Shadyside Levy

Dear Editor,

I am a teacher at Shadyside Local School District. Many people understand how important it is to keep our schools in Shadyside for our children and our taxpayers.

Consolidation is NOT the answer! Below is a fact sheet that was passed out at our last school board meeting about misconceptions some people have on consolidation.

We have many students who come to Shadyside from bordering districts to learn and enjoy the special, small school environment provided here. They don’t want their children to be “numbers” and fall between the cracks as can happen in bigger schools.

And, consolidation does not cure the financial woes, as evidenced below. We MUST support the levy for our kids!

Previous Letter to the Editor quotes about Shadyside Levy:

With the Ohio Valley in decline, it is only a matter of time that consolidation has to be considered. I believe that this should be part of the school boards fiduciary responsibility to be looking out for what is best for the taxpayer.

The state should create financially sound operations ie: recreate efficient operating districts by consolidation which would lend cost savings and make finances go further.

OVAC/Ohio Consolidated Schools and Latest Levy Attempts:

  • Buckeye Local 2.1 Mills Emergency Levy 2013

Buckeye Southwest

Buckeye South Dillonvale, Yorkville, Warren consolidated.

Buckeye West- Adena, Mt. Pleasant

Buckeye North- Brilliant, Smithfield

  • Buckeye Trail 9.89 Mills Emergency Levy 2013

Madison

Old Washington

Zane Trace

  • Caldwell 19 mills Continuing operational levy 2013

Macksburg

Dexter City

Fulda

Sharon

Forest Grove

Jackson

  • Connotton Valley 9.96 Emergency Levy 2012

Bowerstown

Leesville

Sherrodsville

  • Edison 9.45 mills operating levy 2013

Edison South – Springfield, Bergholz, Amsterdam, Jefferson Union

Edison North- Stanton, Hammondsville, Irondale.

  • Frontier 9.19 mills Emergency Levy 2013

Lawrence

New Matamoras

Newport

Stockport

  • Harrison Central 9.35 Mills operational Levy 2010

Cadiz-Hopedale, Cadiz, New Athens

Jewett-Scio- Jewett, Scio

  • Indian Creek 7.9 mills operating levy 2010

Mingo

Wayne

Wintersville

  • Meadowbrook 8.92 mills operational levy 2005

Buffalo

Byesville

Community

Cumberland

Lore City

Pleasant City

Senecaville

  • Monroe Central 6.44 mills operational levy 2013

Woodsfield,

Skyview – Bethal, Graysville, Lewisville

  • River 6.44. mills operational Levy 2013

Sardis

Hannibal

Clarington

Fly

Cameron

Green Rural

Brownsville

Perry

Powhatten

Elk Local

  • St. Clairsville 2.75 mills current expense 2013

Fairpoint

Glenco

Maynard

  • Shenandoah 8.32 Mills Operational levy 2010

Belle Valley

Batesville

Sarahsville

Summerfield

  • Union Local has not passed a new levy since 1977 PI 2013

Belmont

Bethesda

Holloway

Flushing

Centerville

Lafferty

Summary

These are just emergency, operational and current expense. I did not research other levies such as Permanent Improvement or Safety.

There are 14 consolidated schools in the OVAC on the Ohio side.

There are Levies on the 2013 ballot for 9 of those consolidated schools.

All 14 have had Levies on the ballot in the last 8 years.

Ranking.

  • 1.19 mills Caldwell 19 2013
  • 2.9.96 mills Connotton Valley 2012
  • 3.9.89 mills Buckeye Trail 9.89 2013
  • 4.9.45 mills Edison 2013
  • 5.9.35 Harrison Central 2010
  • 6.9.19 mills Frontier 2013
  • 7.8.92 mills Meadowbrook 2005
  • 8.8.32 mills Shenandoah ? 20109.7.9 mills Indian Creek 2010
  • 10.6.44 mills Monroe Central 2013
  • 10.6.44 mills River 2013
  • 11.2.75 mills St. Clairsville 2013
  • 12.2.12 mills Buckeye Local 2013
  • 13.Union Local PI income tax 2013
  • Average 8.6 Mills

We are asking for 4.61 mills.

The need for this levy stems from the drastic reduction in tax dollars due to the closed First Energy facility in Dilles Bottom.

In my opinion, our Board of Education has done its fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayer by not considering consolidation.

Rosy Mendelson,

Shadyside

Shadyside Levy

Dear?Editor:

As parents, we would like to thank Mr. Haswell for his commitment to the students of Shadyside. On most days you will see his golf cart at the high school shortly after 6:00 am and it is still there at 3:30. Most evenings he is back for extra-curricular activities. While taking on the additional responsibilities of superintendent, Mr. Haswell remains visible each morning on the corner of the high school greeting students. He is seen walking up town at lunch, often times picking up trash around residents’ homes and local businesses. We are sure that his presence and visibility cuts down on discipline issues in the district. The students at the high school who make the principal’s list receive a personal phone call from Mr. Haswell congratulating them on their academic accomplishments. When the district found itself in a bind with a shortage of bus drivers, Mr. Haswell got his CDL license so he can drive routes and transport kids to and from extra-curricular activities when another driver cannot be found. In addition, it is not unusual to see Mr. Haswell at events at Fleming Field transporting senior citizens from the parking lot to the field on his golf cart.

Because of fiscal restraints, numerous positions have been eliminated in the district through attrition. However, when it is necessary to hire teachers, potential candidates have been put through a rigorous interview process and references have been checked to assure the most qualified teachers are hired into the district.

Mr. Haswell and his wife Melanie are both lifelong residents of Shadyside and alumni of Shadyside High School. They have two children currently in the district and one who has graduated. We believe Mr. Haswell sees his responsibilities in Shadyside School District as more than just a job. His actions show that he is committed to doing what is right for the students of Shadyside.

Please support Shadyside Schools, vote yes on Nov. 5th.

Mark and Tracey Badia

John and Cathy Beckett

Stevie and Heather Destifanes

John and Sue Ferrelli

Jeff and Chris Greenwood

Brad and Gina Holmes

Erik and Kate Krupa

Kelly and Denise Sherwood

Shadyside Levy

Dear?Editor,

I would like to address and comment on the Emergency Levy that will be on the ballot this November. As a member of the Shadyside Board of Education I am very much aware of the issues relating to this levy. There have been several letters to the editor debating this levy. I do not wish to comment on these letters themselves since I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion. However I would like to comment on some of the topics that were discussed.

First, it was mentioned that a school district needs to be run like a business. In many ways I agree with that statement. Yes, we have some of the same expenses such as salaries, benefits and utility costs. But since we don’t have a product to sell, we can’t raise our prices to offset increased expenses. Our major problem is that we are not properly funded by the state. We currently receive less than 50% of our needed funding from the state. It has been over 10 years since the state’s system for funding schools was ruled to be unconstitutional and it still hasn’t been fixed. We must turn to our community for help. Steps have been taken to reduce costs, but you can only cut so much before the quality of the education being offered will decline.

Secondly, a comment was made that it is the duty of the school district administration to be good stewards of the taxpayers monies. Once again I agree to a point. However I do believe the main responsibility of the administration is to ensure that decisions are made in the best interests of the students. This is the key point about this levy passing. Pass this levy for the students, for the community and for the future of Shadyside. Speaking of the community, one of the letters to the editors, mentioned consolidation as the answer to our financial problems. While there may be merit in that approach if finances are your only concern, it ignores important intangibles like bringing a community together and tradition. I for one want to see the Shadyside School District survive and prosper in the future.

Thirdly, the topic of disclosing the finances of the district was debated. This information is available at the High School and is also discussed at the monthly board meetings. Anyone wishing to review the financial information only has to make the effort to obtain it. Nothing is being hidden from the public.

Lastly as a taxpayer myself, I do not look forward to tax increases anymore than anyone else. But I do realize the necessity of this levy and the dire situation our school district is facing. Please think about the good that you will be contributing to by supporting our school district. Think about the schools, the community and most importantly, the students of Shadyside. They deserve our support. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Chuck Klug

Shadyside

Shadyside Levy

Dear Editor

I am a teacher at Shadyside schools and I am so proud to be a part of a wonderful school system. I grew up in Shadyside and graduated from Shadyside High School where I received a qood solid education. Please vote YES on the levy so this tradition continues.

Shadyside School employees: administration, teachers, and other staff work hard for the students, I see it happening everyday. I know for a fact that the staff uses their own money for the students and it is done for the love of the children. Just like in our own households, we try hard to save the district money when we can because times are tough. But it has come time to get financial community support.

Shadyside is lucky to still have a small community school where parents care enough to make sure their children get a solid education. When talking with a parent from another community, who sends their children to our district, they said they love the community closeness and they want to move to Shadyside because of “the wonderful school system and friendly people.”. This is no way a negative comment about any other communities and I believe all communities should support their schools.

It is a fact that our state does not fund education constitutionally and it needs to be changed but until that happens we need to make sure that the children (our children) of Shadyside continue to get support from the community. The staff appreciates the community support and hopes that you will support the levy. We need the community to help us educate your children. Please consider the children of the community and vote YES!

Jackie Kidder

Shadyside

Shadyside Levy

Dear Editor and Public:

Letters have been appearing addressing the levy issues on the November ballot. I will specifically address a local levy issue in a subsequent letter. In this letter I want to discuss briefly the root cause for schools and other taxing entities seeking additional millage.

I have been a student of state school funding for three decades. I became immersed in the school funding issue before the time the DeRolf school funding case was filed in 1991. This case was filed in the Court of Common Pleas in Perry County in 1991 and ended up at a fourth supreme court ruling in 2002. This 2002 decision continued the declaration that the state school funding system was unconstitutional. The Court admonished the state. Paraphrasing the court, the state did not complete a systematic overhaul as ordered and directed the state to enact a school funding formula that is thorough and efficient. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court also gave up jurisdiction. This is tantamount to setting a speed limit, but not patrolling the highways.

Since this 2002 date, most legislatures and governors have ignored the Supreme Court. Why? Because they could and can. The court giving up jurisdiction gives them the freedom to do what they want, without consequences. The complete systematic overhaul is still waiting. Just because the court gave up jurisdiction does not give the legislature and the governor a license to ignore it. I continue to believe that this act or non-action is criminal or at least civilly negligent.

Now, let me go to present day and why we see so many levies on the ballot. First, in review, the state has ignored the directive to fix school funding. Thus, the dependence on the local tax base continues instead of the state responsibility. This can get somewhat complicated, so for the purpose of this letter, the need for local school levies has become the outcome of the state school funding formula. In addition to this, the state, through laws passed, has provided a huge amount of tax reforms since 2005 income tax has been reduced along with other reductions. On the local end, local taxes for tangible personal property (equipment, inventory, etc.) public utility personal property, etc. have been reduced and will in the very near future will be eliminated from local school revenue and not replaced by the state. This starts to get complicated, but simply, if one would do the math on the local tax revenue, one would discover that most local tax entities have less revenue today than they had in previous years. Continuing the math, couple this with less state revenue, and thus less state funding and what you are left with is the sum of less money on the local end. As a planned result, funding is being pushed down to the local level. The consequences leaves few options for local schools and other taxing entities reduce the educational opportunities, raise local funding via levies or a hybrid of both.

As a close friend, educator and coach said many times, “You get what you tolerate.” As such, local schools and communities continue to be stressed to offer education and services to the people and children in a high quality fashion, because we tolerate what the legislature and Governor do in terms of school funding. Let me say though that Representative Cera and Senator Gentile do support fair, adequate and equitable school funding. The sad truth is that they are outnumbered. The other sad truth is that prisons are funded in a better way than schools. I am not saying we do not need a good prison system, but am saying we need to solve the school-funding morass.

Based upon my knowledge and experience, I believe all local levies are sorely needed. These levies, by my analysis, are not for “extras and luxuries,” but for the basic essentials. You may argue about the state verses the local responsibility all you want, but if we are going to take care of our own (especially the children) in Eastern Ohio, we will need to support the local levy issues.

Respectfully,

Jerry Narcisi

Shadyside

Shadyside Levy

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter in response to several other letters to the editor regarding Shadyside Local Schools and the upcoming levy. There is a great deal of information and misinformation out there regarding our schools. I want people here in Shadyside to know that there is a lot of good that goes on daily in our schools. Considering we have over two hundred students attending our schools from other school districts indicates that we are doing something right. And by the way, that funding is already figured into our present budget. But the word is out there regarding Shadyside Schools. I personally came out of retirement to work at the high school because I knew the calibre of student with whom I’d be working and the calibre of teaching and administrative staff with which I’d be working. When a person works somewhere because he wants to and not because he has to, that speaks volumes for that particular work setting.

I understand that economic times are difficult and that people should spend their money wisely and that difficult choices have to be made. But if the one gentleman who says to “vote with your pocketbook” has made his life decisions based on that premise, he has missed out on much of what is truly important in life. I believe we should have no higher priority than investing in our children’s future.

For those of you who are considering not supporting the school levy, I invite you to go to any of our schools, spend a day, talk to the students and teachers, and sit in on a class. And if you still cannot find it in your heart to vote yes, then walk back into any of those classes, look those students in the eye, and tell them, “I am not going to support your education.”

We are at the mercy of a governor who is not a proponent of public education and a legislature that apparently doesn’t seem to care about funding our schools the way they should be funded. Until those two entities decide to help public education in the State of Ohio, then school districts will continue to ask their communities for help. We have cut back and saved as much as we possibly can for the past three years. We are bare bones right now.

One last point to be made to the gentleman who made the “pocketbook” remark: I can guarantee that there is not one teacher in this or any school district who chose his or her profession based on his or her pocketbook.

I would ask you the voters to vote your conscience and support everyone’s future. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Ken Steiner

Guidance Counselor

Shadyside High

Shadyside Levy

Dear?Editor,

Mr. Tellitocci has sent letters to the editor in the past concerning politics and political party agendas and to be truthful I have had a hard time digesting some of his political views.

I will agree though that your letter to Mr. Haswell concerning the up and coming Shadyside school levy is spot on!

You should not have to consult with Mr. Haswell before questioning the expenditures of a public school system. You mentioned that the United States is no longer a leader in the education, I believe we are 15th in the world. This alone should tell us that our public school systems are broke.

Mr. Haswell, in your response to Mr. Tellitocci you stated that the teacher’s salaries are posted on www.buckeyeinstitute.org and that you didn’t feel it was necessary to reiterate this.

I disagree, a lot of our senior citizens do not have access to computers or even the knowledge of what is available.

Since the public school systems are funded by the taxpayers, and you are coming to us the taxpayers for additional funding you should be laying out what your expenditures are and justifying them. I believe that not only should you be publishing the salaries but also the retirement payout and health care benefits afforded to the teaching community.

I would venture to predict that the majority of the paying public have no idea what kind of a salary and retirement a select group in every community that has a public school system has.

Along with salaries, all other operating expenditures should be addressed and disclosed. This is how the business world operates and I believe if the public school systems were operated as a business the outcome would be a better product with less cost.

I realize that salaries and benefits are only a part of the overall expenses of operating a school system. I do question though if the school system is in such dire need for funding why in 2012, according to buckeye institute, the Shadyside school system spent $70,388 in salaries alone designated as “Coaching Assignments”? One has to remember that health care, retirement, and other benefits compound this number.

With the Ohio Valley in decline, it is only a matter of time that consolidation has to be considered. I believe that this should be part of the school boards fiduciary responsibility to be looking out for what is best for the taxpayer.

I encourage the taxpayers to do their due diligence before voting. Find out where your money is going to and why.

John Ney

Shadyside