Monday, February 11, 2008

Lying to the churches

I really don't understand how the superintendent and his administration can look their community in the eye and repeatedly lie, with Olentangy for Kids smiling and nodding in agreement.

These folks are threatening churches and other local organizations that, should the levy fail, district schools will be closed to the community. It's a great lie to spread since it creates an immediate need and a reason for those groups to campaign for the levy, but it's absolutely false.

According to Ohio law:

3313.76 Schoolhouses available for educational and recreational purposes.
Upon application of any responsible organization, or of a group of at least seven citizens, all school grounds and schoolhouses, as well as all other buildings under the supervision and control of the state, or buildings maintained by taxation under the laws of this state, shall be available for use as social centers for the entertainment and education of the people, including the adult and youthful population, and for the discussion of all topics tending to the development of personal character and of civic welfare, and for religious exercises. Such occupation should not seriously infringe upon the original and necessary uses of such properties. The public officials in charge of such buildings shall prescribe such rules and regulations for their occupancy and use as will secure a fair, reasonable, and impartial use of the same.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953 (emphasis added)

The superintendent cannot legally close the schools, and he knows it.

Yet, the superintendent, his administration, and their levy campaigners are now lying to churches and other organizations.

What lesson is being taught? That it's OK to lie as long as you get what you want? What about ethics and personal integrity.

Lying to churches? Hmmm.

11 comments:

Stan said...

Again...you only highlight the stuff you want to be read...but

Upon application of any responsible organization, or of a group of at least seven citizens, all school grounds and schoolhouses, as well as all other buildings under the supervision and control of the state, or buildings maintained by taxation under the laws of this state, shall be available for use as social centers for the entertainment and education of the people, including the adult and youthful population, and for the discussion of all topics tending to the development of personal character and of civic welfare, and for religious exercises . Such occupation should not seriously infringe upon the original and necessary uses of such properties. The public officials in charge of such buildings shall prescribe such rules and regulations for their occupancy and use as will secure a fair, reasonable, and impartial use of the same.

When it comes down to it...the district has the say over who uses their buildings. The organizations pay a fee, but it does not cover the expense of custodians, electricity and heating/plumbing. The district takes a hit by opening to the organizations. So...if the levy doesn't pass...why should the district have to continue to take a hit for the organizations...that's the very wasteful spending you talk about all the time. Wake up Jim Fedako!

Jim Fedako said...

Stan, Stan, Stan,

I always fear publishing your comments as readers may begin to think that I've been writing them as strawman arguments. You are a very simple man.

I gather that you know nothing about school law, and that you referenced no outside organization prior to posting this comment.

Keep in mind that when I used to serve on the board, the Ohio School Board Association's legal staff knew me quite well. This was due to my involvement in the last board policy revision and my general belief that public officials need to be honest.

The SHALL is a SHALL. Yes, the district can and must establish rules and regulations for "fair, reasonable, and impartial use of the (facilities)." These include cost, proof of insurance, etc. But, the SHALL is a SHALL. The buidings MUST be open to the public. Call OSBA for verification.

You mention a good point. Churches and similar organizations do pay their fair share. But, Olentangy for Kids is not paying for use of district facilities when, in fact, they are required by law to do such.

So, turn around and demand that the district force OFK to pay their fare share, as legally required. The term is writ of mandamus, or briefly, "district, perform your legal duties."

By the way, should the levy fail and the district enact the superintendent's cuts, the district will be showing a $8.5 million surplus. Stan, that's a healthy surplus, isn't it?

Regardless of state law, wouldn't it be tough to claim financial difficulties when your balance is the same as it was in 2005, when the buildings were wide open? Hmmm.

Before I post another of your comments, please show yourself to be knowledgable and well-researched. Otherwise, my readers will think I'm making up dopey comments from a "Stan."

If that challenge is beyond you -- and I fear it is -- you would do better posting on the NEA website, they like your style; devoid of knowledge and willing to believe anything. Lenin termed your kind his "useful idiots."

Jim Fedako said...

Oh, and regarding "When it comes down to it...the district has the say over who uses their buildings."

Read federal law regarding this. In particular, note that NCLB mandates that districts receiving federal funds MUST allow Boy Scout to use their facilities.

So, schools that are open for PTO's must also be open for Boy Scouts.

Sorry Stan, life is never as simple as the cartoons you watch.

KD said...

Seriously Jim. I follow you, I do. But when you cut the last line from a quote of the ORC you put yourself out there for people to think you are trying to trick them. Remember, perception is reality. I like reading your blog. Don't let us down, be thorough.

Jim Fedako said...

KD,

I'm missing something here. That is/was the full quote, a true cut and paste.

If you are refering to Stan's comment, he doesn't say that the last sentence was missing, just that he assumed it took legal precedence over the first sentence. (He is wrong by the way.)

He was refering to my emphasis -- highlight - of "and for religious exercise." That's the reason for my note, "(emphasis added)."

Other than that, I have no idea what you mean regarding, "But when you cut the last line from a quote of the ORC you put yourself out there for people to think you are trying to trick them."

If I was trying to trick folks, would I have linked back to the ORC code, or have published Stan's comment for that matter?

Stan said...

Jim,

Just thought I would reply to your idea of equal access.

You are misrepresenting the NCLB Act when you talk about the Boy Scouts. If you would do a little research on the act you will find that it does not say what you are stating.

"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no public elementary school, public secondary school, local educational agency, or State educational agency that has a designated open forum or a limited public forum and that receives funds made available through the Department shall deny equal access or a fair opportunity to meet to, or discriminate against, any group officially affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, or any other youth group listed in title 36 of the United States Code (as a patriotic society), that wishes to conduct a meeting within that designated open forum or limited public forum, including denying such access or opportunity or discriminating for reasons based on the membership or leadership criteria or oath of allegiance to God and country of the Boy Scouts of America or of the youth group listed in title 36 of the United States Code (as a patriotic society)."

emphasis added

Also from the U.S. Department of Education Website explaining the law

"Explaining that in order to be equal, the access provided to any group officially affiliated with the Boy Scouts or any other Title 36 youth group must be on terms that are no less favorable than the most favorable terms provided to one or more outside youth or community groups. "

Therefore, by this law, the district CAN close the building to outside groups, including Boy Scouts as long as everybody is receiving fair denial...which is what the district is planning.

I know what you are going to say. "What about PTO's?" PTO's meet during the school day at all of the buildings. I called them all to double check. So if the Boy Scouts want to meet during the day, they could probably do that although they probably wouldn't have good attendance from the members.

Maybe its you who needs to do a little research on the laws before you post something. Don't try to belittle people Jim, you are not the smartest person on the earth contrary to what you believe.

Stan

Jim Fedako said...

Stan (or, whomever you are):

I was about to concede your point until ...

I checked the PTO calendars of the first three elementary schools on the district web site. All three had evening meetings this year.

This is why I ask you to validate. You "called them all to double check." Hmmm. And you call me deceitful.

You are back on the banned list.

Stan said...

Jim,

I never said that they held every meeting during the school day...just that they hold meetings during the school day. If the school district closes the schools at 3:00 pm (secondary) and 4:00 pm (elementary) then the PTO organizations will move all of their meetings to the school day since a majority of their meetings take place at that time anyway in order to be fair to all organizations. My point is still valid and I did call the schools.

The law is still the law and your original post was incorrect...you should still concede to that point.

Stan

Jim Fedako said...

Stan,

I'll concede the point as soon as the district and levy committees add PTO's to their list. Fair enough?

Stan said...

Jim,

I recall that the cut list says that the buildings will be close to all activities and organizations at the given times...this includes school organizations too....like my son who is in the band....he is no longer able to perform in band concerts...because a) they are cutting the supplementals for the band director and b) schools will be closed....what a great way to save money...

Stan

Jim Fedako said...

Stan,

It's a silly way to save money that does not need to be saved. Regarding non-school users of building, they need to pay their fair share. I do not know the numbers by heart, but I am certain that when my church met in a school, the district turned a profit. The church had topay for custodian, for each classroom, for use of the gym, for use of the main area, use of the kitchen, etc. It was not cheap. I believe our church saved moeny by buying a building.