Thursday, February 24, 2011

Olentangy Levy and Tax Effort

According to the calculation used by the Ohio Department of Taxation, Olentangy is ranked 67th out of the state's 600+ districts on tax effort (Tax effort is defined as the percentage of personal income tax goes to pay school-related taxes).

If the levy passes, all things equal, we move into the top 20 statewide. Top 20. Top 3% statewide.

Low taxes used to be the selling point for Olentangy levies. That sales pitch is years long gone.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

RESPONSIBLE OLENTANGY CITIZENS

Uh, oh. I have competition out there. Good. Nothing like a little friendly competition to bring out the best. And RESPONSIBLE OLENTANGY CITIZENS seems like it's headed on the right direction. Stop over and take a look.

Question from reader

Please explain where you get your data that this is the student:teacher ratio. My kids have never been in a class that small in Olentangy through elementary, MS or HS, though I am sure the occasional AP class is that low, or perhaps a special education class. Are you factoring in special education ratios, which must be lower to meet kids' needs? Or are you strictly looking at regular ed. classrooms. I would like to see where that data is coming from and make sure it isn't "spin" that makes those ratios seem so low. In fact, it seems that classes are going the opposite way over the last few years rather getting smaller, but that is just based on my own kids' classes.

Again, if you could please show where you get your info from, I would appreciate it.

First, and most important, I get my information from either the district website, ODE, or other such source.

To your point, student/teacher ratio is detailed in the district's Five-Year Financial Forecast, found under the treasurer's page on the district website (also available on the ODE site).

Second, please do not confuse class size with student/teacher ratio. They are different. But they are connected.

Think of it this way: a school has 100 students and 10 teachers. The student/teacher ration is 10-t0-1. But if the teacher is in a classroom only 1/2 of the periods in a day, the average class size would be 20-to-1.

Take some time to read the current negotiated agreement (found on the district website) and see the restrictions on the number of classes a teacher CAN teach. Then ask the district treasurer for a list of the number of classes each teacher actually teaches per day.

In essence, this new levy is about paying teachers to NOT teach.

Thanks for the question.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Student/Teacher Ratio and Reality

I just got back from a college visit to a top-ranked conservative school. An interesting statistic was the student/faculty ratio of 16-to-1. Keep in mind Olentangy's student/staff ratio is moving into mid 14's. That alone is a major driver of expense. And a big reason for continuing levy requests.

Should taxpayers be forced to pay for a ratio that is below a top college -- forced to pay for the amount of time that a teacher gets to spend doing something other than teaching?

The halcyon days are past. It's time that we face the reality of ... say ... 2000 (when the Olentangy ratio was around 16-to-1). That's right. If we return to the staffing ratios that existed before the bubble convinced us that we were richer than we now know we are, our tax dollars could remain in our own pockets ... and ... get this ... the students will experience no real difference.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Olentangy Levy

A resident asked for my thoughts on the upcoming levy. Here they are:


The key is the district’s Five-Year Financial Forecast (available on the district website). The costs projected for the next four years assume average annual salary increases of close to 6%. Keep in mind that the salary scale is comprised of three components; negotiated increase, step increase, and education increase. The district only likes to report its negotiated increase since that is always a lower number than all three together. Though all three numbers are reported in the forecast for you to read.

In addition, the forecast assumes that the staff contribution percentage for their healthcare will not increase.

So the proposed cuts hit everything except staff salary and benefits, which are projected to increase at a rate that is double what the private sector can expect.

The ratio of students to teacher continues to decline (you can see references to that in the current forecast, but you have to get prior year forecasts to see what that ratio used to be).This decline results in a great increase in costs. A slight increase in this ratio ( say .5 students per teacher) would save a large amount of money, without any impact to students.

The state is in the process of correcting an $8 billion budget hole. There will be big changes to the state school funding system that will not be known until after the levy (the state budget will likely not be signed until close to the June 30 deadline).

A levy in November has the same revenue impact as a levy in May, since taxes are collected in arrears (all new taxes passed in 2011 are collected in 2012). The district could implement additional cost savings for next year (by bringing salaries and benefits in line with the private sector, and slightly increasing the student/teacher ratio to where it was just a few years ago), wait until the state budget is passed, and consider a November levy (I don’t think that is needed either).

The district is not being honest when it states that it must enact cuts. That is simply not true. Given its current forecast, all the district needs to state is that it plans to pass a levy on or before the spring election of 2012. In the spring of 2012, the district would need to have a cut plan (assuming it did not implement any cost savings – salaries, benefits, etc.) in place since contracts are dependent on sufficient resources for school year 2013 (starting July 1, 2012).

But a cut plan, and a threat to enact those cuts, are not required. When I served, we never made such threats. The cuts were proposed only when needed.


Jim

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Olentangy for Kids

OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,
OFK, OFK, OFK, OFK, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy for Kids, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, Olentangy levy, 2011, 2011, 2011, 2011, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district, Olentangy School district,