Kasich budget hits Grandview hard, treasurer Collier tries to dance around bad news

Published February 24, 2017 by justicewg
collier-cut-head

Collier had her head cut off in the TVN photo

It has to be tough working for the mostly republican school board in Grandview, you have to deal with constant cuts from the republican controlled Ohio government, while whistling a happy tune and pretending everything will be OK.

School Treasurer Collier had an article in the TVN about the cuts in state funding on the way for the district, she explained how Grandview lost the most annual funding on a per-pupil basis – $684 – among all Franklin County districts. She tried to explain the cuts as a result of funding formulas that she said were hard to understand, or as she says, “Complex, isn’t it?”

No, it isn’t complex. Kasich and his republicans want to force small schools to merge with larger schools, that’s why Grandview was hit the hardest. If you want to keep Grandview from being forced to merge with another district (probably U.A.), you should be speaking up, denouncing the Kasich plans, speaking the truth about what republican plans will do to our school in the long term. But since the board members don’t want to hear that, we will be listening to the whistling past the graveyard.

Deception on taxes

Collier tries to pull a fast on on us by specifying the school tax rate, and claiming it is “one of the lowest”. First, our school millage is second only to Bexley. Second, our total property tax rate (school plus city, etc.) is the highest in the county. If you are going by the effective rate, Grandview is not at the top, so that is what the school wants us to look at, and ignore the other parts of the tables. Effective rates are important, but the total rate is where we know how we stand as far as taxing ourselves. We have passed the most tax millage in the county – we have no reason to expect voters to push taxes even higher.

City Total prop. Tax rate Effective rate, 2016
Grandview Heights 143.37 77.89
Bexley 141.65 73.76
Upper Arlington 133.06 75.03
Reynoldsburg 121.42 92.91
Westerville 123.92 95.41
Columbus 106.29 74.71

(Addendum) You might ask, why not link to the school website, shouldn’t they have the above data posted somewhere? And yes, under past Treasurers, there were charts showing mills voted and effective rates for the major school districts in the county. Treasurer Collier wiped this info from the website, then refused my request to replace and update the information. Then she changed her mind, and sometime around Dec 2015 she re-posted some of  the data. But as you see from looking at the data now on the school website, that fiscal information has been sitting unchanged since 2015, left to rot.

More loony plans from the Gov.

There is a second article in the TVN that covers much of the same news about the budget proposed by Kasich, and in this one Collier is not so pollyannaish. She is quoted saying about the state funding “That will be a pretty significant dropoff”. Funny, the other article made it sound like it was no big deal.

Kasich is pushing for a program of requiring teachers to take“externship with a local business”. The article makes it sound like a mystery plan with no clear reason for starting, but all republican plans can be understood if you listen to their constant bleating to “run government like a business”. They think that forcing teachers to spend time in local businesses is going to imbue them in the entrepreneurial spirit. Even when it makes no sense to push teachers with no students who could be in those businesses (any teacher under HS level), the R’s want to waste teacher time with social engineering.

Even superintendent Culp is quoted saying “It’s the local school board who knows what’s best for the teachers in their home schools and community.” I expect him to be hearing strong criticism from his bosses on the board over that weak opposition to republican plans.

More on Kasich and budget cuts from 2015.

(Addendum) I’ve had some people saying “so what, a cut of  $684  per pupil is not much for a year.” The problem is that as the 2015 post linked above shows, this isn’t a short term problem. The state might make another cut next year, and the year after that, then change the rules,  until Grandview Heights has no choice but to merge with another school system. And our school board might not be able to do much about it, but at least they should stand up and say “This is wrong”.

(April update) The Ohio House is planning to make some changes to the school budget, but Grandview is still singled out for the same cuts that Kasich wanted. The Senate is unlikely to help us. At least the wacky “externship” plan from Kasich has been dumped. Still no public announcement from the Grandview school board that criticizes the GOP or asks for parent groups to protest the cuts.

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4 comments on “Kasich budget hits Grandview hard, treasurer Collier tries to dance around bad news

  • Property taxes should fund local schools not the state. It is the prime example of your local tax dollars and voting decisions affecting your community and day to day life. If you live in Grandview and value the schools you vote for them and pay taxes to support the private like education the students get, otherwise, don’t blame the state for not supporting Grandview.

    • DeRolph v. State was the final word on how the state of Ohio should fund schools, they ruled that the lack of money available in low income areas made it impossible to provide equality in access to good education.
      If you are a “screw the poor” conservative, and you don’t care what the state supreme court has ruled, then your comment is valid.
      Grandview is not a poor district, but we did have assumptions that the state would keep funding us, and not cut funds. Being cut just because we are small is very unfair.

  • If anybody with half a clue ever checked out Grandview High School, they would tell you that we are too small for the amount of money that we spend and the number of people on the payroll. Grandview employs lots of non-teaching personnel who could easily handle 25X the number of students we have. We have a Chief Academic Advisor (with a PhD) who sends out flowery emails 4-5 times per year and collects a big fat salary. Given that we have a Chief Academic Advisor, does that mean we have some Secondary Academic Advisors? Do we really need such an employee? Most would agree that we do not. But if we really need such a person, we could absolutely share them with several other districts and divide up the salary.

    What other non-teaching personnel do we have? Check this out:
    Director of 21st Century Learning
    Technology Integration Specialist
    Assistant Treasurer (does our treasurer really need an assistant?)
    Media Center Specialist
    Transition Coordinator
    Enrichment Teacher
    Director of Food Services
    Psychologist (two of these)
    Technology and Network Specialist
    21st Century Coach (two of these – probably report to the Director of 21st Century Learning)
    Director of Technology Operations (in addition to the Technology and Network Specialist)
    Grandview Work Program Coordinator

    That’s quite a list. I’m sure many of these are important positions. I’m also sure we could be sharing many of these paid positions between two or more school districts, all without losing the individuality that makes Grandview so wonderful. For example, would it ruin our school district if we shared our Director of Food Services with Worthington Christian, Columbus School for Girls and Columbus Academy? Would anybody even notice if all these districts had chicken fingers for lunch every other Wednesday?

    • Excellent points in the last post regarding these positions…the insane annual salaries these positions are paid are even more disgusting….

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