Education News for 07-18-2012

Local Issues

  • Brecksville-Broadview Heights school board meeting draws hundreds as teacher negotiations continue (Sun News)
  • Emotions ran high at the July 17 Brecksville-Broadview Heights Board of Education, as teachers, parents and residents asked tough questions of the board in front of a crowd about 300 people. Jeff Luce, who recently resigned from his post as Advanced Placement math teacher at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School after 18 years, said he was concerned the board would bypass more qualified teachers for younger — and less expensive — educators. Read more...

  • No mediation sessions yet slated in NB contract talks (Findlay Courier)
  • NORTH BALTIMORE - North Baltimore school officials and the teachers' union are checking their calendars to arrange a date for a mediator to join stalled contract talks. An impasse in negotiations was declared recently and a mediator was contacted. "We're waiting for dates they have available," Eve Baldwin, the school district's treasurer and a member of the board's negotiating team, said Tuesday. Vacation schedules have made arranging a date challenging. Read more...

  • New Lex students to get iPads through lease deal (Times Recorder)
  • NEW LEXINGTON - Summer's end might be unwelcome, but New Lexington High School students will have a something to ease their pain this year -- free iPads. New Lexington City Schools recently signed a three-year lease with Apple. The district will pay $416,316 -- three payments of $138,772 -- and in return will receive 600 32GB iPads with WiFi. That equates to about $690 per iPad over the three-year lease. That's more than the $599 list price to buy a new iPad outright, but the New Lex deal also comes with a two-year protection plan. Read more...

  • District adds business chief (Tribune Chronicle)
  • WARREN - A former superintendent from Trumbull County is returning to the area to work at the city school district - as its executive director of business operations. Warren City Schools Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously appointed Michael Wasser of McDonald to the post. He was awarded a one-year contract, which provides an annual salary of roughly $90,000, effective July 23, 2012, through June 30, 2013. Wasser is replacing Michael Notar, who moved from the position to the high school principal's seat earlier this year. Read more...


  • Promising plan (Findlay Courier)
  • Suppose, with one good idea, we could: Decide the fate of Findlay's Central Middle School after students move out this winter? Keep at least part of the beloved old school around for our lifetimes? Save a key property from becoming an embarrassing, gaping hole in Findlay's downtown, and huge parking lot for no one in particular? This seems to be the promise of a plan for a performing arts center built around the Central Middle School auditorium and unveiled to the public via the Findlay Board of Education. Read more...

Administration destroying jobs to create phantom ones

One thing that hasn't changed in the Senate's budget revisions are the cuts. While they did manage to find another $100 million or so, that still leaves schools across the state suffering from an estimated $3 billion shortfall over the next 2 years. The results of which we are starting to see now as districts cut, cut, cut, cut and cut some more.

One of the plans the administration has in the budget was to lease the state liquer business and use those receipts to fund its new economic development program, "JobsOhio". The plan had been to lease it for $1.2 billion. Now it turns out that a people are starting to question whether that's a low ball number, and that maybe this valuable state asset could be worth a lot more. Hundreds of millions of dollars more in fact.

The state of Ohio needs to jack up the $1.2 billion price on its state liquor operations before selling them off to the newly hatched JobsOhio economic development board later this year.

That's the conclusion of Republican Sen. Tim Grendell and the Center for Community Solutions, a public policy think tank. Both have popped up in recent days with criticisms that the proposed $1.2 billion price tag for the state's liquor monopoly is far too low.

By some estimates the price might be $800 million too low. Sen. Grendell wants to amend the budget to increase the price to $1.5 billion and divert that extra $300 million to education. The Governor, through his spokesperson is having none of it.

Nichols also responded in an e-mail that creating jobs was more important than expanding government.

"For those who really understand that job creation is Ohio's greatest need right now, then the right focus is on making sure JobsOhio has every resource it needs to help create jobs and revive Ohio's economy," he wrote. "Ensuring a fair transaction on the liquor enterprise is a given, but a preoccupation with that to the detriment of JobsOhio's success is just another example of people failing to realize that creating jobs is more important than growing government."

This is nonsensical. Getting more money from the sale of a state asset in order to preserve thousands of middle class education jobs is economic development. To block this move and call it "growing government" is incomprehensible, and should cause everyone to pause and consider what the administrations true motives are.

Ohio Budget Watch has more on this privatization scheme.