. Isom makes $111,599 a year.

   The superintendent makes $128,700. That's just salary, not the other perks like a monthly car allowance. I'm sure all of these people have car allowances and they all have IPhones and IPads, etc. added to the perk list which isn't part of the salary listed.

   The athletic dept. has about 21 people listed in it. Lebo makes $91,686. the football coach makes $75,657 and he doesn't even teach...the basketball coach makes $70,178 and track is $75,121. There are still 17 employees listed that aren't included here.

    The only tech person I could find made $83,154 and that wasn't even the person in charge, Dr. Surland, the person that the superintendent moved here from Kansas City or wherever he came from.

    So, in total the salaries at just the admin bldg is a whopping $1,395,451.00 and doesn't even include about 30 employees....

   Keep this in mind when voting.
    


Posted By: Pacman
Date Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 6:45pm
I moved here 8 or 9 yrs ago when Dr Price and the school board were giving their little road show about new elementary schools. I don't recall anyone guarenting better performance scores in exchange for new schools. Anyone that believes new buildings guarantee a jump too an excellence performance score is only fooling themselves and is looking for an excuse to vote No on the levy. Personally what I heard was that having new schools would enhance the learning atmosphere of the students and not an a guaranteed performance increase. How many of you actually live in Middletown and have school aged children? New schools invite new residents and improve the city's image. Of course I know this probably doesn't matter much to many of you. IMO voting NO is citing off you nose despite your face. It is unfortunate that so many people place little to no respect in the education of the city's children.

Pacman
(aka Bob Cust)


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jan 29 2013 at 6:36am
Pac, I will respectfully disagree with you on your stance on education in this town.

Price and his cronies, at one time during the presentation to the community, made statements that left no doubt that if we gave them new schools, we would see performance enhanced because the kids would have the latest whistles and bells and be in an environment condusive to better learning. To me, that kinda eludes to a "if you give us new, you will see a difference" theme.

Everyone in this town (in any town) wants to see the kids learn and the school district produce good results for the money given to them through levies. It ain't happening here. Look at the test scores in the last two decades. When comparing results from year to year, do they look like there has been any measureable improvement despite new programs being implemented, despite new elementaries being built? Beside new people being shuffled around and hired from the outside? We could have the Taj Mahal of school buildings but NO ONE, who values education is going to move here right now because the RESULTS PRODUCED BY THE DISTRICT AND THE ENSUING REPUTATION AROUND THE AREA THAT MIDDLETOWN SCHOOLS ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE TOTEM POLE, DEALING WITH AN OVERABUNDANCE OF SECTION 8 AND THE ILLS THAT GO WITH THAT AND THE BEHAVIOR/LACK OF CONTROL IN THE SCHOOLS, WILL ELIMINATE ANY GOOD FEELING FAMILIES CONSIDERING MOVING HERE WOULD HAVE. I just don't see, at this point in time, that the district has anything to offer potential residents who may be shopping around to move. People have moved OUT of the district to get away from the current situation and it has been reported that the enrollment has declined. What does that tell you?

PAC:
"It is unfortunate that so many people place little to no respect in the education of the city's children".

Ahh, Pac, a little twist here..... it is unfortunate that the school district educators place little to no respect in the education of the city's children. (If they did, they would make a wholesale change in the way they are doing things in this district because it is obvious that what they have done and are doing, isn't producing the results of the surrounding districts) It is asinine to keep doing the same failed things over and over again knowing what the outcome will be from previous attempts. JMO



-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: LMAO
Date Posted: Jan 29 2013 at 10:57am
I care deeply with kid education.What I dont care about is reckless spending.Gave them a chance back in the "PRICELESS" era.Also why should taxpayers pay fo the revamping of the sports stuff?Alot of people have kids that dont play in sports.


Posted By: Chris Fiora
Date Posted: Jan 29 2013 at 1:39pm
Vet,
I actually agree with most of your points but come to the opposite conclusion regarding the new schools. 
1. I agree that facilities, by themselves, won't impact academic performance especially on the elementary school level.  However on the high school level facilities can help...think modern science and computer labs but if the basic academic strategies are not in place, then nice facilities won't help.
2. I agree that Middletown's low academic rating are a deterrent to people moving to Middletown.
3. I agree that the poverty level in Middletown, partly encouraged by too many section 8 vouchers, also are a deterrent to people moving to Middletown.
4. I agree that the behavior of some of Middletown's students are not where it needs to be and does detract from others receiving good education.
 
However, I see big improvements in how the district is working on discipline and behavior.  The Positive Behavior Support program and the Middie Pride Program are helping make significant improvements.  The lax, no discipline make excuses Price days are long over.
 
Academically the district has improved the last three years.  Are we up to Lakota or West Chester performance?  We are no where close and probably won't get there....(different demographics).  However, we are up to the midpoint of comparable schools and are poised to be at the top of the list of comparable schools in a few years.
 
Another deterrent to people moving to Middletown, and to those already here staying in the district, is the location and the condition of our Middle School.  We can fix the condition but without building a new school, can not change the location.  This is a deterrent that we can eliminate.  I've had numbers of realtors tell me that the condition and location of the Middle School is a big problem convincing people to move to Middletown.  I know people who kept their kids in Middletown's elemetary schools, but then moved then out of the district instead of sending them to our Middle School.  Our enrollment data support that we lose students between elementary and middle school.
 
Once you decide to do a Middle School then the High School naturally follows because the State will pay for nearly all of it.
 
I don't understand the logic of tying the building of the Middle School to academic performance.  I think that both the refurbishment of our schools and our academic improvement must move hand in hand.


-------------


Posted By: Neil Barille
Date Posted: Jan 29 2013 at 2:00pm
What ever happened to waiting for the state $$ to become available?  Does this levy mean we are trying to fund the construction ourselves 100%?


Posted By: Chris Fiora
Date Posted: Jan 29 2013 at 2:12pm
Neil,
We decided that since the Middle School needed to be locally funded anyway, that there was no reason to wait for the State.  We will wait for the state money to do the High School.  We will not do it with our own money.  Doing the Middle School now, which needed to be locally funded anyway, just gets us that much closer to havng everything done sooner.  It also means that when "our number is called" Middletown will have done everything necessary to get the state money and we can move that much quicker.  We are not and will not forfeit any state money.  We will use as much as they give us and will argue for more.


-------------


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jan 29 2013 at 3:51pm
Response for Mr. Fiora.....

Mr. Fiora:

"However, I see big improvements in how the district is working on discipline and behavior. The Positive Behavior Support program and the Middie Pride Program are helping make significant improvements. The lax, no discipline make excuses Price days are long over"

TIME WILL TELL IF YOUR NEW PROGRAMS ARE WORKING. EACH TIME WE READ WHERE A FIGHT HAS OCCURED IN THE SCHOOLS, EACH TIME WE READ WHERE THERE WAS VANDALISM IN THE PARKING LOTS, EACH TIME WE READ WHERE THERE WAS A DISRUPTION IN THE CLASSROOM AND THE PROBLEM STUDENT WAS RETURNED TO CLASS INSTEAD OF REMOVED, CREATES SETBACKS TO PROGRESS IN THE OLD GAME OF CONTROLLING DISCIPLINE. WE SHALL SEE MR. FIORA.

MR. Fiora:

"Academically the district has improved the last three years. Are we up to Lakota or West Chester performance? We are no where close and probably won't get there....(different demographics). However, we are up to the midpoint of comparable schools and are poised to be at the top of the list of comparable schools in a few years"

THE PROBLEM IS, OVER THE PAST THREE DECADES, WE HAVE HEARD FROM SCHOOL OFFICIALS IN ONE CAPACITY OR ANOTHER THAT WE "ARE ALMOST THERE". YET, OVER THE DECADES, WE HAVE SEEN THE RESULTS OF THE PERFORMANCE TESTING IN ALL GRADES IN ALL CATEGORIES AND HAVE NOT SEEN SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT......AGAIN IN THREE DECADES. THE SCHOOLS STARTED TO GO DOWNHILL IN THE 70's. BEFORE THAT TIME, THEY WERE THOUGHT OF HIGHLY BY NEIGHBORING DISTRICTS. HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU WANT TO GIVE IT? ANOTHER DECADE OR SO? TOO MUCH TIME HAS PASSED TO SHOW SO LITTLE IMPROVEMENT MR. FIORA IMO.

Mr. Fiora:

"Another deterrent to people moving to Middletown, and to those already here staying in the district, is the location and the condition of our Middle School. We can fix the condition but without building a new school, can not change the location. This is a deterrent that we can eliminate. I've had numbers of realtors tell me that the condition and location of the Middle School is a big problem convincing people to move to Middletown. I know people who kept their kids in Middletown's elemetary schools, but then moved then out of the district instead of sending them to our Middle School. Our enrollment data support that we lose students between elementary and middle school".

OK, SO IS IT THE LOCATION/CONDITION OF THE MIDDLE SCHOOL THAT IS DRIVING PEOPLE AWAY ACCORDING TO THE REALTORS.......OR........IS IT THAT THE PEOPLE LEAVING SEE WHAT IS ON THE HORIZON AFTER THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL EXPERIENCE AND KNOW THAT THE CLIMATE AND EXPERIENCE IN THE MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL LEVELS ARE NOT WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT FOR THEIR KIDS? PERHAPS A DETERRENT FOR THEM IS THE DISCIPLINE OR LACK OF IT IN THE MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOLS AND THE PARENTS WOULD RATHER AVOID THAT FOR THEIR KIDS. OR, PERHAPS THE PARENTS THINK THAT THEY CAN SET THEIR KIDS UP WITH A BETTER QUALITY EDUCATION IN SOME OTHER TOWN AT THEIR MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL. PERHAPS MIDDLETOWN IS KNOWN FOR POOR QUALITY AT THAT LEVEL. MIGHT BE ONE OR THE OTHER ......OR MAYBE A LITTLE OF BOTH.

Mr. Fiora:

"I don't understand the logic of tying the building of the Middle School to academic performance. I think that both the refurbishment of our schools and our academic improvement must move hand in hand"

IT IS CALLED PERFORM AND BE REWARDED. IF THE PERFORMANCE IS UPGRADED TO EXCELLENT FROM THE STAGNANT CONTINUED IMPROVEMENT CATEGORY, THE PEOPLE MAY BE INCLINED TO REWARD YOU FOLKS WITH YOUR WISHES WITH THAT NEW SCHOOL. IF YOU DON'T PERFORM, WHY WOULD WE WANT TO REWARD YOU? YOU HAVEN'T EARNED IT, HAVE YOU? REFURBISHMENT OF SCHOOLS AND ACADEMIC IMPROVEMENT DO NOT NECESSARILY GO HAND IN HAND. WE GAVE YOU ALL NEW ELEMENTARIES AND THE IMPROVEMENT WAS NOT AN EYE-OPENER. YOU HAVE ALREADY DISPROVEN THE VERY POINT YOU ARE TRYING TO MAKE.




-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: Chris Fiora
Date Posted: Jan 29 2013 at 4:36pm
Vet,
Regarding your last point "WE GAVE YOU ALL NEW ELEMENTARIES AND THE IMPROVEMENT WAS NOT AN EYE-OPENER. YOU HAVE ALREADY DISPROVEN THE VERY POINT YOU ARE TRYING TO MAKE"
 
If you re-read my post I agree with you that, especially for elementary schools, the facility and academic performance are not necessarily linked.  I never argued, because I don't believe it, that academic performance will neccesarily increase with new buildings.  Except for some specialized areas, such as science on the high school level, I'm not a believer that new facilities will increase performance.  In many ways they are independant.
 
What I tried to say is that I think that we need to improve both the academic performance and the facilities simultaneously.  To help attract people to Middletown we need both; excellent academics and excellent facilities.  Both are works in progress.


-------------


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jan 29 2013 at 6:20pm
Mr. Fiora: "I never argued, because I don't believe it, that academic performance will neccesarily increase with new buildings".

Mr. Fiora: "Except for some specialized areas, such as science on the high school level, I'm not a believer that new facilities will increase performance".

Then why support this effort?

Mr. Fiora, the two statements made by you above clearly state that new buildings are not an automatic catalyst for better performance.

Then you state.......

"What I tried to say is that I think that we need to improve both the academic performance and the facilities simultaneously"

Question. Why do we need to improve the facilities if you stated that they are not necessarily needed to improve performance? Your first two statements indicate that you are not necessarily a supporter of new facilities. The last statement supports new facilities. Which is it? Why will you support the building of new schools if you take the stance that new schools won't necessarily build stronger results?

"To help attract people to Middletown we need both; excellent academics and excellent facilities".

Is that the most important reason to build new schools? To present an image to attract new people to town? I would have thought the reason the pro-new building people support new schools would be to improve performance.

I will be voting no because I don't want my taxes raised. They are already high and the payback received is low. We're not getting that much of a return on investment in this town for the money we pay out. And, quite frankly, the Middletown schools don't deserve, nor have they earned the blessing of the taxpayer by approving new schools. Again, I don't believe the schools should be rewarded until they show signs of dramatic improvement. If I were connected with the schools, I would be disappointed for the lack of accomplishment in the last 30 years. I am an outsider looking in. Perhaps the school people can't see the perverbial forest for the trees with regard to their inefficiencies.

-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: Jameshh
Date Posted: Jan 29 2013 at 8:42pm
VeitVet:

Please answer a couple of questions that I believe several of us what like to know and be honest please!
1. Do you live in Middletown?
2. If 1 is yes then how long?
3. If 1 is no then do you work in Middletown or are you retired from a business in Middletown?
4. Do you or have you ever had a student in Middletown Schools?

With the post and negativity towards our school system I am really curious what is your stake in this game.


Posted By: Bill
Date Posted: Jan 29 2013 at 9:54pm

I don't know the numbers but I assume an argument can be made that the maintenance and heating/air cost of the existing buildings is too high.  I hear Vail is a train wreck.  And I don't think the case for new construction is academic performance.  Vet, you're taking one comment Dr. Price made years ago and rehashing it over and over.  There are valid reasons to building new --- just like you had valid reasons for voting "yes" on the Senior Center levy.



Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jan 30 2013 at 6:15am
Originally posted by Jameshh Jameshh wrote:

VeitVet:

Please answer a couple of questions that I believe several of us what like to know and be honest please!
1. Do you live in Middletown?
2. If 1 is yes then how long?
3. If 1 is no then do you work in Middletown or are you retired from a business in Middletown?
4. Do you or have you ever had a student in Middletown Schools?

With the post and negativity towards our school system I am really curious what is your stake in this game.


Answers:

1. Yes
2. 64 years with the exception of 4 years in the military, 7 years in Columbus, 5 years in Newark and 8 months in Tucson.
3. Work in another town. Not retired. Have 5 more years to work to have 51 years in.
4. Yes

My stake in the game?.....

My stake in this game is that, like everyone else who lives in Middletown, I pay property taxes. 80% of those property taxes go to the schools. If I pay into it and contribute, I earn the right to criticize. So does everyone else if they choose. The schools have performed poorly for the last 3 decades. I am getting sick and tired of helping to fund a poor performer. If I have a poor performer in my stock portfolio, I ask the portfolio manager to sell and invest in a better performer. Don't have the luxury of opting out of putting money into this loser. Unfortunately, if I want to live in my hometown, I must pay for this school system, no matter how bad it has become. Lord people, look at the test scores. Look at how long they have been at the bottom. Look at the discipline problems in the schools. Look at how many things they have tried and have failed on. Now ask yourself a question.....what have they done to EFFECTIVELY address the problems? They have beaten the board to pieces, but they haven't hit the nail once. Now, without lying to yourself, answer the question with the words "little to nothing". Why won't the school supporters admit the way it really is and actually demand that it be fixed? We just keep trudging along, year after year, accepting the same outcome without demanding more. Why?

-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jan 30 2013 at 6:26am
Originally posted by Bill Bill wrote:

I don't know the numbers but I assume an argument can be made that the maintenance and heating/air cost of the existing buildings is too high.  I hear Vail is a train wreck.  And I don't think the case for new construction is academic performance.  Vet, you're taking one comment Dr. Price made years ago and rehashing it over and over.  There are valid reasons to building new --- just like you had valid reasons for voting "yes" on the Senior Center levy.



Bill, the comments from Price are still valid. The message that new schools would deliver better performance is still mentioned here and there. It is still a buzz phrase with some new building supporters. The 45 million, approved by the taxpayers, was not money well spent as to results to date. It still is a problem. Still needs to be addressed. THAT is why I keep rehashing it. IMO, if what Price said, and what was sold to the public is left to die, and the voters aren't constantly reminded that the new elementary school idea did not yield what was suggested, the school board/levy supporters will keep throwing the same crap at the voters everytime they want to upgrade the facilities, hoping the voters will have forgotten past indicretions. Gotta keep voters refreshed on past bond levy results with the hope that the voters will not make the same mistake twice. Might be wishful thinking though.

-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: ktf1179
Date Posted: Jan 30 2013 at 9:04am
It appears the the pro-levy group have been taking their notes from Springboro. Instead of working with the community for a solution that would keep taxes low for the property owners, and provide what is needed for the students. You would rather make personal attacks and accusations of people who disagree with your stance. 
And if the school levy fails, you will be back again, and again spending money on a campaign for a new school, until the community gets tired of voting it down that finally passes it. A classic Springboro technique. 

I for the life of me don't understand why you would tear down a school, instead of selling it to someone in who can renovate it and put it to good use. The Superintendent Gary Meyer wanted to tear down Springboro Elementary School  which was built in 1903 to build a new school in its place. Instead the community rose up, and said they would rather have it renovated, than to get rid of the old historic high school which has so much history in the community. 

I believe the same thing can be done with the existing middle school, instead of looking at everything that needs done, why not focus on the major issues of the building and bring it up to code? If the schools were to come to the community with a plan to remodel, and add on to existing schools, I guarantee you the levy will pass. 

We should work with what we have, instead of build what we can not afford. The economy has hit Middletown hard, there are hundreds of foreclosures everywhere. And if this levy were to pass, I guarantee you, that the foreclosure rate will only go up, because the residents of Middletown are barley making ends meet. 




Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Jan 30 2013 at 9:26am
thanx Mr.F for your input
?ing V Vet's backround and caring about the issues is a non-factor
he qualifies by every criteria mentioned
don't always agree with him, however glad that he is around
 
Vail--time 2 go, unfortunately in some ways that Wade  E goes with it
test score improvement will b slow and hopefully steady--we all know y
wrestling arena? come on--get real
Verity is bad also
Middie Pride program seems 2 b working well @ the primary level--the youngest will bring about the proper change
unfortunately a couple of generations have been lost
high school is supposedly getting better--good reports on the new principal, super and Mr.Ison
where would the new bball court b, and plans?(priorities lol)
 
expensive plan--bad time 2 ask for $$(is it ever a good time?)
plan does not create necessary geographical balance in our community imo
 
former downtown /school is a good area--a bad area
make up your mind!
 
kan u tell that i went 2 school here?


Posted By: ktf1179
Date Posted: Jan 30 2013 at 12:07pm
"Since 1999, Local tax dollars spent per pupil in Ohio have increased by more than 75% while student achievement has flat-lined. Spending money without focus on results has left Ohio with a broken system. We need to fix it." John Kasich




Posted By: Neil Barille
Date Posted: Jan 30 2013 at 1:41pm
1999 was 14 years ago.  How much of that 75% is the accumulated result of modest pay increases (per contract) for staff as well as all the federally mandated staff that are there because of some federal law about mainstreaming or No Child Left Behind? How many aides are there to sit in a room all day while assigned to ONE handicapped student?
 
 


Posted By: Marcia Andrew
Date Posted: Jan 30 2013 at 2:06pm
I cannot respond to all the comments by all posters on this thread, but would like to make several points as to why, in my opinion, the Middletown community needs and should support a new middle school and a renovated/expanded high school.
 
1. Every child in Middletown deserves a quality education. This right is in the Ohio Constitution  It also makes sense. Investing in public education is the best investment that taxpayers can make for the community. If we don't provide a good education to give every child a chance to succeed, we will pay for it later in police, ambulance service and "free" health care, prisons, and welfare. And we will not attract quality jobs without an educated work force.
 
2. The State of Ohio does not fully fund the cost of public education. It requires each community to pay a substantial portion of the cost through local taxes.
 
3. A quality education requires quality instruction, appropriate support services (and this does include administration/management, for those of you who seem to hate administrators and think the teachers could run the schools on their own), and safe, secure buildings with the necesary equipment and technology to provide an environment conducive to learning.
 
4. I have not ever, and do not now, promise that new buildings alone will guarantee improved academic performance. But, the condition of the buildings is definitely a factor. And, at some point, the condition of a school building becomes so bad that it actively interferes with learning, and with the cost-effective operation of the school district. Vail is definitely at that point.
 
5. The State of Ohio is providing some funding to school districts for buildings now. If we do not accept the offer and meet the challenge with local tax dollars now, Middletown won't receive that help from the State, and the State may never again offer the funding.
 
6. The State of Ohio has extensive standards for what is required when schools are renovated or built new under this program. Their general intent is that the buildings and systems/parts (roofs, HVAC, electrical, etc) last at least 50 years from the project. They evaluated all the buildings in our district. They determined that Vail was in such bad shape, and its systems so outdated, that the cost to renovate was too high and a replacement building was required. If we disagree, and want to "just" renovate, we could do that entirely with local money--but, we would spend almost as much as building new, and by doing so we would forfeit any state matching money for the elementary schools and the high school. If, on the other hand, we build a new middle school to the State's standards with money from this proposed levy, then the State matching money for the whole K-12 project will pay to renovate and expand the high school.
 
7. I don't think the original bond levy promised that new schools would result in improved academic results. However, the fact is that the elementary results have improved, quantifiably, since the building project was completed. I have posted about that extensively in other threads and won't repeat here.
 
8. Voters definitely WERE told before the last bond levy that the levy was for elementary schools, and that a second levy would be required for the middle and high schools, and that when the entire K-12 master facilities plan was constructed, then the state would pay 26% of the entire project. Failing to put a second bond levy on the ballot, to complete the second phase and collect the State money, would be unfair to the voters who approved the first bond levy with the understanding that it was only the first half of the project.
 
9. To those of you who say you will not reward the schools with new buildings until they earn it through improved academic performance, I ask, reward who? Until who has earned it? Back to point 1, current and future students deserve a quality education. It is current and future students who will benefit from new/renovated middle and high school. Is it their fault that prior students did not score as well on standardized tests as you think they should have? Are you going to penalize current and future students because current and prior school board members, superintendents, administrators and teachers failed to meet your expectations for performance? New buildings are not a reward in any way for school board, superintendent and central office. We don't work in the school buildings. Yes, the teachers and principals will benefit somewhat. Saying they (and the students) should put up with inadequate buildings until the district is rated excellent strikes me as borrowing logic from Dilbert (management saying, deplorable work conditions will continue until morale improves). I suspect that, if the district improved to excellent and then asked for new buildings, you would say -- you obviously don't need new buildings, since you achieved excellence in the old ones.
 
10. Like Chris Fiora, I hear from many people who leave the district after elementary school because of the condition and location of Vail and their perceptions as to poor discipline in the middle and high school. Some who investigate past these perceptions actually transfer into the district from surrounding smaller districts. The primary reasons I hear for those who transfer into the district in older grades is (a) the greater variety and strength of programmatic offerings, including academic courses, athletics, and extracurriculars like orchestra, forensics, show choir, etc; and (b) the diversity and tolerance of the student body. MHS is a school that supports and encourages all kids, whether they are academic stars, athletes, theatrical, musical, artsy, tech gurus, etc. Smaller schools can be very hard on kids who don't "fit in."
 
11. I have also posted in other threads about the improvements in discipline. I don't have the exact numbers in front of me, but suspensions and expulsions at the high school dropped in the neighborhood of 30% each of the past two years in a row, while at the same time both teachers and students say in surveys that the climate has improved. Frankly, it is people like some posters here, who perpetuate a misperception of what is going on at the high school based on random news stories when they haven't set foot in the building in decades.


Posted By: over the hill
Date Posted: Jan 30 2013 at 2:26pm
Isn't Princton, Harvard, Yale some of our finest learning facilities in this country? And how old are some of those building? Just an observation on my part.


Posted By: Marcia Andrew
Date Posted: Jan 30 2013 at 3:20pm
Over the hill, elite colleges and universities have been on a massive building spree in the last 25 years. It is part of the reason that tuition has risen so much. They keep the facade of old buildings, and totally gut and renovate the inside. They are spending as much as if they tore it down and built new, but they keep the outer walls because the nostalgic alumni donate millions to those schools. And, they are not subject to the regulations of a state facilities commission. In addition to these renovations, they have built scores of brand new buildings.
 
When Middie alumni donate a billion dollar endowment like Princeton and Harvard have, we will reconsider the sentimental value of keeping the outer walls of old buildings like Vail.


Posted By: Marcia Andrew
Date Posted: Jan 30 2013 at 3:25pm
ktf, the key to the quote you posted is local tax dollars have increased. The local tax dollars devoted to public education has increased because the state tax dollars devoted to public education have decreased.


Posted By: ktf1179
Date Posted: Jan 30 2013 at 3:27pm
I still have yet to get an answer as to why tear down the old school if the new one is built? Why not sell it, any try to get some profit from the old site, instead of paying for it to be demolished? Or better yet move the administration into that building and use it for something else :)


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jan 30 2013 at 3:41pm
Ms. Andrew: "Every child in Middletown deserves a quality education"

THERE ARE SOME WHO THINK THAT ISN'T HAPPENING NOW NOR HAS IT BEEN HAPPENING FOR THE PAST TWO DECADES MS. ANDREW.

"Investing in public education is the best investment that taxpayers can make for the community"

THAT ALL DEPENDS ON WHETHER THE PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE PAYING FOR A WINNER OR A LOSER. IF THE SCHOOLS ARE HURTING THE COMMUNITY WHERE IS THE POSITIVE INVESTMENT? SPOKEN LIKE A PERSON WHO IS IN A POSITION OF SCHOOL SUPPORT.

"I don't think the original bond levy promised that new schools would result in improved academic results"

IT WAS ADVERTISED AS SUCH BY STEVE PRICE MS. ANDREW. "IF YOU BUILD US NEW SCHOOLS, THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT WILL IMPROVE, THE KIDS WILL HAVE ALL THE MODERN BELLS AND WHISTLES, THE KIDS WILL BE MORE COMFORTABLE IN THE CLASSROOMS AND BETTER RESULTS WILL BE SEEN". IT WAS A MESSAGE SIMILAR TO THIS. SELECTIVE AMNESIA BY SOME AS TO WHAT WAS SAID BY PRICE.

"To those of you who say you will not reward the schools with new buildings until they earn it through improved academic performance, I ask, reward who? Until who has earned it?"

YOU......AND THE ENTIRE MIDDLETOWN EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY

YOU AND ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE NOW, AND IN THE PAST, RESPONSIBLE FOR THE
CURRENT SITUATION THAT WE HAVE WITH REGARD TO THE LOW PERFORMANCE. MS. ANDREW, YOU HAVE HEARD ABOUT THE REWARDS PROGRAM IN THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT. IT IS QUITE SIMPLE. YOU DO A GOOD JOB----YOU ARE REWARDED. YOU JUST AREN'T HANDED REWARDS WITHOUT MAKING AN EFFORT. C'MON, YOU'VE BEEN AROUND LONG ENOUGH TO HAVE EXPERIENCED THAT IN THE WORK PLACE. SAME GOES FOR THE SCHOOLS. THE SCHOOL PEOPLE TEACH THE KIDS EFFECTIVELY, THE KIDS PRODUCE GOOD RESULTS AND THE DISTRICTS SHOWS A STEP INCREASE FROM CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT TO SATISFACTORY, OR BETTER YET, EXCELLENT, AND I'M SURE THE COMMUNITY WOULD BE PROUD TO REWARD YOU SCHOOL PEOPLE WITH YOU DESIRES. UNTIL THEN, WHY WOULD YOU EXPECT A HANDOUT AND TO RECEIVE WHAT YOU WANT IF YOU HAVEN'T EARNED IT?

"Is it their fault that prior students did not score as well on standardized tests as you think they should have?"

IT IS NOT WHAT I (WE) THINK THEY SHOULD HAVE SCORED. IT IS THE STATE THAT IS REQUIRING THEY DO BETTER. IT IS THE STATE THAT SAYS THAT THE SCHOOLS SHOULD BE PERFORMING AT A CERTAIN LEVEL TO ATTAIN A CERTAIN RANKING. IT IS NOT THE FAULT OF THE STUDENTS. IT IS THE POOR PREP AND THE CURRICULUM PRESENTATION THAT IS NOT ALLOWING KIDS TO SUCCEED ON THE TESTS. IT IS THE LACK OF CONTROL IN THE CLASSROOMS AND THE OCCASIONAL DISRUPTIONS THAT HINDER ACCOMPLISHMENTS. IT IS THE LACK OF ABILITY TO IDENTIFY ISSUES OF INEFFICIENCIES IN THE SYSTEM AND CORRECTING THEM...CONTINUALLY OPERATING IN THE SAME OLD FAILED MODES AND WONDERING WHY THINGS DON'T CHANGE FOR THE BETTER THAT HURTS PROGRESS.

"Are you going to penalize current and future students because current and prior school board members, superintendents, administrators and teachers failed to meet your expectations for performance"

THEY FAILED TO MEET THE STATES EXPECTATIONS FOR PERFORMANCE AND SINCE WE JUDGE HOW WELL YOU DO BY THE STATE'S STANDARDS, WE ALSO CALL IT FAILURE. THE STANDARD IS THERE. IF YOU DON'T MEET IT, YOU'VE FAILED. OTHER SCHOOLS SEEM TO MEET THE STANDARDS ON AN ON-GOING BASIS. SIMPLE ENOUGH.

"Saying they (and the students) should put up with inadequate buildings until the district is rated excellent strikes me as borrowing logic from Dilbert (management saying, deplorable work conditions will continue until morale improves). I suspect that, if the district improved to excellent and then asked for new buildings, you would say -- you obviously don't need new buildings, since you achieved excellence in the old ones"

MERCY MS. ANDREW.


"Like Chris Fiora, I hear from many people who leave the district after elementary school because of the condition and location of Vail and their perceptions as to poor discipline in the middle and high school. Some who investigate past these perceptions actually transfer into the district from surrounding smaller districts. The primary reasons I hear for those who transfer into the district in older grades is (a) the greater variety and strength of programmatic offerings, including academic courses, athletics, and extracurriculars like orchestra, forensics, show choir, etc; and (b) the diversity and tolerance of the student body. MHS is a school that supports and encourages all kids, whether they are academic stars, athletes, theatrical, musical, artsy, tech gurus, etc. Smaller schools can be very hard on kids who don't "fit in.""

THEN WHY ARE WE LOSING ENROLLMENT NUMBERS TO OTHER SCHOOL DISTRICTS IF THIS IS TRUE?

"I have also posted in other threads about the improvements in discipline. I don't have the exact numbers in front of me, but suspensions and expulsions at the high school dropped in the neighborhood of 30% each of the past two years in a row, while at the same time both teachers and students say in surveys that the climate has improved. Frankly, it is people like some posters here, who perpetuate a misperception of what is going on at the high school based on random news stories when they haven't set foot in the building in decades"

STAY ON THE DEFENSIVE MS. ANDREW. NO HARM IN DEFENDING YOUR TURF. WE JUST SEE THE SAME SITUATION FROM TOTALLY DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES. WE CAN DISCUSS BUT I DOUBT IF WE WILL EVER AGREE AS WE SEE THE DISTRICT IN TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT UNIVERSES.

-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: Neil Barille
Date Posted: Jan 30 2013 at 3:44pm
ktf, are you kidding?  Who would buy an outdated, run down HUGE building like that?  No one.


Posted By: ktf1179
Date Posted: Jan 30 2013 at 4:18pm
I know the city would LOL

I know you can sell it to HUD and have convert it, into low income appartments Wink

It looks like it has been done before. When I drive down Central Ave., I drive past an old school that now has a few business in it. 

Besides didn't people say the same thing about the Towne  Mall, now it has new owners and is set to be remodeled.

But if it can't be sold, at least try to make some type of profit off of it by scrapping the metal in the entire building before the many criminal scrappers in Middletown break in and get to it. 


Posted By: Chris Fiora
Date Posted: Jan 30 2013 at 5:28pm
ktf1179
I can assure you that the school board will attempt to sell the buidlings before tearing them down.  THe district would rather not have to spend the money to tear down builidings when this money can be better spent on other items.  However, I agree with Neil, that it is very unlikely that anyone will want to purchase it.  We tried very hard to sell Roosevelt and worked with a number of potential buyers but were unable to make any sale happen regardless of the price.
 
I think that it's a good thing that the school board will tear down the buildings that have no further use as we already have too many old, unusable buildings in Middletown.  It is the responsible thing to do.  The last I looked, the old school building on Central was busy turning into an eye sore.
 
Regarding scrapping the usable items, the board certainly will do this.  In additon we will try and sell anything of value.  The district had an auction of all of the items from Roosevelt prior to tearing down the building and was able to collect a modest amount of money. 


-------------


Posted By: Pacman
Date Posted: Jan 30 2013 at 7:43pm
Ms Andrew & Mr Fiora

ClapClapClapClapClap

Bob Cust
(aka PacmanCool)


Posted By: ktf1179
Date Posted: Jan 31 2013 at 8:24am
I guess I am still kinda torn on this levy issue. On the one had I can understand that a new school could improve the image of the schools to the surrounding areas, and "Might" bring new people to Middletown. 

On the other hand I am afraid that this new school will only result in the same test scores. I am also afraid of the support our schools then move away crowd. A problem I saw time and time again in Springboro. Where people move to the city, support all the school issues, and as soon as their kid graduates, move from the city. Thus leaving long term residents paying the bill.

I am also concerned that this levy might push a lot of people over there personal finical cliff, thus resulting in people either moving from Middletown or forcing people into foreclosure. Thus leaving the schools with less revenue. 

Also can someone please post some pictures of the conditions of the school? So we can see how bad it is. 

Finally how long will we be paying for this new school? 20 30 40 years before it falls off our property taxes?


Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Jan 31 2013 at 9:21am
correct--prior we were told exactly what the last levy would produce, and that another levy(for pretty much what is up now) would eventually follow. There were no iron-clad guarantees of educational improvement, however it was reasonably assumed that the new buildings would offer offer conditions, tools and an image that would make our system more attractive towards retaining better students, and drawing in new productive families to our community.
academic improvement was anticipated by everyone to some degree
a reasonable and hopeful assumption.
 
the interaction here from Ms.A and Mr.F is greatly appreciated
our city govt will hopefully learn from this openness and communication
 
still Ms.A's tone somewhat un-nerves me(maybe Vet's consistent pounding has un-nerved Ms.A)
 
does anyone OWE anyone anything?
yes and no imo
 
Vail obviously cannot be maintained any longer--no real discussion
yet every student in the system must filter thru that building--a red flag to many(right or wrong)
having attended hs there for 2 years with no issues, I really am not sure how to take the slight
The area is now judged as a serious detriment to the attractiveness of the system, and the school must be moved to the east end, yet school admin is singing the praises of the adjacent area where they will be headquartered.
Last time that I checked the police reports, the new udf had more police calls than the middle school area.
Plus--as much as Vail is lambasted, I don't get better reports on Verity.
 
With Central Academy moved to the east end, Jefferson, Sherman and Maple Park long gone, and Vail coming down, Rosa Parks will then be the ONLY school in the western part of the system. To me--that is not a proper balance, and a disadvantage to Rosa Parks students and neighboring residents who will then have to fund a new extremely east end school far away from their neighborhoods. I honestly don't like this arrangement, and see it as talking from both sides of the mouth. Remember--this thinking was tried back in the late 60s when the current hs was built, intended only for the east end, while th current Vail building was to be userd as another hs for west-enders. Fortunately that thinking was deservedly blown out of the water.
 
imo our community needs that rounded balance to remain whole(not just a small concentation from C ST to Central/Broad to the city building). Too convenient to ignore the other areas where the upper crust doesn't live or visit.
We are a blue collar low-income community at this time, like it or not(I don't like it--most people don't). However our educatiion system is here to serve everyone equally and best. I am not sure that it will happen with the proposed arrangement. Neighborhood schools are better for everyone, and provide a comfort level much needed imo.
 
This is a pricey levy IF you own property in the city, Expensive for commercial property owners, homeowners and landlords(ultimately renters). The fact that non-property owners could pass this over property owners is concerning to me.
 
I believe in our system leadership, understand their issues and the need, yet don't at all like being talked down to like I can't comprehend what is involved. while we may not be "owed" anything, we do have reasonable expectations for our substantial investment.


Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: Jan 31 2013 at 10:13am

Spider

We have been told that
Vail School
and the Board of Education Building are in an unsavory neighborhood of high poverty and high crime. The BOE employees stated that they didn’t feel safe going to their cars after work so I’m really glad we have now moved them to City Hall just above the Police Station.

Hmmm…Because this is an area of high crime and high poverty HUD would classify this as an AREA OF GREATEST NEED….however….not one dime of HUD Funding has been spent in this area by Mr. Adkins over the past 5 years because he stated it was “Too far gone”. How can City Hall complain about an area while they withhold the HUD Funds that were intended for such as area?

This entire situation is beginning to smell.



Posted By: over the hill
Date Posted: Jan 31 2013 at 10:16am
yes Spiderjohn,I for one am in agreement with you. For soooo many years neighborhood schools were touted as the best arrangment for our students I think that is still a good option.


Posted By: Marcia Andrew
Date Posted: Jan 31 2013 at 10:43am

Spider,

I apologize if I offended you, although I honestly don't know what "tone" you are referring to, or see how I "talked down" to people. I expressed my opinions and reasoning for why the proposed bond levy is in the best interests of the community. I am certainly not intending to tell other people what to believe. But yes, when people post on here that I and other "school people" are acting selfishly in supporting this bond levy for school buildings, or that we don't care about taxpayers' financial challenges, I feel the need to explain why I believe the facilities master plan is in the public good.  I will get no personal benefit out of it, beyond what any taxpayer will get. My own children will have graduated before the new/renovated buildings are completed, if the bond levy passes.  As you said, there will never be a "good" time for a levy.
 
The Verity site was chosen for the new middle school because the district already owns the land, and the site is big enough. The current footprint of the Vail site is not large enough for a new middle school.  There is no other site on the west/south end of town large enough.
 
The district still has neighborhood schools for K-5. In addition to Rosa Parks, Amanda and Mayfield serve the southwest end of town, and Wildwood the northwest. A single combined middle school saves the district money every year versus two (both in operating costs and salaries).


Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: Jan 31 2013 at 11:21am
Posted: 11:09 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013

What Middletown Schools levy would cost taxpayers

MIDDLETOWN — The landscape of Middletown City Schools is in the hands of voters.

The school district’s Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday morning to place a combination bond issue/permanent improvement levy in a special election May 7. The bond issue is for 3.95 mill and the permanent improvement is for .26 mills, meaning voters will decide the fate of the 4.21 mill ballot issue.

The levy is expected to generate $55 million that will build a middle school and renovate the high school. If passed, the issues would cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $129 a year, district treasurer Kelley Thorpe said this morning at the special board meeting.

The district expects to qualify for additional state funding from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. To be eligible for the state funding, the district had to place a permanent improvement levy on the ballot of 0.5 mill. The district already has 0.24 mill, so it added 0.26 mill, Thorpe said.

The 3.95 mill bond issue will last 37 years, Thorpe said.

Superintendent Greg Rasmussen said the state funding may arrive in one to three years — what he called “perfect timing” for the district.

He added the construction plan for the two buildings is in its “very infancy” stages, but he has been impressed by the “level of details” from the architect manager.

As the process continues, Rasmussen said, the board and facilities team will continue to be consulted.

He called this an “exciting time” for the district.

The Rev. Greg Tyus, a school board member, said that while the issues have the support of the five board members and the district’s administrative staff, it will come down to the voters. He said the community is in the “driver’s seat.”

Some of the improvements in the $55 million initiative include: adding classroom space for curriculum; moving Manchester classes, Success Academy and Freshman Academy back into the high school; providing a new gymnasium and support space and building a wrestling fieldhouse, plus demolishing the Middletown Middle School and Wade E. Miller Gym; and renovating either Barnitz Stadium or the Glenn “Tiger” Ellison Football Complex.



Posted By: Neil Barille
Date Posted: Jan 31 2013 at 11:29am
So $10 a month for an owner of a $100k home.  Seems like a reasonable cost to me to get these schools up to date and not have to worry about this for decades.


Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Jan 31 2013 at 11:36am
Well--we all want to be rewarded in one way or another, by improving our community and demographics.
 
Yes--I failed to mention Mayfield and Amanda(though I would not send any youngsters of mine to Amanda, due to the proximity of SunCoke and it's emissions). I also failed to mention the former Roosevelt site, which is still un-used. Is that site large enough? Or the former hospital site?
 
no apology necessary my way--you are always informative and civil.
 
So--locations for the sports complexes and sizes?
 
The midde school situation is important, yet only a small part of re-vitalizing our community to attract new contributing residents and students. So many other issues outside of the school system.


Posted By: LMAO
Date Posted: Jan 31 2013 at 11:49am
Originally posted by Neil Barille Neil Barille wrote:

So $10 a month for an owner of a $100k home.  Seems like a reasonable cost to me to get these schools up to date and not have to worry about this for decades.
Dont know about you but that $10 a month can be spent somewhere else other then for updating something to do with sports.Sorry not a fan of supporting sports,education Yes. Want to play sports pay for it.Want to practice,I bet the Y would love to have your bussiness. Smile
 


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jan 31 2013 at 12:21pm
Originally posted by Neil Barille Neil Barille wrote:

So $10 a month for an owner of a $100k home.  Seems like a reasonable cost to me to get these schools up to date and not have to worry about this for decades.


Only 10 bucks a month times 12 months times 37 years = $4,440. in additional taxes for the people who own a $100,000 home. This is in addition to the property taxes you are currently paying now for past operational, initial turned renewal turned continuous turned permanent, and bond levies. More out of the old paycheck for some who can ill afford it, living paycheck to paycheck each week. And the elderly who own homes.....who cares about their dilemma? They can ill afford the additional cost. Have you seen what they draw on a monthly SS check? How about the young people who just bought a house and want to start a family here. Gonna be hard on their wallet too. Bad time to ask for more with people financially strapped or out of work and barely hanging on to the old mortgage already. On the other hand, if approved, we should all welcome this because the school folks will get what they want even though we may have to go through a "little pain at the wallet", the kids will receive a better education with improved results and we will all be one happy family as we follow the road to excellence. Like the city, the schools had a bright past.....now, with new schools.....a brighter future for sure.

37 years people. You will pay on this longer than you will pay for your home.

-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: Mike_Presta
Date Posted: Jan 31 2013 at 12:21pm
To make things perfectly clear, it should be pointed out that there are TWO levies in play here. 
The 3.95 mill levy will last 37 years.
 
The 0.26 mill levy, which will cost the owner of a $150,000 home about $12.25 (or one pizza) per year, is a PERMANENT levy.
 
If BOTH levies do not pass, we would not receive the $40 million (or so) in state matching funds.
 
The present high school building is forty years old so, if the past is prologue, about the time that the 37 year construction levy is retired it will be time to remodel/modernize/replace the proposed new middle school and updated high school again.


-------------
“Mulligan said he ... doesn’t believe they necessarily make the return on investment necessary to keep funding them.” …The Middletown Journal, January 30, 2012


Posted By: bumper
Date Posted: Feb 01 2013 at 7:06am
well if changing the image of the schools only takes 55mill than what will it cost to change the image of the city? the city big wigs have put the screws to the schools and to the taxpayer and to the citys infrastructure, doin the buddy plan, hide and seek, shell game, ain't got no money for how long now? this hurt IMO they put on the schools will have a lasting affect for many more years, this image of the city that most outsiders now see it, is what it is, crime is a major reason you won't see many moving to, 10 year olds robbing UDF, 38 years old man with holes in both arms running from cops jumping in KFC's dumpsterDead 3 meth houses in a month, must be a big demand in middletown for this brain killer!! alot of girls and guys are getting busted with the holes in their arms, so that explains all the crime going on in middletown, this HUD problem that the city has caused, when they sent that letter, they ain't playing with MR. A... .not saying all that needs hud are bad people because they are not.. now to the roads, sidewalks, sewers, water lines that the city has failed to maintain for how long now? can't blame the taxpayer for saying NO enough is enough..and for those that moved out.. i had a good LOL couple weeks ago, the city of middletown tax dept sent my 82 be 83 in julySmile year old mother, that has been gone from middletown for a little over 4 years now, saying she owes for back income taxes for the last 4 years,LOL what a waste of paper, sorry middletown tax dept, your Scratch- N- sniffin will get ya nothing..LOL  for those that wanna know my mother was born in middletown in 1930, i was born in middletown in 1955 my dad spent 44 years at armco/ AK.  im now a retired Heavy Equipment Operator, so if middletown ever thinks about making the downtown into a lake, give me a call...


Posted By: Chris Fiora
Date Posted: Feb 01 2013 at 12:33pm
Spider,
The old hospital site and the Roosevelt/Sunset park areas were strongly considered since the locations are more central to the city.  Unfortuntely, neither site met the State's requirements for size...both were too small.


-------------


Posted By: enough is enough
Date Posted: Feb 01 2013 at 2:30pm
Just curious, with all classes being moved out of the Manchester Tech building to the High School, is this building also on the chopping block to be demolished?  If so what is going to be built on that site?

-------------
Enough is Enough


Posted By: Chris Fiora
Date Posted: Feb 01 2013 at 2:45pm
Enough,
The Manchester building is on the chopping block to be demolished.  No building is currently planned for that site.


-------------


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Feb 01 2013 at 4:47pm
Originally posted by Chris Fiora Chris Fiora wrote:



Enough,
The Manchester building is on the chopping block to be demolished.  No building is currently planned for that site.


Mr. Fiora:

Your comment goes against the theme that you and Ms.Andrew have been presenting in these discussions as to reasons for levy money. To date, as a reason for your newest levy request, you and Ms. Andrew have said that some buildings were old and have to come down. Old Middletown High (Vail-Middletown Middle School), Roosevelt Jr. High, Sherman, Wilson, Taft, the old admin. building on Girard, Wade E. Miller Gym, etc. all going or gone now. Manchester Jr. High is a newer school in the district and was built in the 70's when Manchester Rd. was just two lanes I believe. It is as new as the current high school built in 1970. If you want to keep Middletown High and renevate it, why tear down Manchester? If you folks ever get this school district on the right track again, and you start seeing an increase in enrollmant, you may have wished you had kept it, being in such close proximity to the high school. Could be the answer to potential overflow and additional classroom space in the future if needed. What will happen with the Lifeskills/alternative to regular high school program if the Manchester complex is torn down?

Or, is the plan to level Manchester (and the current high school later) to create more land for a larger high school at the same site with yet another levy in the future?

To tell us that the older buildings must go, then turn around and tell us a building built in the 70's (and not that old by any standard) must go too, lacks credibility in your facilities planning. If Manchester is to be torn down, what is the fate of Verity down on S. Briele? It is relatively new by school building standards, isn't it? When will it stop Mr. Fiora? What will finally stop the school board's thirst for demolition and the building of new?.......and, more importantly....when will we start seeing significant results that will open our eyes with regard to your new buildings and what you have done to date?

-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Feb 01 2013 at 6:17pm
Vet--Manchester is probably 10 years older than the hs at least
 
thanx 4 the info, Mr.F
I pretty much assumed Roosevelt and old hospital sites to be too small
just how large does this freshman site have to be?
are the sports venues to be there also?
if so, why?


Posted By: Pacman
Date Posted: Feb 01 2013 at 7:15pm
Vet,

I believe the plan was to build a new HS on the Verity site and remodel the current HS to be the Middle school. If I remember correctly, the state requires 80-90 acres for a new HS to be built. Middletown does not have such a site that I am aware of Once the new middle school is built. I would guess that HS becomes to old to be of any use Middletown will be back in the same quandary as they are now unless they Annex another large piece of land.

Bob Cust
(aka Pacman)


Posted By: chmoore1
Date Posted: Feb 01 2013 at 9:23pm
Manchester opened in 1961.  The fate of Verity has always been to be demolished, originally as the high school site, and now as the site of a new middle school (7th and 8th grades).


Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Feb 01 2013 at 9:59pm
so--why wouldn't we build a new high school on the Verity site, and use the existing hs as a middle school?
When Manchester is demoed, what will go there?


Posted By: Chris Fiora
Date Posted: Feb 02 2013 at 11:07am
All,
The original master plan was to demolish Verity and build the new high school on the site.  The current high school was to be renovated and turned into the middle school.  This is the plan from about 10 years ago.  When we reconvened the facility committee they decided that it was better to demolish Verity and build a new middle school on the site.  The current High School was to remain the high school and be renovated.  I can't recall all of their logic, but I recall two main points.  The first is that it was much less expensive to build a new middle school and renovate the high school than to build a new high school and renovate and convert the current high school into the middle school.  Additionally it was thought that the location of our current high school was better than the Verity site because it is across the street from MUM.  Also once the committee concluded that football would remain at Barnitz then the additional acreage at Verity was not needed.  The least cost option, that provided the necessary facilities, was taken.  The renovated High School is planned to be a 35 - 40 year solution and there are no plans to eventually build a new one.
 
Vet,
Regarding the Manchester you make a good point that it may be prudent to not tear it down but to keep it in case it was needed later.  The advantage is that if additional space was needed in the future we would not have to build.  The disadvantage is that the Manchester requires some major work just to keep it.  For example, the roof is about shot and needs to be replaced.  We've held off on spending the money, just patched as necessary, until we had the plan developed and we saw what the Manchester's fate would be.  The last thing we needed to do was spend money on a building that was slated to be torn down.  An additional disadvantage is that there would be ongoing maintenance expenses just to keep it as a viable overflow option.  The facility committee, the administration and the board needs to think through this. 
 
There is no thought to eventually tearing down a renovated high school and building new.  That make little sense.  If the committee thought that we needed a new high school they would have recommened it.  What happens 40 years from now is anyone's guess.


-------------


Posted By: Mike_Presta
Date Posted: Feb 02 2013 at 2:55pm

Mr. Fiora,

As a member of the Facilities committee who attended every meeting, please allow me to expand on your answer to the very best of my recollection.

You are correct that location was an important fact in the decision to keep the high school where it is, very near MUM.  Many Middies take classes at MUM and the proximity facilitates this academic-enhancing facet of the educational process. Given that academics is what this is what this is supposed to be all about, allowing the courses at MUM to be more seamlessly folded into the students’ high school schedules seemed to be an important consideration.

Someone (I cannot recall who, possibly Principal Cotter, Superintendent Rasmussen or one of the consultants) presented a strong case regarding the importance of an auditorium.  An auditorium is an expensive item, and under the rules of the Ohio School Facilities Commission, as part of a new school it would have to be built entirely with local funds and would not be eligible to be part of our matching funds. However, under these rules an existing auditorium would be allowed to be retained as part of an existing school being remodeled.  The current high school has an excellent auditorium, although it does need some refurbishing which must be done with local funds.

One small clarification to your post:  Of the ten (I think it was ten) original options considered, this was the second least expensive option.  During voting to pare the long list down to a short list of three for presentation to the Board, the least expensive option (by a couple of million dollars, as I recall) was eliminated, thereby making this the least expensive option presented to the Board.

Two side notes:

To the best of my memory (which I admit is sometimes faulty), the Manchester building was not to be demolished as part of the option the Facilities Committee recommended.

Also, I cannot recall any mention or discussion ever of a wrestling field house, or of renovating either Barnitz Stadium or the Glenn “Tiger” Ellison Football Complex.



-------------
“Mulligan said he ... doesn’t believe they necessarily make the return on investment necessary to keep funding them.” …The Middletown Journal, January 30, 2012


Posted By: Jameshh
Date Posted: Feb 02 2013 at 4:13pm
Mr. Presta

I have also been a long term member of the facilities committee and your points are valid.

Re: Manchester building it is in great need of repairs and there is an extension to the HS that will extend out the front toward that structure if I remember correctly. For traffic flow and additional parking it needs to go.

I agree that Tiger Ellison facility was not in the plan as there is be a new competition gym to be added with (I would assume) additional locker rooms thus possibly loss of some parking at that end of building. Again more parking needed where Manchester is setting.

Re: Barnitz, this had always been assumed and stated that it would be renovated with private funding in which some of the funds from private sources have been committed verbally.

Re: Verity site: if the HS was to be relocated there more funds would be needed for all the athletic fields and band practice fields as well as cost for auditorium. There is several partials of land that the school can attempt to sell as well once all construction is complete that includes additional land at the Verity site, current middle school site, old Roosevelt site and current administration site.


Posted By: Mike_Presta
Date Posted: Feb 02 2013 at 8:16pm

James:

Good point!!!  There is an existing gym at the current high school, and the plan (as considered and recommended by the Facilities Committee) included the addition of a second “competition” gym to replace Wade E. Miller gym.

I admit I wasn’t privy to the discussions with the Board of Education, but with TWO gymnasiums, it certainly appears to make the addition of a dedicated wrestling field house an unaffordable luxury in what should be a time of austerity.



-------------
“Mulligan said he ... doesn’t believe they necessarily make the return on investment necessary to keep funding them.” …The Middletown Journal, January 30, 2012


Posted By: Pacman
Date Posted: Feb 02 2013 at 8:20pm
According to the states latest records only 75 student out of 1800 +or- take advantage of pseo program.


Posted By: Mike_Presta
Date Posted: Feb 02 2013 at 8:25pm
James:
 
Further to your post, as far as the Manchester facility goes, I was not trying to argue pro or con, demo or rehab. I was simply trying to point out what was in the plan that the Facilities Committee passed along. I agree with your points about the need for more parking. On the other hand, to demo the Manchester building and add parking instead of rehabbing it, should have lowered the price significantly.


-------------
“Mulligan said he ... doesn’t believe they necessarily make the return on investment necessary to keep funding them.” …The Middletown Journal, January 30, 2012


Posted By: rshaffer
Date Posted: Feb 02 2013 at 11:49pm
Mike/others: another check-in by a long-time facilities' committee member. Here is a summary of my recollections: Barnitz has never been considered as eligible for OSFC funding. Manchester---as I have asked this question many times---had never been considered for funding as a remodel, nor even demolition. The auditorium was a key item in deciding to keep MHS on its current site, as were the athletic fields. Last, the master plan includes a 40,000 sq. ft. classroom addition at the remodeled high school; the additional competition gym is not included in this 40,000 sqare footage. As a side note, the roof at Manchester, as Mr. Fiora has mentioned, has outlived its usefulness. Many rooms have active leaks, and the district is contending with these repairs, trying to avoid re-roofing at this time.

-------------
Rick


Posted By: Chris Fiora
Date Posted: Feb 04 2013 at 9:35am
All,
Thank you for adding to and for clarifying my recollections.  My understanding of the Wrestling Field house is that it would reduce the cost of the High School renovation and that is the only reason why it is being considered.  Currently wrestling is housed in the High School.  This area can be reconfigured for class room space provided we find another area for wrestling.  It is less expensive to build a wrestling field house that it is to add additional class room space.  This logic makes sense to me, though I don't understand why wrestling can't be housed in one of the gyms thus avoiding the field house and additional class room space.  I'm sure that there is a good reason and it is one of my questions I have that will be asked.


-------------


Posted By: ktf1179
Date Posted: Feb 04 2013 at 2:04pm
The Administration Building in Springboro behind the high school was built by the Warren County Career Center Students. Middletown could do the same thing and get the local career center students to help build the the Wrestling Field House, or even help with the construction of the new school. It could cut down on costs, and give the students some real on the job experience. Since Middletown is in Warren and Butler Counties, maybe we can get both Career Centers to help out.


Posted By: Pacman
Date Posted: Feb 04 2013 at 6:51pm
According to the states latest records Middletown has only 75 student out of 1800 +or- taking advantage of the pseo program. Is this information correct?

If this is true, it seems to be a minor reason for leaving the HS at it's current location.


Posted By: jsmith2011
Date Posted: Feb 06 2013 at 2:51pm
Don't you think one of the reasons the school board is pushing this levy through is because of the Common Curriculum changes that are taking place? We already know the school district under achieves and the board knows the taxpayers feel the schools should do better. The school district is going to do a lot worse in the ratings...the material is going to be harder, the tests will be harder, the students will be expected to actually write a paragraph instead of multiple choice. They need to get this levy through and passed before all of that information comes out because Middletown City Schools ratings are going to go down....way down not up.
They are making changes, adding what they can (wrestling etc.) because there will be no chance in hell anyone will ever vote for a school levy after the new ratings are available.


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Feb 06 2013 at 3:27pm
Originally posted by jsmith2011 jsmith2011 wrote:

Don't you think one of the reasons the school board is pushing this levy through is because of the Common Curriculum changes that are taking place? We already know the school district under achieves and the board knows the taxpayers feel the schools should do better. The school district is going to do a lot worse in the ratings...the material is going to be harder, the tests will be harder, the students will be expected to actually write a paragraph instead of multiple choice. They need to get this levy through and passed before all of that information comes out because Middletown City Schools ratings are going to go down....way down not up.
They are making changes, adding what they can (wrestling etc.) because there will be no chance in hell anyone will ever vote for a school levy after the new ratings are available.


Then, if no chance in the future of attaining "SATISFACTORY" from years of "CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT", then, hopefully, no chance of a levy passing. What is the purpose of spending the money on improving the performance if the district is going to be mired for another decade in the continuous improvement mud pit? It has already been proven, with money spent from the last levies approved, that this district can't pull itself up to satisfactory. Levy approvals aren't the answer to correcting this district's inefficiencies. Why give them more money to remain the same? Let the state take over and make the necessary changes.

-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: Pacman
Date Posted: Feb 06 2013 at 9:25pm
Originally posted by VietVet VietVet wrote:

What is the purpose of spending the money on improving the performance if the district is going to be mired for another decade in the continuous improvement mud pit?.


Vet,

You have this supposed Steve price mantra stuck in your head. We are not paying for performance. We are building new schools and updating old ones, to maintain a level playing field and bring our city into the 21st century.

Pacman


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Feb 07 2013 at 6:11am
Originally posted by Pacman Pacman wrote:

Originally posted by VietVet VietVet wrote:

What is the purpose of spending the money on improving the performance if the district is going to be mired for another decade in the continuous improvement mud pit?.


Vet,

You have this supposed Steve price mantra stuck in your head. We are not paying for performance. We are building new schools and updating old ones, to maintain a level playing field and bring our city into the 21st century.

Pacman


WHAT???? WE ARE NOT PAYING FOR PERFORMANCE??? YOU'RE KIDDING RIGHT? HOW ELSE ARE WE GOING TO JUDGE WHETHER OUR CURRENT SCHOOL DISTRICT IS WORTH THE MONEY OR NOT? GOTTA BE PERFORMANCE BASED. WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU GIVE THIS DISTRICT MORE MONEY TO WASTE IF THEY ARE SHOWING NO EYE-OPENING RESULTS WITH THE MONEY ALREADY GIVEN TO THEM, ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING ALL THE TIME THAT HAS PASSED TO GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER. THEY HAVE HAD MORE THAN AMPLE TIME TO IMPROVE. OTHER DISTRICTS HAVE THAT ARE SIMILAR IN NATURE.

PAC, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, YOU WOULD BE THE FIRST TO TELL YOUR STOCKBROKER TO SELL A POOR PERFORMING STOCK IN YOUR PORTFOLIO, WOULDN'T YOU? ANYONE WOULD IF THEY KEPT PLOWING MONEY INTO A LOSER OF A STOCK AND TAKING A FINANCIAL HIT MONTH AFTER MONTH. SAME GOES FOR THE SCHOOLS. IF THEY DON'T PERFORM, THEY GET NO REWARD. THIS GOES BEYOND WHAT PRICE SAID WHEN HE TRIED TO SELL US THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BOND LEVY. THIS IS JUST COMMON SENSE.

YOU HAVE A HIGH DEF TV AT HOME, RIGHT? IF IT DIDN'T LAST AND GAVE YOU POOR PERFORMANCE, WOULD YOU BUY ANOTHER OF THE SAME BRAND? OF COURSE NOT. WHY WOULD YOU KEEP TRYING TO HELP A COMPANY THAT PUT OUT A CRAPPY PRODUCT? SAME GOES FOR THE SCHOOLS. CRAPPY PRODUCT= NO SUPPORT.

-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: ktf1179
Date Posted: Feb 07 2013 at 9:31am
Here is what Middletown is expected to get with the new state budget:
                                                           2013                              2014                     Change        2015                         Change      
Middletown City SD$26,103,386.00$32,329,392.0023.9%$37,013,110.0014.5%


Here is the link to look up other school Districts:
http://www.dispatch.com/content/pages/data/school-education/kasich-school-funding-plan/index.html?appSession=862356941094384&cbSearchAgain=true" rel="nofollow - http://www.dispatch.com/content/pages/data/school-education/kasich-school-funding-plan/index.html?appSession=862356941094384&cbSearchAgain=true



Posted By: jsmith2011
Date Posted: Feb 07 2013 at 11:18am
Not only do I believe that the taxpayers should undoubtly take into the consideration the lack of performance in the school district I believe taxpayers should take issue with the number of administrators that continue to crowd the administration building and schools year after year and the amount of those salaries. How can it be justified with a district that has such low ratings? It can't be justified just like giving more money for new schools can't be justified. Add in the part where not much has changed in the ratings department in the past 10 or so years and it makes you wonder why they even have the guts to ask for more money from any of us.

More often than not, I hear the employees in the schools question why they continue to hire administrators with huge salaries and continue to add "departments". Obviously, it hasn't changed anything except that there are probably 75% more admninistrators in the Middletown School District than there were 10 years ago. And for the first time ever, I have heard many school employees say they are voting no on more money. They took a paycut to relieve the pressure of budget contraints that the district was under but since then the school district has continued to spend money in other areas.

I agree the high school in Middletown is terrible, rundown and out of date. Go to another district, Mason, Kings, any of them and there is quite a difference in their high school and junior high than ours but they also have students who are willing to learn and not running rampant in the halls like at MHS. They have parents who are willing to be a part of their childs education. They aren't just living in that town because they can get Section 8 housing. They have people who appreciate what they have and take care of it. The mentality in Middletown is that everything is owed to them and they should be able to do whatever they want...thank Dr. Price for that because it is not going away.

Last year due to budget constraints Lakota cut admin positions, Cincinnati Public Schools cut admin positions and so did almost every other school district around us. Middletown cut custodians and bus drivers but hired more administrators.

When taxpayers complained about an Asst Superintendent, the position was cut but returned several years later with the title of Senior Director of Learning. When taxpayers balked about Asst Principals, Middletown cut the positions only to add them back the next few school years and change the title to Dean of Students and hire more than in previous years. Then they proceed to say that those "new" positions are staffed by employees who make less than those before them. What sense does that make?

Middletown is full of taxpayers and citizens who just don't care and that's what the school district relys on...those people don't care enough to vote. The levy passes because those who have the money are the ones who pass the levy.

Middletown Schools are going to be in a world of hurt when the new testing and ratings come out. Why don't they wait until after that to ask for more money? Because after that, it's never going to happen. They keep mentioning getting money from the state but every time they mention it the word "expect" is always in the sentence. They "except" to get funds, which means to me it can or cannot happen.

It would help the taxpayers make a decision on passing the levy if a reporter from the journal would research and publish a simple graph comparing Middletown to surrounding districts and show school ratings, number of positions added in the last 10 years with titles and salaries in our administration of the schools. With those salaries they should also add who has a vehicle in this school district that the taxpayers pay for, how much the district pays for Iphone and Ipads for the administrators, how they justify all the added perks and then ask for more money from taxpayers who can't afford the same.


Posted By: enough is enough
Date Posted: Feb 07 2013 at 7:37pm
jssmith
I could not agree with you more. You have hit the nail on the head. If the citizens of Middletown really knew what goes on within those walls they would be appalled. Students cursing at teachers refusing to do even the minimum amount of work. Teachers went to college to teach and help children not to be threatened and feel unsafe in their place of employment.

The district has allowed students to do whatever they please whenever they please with no recourse. The time has come for the rules to me enforced, their kinder gentler approach is not working in Middletown. If a student can not behave in class and is a constant disruption then they need to go. When they become a detriment to those students who want to be there and want to learn.

As for the levy I have not made up my mind as to my vote but I am leaning toward a no vote. I would like to see a detailed disclosure of just how that levy money is going to be spent. Demolition, new buildings and new postitions being created. I am also curious about a company that is coming into the district at a cost of $10,000 a day to prepare for the new common core standards. I also understand that we now have academic support specialist that are mandated by the state. Why do we have one in every building and three at the high school when the state does not mandate this many. This  is just another perfect example of poor spending. 

IMO Central Academy has not lived up to its expectations. In an effort to save money why could that building not have been used as the administration building. Considering this building was just refurbished a few years ago.

IMO you are never going to see a return on your money with this levy unless the students and the parents of those students put an emphasis on education. You can build the Taj Mahal but it is still not going to change your scores.
Instead of blaming teachers put the blame where it belongs on administrators, students, parents and our beloved school board.


-------------
Enough is Enough


Posted By: enough is enough
Date Posted: Feb 07 2013 at 9:14pm
I believe that the supertindent receives a $750 a month car allowance along with his $128,000 salary. This pushes his salary to $137,000 a year and I would assume that he also has some type of cell phone paid for by the district. His salary also does not include the money that the district puts into the teachers state retirement fund as well as his health insurance. This information was in the Journal last year.
Now I realize that in today's world there are jobs that come with some perks. When you take a job in a district that is strapped for cash such as Middletown you would think that with a salary at $100,000 plus you could afford to pay for your own gas and cell phone.
Now you might think that something as silly as a cell phone is not a big issue, but when you stop to consider just how many cell phones that the district has to pay for I'm sure that it adds up quickly.
 
If anyone is interested you can go to Ohio Citizens Accounting Standards Board not sure how up to date so some of the numbers could be a little higher.
Betsy Carter $119,000  Senior Director of Learning
Sam Ison $103,000  Director of Instructional Leadership
Gary Lebo $97,000  MHS Athletic Director
This is just a sampling.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


-------------
Enough is Enough


Posted By: jsmith2011
Date Posted: Feb 07 2013 at 9:57pm
Apparently the bond issue will not be voted on in May. The staff received an email from the superintendent today telling them that the school district needed to work out some issues first with the state.

They tried to sneak it in and get the vote done fast but it didn't work out.....


Posted By: Bill
Date Posted: Feb 07 2013 at 9:59pm

The most glaring need is a Director of Discipline!  If they could just play a little more hardball with some of the problem kids, maybe remove them from the building into a separate place, that should accomplish more than all the Masters Degree folks they have making $90k plus.  But the reality is that because of the home life issues for these kids, and because of not wanting to offend segments of the community, the tough love approach will not be embraced in MCSD.



Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Feb 08 2013 at 6:18am
Originally posted by jsmith2011 jsmith2011 wrote:

Apparently the bond issue will not be voted on in May. The staff received an email from the superintendent today telling them that the school district needed to work out some issues first with the state.

They tried to sneak it in and get the vote done fast but it didn't work out.....


Might this be part of the reason for pulling the levy from the ballot?.....

Today's Journal....

BUTLER COUNTY: SCHOOL FUNDING

7 school districts may receive boost in state funds

proposed school funding plan, while three districts would get double-digit increases.

Fairfield, Lakota and Monroe would get double-digit increases for either fiscal year 2014 or 2015, while Middletown City Schools would receive double-digit increases both years, according to a Hamilton JournalNews/Middletown Journal analysis of data the governor’s office released.

Middletown, a district of 7,225 students, would receive nearly $6.2 million, or 23.9 percent more the first year compared to fiscal year 2013, and $4.7 million or 14.5 percent the second year

EVEN TO THE LEVY SUPPORTERS AND THE SCHOOL PEOPLE, THIS MIGHT LOOK LIKE TOO MUCH TO OVERCOME IF A LEVY WAS ATTEMPTED IN MAY. $6.2 MILLION IN FUNDS FROM THE STATE THE FIRST YEAR AND $4.7 MILLION THE SECOND YEAR KINDA TAKES THE REASON FOR ASKING THE VOTERS FOR MORE AWAY. PERHAPS EVEN THE SCHOOL BOARD, THE SUPER AND THE REST OF THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO REACH INTO YOUR POCKET ALL THE TIME, HAVE FIGURED OUT IT WOULD BE TOO HARD OF A SELL. IT IS STILL OUR TAX MONEY THEY'RE GETTING. JUST COMING FROM THE STATE RATHER THAN DIRECTLY OUT OF YOUR PROPERTY TAXES.

-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: bumper
Date Posted: Feb 08 2013 at 10:26am
they will be back as soon as they come up with a way to suck more funds from the taxpayers, raises for everyone and you know they will still be wanting that WWE wrestling ring. the smack down of the taxpayers will keep coming from this school and city, they both have way to many top pay paper pushers sucking up the funds, gotta keep that buddy plan going and going and going, and not a damn thing will change, other than maybe get a future WWE super star..


Posted By: Chris Fiora
Date Posted: Feb 08 2013 at 12:56pm
Vet,
The potential for increased operating/general fund money from the state had ZERO impact on deciding not to do the bond issue.  The bond issue was for money to build/refurbish school buildings.  Legally the two sources of money can NOT be intermingled.  The bond fund was ONLY for building.  Any increase in operating/general fund money will NOT be used for building purposes.
 
Bumper,
Do you realize that the school district has REDUCED spending by about $6 million dollars per year?  That the teachers and administration have taken 2 1% pay reductions?  That the teachers and administration are now paying 20% of their health care insurance cost siginifcantly up from where they were.  That the reason maintenance and busing were contracted out was to save money.  That the reason for the 6th grade center and closing one Middle School was to reduce cost.  Much of the cost savings have come by reducing the administrators associated with these area.  That no new operating money has been requested from the taxpayers for many years (the last operating levy was to continue an existing levy...it resulted in ZERO addtional dollars) 
 
Bill,
Are you aware of the discipline program that the administration started about 2 years ago?  It is called Positive Behavior Supports (PBS).  In addition they started a MIDDIE PRIDE program.  This is a strong attempt to correct the behaviorial issues that you're talking about.  Since that time suspensions and behaviorial issues have DECREASED.  Not because the district has become lax and accepting of poor behavior, but because it is actually starting to WORK.


-------------


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Feb 08 2013 at 2:35pm
Mr. Fiora states.......

"Vet,
The potential for increased operating/general fund money from the state had ZERO impact on deciding not to do the bond issue. The bond issue was for money to build/refurbish school buildings. Legally the two sources of money can NOT be intermingled. The bond fund was ONLY for building. Any increase in operating/general fund money will NOT be used for building purposes"

Yes Mr. Fiora, I realize that a bond issue is not connected with an operating levy. I understand that the bond levies are for building new schools and operating levies are for maintaining current operations. You really don't have to educate me in that capacity. I'm not exactly a newcomer to the different levies and have been participating in them since returning to Middletown in 1985 as a property owner. Not a novice here Mr. Fiora. You may not realize it Mr. Fiora, but the way to win friends and influence people is not to talk down to them. Just might anger a few people doing that. Believe it or not, there are still some people with some intelligence in this community that aren't on your school board.

I was merely suggesting that when the pro-levy people realized that when the voters heard about the money infusion into the schools from the state, that it might produce more "no" voters and potentially cause a levy defeat. Better to wait a while longer so that the voters will forget about this state money resulting in a more favorable and less risky levy proposal in the future. A sly, but effective way to get your levies passed. This method has been used effectively before by previous school boards. The voters seem to have amnesia as to money given, if you wait long enough.

As to reducing costs, your explanation doesn't cover the unannounced positions created that suddenly pop up on our screens as we view the school district hierarchy, and, we get the added thrill of seeing those high salaries connected with these multi-layer job positions. When we see these things, Mr. Fiora, we are not enamored with your visions for our school district as to manpower. At times, it appears a tad bit top heavy with high paid paper-shufflers. It is hard to look at the list of positions and the salaries and conclude that you are reducing costs.

-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: enough is enough
Date Posted: Feb 08 2013 at 6:45pm
Mr. Fiora
 
I commend the board on starting the two programs that you speak of PBS and Middie Pride. This may help those border line students to improve their behavior.  You also state that suspensions and behavioral issues have DECREASED. The bottom line is the teachers have been gently encouraged throughout the district not to send students to the office because it looks poorly on the teachers classroom management and the district. If we ignore the problem maybe it will go away. 
 
When you have 25 to 30 students in a classroom and 1 or 2 of those students are a constant disruption and a teacher feels that sending those students to the office is a bad reflection on them of course your issues will decrease not because your programs are working as you state.
 
I'm not sure what it will take for the board to realize that there is a disci;pine problem in Middletown. When a few students are constanly allowed to disrupt the learning process of an entire classroom that is a detriment to the rest of the class. It is time to enforce the rules and those that can not or refuse to follow those rules need to be dealt with.
 
What programs has the board come up with to reward the students who are following the rules and not a disci;pine problem?  Seems we are forgetting them. Maybe seeing students who do the right thing be rewarded will encourage others as well. Just a thought.
 
 


-------------
Enough is Enough


Posted By: Marcia Andrew
Date Posted: Feb 11 2013 at 9:47am
Enough is Enough,
 
The District has been working on improving discipline in the schools the entire time I have served on the Board (7 years). The problem is not as bad as you make it out to be. The vast majority of kids are well-behaved and the vast majority of classrooms are orderly. Frankly, some teachers are better at managing students and controlling disruptive behavior than others. The Positive Behavior Supports and Middie P.R.I.D.E programs are intended, among other things, to provide teachers with tools to help in that effort, and to install consistency in how different teachers and other staff respond to the same type of situation. When the students have a consistent picture of what is expected of them, they are more likely to behave the way we want them to.
 
These two programs definitely include a component of rewarding good behavior. Each building has its own rewards system in place. For example, at Miller Ridge, students are recognized for demonstrating the components of P.R.I.D.E (Performance, Respect, Integrity, Determination and Effort) by which they earn the right to eat their lunch on the stage, served to them by parent volunteers. The staff at each building has been creative in coming up with rewards and recognition that don't cost much but have a motivational impact on students.
 
Also, at the high school, they have had Open Lunch for years. Eligibility for Open Lunch is limited to juniors and seniors who (1) have passed all sections of the OGT and (2) do not have more than a minor number of discipline violations. Open Lunch students may leave campus for lunch period.


Posted By: LMAO
Date Posted: Feb 11 2013 at 11:05am
Anything that has any sports attached to it I will be voting "NO". Smile


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Feb 15 2013 at 6:16am
Today's Journal...

Lucas ‘grateful’ to have court named in his honor

MIDDLETOWN —
For three glorious years, Jerry Lucas put Middletown on the map.

For two nights, the city will shine its light on Lucas.

The floor at Wade E. Miller Gym — where Lucas led the boys basketball team at Middletown High School to 76 consecutive wins and back-to-back state championships — will be named the Jerry Lucas Court

Two 5-foot-by 2-foot vinyl decals will be unveiled near midcourt. The Jerry Lucas portion of the decal will resemble his autograph, which Lucas says is unique because it’s legible.

Lucas, 72, called having the court named after him “a tremendous honor” considering all the great Middies who played there.

..........AND NOW, THE PLANS ARE TO TEAR THE WADE E. MILLER GYM DOWN ALONG WITH OLD MIDDLETOWN HIGH SCHOOL.........HMM, SOME IRONY HERE I THINK.    WHY BOTHER WITH THE HONOR IF THE COURT WON'T BE HERE MUCH LONGER? PLEASE EXPLAIN THE CONFLICT IN VENUES HERE, SCHOOL BOARD PEOPLE?

-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Feb 15 2013 at 7:25am
I believe that the name and logo will be moved to the new gym location
no conflict--no worries
enjoy the moment


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Feb 15 2013 at 7:47am
Originally posted by spiderjohn spiderjohn wrote:

I believe that the name and logo will be moved to the new gym location
no conflict--no worries

enjoy the moment


Spider, you know me and my thoughts about salvaging some of this town. However, I will reluctantly stand and watch them tear down old Middletown High.....but I can't for the life of me, understand the reasoning behind tearing down the Miller Gym. Certainly holds enough people for a high school game. Got alot of tradition. Is a fine old court in decent shape and there will certainly be enough parking for attendance when the old high school is torn down. What else would be of consideration with the gym? As to addressing the location and the thinking that it may be in an isolated, poor location.....how about where Barnitz Stadium is located. It is also isolated and certainly not in the best of locations, yet they are not touching that facility.......if those are the issues here. JMO

-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Feb 15 2013 at 9:40am
Vet-- issue being that Wade E is connected to the old hs
With utilities and services. In essence, they are one.
Location?
We ALL know that to be another factor .
I have talked with reps from the teams that we play
(Coaches-score keepers)--they love the atmosphere(despite
the visitors' locker room) and enjoy playing there. Every one
of them say that they will miss the place.
Many don't believe that it will eventually come down.
In a way, tonight's ceremony is also somewhat of a
premature farewell IMO.


Posted By: enough is enough
Date Posted: Feb 15 2013 at 2:12pm
Ms. Andrew

The district has been working on improving discipline for the last 7 years, sounds like discipline is on the same pace of improving that the test scores are improving. In 20 more years we might have a handle on discipline. We will just have to agree to disagree on discipline. 

I understand that the district has a zero tolerance policy. Why is it not enforced for all students equally?. Letting seniors leave for lunch is great, but I am curious as to why seniors with a minor number of violations are allowed to leave at all. What is considered a minor violation and how many can they have and still leave for lunch?

IMO you are going to have a hard time passing a levy with low test scores and discipline issues in the school.  Maybe if you laid down the law from day one students and parents would know what is expected of them and then they would act the way they should.

If you continue to blame the socioeconomic background of students and allowing them to continue in their irresponsible ways you are not a part of the solution but a part of the problem. At some point we all have to take responsibility for our actions. It is time to stop pampering and take charge. 



-------------
Enough is Enough


Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Feb 15 2013 at 2:47pm
I have participated as a citizen with the conduct/discipline committee(?) for a couple of meetings.
I like their direction and attitude, plus I see the progress(particularly @ the elementary level). IMO the PRIDE
program is working well, though the upper school teens are a much harder sell. So--as I have mentioned b4, we shall
re-build our student mindset from the early grades on up. It will take time, though the benefits are clearly out there.
I believe there to be a meeting this Tuesday--maybe you should stop by?


Posted By: jsmith2011
Date Posted: Feb 16 2013 at 9:28am
If you did not read the opinion article in the Journal concerning the school district and their choice for constructing the new junior high on Verity School property, you should read it. It was written by Joe Mulligan and makes very, very good points. The project housing on Breiel has had more problems than any properties in the Vail school area. Another project the school district hasn't thought through....maybe they were in such a hurry to push that levy through they weren't thinking straight but now that they have time to pursue other places they can make a much better decision.

Also, just when you think the school district has hired all the administrators possible, I understand they are creating a new position and hiring a new administrator to create yet another "department" for the next school year.


Posted By: acclaro
Date Posted: Feb 16 2013 at 11:33am
I doubt any reasonably thinking individual that does not have a vested interest in payment, advancement of their child to an Ivy league school (ergo school board member), or a member of the quid pro quo club that has run Middletown into the ground, is not only appalled, but indeed, absolutely disgusted and ashamed to reside in Middletown and have even an association with its terrible leadership, regardless if its paid professional (city employees), or otherwise (unpaid volunteers sitting on boards).

These abhorrent and utterly unjustified examples of waste, to build downtown, to build new schools, while the city falls apart, while citizens cannot sell their homes, while the city remains a laughing stock in every metric of performance, is beyond pale. Downtown Middletown and the joke associated with the benefit of Cincinnati State is played to ad nausuem, same with the school board and the new need for schools.

Taking that further, the need to place a 87 year old man as head of the Chamber is just absurd. Middletown and Butler County is simply put, the most un-progressive, laughing stock of an area, I have ever encountered. There is no credibility, there is no justification. Its all about one hand scratching the back of the other, and its absolutely nauseating.

I would be ashamed to be on a board, advisory or otherwise, and certainly, holding a leadership in a city completed mismanaged and run into despair and destruction. The problem is a few who are legends in their own mind, think others perceive them in the same manner. A word to the movers and shakers thinking they have the answers---you don't, you couldn't carry the skates of the top tier business executives having the misfortune to be tied to the ball and chain, called Middletown, snap out of it, and realize you are the problem, not the solution. In the interim period before such realization hits you squarely between the eyes, you are simply accelerating the destruction of the city's financial well being.        

-------------
'An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.' - Winston Churchill


Posted By: Vivian Moon
Date Posted: Feb 17 2013 at 7:35am

Citizens of Middletown
Before you vote on any tax or levy I would strongly advise that you visit and read the 2011 Audits for the City of
Middletown and the Middletown School District.
WARNING! It could be hazardous to your health


http://www.auditor.state.oh.us/auditsearch/results.aspx" rel="nofollow -  



Posted By: enough is enough
Date Posted: Feb 17 2013 at 7:44pm
Spiderjohn
 
The school district about 5 years ago had a committee called Saftey and Discipline. I actually sat on that committee as a citizen. We also had board members, administrators and teachers. The problem was they reallly did not want to hear from the community members it was nothing more than a dog and pony show. In all honesty I feel it was a waste of my time.
 
I'm not sure how much time you have spent in any of the schools in the district to observe first hand how the students behave and how discipline is handled. I have been in many of the buildings on a volunteer basis over the last few years. Without going into great detail I could not believe the number of students roaming hallways and paticularly how thay talk to staff with such disrespect. The foul language being used is also unacceptable. I have witnessed first hand what school staff has to deal with on a daily basis. Suspensions are down according to Ms. Andrew. Suspensions are down because the hands of teachers and principles are tied behind their backs by the school board and supertindent. This is nothing more than the district trying to make things look better than they actually are. Gotta pass that levy.
 
I agree as I posted earlier Middie Pride is a good program but it will not work on your worst cases. The Positive Behavior System is going to help some but again not your worst cases. The sooner the board and the supertindent figure this out the better. It would be nice to see the district set an example and actually be a leader instead of sitting back and following.
 
As a Middletown graduate it saddens me to see where the district is today. It is unfortunate that the actions of some students have created a negative stigma that is a reflection on all of the students. It would be nice if we gould get the Middie Pride back so that we all could be proud of our school. The bottom line is until discipline is enforced Middletown will continue on its downward spiral. Take a walk through any school at class change and you will see what I am talking about.
 
 


-------------
Enough is Enough


Posted By: tracyl
Date Posted: Feb 18 2013 at 8:29pm
You know, I stayed away from this topic for as long as I could stand, indeed I have stayed away from commenting on the forum as well.  My last post resulted in being basically called a trouble-maker who should talk with administrators before coming on here and "bad-mouthing" the district.  Well, that would be a great idea if I knew which administrator to ask.  It seems we have quite a few more now that the public is unaware of and they come in the form of the "Academic Support Specialist" or A.S.S.'s, as we like to call them.  They are now observing teachers and making decisions for teachers and some, without the supposedly required Ohio teaching license, are teaching children.  Where did the money come from to pay these people?  We have no clue.  To be sure, Race to the Top funds, at least some of them, have been used for Dean of students in certain buildings that most definitely needed them.  As far as the A.S.S.'s go, your guess is as good as ours.  Do these people help?  I cannot speak for every single building, but in ours, no.  This person has no clue about the students we serve and the issues that come with them and has ZERO people skills.  And what about the data manager positions that the district got brought back this year?  Where did that money come from?  How do either of these positions, and all the people who hold them, help students achieve?  Teachers have no clue from one observation to the next, one professional development to the next, whether they are doing what is expected because so many people have their hands in the cookie jar and not one is truly interested in HELPING kids.  It's all about the almighty dollar each kid brings in.  The fact that the district allows 4 year olds all the way to the end of September to start kindergarten is a statement to that sad fact.  And so is the cutting of tutors and the loading up of classrooms to maximum capacity.  Speaking of kindergarten, has anyone asked how the district intends to address the 3rd grade Reading Guarantee law?  Will they continue to allow K-2 students to go on to the next grade when they have essentially failed?  No one seems to know the answer to that question either.  I could actually go on and on with this and if I thought it would do any good, I would.  If this is bad-mouthing the district then too bad.  Last I checked it was a free country and there are a lot of us that are sick of the garbage and no clear way to be heard.


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Feb 19 2013 at 6:28am
tracyl, I support your stance on the district. You are not alone in the criticism of a failed district for several decades now. Test scores, achievement levels and indicators met do not lie, regardless of the spin the district tries to place on it. It is what it is. Unfortunately, you, and many others, who describe a situation here that goes against the grain of the public perception program the district has laid out, are scolded by the rose-colored glass folks who just can't see, nor admit the truth about the situation. That includes the school board, the superintendent, the administrators and most teachers. They all have been in denial for years. If the quality of your production is obviously poor, and it stays that way for years, the only recourse, if you don't show some improvement, is to cover up reality with major propaganda, double talk and avoidance of admitting there is a problem, identifying and correcting those problems. It is frustrating to see. year after year, people involved in a flawed system, making "baby step"/minor improvement changes, when major recontruction is needed. Has there been any real difference in the supers we have had in the last 25 years? Eastridge is the same as Price is the same as Rasmussen. Very little difference in the "cookie cutter" supers we have had with no one dynamic on the horizon. We will not see what we need here, as long as they hire the same type of person to lead this district. Passing levies, giving some praise about what has been accomplished once in a while, announcing some minor changes here and there.....that's about it from all of them. Won't change a thing as the wheels of continuous improvement rated/ 9 or 10 indicators met stagnation keep on turning for years to come. Why support a poor performer who is reluctant to make real change?

-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: tracyl
Date Posted: Feb 19 2013 at 7:31am
Vet, teachers are just as frustrated as the public (well some of you, a lot don't care how their child does) when it comes to scores.  The district expects excellence from students academically but continues to makes excuses for students and take the load off parents when they come with excuses.  Look at your local "Excellent" districts and the glaring difference is the high expectations in both academics and behavior and the ZERO tolerance for violence and chronic disruptions.  They also don't make provisions for parents who complain they can't take on their child if they are sent home or can't bring in a child for detention.  Put you hands on a another child or teacher in one of these districts and your butt goes home for a LONG time.  Do it here, you are back the next day with a grin on your face.  Threaten to kill a teacher or student in one of those districts and you are gone for good.  Here, you guessed it, back the next day.  Sure, the positive behavior support system we have in place finally does recognize those really good kids, and there are many, who get lost in the shuffle because of the others, but there is still much to be done and it will have to come from admin.  Teachers have zero power over this.  We have students who clearly have learning disabilities that we simply cannot get tested for at least an entire school year.  They leave to another district and guess what, the testing and identification happens and they come back with an IEP in place which in the long run is helpful TO THAT STUDENT, but not the district.  Not that a bit of this matters, things will not change as long as the district does not have their priorities in check.



Print Page | Close Window