Thursday, April 15, 2010

Olentangy is working the next levy

I hope no one attends this nonsense thinking facts will be on display.
The Olentangy Local School District is proud to announce its first community education opportunity. This four-night class is free and open to the public.

School funding has been a complex and emotional topic of debate in Ohio for more than a decade. You can begin to unlock the mysteries of school funding by attending School Finance 101 on April 22, May 6, May 20 and June 8 from 6 until 8 p.m. at Olentangy Liberty Middle School, 7940 Liberty Road in Powell.

Presenters include Olentangy Superintendent Wade Lucas, Ed.D., and Treasurer Rebecca Jenkins, Hillsdale Local Schools Superintendent Joel Roscoe and TRECA Director of Financial Services Dee Cramer.. They, along with other external experts in the field, will cover topics including:
* the history of Ohio school funding;
* the current reality of school funding;
* the Five-Year Financial Forecast document;
* tax collection and disbursement;
* levies and bond issues;
* Olentangy Local Schools' finances; and
* Olentangy expenditure reductions.

Please join Olentangy Local Schools for this unique opportunity to learn more about school finance - an issue that affects every taxpayer, parent and child. For registration information, please visit or call (740) 657-4055. A flyer is also attached to this message.
All you will get is a load of spin -- a big load of spin.

Seriously, does anyone think the real reason for a new levy will even be mentioned? You all know what I am talking about: average salary increases that continue to exceed 6% per year, and benefits that are simply unreal.

I'll cut to the chase and save you four evenings of premeditated agitprop. Ol' Wade-O and his sundry sycophants will blame the state ... even as they continue to convert your hard-earned property taxes into sweet raises and out-of-this-world benefits.

If only the state would increase it's funding at a rate that offsets district salary and benefits increases. Then Wade-O would not have to bring out the dog and pony show. But that would mean we are finally over the rainbow.

Save yourself from Wade-O and his drooling band of government tax consumers. Spend the evening watching CNN -- compared to Olentangy, CNN is fair and balanced.

Note: Wade-O would rather you do not attend. See, the district benefits from staging this nonsense. It's good propaganda, er PR -- note the splash in this week's OVN. The district get no extra benefit if you attend. And you will get no benefit for attending.


Anonymous said...

You should go. Talk about "the elephant in the room"...the district stooges would be sweating bullets because you know the arguments, the figures, the policies, the law--and where the OLSD bodies are buried.

Imagine them claiming these gems with you in the room:

"We have a history of seeking out third party input on reducing expenses..."

"We're fiscally responsible"

"We're being aggressive in our cost reduction efforts"

"Andy has been restricted to ordering off the Dollar Menu"

[you in corner, grinning while sharpening the carving knife--rhetorical, of course]

You HAVE to go. If nothing else it would make for good blogging. Oh, the fun you could have with that...

Anonymous said...

They are thinking about raising athletic fees from 50.00 to 100.00 per student because Olentangy is less than other schools.

I wish our property taxes were less like the other schools.

May 2011 is the bond a 7.7 mill, when are people going to get it, not for the kids, for the teachers pockets. How can a person afford to live in this school district anymore.

We own our own business and we had to slice our prices, layoff employees, and the school wants more money.

I just don't understand why people love to pay taxes? People need to be prepare when next year comes, they will get there wish when they sit down to do their taxes. They will have to pay more money.

I never want to hear people complain about paying taxes of any kind, if they pass the school property tax.

Anonymous said...

Since 1999, the following neighboring school districts have gone back to voters for additional money as follows:

Buckeye Valley — 5 times
Delaware — 8 times
Olentangy — 10 times
New Albany — 7 times
Westerville — 11 times
Big Walnut — 5 times

I was wondering who are we trying to beat??

Anonymous said...

Olentangy officials have suggested raising the district’s athletics fees to $50 for middle school students and $100 for high school students, which would generate about $163,000 in revenue.

In comparisons to other districts, our fees are lower,” said Olentangy Superintendent Wade Lucas

This is not true, if you look it up you will see other school districts fees.

Where do these people come up with this stuff?

Anonymous said...

How many of those districts went back to their residents for more funding while possessing tens of millions in unencumbered bond balances?

Anonymous said...

I think you should all go but I doubt you will. It is much easier to sit around complaining with other complainers that actually face someone who knows what they are a talking about.

Jim Fedako said...

12:40 --

In case you don't know, I sat on the board for close to seven years. And I know more about school funding than any of the district panel members (Wade-O, Jenkins, et al.). Don't believe me? Ask them yourself.

Other folks who comment here also know much more about school funding than will be presented at the meetings. Why would they waste their time listening district folks blame the state for its own actions?

Anonymous said...

That's really funny. I bet--no--I guarantee that I know more about the district's budget than all the members and their treasurer, assistant treasurer and "budget officer", combined.

Oh--my bad--what I don't know is where they hide off budget expenses to smooth it all out.

The district's treasurer is a know-nothing; the board members are know-nothings----heck--they don't ever read any of the contracts.

The finance operation of this district is a complete and utter fraud.

Anonymous said...

Olentangy officials have suggested raising the district’s athletics fees to $75 for middle school students and $100 for high school students, which would generate about $163,000 in revenue.

Are they going to raise class fees to? My bill was 250.00 this year.

Anonymous said...

Pay-2-Play fees: $100

Course fees: $250

Taxpayers paying employee portion-retirement for administrators: $800,000

Property taxes rising 20% every three years to fund out-of-control school district spending: Unsustainable.

Anonymous said...

You gotta love how the board think of themselves and the community as sophisticated and elite, but then they hire a hayseed like Wade-O from "Effective" Green Local.

I hear Wade-O say, "Oh-Lintangy Loco Skooooos" and cringe. It's like Jed Clampett reading off the wine menu at Rigby's. "I'll have me a box of that cabber-net sow--saw...awww screw it--git me a Pabst".

Anonymous said...


Just for clarification of your argument. The bond money has nothing to do with teachers' salaries. Bond money can only be used for construction. Don't make arguments on here unless you know what you are talking about.

Yes, the district has to reel in its spending. But the bond doesn't raise teachers' salaries.

Anonymous said...

Dopey: bond money can be used for books, and the district had a multi-million dollar curriculum adoption last year.

There were obscene account balances DUE TO INTEREST INCOME OFF OF UNENCUMBERED BONDS...GOING BACK TO YEAR 2000!!! And those monies could be used to fund operations.

What does the district's build schedule look like for the next five years? Ten years? How many more elementary, middle and high schools are going to be planned in that timeframe? How about in the next TWO YEARS?

How many elementary schools could have been built with that $30MM in residual bond issues?

Make no mistake about it: the district will be grubbing for a bond issue in two or three years--guaranteed. That $30MM would have been nice to have held on to in order to offset that bond ask. Where did that $30MM go? Anybody know?? Was funding for Andy's sparkling bus depot included in the last bond issue? Or did those residual bonds go to build that? What monies were used to fund projects that were not included in the bond issues?

Please...don't waste our time with your BS.

Anonymous said...

If my kids don't participate in athletics then why should I pay for them? Raise the pay to play fees as they are really user fees. Let those who use the services pay the fees.

Anonymous said...

No parents should have to pay fees related to their kids' education--ESPECIALLY lab fees and materials related to core curriculum courses.

...but it's paramount to our kids' education that we pay for employee portion retirement for administrators and pour millions into the sink hole of professional development.

Anonymous said...

5:39 a.k.a. Childish Name Caller...

Lets be adults here.

Yes...the funds can be used for books. I concede that point. Lets not have the district buy books with that money. Lets have the students use outdated textbooks. That's a great idea. Still, the district used those funds for their intended purpose. Building/books. The bonds have a specific limitation set on what they may be spent on. I repeat, the district cannot use the bond money for operations.

You talk about the interest on the bond money dating back to 2000. You state that it could be used for operations. But you have no proof saying that the district has used the money for operations.

You talk about the bond issues as if you know something about them although you clearly don't. If you did your research, instead of accusing the district of using that money to build the new bus garage, you would know that the bug garage was built/included in the last bond issue. The voters approved that building along with the other schools that were included in that bond. Again, don't make false accusations when you don't look for real information.

I'm not sure, but I would bet that you won't find anything that transfers that money to the general fund. I'm pretty sure the district is good at making sure that money stays for construction/maintenance of facilities. Like the driveway at OHS that was done a couple of years ago. That costs money. Would you like another bond issue so the district can tax you more?

Please....don't insult me with your lack of research.

Jim Fedako said...

Whoa ...

Interest earned off of bond "residuals" must be credited to the general fund. That is state law.

Of course, the interest can then be spent on capital improvements.

I put "residuals" in quotation marks since the board always asks the taxpayers for more debt than the district needs. This allows the board to keep your tax dollars in an interest bearing account (the district earns interest off of your tax dollars -- subject to arbitrage regulations, of course). And it allows the district to spend your tax dollars of "stuff" that the voters never approved (oh, they approved the spend in general terms, but the spend was never listed as a specific callout during the levy campaign).

Anonymous said...

Dopey (8:01):

Don't try this "you don't care about the don't want them to have text books", red herring garbage. That's the second time you attempted to twist what I wrote (the first being the use of bond funds for operating expenses--nice try). I SUGGESTED THAT WE COULD HAVE USED SOME OF THAT LEFTOVER BOND MONEY TO FUND THE CURRICULUM ADOPTION. HELLO??? I never suggested that the bond money could be used for operating expenses, either. THE INTEREST FROM THOSE BONDS CAN BE USED FOR OPERATIONS. You're telling me that I have no idea what I'm talking about when it's clear that you have no idea what can be funded with which monies. You're a fool.

You (Dopey): "You talk about the interest on the bond money dating back to 2000. You state that it could be used for operations. But you have no proof saying that the district has used the money for operations."

You have no idea what you're even arguing. Go back and re-read my comments and then have something to say about that.

First of all, it's a "bus" garage--not a "bug" garage. Not only do you have an issue with reading comprehension, but with spelling as well. I never accused the district of building the bus terminal with off-issue funds. I asked about it. Go back and re-read the comment, dopey. But it's a legitimate ask because the district has burned through tens of millions of dollars of left over bond funds.

Seriously--are you freaking brain damaged? Who said anything about transfers of bond money to operating accounts? You're a loon.


You're a useful idiot for the district. Give yourself a hand.

Anonymous said...

I just read the colorful, expensive OLSD propaganda insert. The "Oh-Lintangy Loco Skooooos" newsletter, as Wade-O would call it.

On the cover: "Scrutiny is the key to Olentangy Budget" by Treasurer Jenkins.

I literally laughed out loud reading this garbage on my driveway. My neighbor was like, "what is he laughing at???". It's a work of fiction.

She speaks of a grueling "six months" process--but then magnanimously offers "It's the hard way to do a budget, but it's also the right way". Like she would know how to do a budget "the right way". If she knew how to budget, the board would not have felt the need to hire a "budget officer", would they? Has the treasurer ever spent a day in the private sector? I bet she would last 30 days in a corporate environment before she either left or was shown the door.

On with the fiction: "Olentangy staff members...feel a responsibility to use those funds wisely also providing students with the necessary resources". HAHAHAHAHA. Yeah--as long as they don't conflict with teachers' and administrators raises and benefits...

Selfless, selfless administrators. It's all for the kids--even the expensive, colorful propaganda flyer I read today.

Anonymous said...

These meetings will be like the spin cycle on your washing machine.

Facts will evade the room.
The nasty State will play the part of the villan.
The Superintendant will play the role of the Private Investigators.
The Board will play the role of the Judge.
The citizen will play the role of Hero, if an only if, they agree to pay more taxes. If they don't, they too will be villans, school haters, and blood sucking child molesters.

Anonymous said...


Be careful what you say if you are a Board Member, treasurer or administrator....there is plenty of correspondence from your district email that conflicts with your post!

Interest from the bond funds can be transferred to the general fund if the board so chooses. Maybe you should review the proper statute in the Ohio Revised Code before blogging stupidity and district spin!