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Boardman district counts on $6.8M in savings



Published: Sat, May 14, 2011 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Ashley Luthern

aluthern@vindy.com

BOARDMAN

The Boardman Board of Education expects to save $6.8 million over the next three years by not replacing 29 employees who took early-retirement incentives.

Two administrators and 27 teachers have opted to retire, and the board will act on their resignations May 23, said Superintendent Frank Lazzeri.

The plan responds to state funding cuts and will enable the district “to lower operational costs for the district without the removal of academic programs, through attrition as opposed to layoffs,” according to a news release from the board.

The retirement incentive averaged $25,000 per teacher and “... even after you subtract out the incentive, it still came out to be the $6.8 million savings over three years,” Lazzeri said.

“We probably would have lost twice as many teachers through a reduction in force,” he said.

“We appreciate the dedication of senior teachers, but they do make more money than starting teachers. If we would have done a reduction in force, you’re reducing through ... laying off new teachers by seniority,” he continued.

Between 50 and 60 teachers with up to five or six years of experience could have been laid off, Lazzeri said. Starting salary for a teacher is $31,963 annually, he said.

No school programs will be eliminated this fall through this reduction, according to the release. However students and parents will see larger class sizes, fewer elective classes and more online course offerings.

Lazzeri has said state cuts to the Boardman district would be the highest of any school system in the tri-county area.

“Based on the latest simulations provided by the Ohio Department of Budget and Management, the Boardman schools can anticipate losing 5.3 percent of our total general fund revenue ($2,148,510) in fiscal year 2012 and 5.9 percent ($2,380,650) in fiscal year 2013,” he said at the beginning of April.

The board’s statement said cuts in state funding represent $9.8 million since 2008, and the financial loss from students leaving to attend charter schools, open enrollment, and the Autistic Scholarship Program represent an additional $7.5 million in the past eight years.

When asked if the board is considering placing an additional school levy in an upcoming election, Lazzeri said: “I can’t answer that. That’s the board’s decision.”


Comments

1UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

No new taxes! The BOE should cut pay and benefits instead. This is not the time for property tax increases.

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2bookgirl(29 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

"Without the removal of academic programs"????? How about the loss of servicing gifted children? I notice that isn't mentioned in the release from the Board. Let's be honest here - the Board and the Administration chose to cut a program that is not mandated by the State of Ohio, a program they have repeatedly cut until there was nothing left but Language Arts servicing at BGMS and BCMS. Identify away, let those students testing scores help keep the "Excellent" rating but don't encourage and service their needs.
A school system is like any other business, there are people working there that are simply unsatisfactory employees. I don't agree with Kasich, he's a schmuck BUT there does need to be a change. There are fantastic, dedicated educators in the Boardman School System and sadly, there are unqualified educators who bully kids, are intimidated by the intelligence of our kids and don't strive to improve themselves or our children. We've become complacent with the services and our children are the ones who will suffer.

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3faith(200 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

Kasick is pulling $ from public schools and increasing $ to the failing charter schools. Anyone who voted for this Lehman Brothers businessman to look out for our great state is a fool.

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4paulparks(235 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

$25,000 per teacher in incentives...

What a goofed-up system! Teachers have so many perks and bennies that the private sector could only dream of that it's out-of-control. Here's a school district giving away $675,000 and then patting itself on the back. Undoubtedly, they will be putting a levy on the ballot this fall. Why couldn't the teachers all have shared the pain in cuts to their glorious perks and bennies and kept everyone there? Because the school board is spineless and just gives the union and the teachers everything they want. We need the Vindicator to get us information on raises, bonuses, contributions to medical and pension costs, etc.

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5JME(801 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

This problem didn't just start with the Kasich budget. Canfield schools wanted the 6.8 mil additional levy last Fall, well before Kasich was in office.

"From 2001 to 2009, the average teacher's pay increased 41.2 percent, from $45,814 to $64,680, while inflation was 21 percent. Prorated to the standard full work year of 2,080 hours (teachers contractually work 1,350 hours), the average teacher would have earned $99,655 in 2009."

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/...

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6my2sense(8 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

"No school programs will be eliminated this fall through this reduction." Yeah, but they don't mention how severely they'll be cut back. This year, English/reading instruction dropped from 129 minutes/day to 53. Art and health were cut back. Next year, library services will be cut and academic teaching teams will be reduced from 4 to 3 teachers at BCMS in grades 5/6. Any program not mandated by the state could be cut tomorrow.Thanks a bunch, Governor Kasich, for dumping your budget cuts on local school districts.

BTW, JME, you can realistically add about another 400+ hours to the "contractual" figure. Most teachers I know (including myself) spend about an additional 8 hrs/week with planning & grading assignments. Work isn't over once a teacher leaves the building.

Add to that, unpaid supervision of student activities and additional workshops/classes required to keep their certifications. Ohio law requires teachers to earn a masters (or equivalent hours).

Where did you get nearly $65K for an "average" salary in this area? Average around here is about $50K, which is actually LOWER than the state average.

If you do your homework, you'll find that teachers with master's degrees are making (after your "adjustment") about the same, and in most cases a little less than those in other fields with master's degrees.

PaulParks: Those teachers/administrators could have chosen to stay, which would have cost the district 2-3 times that amount in salaries.Give Boardman a little credit for looking at the big picture and eventual savings, starting this fall. Early retirement incentives are nothing new. They happen frequently in business--think GM for instance. They seem to have recovered nicely (along with some help from the taxpayers!)

I get tired of teachers being vilified and told they earn too much. 99.9 percent of all the teachers I've met are dedicated, caring individuals who are devoted to educating your children. They deserve every penny they earn--perhaps more.

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7AnotherAverageCitizen(1175 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

My2cents,

Most on these boards think if a union or public workers gets a bonus or incentive, it is wrong and unjustified. However if a CEO gets a Million dollar bonus after laying off 3,400 employees, their bonus was EARNED, and well deserved.

I for one support teachers, police, and fire. Those who serve and protect us.

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8ytown1(392 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

my2sense, below is a response to another thread, but I am choosing to paste it her for your benefit as it also applies to your comments also. Just replace saves name whit yours,

"So Save, your answer is to just tax us till we have nothing left to eat and are homeless, just so the public unions don't have to cut back or share in the pain we are experiencing now and probably for some time?

Great plan you have there, only one problem with your plan, after the damage is done you will have nothing to teach, protect or serve.

And you call that saving our country?"

These are not personal attacks on teachers, police officers or fire fighters, though you could say your attacks has a negative effect on our ability to provide the basic sustenance of life to our families. I hate to inform you that the vast majority of property owners are not making anywhere near what the public teachers Police and Fire Fighters in Boardman are making right now, along with the rosy retirement they all have to look forward to. That is also on the assumption of the public sector employees are the only household income and the vast majority of private sector compensation is based on a two person incomes for their household. I will also note that many of the public sector employees have a spouse, and many of them are public employees also, even if not both of their incomes together are substantially more than the average household in Boardman, I hate to inform you. We are taxed out period. Pay and benefit cuts are the only answers we have right now. Get used to it.

I hate to let you in on something else, if the unions continue to push, even if the SB5 is reversed, getting any levy to pass even the renewals will be impossible. So the cuts will come anyway.

I also never received an answer of when does an emergency levy become not an emergency levy no more?

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9AnotherAverageCitizen(1175 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

If union employees make more money and better benifits than nonunion employess, public or private, seems to me that more people would be in favor of unions. I feel to many hard working folks care more about Oil companies keeping their tax incentives than caring about their neighbor making a living and benifits. Unless you own a business and not receiving a paycheck from somebody else, why are so many people against each other. Many college educated workers make 50-70,000 in the private workforce, what is so bad about someone teaching our children making the same?

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10my2sense(8 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

Seem the attitude of some is, if you make more money than I do, then you make too much--especially when it comes to public employees.

The idea is not to drag everyone down to the "minimums" but rather to improve the standard of living for as many as possible. If you aren't making as much as a firefighter, get some training and become one. Get a better job in the public sector. Work a second job . . .

If everybody was making the same wages/benefits as the servers at Bob Evans, who would be able to afford cars, furniture, eating out at restaurants, etc.? Can't afford these and these kinds of jobs disappear. And more go on welfare/unemployment.

A healthy economy depends on having people employed at decent wages who can afford to buy
goods and services.

Money is like fertilizer--to grow an economy, you've got to spread some around. Kasichnomics seems bent on keeping money in the hands of big business instead of ordinary citizens.

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11ytown1(392 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

The problem with your analogy my2sense is that the light has been seen on how these wages and benefit packages have been rigged through union dues supporting the candidates, need I say more.

Too much too soon is the problem, unsustainable. The private sector could not get away with that, in our world that would be called price fixing. We cannot tax our way out of this and you know it as well as I do.

So the next time I serve a teacher or another public worker at one of our fine businesses here in Boardman, we will just charge you an extra 20-40% extra so we can catch up to you all. Just spreading it around as you suggested. See learning a skill or changing our profession as you suggest, really should have nothing to do with it. We deserve the same as you from the taxpayer now don't we? How is that for an attitude, yours is I have mine and you are not taking it away from me. Kind of ugly sounding now isn't it. You don't sound so high and mighty anymore now do you?

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12JME(801 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

my2sense,

Do you believe that teachers are the only ones who take work home? I work for an organization that runs 24/7, nearly 365 days a year. Do you have any idea how many phone calls occur in the middle of the night and on weekends? There is no extra pay.
I travel for my position, there is no extra pay. That is part of being a professtional and the pay that comes with it. So stop using planning & grading assignments hours as an excuse.

BTW, my wife is a high school teacher with a Masters, so I know what the pay rates are, golden benefits, and the requirements of the job. I also hear of all the bs that some teachers get away with. ie - using sick days as vacation days. I realize they are the minority, but that's were the union comes in and protects these teachers, and that's were performance review needs to be in place - just like the rest of us professionals. You want to compare teachers vs. other professionals, start acting like one and stop whining about taking your work home and all of the extra's that come up as part of your job.
For pay alone, the pay rate is approximately $50+/hour - that does not inculde the benefits.
Not a bad gig. Yes I benefit, but the tax payers are getting screwed. Getting paid for un-used sick days? Where does that happen for the other professionals that you compare? The intent is not to use as bonus pay when retiring. If teachers were more in line with other professions, they would be covered by a short-term disability (or salary continuance) for 6 months at full pay, then covered by long-term coverage. This insures you are covered in case of medical issues, but you can't take them with you when you retire. For the public sector employee, it's a bonus which is a big waste for the tax payers.
And don't give me the union rhetoric that the top paid teachers will be the first to go under SB5. Labor law prevents replacing an older worker (protected class) with a younger one, just to save money by lower pay. In fact, the school administrations would have to show that the job is being eliminated, or that the veteran teacher has a history of performance issues to justify laying off - I can verify that one particular school district doesn't document these issues, including one particular teacher who consistantly shows up late.

The article I posted states that teachers pay has increased twice the rate of inflation over that time period. All of that take, take and take has caught up, and the private employee tax payers have had enough.
As ytown1 mentions, passing new levy's will be nearly impossible. The gives you one of two options: Layoffs or cut expenses to save jobs. SB5 provides the latter.

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13my2sense(8 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

Seems there's no shortage of opinions on this one. And this is what this comment section is for--opinions.

I think your comments have proven my first point in #13. There are (and will always be) taxpayers don't like public employees making more than they do--whatever the reason. They won't be happy until salaries and benefits drop to the "absolute minimums." Sorry, but I don't want a minimum wage cop protecting my community--or a minimum wage teacher teaching my kids.

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14cozmo(32 comments)posted 3 years ago

The rediculous thing is kindergarten class sizes are around 30 kids per class. That is rediculous. With all the money from the tax levies you think they could afford hiring a few more teachers.

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