Saturday, January 19, 2008

Olentangy levy: a couple of good questions

The following was posted as a comment to a previous post of mine -- Olentangy Levy: More nonsense.
Jim...while I don't support this levy, I am curious why:

1) the district wants to spend 14m for a 200 student expansion at OHS when capacity won't be an issue until 14-15 when they estimate a 4th HS will come on line.

2) How do they justify such expense for so little gain.

3) Why don't they use Shanahan as an elementary and middle and move the administrative palace to rental space elsewhere in the district. Those two line items would save an easy 25m. It is easier and cheaper to rent offices than to build new schools.
Very good points. My response:

1) Correct, the space created by this very expensive expansion is not needed for many years, if ever. In other words, it may never make sense to have spent money on this expansion, it all depends on the district actual build-out student population.

2) This expansion has been proposed for years, and for years the board would not approved it. The reason is exactly what you mentioned; the expense is outrageous. Why the change in position of the board? I figure that the March ballot issues are a wants list instead of a needs list. The operating fund can be balanced in FY09 with a change in salary increases and insurance costs. If the levy fails, then so what? Failure leaves the district in a much better bargaining position with its unions. No cuts are needed. I think that the district just floated these levies are trial balloons. Sure, the district would like success, but failure is not hardship at all.

3) True. There are a host of other options that were not -- to my knowledge -- discussed at any board meeting.

Thanks for the comments!

No comments: