Archive for December 19, 2011

Sorcerer’s Apprentice- Morning Journal and Lorain City Schools

Other posts by the Socerer’s Apprentice
Let’s continue our magical tour through the Lorain City Schools. We will now examine the article that appeared in The Morning Journal on Dec. 15, 2011.

Please keep in mind that this information was given to the public from our local news source, so we have to accept what they are sharing. After all, with the open communication from the current Board of Education, we should feel confident that the information given is in fact what we need to know. Also, this trip will have to be in two parts, A and B, since there is so much to look into.

The Morning Journal reports that

“Facing a $12 million deficit . . . options include borrowing $6million from the ODE, plus cutting an additional $6 million in spending.”

AH, finally a voice of reason says that we need to balance our expenditures with our income. Good thinking. BUT, why in the world would your first thought be to BORROW monies that need to be paid back with interest? BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO CHOICE! It’s gotten so far out of hand that this option is probably the most viable. ALSO, remember that the district will need additional income in order to re-pay this “loan”. NOW, maybe they could negotiate with the ODE and have them give us a credit for all the “unfunded” mandates the ODE has made all the Ohio districts comply with and fund for the last, oh let’s say 15 years. Wonder how much credit we could get from that? Probably enough to reduce some of that $6 million we have to “borrow”.


Also, the same Morning Journal article:

“After making $1.5 million in cuts in October, the school district still has a $10.5 million deficit to address.”

Sooooooooo, we only have to cut another 4.5 million to reach the 6 million we need to borrow. I know where to get 250K; suspend those supplemental payments that were given out on Dec. 14, 2011. Now we are down to 4.25 million to cut.


“Certain programs are not currently being considered for cutbacks. These include . . . the marketing department and TV 20.”

QUESTION? What does the “marketing department” do for the school district?
Do they sell us to prospective residents to bring in more students?
Do they give the news outlets/media information regarding the school district?
Exactly what do they do and how much does it cost?

Most “marketers” (not mouseketeers) sell something. Most news outlets in this area come to us for information, public records and all that. We as a district provide information regarding agendas and other matters to the media. Do we need to have a marketing department? Mr. Bock and TV20 do a great job providing video coverage of many activities for our district, what does the marketing department do?

When transportation of high school students is mentioned, there is such an outcry.

First the public must be made aware that there is NO requirement in a city like Lorain to transport regular high school students exists, it is a courtesy and an extra “service”. This is part of the State of Ohio guidelines.

The hue and cry is that it is too far for students on the south side and the east side to get to the high school. Well folks, when Lorain only had one high school located at 6th and Washington Avenue, all students went to that school. It did not matter where in the city you lived, that is where you went. Granted there was a public transportation system in place, but parents made sure their students got to school, and to use public transportation the cost was on the parents/family. Many, many walked. (Good for them physically and good for the environment.)

In the 60’s when we had 2 public high schools, (of course there was also a public transit system which was paid for by parents/families) students got to their respective buildings and parents made sure of it. {By the way, there were more high school students then than now.} Students will get to school if they are encouraged and/or made to attend. Simple as that! Parents need to step up and get their students to school.In times of economic distress, budgets need to be trimmed:

–The BOE (see agenda Dec. 14, 2011) suspended some teaching and support staff contracts to take reduction action. That was their “right”.

Now, why don’t we do something about reducing the cost of supplemental payments? (that’s part of a “contract”)
Why can’t some sort of fiscal plan include an ACROSS THE BOARD pay reduction? (Business does it all the time AND our schools are a business.) That way EVERYONE takes part of the “hit”; shares the “burden” as well as a part of the solution. Makes us all partners in education. If let’s say hypothetically, there was a 10% across the board reduction in pay, how much would that save? Something I’m sure.

–I know you don’t want to hear about days gone by and the good old days, BUT, what happened to teachers sponsoring clubs without extra pay? What happened to directors directing without extra pay to showcase their students skills? Why do we need an All City choreographer for a presentation? Please, someone tell me!

–Could we not “suspend” contract language for the administrators that are getting an “extra” annuity to cover their contribution to retirement? How much would that save?

These “thoughts” deserve a look, also answers. The district wants input, so here’s some. What do you think you should do with it? Maybe these questions will help all of us get a clearer picture of what is happening. Please don’t expect us to sit by and do nothing or accept only what you have to give us. There are so many sides to this issue, let us be a part. Let’s communicate openly and honestly, not one-sidedly.

Education is one of the greatest gifts we give our children. Let’s not short change them again.

To be continued …………….

December 19, 2011 at 12:24 am 17 comments



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December 2011