2010-10-16 / Editorials & Letters

Writer says your vote will force reform

Editor:

Rainy day fund? Ohio’s slice of the 50 billion dollars in Federal Aid is $361 million. President Obama gives up taxpayer money to save teachers’ jobs that have never been lost or in jeopardy. The teacher union plans to sit on the money for what they call a rainy-day. My theory is that it will rain lots during the 2012 Presidential election. At that time, the teachers union will donate millions towards the Obama campaign. I call that money laundering.

Did anyone ask Mr. Gault how much Federal Aid Lakewood received? Superintendent Jay Gault announces 70 position cuts and numerous adjustments if the November levy fails. No teacher pay and benefit cuts or freezes. That is not up for negotiation.

As a matter of fact, nothing is. No pay as you go programs. No spending curbs. No negotiations with the public.

Just scare tactics and threats. Kind of reminds me of the Jimmy Hoffa era tactics. The union on the other hand, they will negotiate for the teachers. I don’t know who they are negotiating with but the results are higher pay and benefits that they can’t pay for. Kind of like Congress and Senate voting for their own pay raises and exemptions from Obamacare. Strange that the unions received waivers or exemptions from Obamacare also.

The reason for H.B. 66 was that the State of Ohio realized it could not pay for the P.E.R.S. pyramid system. Some of us remember when teachers taught school because of the passion to teach. Not unlike a doctor who took the Hippocratic oath. They should teach that to the students in their history class.

Lakewood boasts of high graduation rates and G.P.A.’s. They don’t tell you that they compete for Federal dollars based on successful statistics. The grading system has been altered to reflect success by things like extra credit home work. That counts for 40% over all grade. If your child is a straight A student and does not do extra credit, they are docked 40% of their overall grade. Another child who does poorly in class studies; tests and exams, but does all of the extra credit home work, gets a jump of 40% in overall grade. That does not make our students smarter but it does get the teacher unions and school districts more federal funding.

When you hear your school talk of past success, this is how it is measured. There is nothing to fear of State minimums in the classrooms. However, if our school wants our support, they should lead by setting a good example. Freeze all pay increases; benefits and hiring indefinitely.

Mr. Gault tells us how much it is going to cost us at least for now. He informs us that it will continue to cost more indefinitely. He does not tell you about the President Bush tax cut expiration. As of January 1, 2011 if you make $40,000 per year, your taxes go up $300 per month. If you make more, do the math. The State of Ohio is $8 billion dollars in the hole and neither gubernatorial candidate wants to talk about it. What do you think is going to happen?

Not too many years ago, schools did have an impact on housing prices. Today however, the value of property is based on what the market will bear. Not a good time to sell. High taxes equals low values equals low sales. Nobody even knows what any property is worth today. So, we are being asked to sacrifice; sacrifice; sacrifice.

At the end of the year, our lives are going to change drastically. Some people will not survive this change. These people will be the first to sacrifice everything. Remember, your vote will force the schools and their union to reform. Your children will still get the education they require to succeed. As responsible adults, we owe it to our children to weed out the substandard teachers and bring back the passion.

Dave Kenmir

Thornville

Editor’s Note: Both letters on this page far exceed our 250 word limit. Since neither would be easy to edit and are on opposite sides of the same issue, they were published. However, NO other letters exceeding 250 words will be published.

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