Champagne and Caviar- Off the Smith Menu

November 17, 2009 at 2:34 am Leave a comment


November 16, 2009
To the editor,
Champagne and Caviar in a Beer and Perch Town!

For the past 8 years Lorain’s public school system has been dining from a Champagne and Caviar menu. At the beginning of the 2001 school year, July 1, 2001, the school system had a new superintendent and a $9,000,000 surplus. Five years later the district had to borrow $5,400,000 to end the 2005-06 school year in the black.

A year later that money was gone and so was the superintendent. No, she didn’t take any money with her. She, with the school board’s support, just spent it all. Where did the money go? Well for starters, between July of 2001 and June of 2003 the payroll at the Charleston Administration Center grew by over 2 Million Dollars annually. Departments that once were staffed by 2 or 3 people now had grown to 5 or 6 people. That hasn’t changed but change it must.

I predicted that a financial crisis was looming 5 years ago. No one paid any attention. Now the chickens have come home to roost. In the past Lorain public school administrators knew Lorain had fewer administrators per student than other districts in Ohio. They also knew why.

They knew that the citizens of the school district could not afford a school system loaded with administrative costs. Every administrator took on more responsibilities and drew smaller salaries. The system had fewer administrators when we had 17,000 students in the 1970’s than we have today with 8,000 students.

Lorain is a town rich in heritage. It is a town full of wonderful people. It is a “Beer and Perch” town and I love it dearly. My dad grew up here, I grew up here, my children grew up here, and my grandchildren are now growing up here.

About a year before she left, the superintendent in a leaked e-mail to a board member, revealed her true feelings about Lorain’s citizens’ abilities to think. She wrote that they were “Brain Dead”. Close to $100,000 was spent trying to locate the source of that leak.

The school system can no longer dine on Champagne and Caviar. The failure of the school levies in 2008 and 2009 verify that Lorain’s citizens are not brain dead. Lorain’s public schools must operate to serve Lorain’s children and for no other reason. As my grandmother liked to say, “A word to the wise is sufficient”.Jim Smith

Note: Jim Smith is a member of the Board of Education

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Entry filed under: education, personal opinion.

Another lawsuit- Lorain Remember Confucius- word to the wise?

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