Sunday, February 24, 2008

Olentangy Levy: Cutting services while costs rise

Last year (FY07), the district cut transportation for elementary students within one mile of school, based on sidewalks, speed limits, etc. So, you would expect that there would have been huge costs savings. Yet ...

District transportation costs rose between fiscal years 2006 and 2007, plus the district purchased additional buses; a $1 million worth. So, the district cut services, increased expenditures, and purchased buses. Doesn't say much for cost savings, does it?

Wouldn't it make sense for the district to reduce transportation expenditures under the current level of service, reaping the benefits of the updated walk policy? Such efforts would allow the levy to last another year. But, alas, the district just wants to continue spending your tax dollars; business as usual I suppose.

note: It's all reported in the district's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for FY06 and FY07, available here for FY06 and here for FY07. (Search for "transportation.")


Anonymous said...

Come on, Jim, don't you have anything better to do with your time. Did you forget Olentangy also opened new schools last year. With new schools comes more transportation needed. If you are going to slam Olentangy get your facts straight! And remember it only costs a few dollars a day, per household if the levy passes, the same as what you pay on your overpriced lattes! Remember to vote YES on March 4th!

Jim Fedako said...

It's comments like these that prove public education is a failure.

Buses provide seats; they move students. The additional buildings do NOT lead to more buses. In fact, based on the walk policy in effect, the more schools the LESS buses needed as more and more students come within one mile of their school.

If a school were opened in every neighborhood, there would be need for buses at all. Do you get that? Can you get that?

If it's just the price of a few lattes, why doesn't the administration and staff forgo theirs? Or, why don't your forgo yours and fund my latte?

Question: Would you fund my lattes for next school year? That is really what you are asking me to do, to fund your lattes, or whatever.

Stan said...

Well...lets just face it jim...that would be completely stupid to put an elementary in every single neighborhood and would cost the district (you) tons of money.

And yes....opening new schools DOES mean the need for more buses and routes. Olentangy has new subdivisions opening up every year which mean....uh oh.....more students...which means....uh oh....more routes. There is still alot of uncharted land in the district where houses are popping up, but the schools are further south.

You, again, post stuff that only back things up with only the money aspect of things. There is a lot more to it than that. This school year the district opened three new buildings. 1000 new students arrived in the districts and the bus fleet must be maintained/replaced as buses age.

Wait...lets do it your way...lets put an elementary in every neighborhood 214 of them and asked the voters for $2,482,400,000. And while we're at it...lets add high schools and middle school and ask for additional billions of dollars. Nice logic Jim.

The levy/new schools are needed Jim. Get off your high horse. To say that this first comment proves that "public education is a failure" is untrue. New schools mean more students (over 1000 to be exact) and the need for new routes. Also the bus fleet ages...just like a car. You have to replace it after so many years.

Jim Fedako said...

Stan, Stan, Stan ...

I used counterfactual and reductio ad absurdum arguments. You would have caught that if your public education had value.

You, on the otherhand, used nonsense.

No kidding that it would be stupid to open schools in every neighborhood. That was not the point of the argument, but I never expected you to understand.

To your logic, or lack of: Did the new schools cause students to arrive? Or, did the expected new students cause the district to open new buildings? Muse on that for a while.

You like to post based on emotions, and since you said that have some connection with public education -- you are an employee of some district -- I don't expect anything other than emotions to rule your thoughts.

But, absent your tirades, you provide no real reason that the levy is needed.

You see, this is one of the aspects where public fails; it teaches affective learning rather than effective learning. So, your emotions -- feelings -- alone are enough; there is no point in thinking or researching.

Class, Stan is upset. Let's understand why he is upset and correct things -- not so that things are indeed correct, but that they are correct for Stan.

I don't mean to pick on you, but you keep sending these posts. When I post and respond, you complain. When I ignore you, you complain. It's the affective deal over and over.

Scott said...

Gentlemen, my take on this issue is this:

Regarding transportation, all that I know is that if the issue does not pass, it will be cut drastically. How can a district claim to want to "...facilitate maximum learning for every student" if it doesn't commit to getting the kids to/from school? Not even on rural routes where there an no sidewalks. Seems that the district cares not about student safety. My main point is that transportation routes should be one of the LAST things to be cut. The district knows that these cuts put working parents in an impossible situation and thus use it as a threat.

Secondly, I'm not saying that taxes don't need to go up every 3 or 4 years. But I am saying that the district is asking too much. Why is the district giving employees 6.5% raises when the private sector offers about half of that on average. I'm in the IT industry and I have not gotten a raise over 6% since 2000. Why no message from the school board about keeping these costs in line in the future? Union contracts are up for negotiation and now is the time to get these costs in line.

And lastly, this is not the time for this HUGE tax increase. The economy is suffering yet the district wants to take a bigger chunk of my paycheck, a paycheck that may not grow at all this year. The value of my house has fallen, yet the district wants to greatly increase my property taxes.

It's a matter of fairness. Heck, if I had been getting 6.5% raises and my house had been increasing in value by a similar amount, I might be OK with this increase. But that's not happening so to me it's just not fair.

Now is not the time for this level of increase. My wife and I have already voted "no" on this issue.