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Canfield schools earned support

Published: Wed, April 27, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Canfield schools earned support

I would like to express my support for the Canfield Local School District levy. It is very disconcerting to listen to individuals discuss the topic when they have not done their research. The Canfield schools have not requested new tax money since 2002. Over the last decade, the school board has taken extreme cost cutting measures to keep the same budget and avoid bringing a tax levy to the ballot.

Unfortunately, these efforts have gone unnoticed. Despite all of the financial issues, the education available to our children is second to none. The state of Ohio has classified Canfield schools as “Excellent with Distinction” consistently over the last decade.

There is one key indicator that summarizes a school district’s spending — annual expenditures per pupil. This is data is published by the Ohio Department of Education. Canfield’s 2010 expenditures per student were $8,748. The average number in Ohio is $10,513. That means Canfield spends about 20 percent less than the average school in Ohio to educate a student. Canfield employs 23 fewer teachers, 26 fewer school building employees, and 14 fewer clerical employees than the average school district in our peer group.

These statistics were all published before the district recently announced that it would cut 14 teachers and 11 support staff. Asking the Canfield schools to cut costs is like asking a 90-pound person to shed another 10 pounds.

How much of this funding actually comes from Columbus? Ohio funding for public schools is a mess. We all know this. The school district has seen a decrease in funding over the last five years. How would your household fare with a potential 30 percent decrease in income over the last five years, despite rising costs of utilities, insurance and gasoline?

For those of you who are retired and don’t want to pay for another levy, please know that the community supported your children when they were in school; why can’t you do the same for the younger generation today? For those of you who are upset with teachers’ salaries, please let me remind you that most of these teachers have master’s degrees. The teachers in Canfield are making similar salaries to those in many nearby districts. In addition, they earn every penny of that salary. How many regular citizens have the patience to nurture 20 six-year-olds for seven hours a day? How many want the responsibility to educate teenagers to become the leaders of tomorrow? It takes a special person to fill teachers’ shoes.

Finally I would like to add that all of this is worthwhile because the quality of education in Canfield is second to none. Our community is only as good as our schools.

Susan Pannunzio, Canfield


1apollo(1227 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I guess some people think Canfield teachers are overpaid but Boardman Township employees are not overpaid.

Maybe they are a Canfield resident and Boardman employee!

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2Philo(99 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I keep hearing school administrators tout the fact that these teachers spent the time and money to obtain a Masters Degree. What they don't say is that that requirement was initially driven by the teachers unions as a way to obtain automatic pay raises. The plain fact of the matter is that you don't need a Masters Degree to teach the vast majority of the K12 curriculum. There may be some advanced AP math or science classes where a Masters Degree might be helpful, but other than that, the Masters degree is just another excuse to gouge the taxpayers. Furthermore, the public doesn't equate teachers with other professionals such as engineers, scientists, medical professionals, or legal professionals. Just ask any engineer how many people flunked out of engineering and got a degree in business or education. In many cases it's a fallback degree and that becomes obvious when you look at how many college grads come out with business or teaching degrees. You don't need to have a Masters degree to teach elementary school and everyone knows it. An elementary school teaching position should be capped at a predetermined level. You shouldn't be able to exceed that level whether you have 10 years of service or 30 years of service, just like in the private sector. If you want to make more money, get your Masters degree and go teach at a college or university!

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3smurf0898(17 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Well Susan, many households in Canfield did see a 30 to 50% decrease in funding just over the last year and a half alone. Now, you want us to what, find the money? I've been a lifelong resident and attended school there. I truly don't appreciate your view or lack of concern for the elderly, retired or otherwise uninterested in paying more taxes! Essentially, you're a butt kissing, idiot!

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4repeaters(257 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

"Our community is only as good as our schools."......really??? Your community is only as good as the respect you have for yourself personnally, respect on how your property looks, and respect for your neighbor's property. I could see you living in a nice house, surrounded by your neighbor's blight. and thinking your property value is going to go up because your school got an excellent rating by teaching to a test. Well, is your property values going up in Canfield, or doesn't the rating carry as much weight anymore?

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5canfieldpride(3 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago


Reading your comment only heightens my opinion that the majority of the human population is ignorant, single-minded, and frankly, extremely uneducated. It is a disgrace to know that those words could come out of the mouth of someone living in a community that we hold at such a high standard. In response:

"The plain fact of the matter is that you don't need a Masters Degree to teach the vast majority of the K12 curriculum."

Believe it or not, there is more to elementary teaching than coloring and story time and there is more to middle school and high school than giving out worksheets or putting notes on the board. What happens when a teacher encounters a child that he or she suspects has a learning disability and it is their responsibility to diagnose the problem? How about when a teacher has a special education child in their classroom and needs to know the best ways to help them understand the lessons? You think this knowledge and skill is taught in undergraduate classes? Well, it isn't. And personally, I'd love to see someone without a Master's Degree attempt to handle some of the classrooms and students that Canfield's teachers do.

"Just ask any engineer how many people flunked out of engineering and got a degree in business or education In many cases it's a fallback degree and that becomes obvious when you look at how many college grads come out with business or teaching degrees."

This couldn't be further from the truth. Sit in on an education class at any college or university, and you will find it filled with students who are passionate about teaching and can't wait to have classes of their own. They enter the field because they have seen how a great teacher can make a difference in many students' lives and want the opportunity to do the same. They want to make an impact on today's youth and help them understand just how important education is. It is not, as you said, a "fallback" degree for engineering majors. It is an honorable profession that only those who truly care about it enter into.

The bottom line is, you get what you pay for. There is a reason why Canfield Schools are rated "Excellent" every year and the district is one of the best in the state. It is because we have the best and most qualified teachers. If that means giving them a higher salary than others in the area, then so be it.

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6Philo(99 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

CanfieldPride - Keep telling yourself that Canfield teachers need to make more than teachers in the other areas as the community votes down both of your school levies. Although Canfield undoubtedly has good teachers, the real success of that district lies in the parents who push their children to excel. And I would submit to you that the vast majority of children from those families would excel in any school district in the valley. Furthermore, with the glut of highly qualified, certified, teachers in this valley, any implication that reduced pay would impact the district's ability to attract quality teachers is a myth.

It's astonishing that when children excel, the teachers union attributes their success to the teachers. Yet when students fail, such as in many of the urban areas, the teachers union attributes the failure to the parents. Interesting, huh?.........Let's see who the voters agree with.

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7yes(10 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Teachers are not over paid. Neither are doctors or attorneys or wherever the average individual works. We are all underpaid, but we all watch the overpaid work. By this I mean those who watch television. Compared to actors, football players, basketball players, or baseball players and newscasters, we make peanuts.

The fact confronting Canfield, Poland, McDonald, and many school systems is that the TAXPAYERS are the persons paying the salaries. TAXPAYERS are the boss or business owner in a sense. At this time in Ohio we have become top heavy with government employees and less private sector workers. Public servants are no longer servants to the taxpayer, but a burden. All the school systems I have reviewed have paid their teachers some handsome increases along with some really nice administrators increases. Problem is that there are not many TAXPAYERS if any making enough money to fund these increases.

In 2006 my wife’s teaching job was eliminated. After 28 years of service no union could save it, nor could her good employee evaluations. As a result she found a new teaching position and had her salary reduced about 32%. When I look at the pay increases in these school districts, I see salary increases of as much as $19,000 since 2004. Sure those people may be worth it, but can we afford to pay it? Shame on those public servants for even asking the TAXPAYER for pay increases in the current economic time, expecting us to approve it in a TAX increase. We are in hard economic times. Why must the employer (the TAXPAYER) commit to this type of pay increase when we have not had that increase ourselves in most cases? Think about the fixed income individuals that will share the burden of the TAX to pay our public servants that make over $50,000 per year.

When every teacher and administrator takes 32% cut in pay like our household did, most TAXPAYERS would not mind helping out too if needed. Let us all think outside the box and look for other ways to pay our public servants. How about some contributions from those people we watch work everyday or may be just stop watching the actors and sports figures work..

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8paulparks(235 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Look at McDonald schools. You have to push these districts into fiscal emergency before the teachers' union will renegotiate. They'll hurt the parents and students first (busing and pay-to-play) before even considering touching their glorious perks and bennies. Our eyes are opened.

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9meagain(84 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Yes, you make some very valid points. It's crazy the amount of money we allow our entertainers to make. I think what upsets me even more is to see our tax dollars and time spent on a sport related issues ala the NFL lock out tied up in courts or the Barry Bonds trial for example. I enjoy our national pass times, but it does seem to be very out of line with reality.
In addition I am continually amazed at the finger pointing and assumtion of worth I find on this thread and others like it. I've said it before - our local taxes are among the post important and valuable that we pay. I will gladly pay our local public service workers. I know none that lives as lavishly as the haters would have you believe they live. Their salaries are a HUGE part of our local economic base. They spend that money here and live here. I just can't imagine how you can possible believe that attacking someone who makes $60,000 will translate to more money in your pocket. They don't make enough to have any signifcant impact on your own income. I'm not interested in living in a community that thinks the people who impact my children are over paid at $60,000. Again attacking our neighbors and pointing fingers isn't the solution. I think it is just easy and convenient. As a country we send BILLIONS in aid to other countries. That seems like a good place to start. Very little of that has true impact on my everyday life, but that doesn't have a face or a name that's easy to attack behind a computer screen.

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10paulparks(235 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

M, $60,000? Capping wages at $60,000 would save the district a fortune and have many teachers whopping mad. Not a bad start. Check your facts.

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