UNDECIDED- NO. 9 ????? Lorain City Schools

March 21, 2011 at 12:00 am 9 comments



I wrote a series of posts recently in regard to the financial situation of Lorain City Schools. I found some of the expenditures ( in my opinion as a surface dwelling voter) “worrying and wasteful” The links to all of the posts are here in my “conclusions” post

As with everything lately, I have put off making a lot of decisions- how I will vote on Issue 9 ( being an Independent I will only vote “issues” in May) has been one of them.

I was shaken from my apathy by a very nice voice on the phone last evening ( March 17th) asking me if I planned on voting in May and would I share the information of how I was going to vote on Issue 9 the Lorain City Schools “renewal levy”?

23.85-mill renewal levy in May. The renewal is a combination of several renewals passed since 1992. It was combined in 2000 to total 23.85-mills, but because of increasing property valuations, the levy only collects an effective 12.9-mills. Morning Journal

According to the Lorain City School figures from the Plain Dealer

Current Lorain City School District Operating Levy Effective Millage for Residential is 24.79 mills. This translates into approximately $63.27 per month for the tax payer with a $100,000 home.
$10.31 per month for the Construction levy- ( you know the new schools etc)
and a further $1.41 for the permanent improvement levy

In previous years ESPECIALLY with a RENEWAL Levy I would have said YES! no hesitation -so I surprised myself when I heard the words coming from me :

“At the moment I am undecided”

Could that be me? What part of my brain was taking over this time?
The caller asked why? And I heard myself saying –

I need more information – I am still hearing of “spending within Charleston Center” that seems to the taxpayer ( remembering that even the grants come from taxpayers pockets) somewhat unnecessary.

I want to see what the Administration is doing to cut rather than add to the bottom line in Administration . Have there been any raises or hiring of non- certified personnel in recent months?

I realize this is a renewal and therefore not raising the amount I spend out each month BUT you see my income has lessened in the years since the original levy was combined in 2000.

I now look out on two foreclosed homes next door one a derelict –

also an abandoned derelict house that has been that way for 34 years or more but still a sad reminder of “acceptance of blight and lowering of the bar by the citizens of Lorain” ( and it is ultimately those that live here that determine what we will accept)

an apartment house with a blue tarpaulin for a roof and a once vibrant school – Irving– across the road that is now a deteriorating warehouse. These “views” are indicative of my mood and frustration .

Irving School was supposed to be torn down and new build by 2005 in its old footprint- There was a sign to that effect. We paid our money and that didn’t happen. We argued with the state at the time and the state said :

“You have lost students you are down to around 10,500

and then
October 2004 (2004-05 school year) = 9,922 students

October 2009 (2009-10 school year) = 8,293 students

– and I was reminded that we are down to around 7,600 ( numbers unofficial) now.

We have had promises broken –

you do this pass this and we will do this

Remember this time line and promises in the glory days of what we will get for our money

The rehabilitation project involves renovations and additions to five elementary schools, building nine elementary schools, building four new middle schools and renovations to the two high schools……
The master plan calls for the demolition of Emerson, Garfield, Hawthorne, Irving, Lakeview, Larkmoor, Longfellow, Palm and Washington elementary schools and Lorain and Whittier middle schools.

Additions and renovations will be made to Homewood, Lincoln, Lowell, Masson and Meister elementary schools and to Southview and Admiral King high schools.

Spring 2003Construct new facilities and then demolish existing structures at Garfield, Hawthorne, Washington and Longfellow elementary schools. Longfellow would then be turned back into a middle school facility, while Washington would then have the capacity to hold both elementary and middle school classes.

The demolition of the ex-Garfield school site would also happen next year, along with the construction of a new middle school facility adjacent to the board’s Charleston Center administration offices.

Spring 2004Construct new facilities and then demolish existing structures at Emerson, Lakeview and Palm elementary schools and Lorain Middle School. Also, renovations and additions would take place at Homewood elementary and both Admiral King and Southview high schools.

Spring 2005
Construct a new facility and demolish the existing structure at both Irving and Larkmoor, while renovating and adding on at Lincoln, Lowell, Masson and Meister elementary schools.

Spring 2006Construct a new facility and demolish the existing structure at Whittier elementary.

ED NOTE: This is what we voted for folks – but remember plan is a four letter word
When school opens this fall we will have 3 middle schools and 10 elementary schools.

The report card is not indicative of the promises .

Irving is my reminder :

Irving, empty , forlorn a bricks and mortar monument to “fluid plans and promises” daily reminds me Lorain parents were camping out in parking lots to send their children to another school district.

Private and parochial schools are offering discounts and taking out ads to those in our LCS system to transfer over due to the “failing system” .

I am very concerned at the amount of emails and phone calls I receive from – like it or not- people within and without the LCS who are afraid to speak their mind or concerns for fear of retribution – this to me – one who has spoken her mind on more than one occasion is very, very disheartening. In fact some of the most vocal in 2007 are now “still”

Is this a true reflection of LCS “society “? It is a sad thing that I will not publish the original photo “just in case”!

YES! because obviously good people believe it to be so then it is so- perception is reality………… this belief has been ongoing and if my in- box is anything to go by is escalating . This is one of the saddest situations – Why do good people believe this to be the case? What is LCS doing to allay those fears and is it working ?

Lorain school board looks to build trust within community

Irving reminds me :

Lorain passed levys when other school districts had theirs fail and yet we haven’t been able to raise our test scores no matter which highly paid professionals are in charge.

I asked the caller what would happen if the state took over – they said

our school system would be run by a stranger.

I asked

Would that mean a cut in Administrative staff and salaries or whether or not we would have to “pay the state extra” as well – I asked how many administrative staff and support staff/ non certified staff had been added or deleted since 2007- I asked if the administrative staff ( not teaching staff) budget had increased or lessened during that time.

The voice on the phone did not have those figures to hand .

Irving reminds me I have to do my homework and decide.

Irving reminds me although once a place of learning, with teachers, and children supported by neighbors it is now a “shell of its former self” – used for warehousing

It truly is a sad state of affairs when a LCS neighbor is undecided upon whether to support. Irving now, in my view, is the LCS poster child .



Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, city of lorain, education, Open for Discussion, personal opinion. Tags: , .

Ghost in the Pond – Deux Lorain City Schools -The Play-The Passion -The Board

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kalin  |  March 22, 2011 at 6:46 am

    Question that still goes unanswered with me is:

    If I am paying “an effective 12.9-mills” right now, will I continue to pay that amount OR will I be paying “an effective 23.85-mills” if this passes?

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  March 22, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Good question another one that needs to be asked maybe someone from the levy committte can answer that – let see 🙂

  • 3. Bill Sturgill  |  March 22, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    The effective 12.9 mills is what will be paid. I guess I’m rather sad that all the negative things that represents LCS will be tied to Issue #9. I see this as the base levy. even if it pass’s we will still be about 10 million in debt. Carl Ciccerella told me in 2006 I had no idea the financial trouble we were in. I certainly get it now.
    I see we are loosing 3 administrators on this agenda. Hopefully they will not be replaced. At some point the district will have to right size itself and be restructured to fit the population.

    I myself am not a proponnent of putting the High school on the river site. If the plan stayed the way it was in the beginning, things would have turned out ok. I just can’t rap my head around it now because of various issue’s one being the size of parcel of land it will go on. I however do know the importance of this renewal levy.
    I truly don’t believe the district will improve much untill it gets the parents involved in their childrens education and it has to be early. 83 % enter kindergarten not at the level expected. Maybe we need better parents…Wish I had the answers.

    Bill Sturgill
    My opinion only, not that of the

  • 4. Loraine Ritchey  |  March 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Thanks Bill – I too wish I could get my head around it. We have to take care and “deal” with the negatives – the positives take care of themselves –

    we are being asked to spend money to support our neighbor – money that is in tight supply in most Lorain households and I believe we need to see some positive results for the money we have already spent – I am not seeing that at the moment as a surface dweller but as I have said I am only too willing to give “the levy side” space on this blog ( unedited) Loraine

  • […] I shook off my apathy last night and attended the Board of Education Meeting to do my homework. https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/undecided-no-9-lorain-city-schools/ […]

  • […] The internet wasn’t around back in those days so research took a little longer. I wanted to vote on an important issue to me at the time – A school levy- living across from Irving- the school was an important part of my “new ” neighborhood. NOTE: It is a sad fact that I am NOW after being “enlightened” at least in the past 30 years I am still “undecided” on how to vote for even a “renewal”. https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/undecided-no-9-lorain-city-schools/ […]

  • […] Irving is the poster child then you better start worrying LCS […]

  • […] Lorain City Schools aren’t the only ones on the ballot in May Amherst School District ( comprised of Lorain, Amherst and Amherst Township residents ) is running their own campaign. […]

  • […] https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/undecided-no-9-lorain-city-schools/ Hurricane Sandy blew most of it away and they have now put up a new blue tarp- What are the rues if any for temporary fixes and does anyone inspect those temporary fixes as to times? TODAY ‘S PHOTO JANUARY 30TH 2013 THE CITY ANSWERS […]

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