Thursday, February 14, 2008

Olentangy Levy: Three Card Monte

OK, here is a screenshot of the district's latest Five-Year Financial Forecast.[1] You will note the red circle near the bottom. This figure, and this figure alone, is the negative balance that the district must clear in order to satisfy the state. [2]

In a true slight-of-hand, the superintendent has been showing reporters line 6.010 under FY08 [3] and stating that this is the amount the state requires the district to clear; Three Card Monte in the administrative offices.


[1] This is just a screenshot and not a complete page. Click on the screenshot to see a larger version (still incomplete though). In order to see the full page and the complete forecast, click here (links to the district website).

[2] Clearing the negative balance can be done by negotiating tighter contracts; they all end at the end of this school year.

[3] Come on now, he's pointing to the wrong fiscal year for goodness sake. This is a classic con, or sting for that matter.


Anonymous said...

You have mentioned several times negotiating a lower raise, negotiating tighter contracts, etc. If it is a negotiation, the board can't get its way on everything can they? How could the board control all of these aspects if negotiations is give and take?

Fred said...


My question is this. I have been living in this district for 25 years and have seen the ups and downs of this school district. I applaud the district for holding their commitment of only asking the voters for money every 3 years (it has lasted 4 years). You have some truth to what you say about the 2 million deficit which doesn't begin until next year, but if you look down the road, the district is in serious financial trouble if they don't have money money.

We all can agree that the district will be in need of the school buildings that are on the ballot this spring. The district is growing by 1000 students every year and has not showed signs of slowdown even though the housing market is crappy right now. However, if the district asked for the money for the construction of the buildings only right now, they would not be able to keep their promise of staying off the ballot for three years because they would surely be coming back to the voters next spring. I think this is the district trying to be honest and keep the quality programs we have going for our students.

Is it political? Yes, but I think the district has been great stewards of our money.


Jim Fedako said...

Good question. The board can only negotiate with funds that are certified. They simply do what boards typically do; the say to the unions that here are the available resources, divide between salary and benefits as you -- the union -- see fit.

But, they cannot provide raises where no funding exists. So, the board has more power in negotiations when the pot is low. When the district is flush with cash, it has a difficult time negotiating tighter contracts.

Jim Fedako said...


Your comment is a great lesson in moral relativism. To wit: You claim the district is trying to be honest by lying about required cuts. That's some twisted logic, and a strange lesson in morality.

Additionally, if they will lie about required cuts in order to threaten parents, what makes you think that they are telling any truths?

Jim Fedako said...

Fred, Stan, and John:

It appears you know each other well.

Posting from the same computer is cute though.

Take care!

Anonymous said...


Nicely done, Jim. Nicely done.
As many times as Stan has received the Fedako Smackdown I don't blame him for using aliases.

Hey Stan--next time please pose as Scott Galloway. Then, at least we can pretend he had the spine to have responded.