Thursday, March 06, 2008

To those who say, "Enough is enough!"

The time to act is now.

As the base grows, so grows the next levy. The actions that the board takes in the next few months decide the timing and amount of the next levy. If the board controls costs, this levy can stretch and the millage remain relatively low. If the board negotiates away its new cash balance, the base grows, and the next levy is set in stone.

To cut the base is to cut programs. Under this scenario, the board and administration win due to the way folks in the district tremble at any threat of cuts. So, the solution is to stop the base from growing; and that time is now.

You can expect that the next contracts will be for three years, and that they will include large increases since the unions will demand raises commensurate with the supposed support of the voters. If the board negotiates away its cash balance now, the community can do nothing later.

Either a recall campaign is started soon, or pressure is put on the board to negotiate in the interest of the taxpayer; pressure at board meetings, via emails, phone calls, letters, etc.

The future is today!


Note:

The reality is this: Boards use residual negotiations. They look at what they have as far as cash over the levy cycle, and negotiate it away.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

A recall is not feasible. The best course of action is to put as much pressure on the board to control cost. They have to be reminded that what was achieved last night was not a mandate to spend, but rather a charge to lead. The board and administration have to be reminded of that, meeting after meeting. The language of Gallowaste, McFoney and Slick Davis in their appreciation statements stress "fiscal management" and "fiscal responsibility". Those words are curious choices, given the histories of carefree spending each has shown--and very inconvenient for them should they stray from them. Keep them honest. Keep them at their word.

Anonymous said...

Now who is using fear.

You seem bent on forcing a teacher's strike in the district.

Your only goal is to disrupt the district as much as possible. If you are so concerned you would be on the finance committee.

Jim Fedako said...

Lost me on the fear part. Are you telling me that teachers would threaten a strike and potentially harm students? Do you understand what you are saying?

Anonymous said...

Strike??? My, my...more threats.
Well, fear mongering worked once--why not use it again!

I assume the strike would be "for the kids", of course.

Nobody is "anti teacher" (except when they shove perversion down our kids' throats--have a looksee of current and past offerings:
http://www.olentangybooklist.blogspot.com/)

The issue is with the sympathy-mongering that their pay is lousy--when they have a very benefits-rich compensation package that offsets this--and conveniently leave out the fact that their salaries reflect a fair prorated annualization of a three-quarters worked year. Nobody forces teachers to go into their wage-compressed union-domineered profession, but they play the victim of their own circumstances nonetheless, "I became a teacher to educate the children, but I really didn't know it didn't pay that well...really". Excuse me for not wishing to play that game.

Scott said...

Are some of you saying that the threat of a strike is a good reason to simply hand out taxpayer money at this rate? Wow.

My reason for not supporting this issue was the size of the increase. I simply could not justify an increase this large. I couldn't agree with the average district salary increase of 6.5% while I got a 2% increase. All while inflation is skyrocketing, the cost of health care is rising, the value of the dollar is shrinking, consumer buying power is declining, and home values are stagnant at best.

The answer? Negotiate a "real-world" contract with the teachers union. Provide administrators with real-world salary increases. Wages are the district's biggest expense. Controlling them is vital to controlling costs.

If the union cannot accept a realistic offer and threatens to strike then so be it. Simply giving in to threats is cowardly. Sometimes a stand must be taken.

Anonymous said...

I'm saying there is no historical justification to say Olentangy hands out lucrative contracts to teachers. Their teachers are not the highest paid in the area, they are average.

It is not responsible to look at the budgeted amount and say that is what will be spent. Historically, they underspend the budget through careful negotiation.

But, advocating no increases for the next contract is irresponsible. If you went to the teachers and told them, as some have suggested, no new money, then you are setting the district up for a strike.

We need to responsibly take care of our teachers and offer a package that makes sure we continue to attract the best possible teachers to the district. I'm constantly impressed with the quality of the teachers my kids have and I don't want to see that change.

Scott said...

I think that you may have misunderstood me. I'm not advocating a wage freeze. I'm advocating fair wage increases.

No one at the district has refuted Jim's annual average increase number of 6.5%. So this number is accurate. But is it fair? To you it might be, to me it is not. I base my opinion on my personal situation and on government statistics. If you think that 6.5% is fair, on what statistic do you base that opinion?

If we continue to provide these types of wage increases, taxes must follow suit. And simply put, a lot of folks can't afford that. At least until other occupations begin to match the 6.5% number.

After this millage takes hold, go to the Delaware county auditor's website and be sure to compare Olentangy's tax rates to those of other districts in the county. And feel free to do the same against those in Franklin county. You may be surprised where we stand.

Anonymous said...

So...if the teachers are receiving "average" pay, then they're being paid a fair, competitive wage. Who can argue with that?

The simple fact is that teachers receive annual pay increases that are automatic and non discretionary. They also have value added provisions (subsidies and contributions) in their benefits packages that result in thousands of dollars in expense avoidance, resulting in much greater take-home pay than we in the private sector see. So, the relatively low salary you see is just a mirage: what you don't see is that the average teacher making $50,000 has the take home equivalent of a private sector employee making $62,000 (tax deductions profiles being equal)--and that's for an 8 month workyear.

Just be honest when you talk about teacher "pay". Present your argument in terms of teacher total compensation.

Nobody's against teachers. What I think everyone here cannot stomach is the phony bellyaching about unfair pay.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Davis told me personally that the last open rec that OSD had 3K applicants.

So let's talk supply and demand.... if there are 3K people just looking for a new job and one position open to fill, one could surmise that OSD could offer the candidates a dog bone and still find a quaility candidate. A dog bone w/ great benefits is better than nothing.

Simple economics would imply that we don't need to pay a premium for teahers and that we don't need a fancy union contract to retain a quaility school district.

One final point... teachers like to teach in districts that have parents who care and are involved. That would equate to all of us. In fact, most teachers will take a pay cut to teach in such a district because it is easier and the measurable results are greater. This concept is ultimately validated by the Parochial School System where teachers make far less than public school teachers but deliver better results.

If they are teaching for the money, then they shouldn't be teaching in our schools in the first place. They should be hear because they love to teach, enjoy the luxury of parental care and involvement, and the support of tax levies that do not restrict their teaching tools and learning mechanisms.

Anonymous said...

Well said.

jim said...

Jim,

I have been following your blog with great interest over these last few months (and before actually).

You have created quite a name for yourself on the web because you are well written and opinionated...Sometimes I find your approach condescending and arrogant. (please forgive my spelling in case I made some errors) I admit looking up a lot of the words you use because I'm really interested in what you are saying.

I've done some research on the web and have found that you were in the Peace Corp, (awesome) and a former teacher in Texas (unless I'm mistaken which is possible), a former professional athlete,a former Board member,former business owner, current VP, consultant, economist (that's pretty cool because I never a knew an economist or somebody who said they were an economist who didn't have an economics degree or wasn't a professor somewhere). A home schooling father of five (I think that's cool also because you and your wife are dedicated to your kids )...Not to mention a Republican Central Committee member in Delaware County... Wow thats a lot of good stuff!

Your resume on the web is remarkable. I know you are a Ron Paul guy who has Austrian Economic leanings (Mises) I may be wrong again on the name because I'm not as interested in it as you are..

With all of this going for you, why do you feel a need to launch personal attacks or name call our most gentle of public servants; Teachers? Especially Jim, if you are comfortable in your beliefs? What legitimate purpose does it serve to call names?

If I were either Scott Galloway or Davis I would consider litigation. You can't honestly believe all administrators at Olentangy are unethical liars and yet you said so...IN PRINT!!!It's risky behavior.

Since the levy passed I assume they will forgive you...Too bad.

I know you are opposed to government interference and taxes...Nobody likes that I guess...I just wonder why you attack the Olentangy school system like you do? Was there a thwarted agenda? Our tax dollars are spent for other professions like fire fighters and police officers..Not to mention the armed services. Why not attack these civil servants?

Maybe because they carry axes and guns.

I know you are not completely over the top or evil but do think you are a bully.

I just hope you don't go after bike riders next...

I am glad we live where you have the right to your opinion and I have the right to mine.

I am looking forward to reading your blogs again in three or so years..

Take Care and God Bless,
Jim

Jim Fedako said...

Let me answer the tread that runs through this comment: I served on the school board for 6 and 1/2 years.

I started as a naive school supporter, but sooned learned what really goes on.

So, yes, I write more about education. Why? I understand it best.

And, yes, I do write about the other areas you mentioned. You just haven't looked hard enough.

Teachers are gentle? Then how do a groups of gentle teachers aggregate into evil teachers unions? Answer that one.

While you are at it, answer this: When students are indoctrinated with perverse garbage, why did not one teacher speak against it? No one ever answers that either.

So, I am left to believe that the unions speak for all teachers. As I have said many times before: Please, one teacher at least, prove me wrong.

Scott said...

Jim,

You have mentioned "perverse garbage" several times in reference to the required reading lists. Can you give an example? I'm not asking for gory details, just a high-level example. I'm probably more socially liberal than you are so I'm just curious as to what you're referring. Your point about zero teachers speaking out against controversial material is well-taken though. Thanks.

Jim Fedako said...

Scott,

Do a blog search on "perverse." (In the upper left corner of the page). You should get a lot of examples. If you want more, I will provide.

Thanks!

Scott said...

Ah, I see. Seems that this book causes controversy just about anywhere:

http://www.amazon.com/Perks-Being-Wallflower-Stephen-Chbosky/dp/0671027344

It gets good reviews. However, I would not make something like this required reading. If even mentioned, it would be optional (with an explanation as to why) and an alternative would be presented. I personally think that this book might have value to my high schooler but I would respect the opinions of others and not force everyone to read it.

Anonymous said...

Many reasons exist as to why teachers may not respond to you Mr. Fedako, some of which were pointed out in this string: You belittle people and attack them, and you are often arrogant and condescending (even though you often have spelling and grammar errors in your posts, suggesting that you lack in some areas as well).

Knowing how you feel about teachers and public education, why would a teacher open him or herself up to your attacks when he or she knows that you wouldn't listen anyway and would go on the attack? Knowing that your views may not mesh with theirs and that you likely would automatically dismiss their views, believing yours to be superior, it makes sense that no teachers respond. It is an exercise in futility.

Regarding literature, it is hard to believe that you would find any merit in what teachers have to say about the variety of books that kids can choose from even if they made a solid case and even if they told you that their students read 10 classics for every contemporary work they read. You simply refuse to acknowledge that any good is being done in Olentangy. Kids have choices among the books they read, and you don't like that some of their available choices don't mesh with your ideals. If kids have choices, and contemporary and classic are mixed, why do you care? If parents use the opportunity to discuss difficult topics with their kids, why do you care? Your kids are reading it. But, you will say because you don't want to pay for it with your taxes. What about the parents who are fine with it? Where are their rights? It is public education.

These are just a couple of reasons why teachers probably don't reply, but then I don't expect this to make the blog, because few of my responses do.

Jim Fedako said...

Scott,

I agree. I don't seek book bans, I just don't want my tax dollars used to force this nonsense on children whose parents do not agree.

And, I don't want teachers believing that they know better than parents.

I believe we agree on this.

Jim Fedako said...

I couldn't care less if teachers ever responded to this blog.

My question is why don't they respond publicly, under their own name, in letters to the editor, at board meetings, etc. If they cared, they would.

But, you don't need to answer that since you obviously support the perverse nonsense.

Is it even possible to belittle and attack someone who posts anonymously? That concept is new to me.

Oh, and by the way, levy supporters had no problems belittling me and anyone else who questioned their levy. Something to think about.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this right, most gentle of public servants:

The people who claim everything they do is for the kids would walk out on our kids because they didn't get their 6.5% annual increase aren't bullies, but Fedako is.

The people who upset students in their classrooms by telling them that their courses would be cancelled if mommy and daddy didn't vote for the levy aren't bullies, but Fedako is.

The teachers who present perversion to our children and then dismiss parents who object aren't bullies, but Fedako is.

Jim--if they didn't feel so threatened they'd ignore you. Instead they're coming here in droves because they feel threatened. It's like someone who happens upon a crime being committed, and now the criminals are going after the witness to prevent him from telling what he knows. And what we saw last week was what lengths the'll go to try to discredit you. You had so much traction within the district that OFK felt threatened enough to distribute hitmail on you.

If it wasn't for your efforts many more people would have remained ignorant enough to have voted for the levy.

You defined leadership in the face of adversity these last few months. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You can find some of the perverse offerings at the link below. Thanks to the concerned mom who had the stomach to wade through this garbage and compile the excerpts:

http://www.olentangybooklist.blogspot.com/

What is contained here is excerpts from just two books, which is fraction of the garbage books that are peddled to our kids from their English teachers.

Shame on them.