My comments- Lorain City Schools – math- thoughts etc.

November 6, 2010 at 4:15 pm 14 comments


November 8, 2010

To the editor,

Recent editorial comments ridiculed Lorain City School board members for not immediately adopting cuts to reduce expenditures. To do so, in my opinion, would have been wrong. First, any cuts that reduce educational opportunities for Lorain’s public school children should only be made after all other areas of potential cuts have been identified and discussed. There are many such areas.

Second, immediately “wielding the axe” would be seen by many as a retaliatory move to “get even” with the public for the defeat of the last 4 levy attempts and would, in my opinion, set the stage for a 5th defeat next May.

Third, now that parents have choices as to where they want to send their children to school, cutting programs will result in more children leaving the district for charter schools or through open enrollment. Lorain City Schools have lost more than 1000 students in the last few years. This has cost the district more than 5 million dollars in lost state revenue and, in all likelihood, parents of these children did not vote For the last 4 school levies. It is also a primary reason that our academic standing has fallen.

The district receives about $5700 in state funding for each student enrolled in the district. That money follows the student. The reason past school boards did not ask for new tax dollars was because, simply stated, the school district didn’t need more local funds. The district must adopt strategies to retain and attract students. More taxes cannot be the only strategy, only part of that strategy.

As the school district plans for the future, what board members, school employees and citizens of the school district must never forget is this, “Schools were created to serve our children”. They are our future.

Jim Smith

After going on a quick search this is what I came up with in my comments – you can actually see what is left of my mind working.

1. We had been told only cents a day for the new “operating levy” for Lorain City Schools.

ED Note :information used comes from the Plain Dealer article and the LCS own figures to that newspaper
Answer: the amount based on a 100,000.00 taxable home ( that is their base of reference – not mine ) would cost the homeowner
$23.28 PER MONTH

WE the taxpayer already pay for the operating levy ( based on a 100,00 dollar base line)
$63.27 per month and according to the percentage calculator site
that equals an increase of 36.79 percent

Not small change in my account book.

Now added to that (LCS figures to the Plain Dealer)
$10.31 per month for the Construction levy- ( you know the new schools etc)

and a further $1.41 for the permanent improvement levy

IF the levy last week passed we would be paying $98.00 per month or $1,176.00 per year to the LCS alone .

My thoughts are these – if according to the 2008 figures as to the City of Lorain median income are correct

Estimated median household income in 2008: $34,943 (it was $33,917 in 2000)
Lorain: $34,943
Ohio: $47,988
Estimated per capita income in 2008: $17,351

then $1,176.00 is 3.36 % of that total median household income

That doesn’t leave a lot left over for all the other taxes, insurances, health care, utilities, car payments , clothes, food and just plain living.

So to those who are earning 3 and 5 times the median income I believe they need to get realistic when chiding –

“you let the kids down for a few pennies a day”


$23.28 a month increase adds up- $279.36 a year on top of the hundreds we are already paying $896.64
Source Columbus Dispatch

Cartoon by Stauhler Columbus Dispatch

It is easy for those earning 3 times or 5 times the median income in Lorain to dismiss it as pennies a day when “pennies a day” aren’t counted in YOUR daily budget!.

Look around you – the cents now mean everything to some of us – and so might I add does common sense……… to ask for a 36.79 percent raise in an operating levy I will personally need to see a significant change in the other stats- and since we are paying a great deal of money out for some of the brightest people available to administer LCS then I want to see results for that money.

We aren’t just paying for the captain but the whole crew, the ship , and the cargo so please don’t tell me that the only way to fix the leaks is stuffing the holes with dollar bills- not any more! We of the $35,000 are down to pennies…………………..

ED NOTE: The offer of an OP ED is always open –


Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Brit take, education, notorious opponents of exactitude, opinion. Tags: .

The Heron and the Henery ;) Bright Eyes- burning like fire…

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kelly Boyer Sagert  |  November 6, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    There is no question that a big part of the problem facing the board and admin is the economic realities of too many of the city’s residents.

    And, actually, I don’t see the Site #3 issue as a separate one. I think that, for many people, the uncertainty over how the school system will pay for the additional costs of the riverfront site is just another facet of the money question, ie., how much of a tax levy will it take for us to pay for those additional costs? Or, if it won’t be funded by a tax levy, how will it be funded?

  • 2. thatwoman  |  November 6, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    I know that a lot of people are looking to site three as the bug a boo – not wanting a high school on that site by the people that spoke the loudest at the forums- however very few stated “where was the extra money coming from” – it has become a bit of the “nail on to which to hang the cloak of failure for the levy. It was all about the safety issue, the place chosen , the politics, the port……. but rarely was the extra money mentioned …although it is now 🙂

    But you are correct the bottom line is we are paying 10 dollars a month for new builds for which we taxed ourselves- we were promised the whole package and ended up with a smaller package – would we have voted for that levy HAD we been aware of the changes made by the state??????????? I don’t think so- I wouldn’t have voted for it and I did…… and we are still paying for the priviledge…….. bad taste in ones mouth …… I went to the BOE meetings when the state came in and gave the “cutting” news…… and the bottom line it was all down to loss of students and people leaving the system….. now that was a few years ago …time enough to turn that around I would have thought considering the amount we pay for the “expertise” to do that …

    My belief the levy failed for two reasons lack of money by those paying the bill and lack of confidence in decisions made by those paid and elected to make those decisions……..

    and now no matter what nail they try to hand the defeat on they have a few months to address the “lack of” before the next levy goes before the voters….. just my two cents – all I have left 🙂

  • 3. Anne Molnar  |  November 6, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Loraine, I stood at the polls on election day, and I have to admire the children with their teacher promoting the school levy. They were great. Kudos to them.. I voted for the levy, it is important to educate the children. Past levys helped my children. been attending some of the school board meetings, and the people are still unhappy about site 3. It should go on the ballot in May. Heard they are circulating petitions and plan to foward them to the State.

  • 4. Dustin Wiley  |  November 6, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    If there is a petition going around please send it my way, I would love to sign it… The Admiral King Site is the best location, plus there is a wonderful auditorium and gym that can be incorporated into the new school that we would loose if they choose a new site. The state will not pay for facilities like that, and we don’t want to loose another positive for our school system to the wrecking ball!

  • 5. Grammy  |  November 6, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    With the new buildings came the assurance that the
    new environments would raise self-esteem of the students resulting in better test scores. When I first heard that I was shocked to think that our “educated” educators really thought we would swallow that line of b.s. It reminded me of many years ago, before the implementation of the magnet program when I was told in answer to a question that a minority student learned “better./more” when seated next to a non-minority student. YES, I was actually told that in a public meeting!

    Well, so far I haven’t seen where either of those options come full circle and scores improving. If anything, scores have gone almost as low as they possible can. We are still waiting for accountabiity, open-honest answersfrom the Board and the administrators. Could/Would someone really look into where Mr. Biber REALLY resides and settle that issue for me? I know that if I really believed he lived in the south part of Lorain, I might have more confidence in what he is saying. Where does he vote? Where do his children attend school and what address do they use on their school records? Just curious.

  • 6. thatwoman  |  November 6, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Answers for Grammy anyone??????

    If there is a petiton out there I will put up any information

    Also I remember that magnet program and the lottery sitting in parking lots just to get your little darlins’ into a school in a terrible neighborhood…. I was chastised because I wouldn’t participate with Nikki- ( they wanted her in Arts Magnet program) when I saw the calibre of teaching ( dance ) bubblegum ballet I was appalled ( you have to remember dance and theatre is something I know a little about……. what a waste that was…. infact it was another reason my children transferred out of LCS to a catholic school even though we were NOT catholic …….

    You don’t throw good money after bad I am thinking- I want more for my money – I voted no for the first time ever for a school levy for two reasons

    1. I knew that they can come back before falling off the cliff for another appeal to the voters and it would give them time to show me a course of action I could believe in- rather than throwing more money at the problem or “punishment mode”

    2. It is too easy to keep going to the tax payer for everything- the reason we are paying huge salaries in administrative positions especially compared to the regular taxpayers income in Lorain THEY NEED TO EARN THE MONEY AND SHOW US THEIR EXPERTISE – Heck I can tell you want more operating costs go to the tax payer and I can tell you that for free….. and we do the incoming students no favours by more of the same ………

  • 7. Susie  |  November 8, 2010 at 2:59 am

    It must not be so bad when the Treasurer can continue to move forward with plans to replace a retiring employee with someone who gets a new job description and better pay. A new person was hired in HR, too, bringing their total to 7 or 8 now. New hires no longer have to be board approved. When will the madness end?

  • 8. thatwoman  |  November 8, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Got me – those that control do because they can – It doesn’t end it just evolves and you change one “controller” for another the characters change but the story remains the same – said the cynic ME. and so it goes…….

    If you are accurate then maybe our local media should actually try asking some “hard questions” and getting tough themselves…….. since they pride themselves in being the voice of the people- …

    I read that the Cleveland Superintendent of Schools gets $260.000 and there are 50,000 approx students – is that right and ours gets $250.000 for just over 8,000 students if those figures are accurate then and it is two o’clock in the morning and my brain is all discombobulated but if I am doing the math correctly that is just NOT ON!!!! I must be carrying a zero where I shouldn’t Loraine

  • 9. Kelly Boyer Sagert  |  November 8, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Susie – At the meeting, Jim Smith proposed passing a resolution for a hiring freeze, but he did not get support for the idea. One or two other board members said that it wasn’t necessary (can’t remember who!) because that the freeze was more or less in effect, anyhow.

  • 10. thatwoman  |  November 8, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    More or Less those being the operative words me thinks in more ways than one 😉

  • 11. Kelly Boyer Sagert  |  November 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    I wish I would have taken better notes on that exchange . . . argh.

  • 12. Susie  |  November 8, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    “the freeze was more or less in effect, anyhow.”
    That just goes to show how completely out of touch the BOE is with what’s really going on in this district. Why in the world did they grant the power for hiring to go on without their approval? Just because they could?

    Check out page four:

  • 13. Kelly Boyer Sagert  |  November 9, 2010 at 12:07 am

    I missed that meeting . . . thanks for posting.

  • […] with levys and readers also giving me information on other aspects upon which to ponder – especially the financial situation that is effecting Lorain City Schools – a mention of a retreat and the cost thereof this past […]

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