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Poland votes to rescind school levies

Published: Tue, May 24, 2011 @ 12:06 a.m.

By Robert Guttersohn



The Poland Board of Education voted 4-0 to rescind both the renewal levy and the 4.9-mill emergency levy in August’s special election.

Board member Robert Shovlin abstained from both votes at Monday night’s board meeting.

Also at the meeting, athletic director, Brian Banfield, and band director, Nick Olesko, presented the board with ways their respective programs could save the district money on transportation costs.

Banfield proposed first cutting the swimming program. He claimed it would save the district $23,000 a year. He said, instead, the team would take on club status.

Second, he said combining transportation between sports would save the district $4,500 a year.

And the third proposal was a once-a-year activity fee for all athletes as opposed to paying per sport. Under his third proposal, high-school athletes would pay $150 per year while middle school students would pay $75 per year.

Banfield told board members that if they charge per sport, it could “cripple the sports program” because the high level of students in both the middle school and high school that play multiple sports may opt to play just one. He said 72 percent of Poland’s high school students and 68 percent of its middle-school students play multiple sports.

When board member Larry Dinopoulos asked what Banfield thought if the board voted for all three proposals, Banfield said he preferred cutting swimming and combining transportation over enacting all three.

Olesko also recommended an optional $25 transportation fee for band members. Students could choose whether to perform just at home or pay the fee and travel to the away games.


1streetsmartt(127 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Sure... punish the kids and the parents - but don't you dare touch the teachers' 10% raises the last 3 years. Also, don't think of making them contribute more to their pensions and health coverage. You'll see this levy on again in November.

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2adockinthebay(4 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

I love Mr. Barnfields statment that $150/$75 would cripple the sports program. Look at it from our side that when you ask for additional tax money from a levey your statments are it will ONLY cost you $150. per year per $100,000 property value. How do you think that is affecting our programs?? TAXES ARE KILLING US !!!

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3republicanRick(1731 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

The School Board does not seem to get it. The parents and taxpayers are tapped out. They feel it is time for the school employees and teachers to step up and take small wage cuts and cuts to benefits.

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4uf64(7 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

How is it a punishment? If you want to play you should pay. If you play Little League, you pay. If you play Pop Warner, you pay, plus you have to buy the uniform too.Who says that school sports are free. Yes, your child is entitled to a free education, but not free exta curricular activities. If you choose to send your child to a private school, you would be paying $300.00 per sport. Granted that is a choice that a parent chooses for their child, just like choosing to have your child play any sport in a public school is a choice but not a right. So, pay your way if you want to play! Also it's a good life lesson for your child that nothing is free.

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5Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Get rid of all sports in high school and you can fire all the coaches and save more money . You can have a gym class for all the kids to get exercise . All team sports can be clubs for those who wish to pay. Why should the tax payer pay for your kid to play .

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6paulparks(235 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Punishment is a coercive device to force compliance. The BOE refuses to give the public what it wants, which is a sharing of the pain by the teachers with no reduction in services. So the BOE is seeking to inflict a little pain to get the voters to back their spendthrift ways - the next time the levy comes around. Too bad that the teacher's union refuses to "step up to the plate" and give concessions.

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7leoziggy(6 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

How about closing an elementary school...there is less enrollment in Poland schools now than when Poland Union was closed years ago. If Poland North were to close what would the school system save ???

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8walter_sobchak(2713 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

It has been said before and by others, you're an idiot. All students are already required to take physical education. It is more than just P.E. Extra-curriculars have been shown to produce a well-rounded student with better attendance, grades, etc. Colleges definitely look at the overall high school accomplishments when evaluating students for scholarships. (My son had good grades, played football, was in the band, NHS, and an Eagle Scout. Result: 100% college scholarship). These are good for the overall school spirit. It is more than just sports. The Poland marching band is excellent and I'm sure that their symphonic band is good also. In addition, the major sports and the band typically have booster clubs that already help foot some of the costs of the teams. However, if the BOE is in budget trouble and they can't reduce expenses or staff won't accept pay or benefit cuts (since they that it is all about the kids ), pay-to-play is the next alternative.

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9redeye1(5657 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

If they pay to play will all kids get to play in every game. Or will they sit the bench while the so called good players only play. If that happens, is that politcally correct ? LOL

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10redeye1(5657 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Resident I couldn't agree more with you. But they teach in Poland schools that you must be politically correct when talking and doing things, I was just wondering that's all. If they were going to follow their own policies. I have another question now. What happens to all the money that the sports teams make now? At the end of the season, let's say football will they divide up the money and give it to the kids because they are the ones who earned it thru their hard work? Or will the GREEDY school system keep it. After all they won't have as many expenses if the parents are paying $100. 00 a kid to play. So I suggest thats what they do with the profits.

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11meagain(85 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Really? Say honest! Keep posting so I can have a chuckle now and again. That is hysterical!

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12AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

How about all of you that have all the answers run for BOE and quit whining.

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13Wolf06(20 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Those posters blithely pushing for 5-10% staff pay cuts and increased health-care contributions are ignoring the fact that there are negotiated contracts in effect. It seems they mostly want the school staff to accept pay reductions because they have in the private sector. It's a kind of "if I'm miserable then everyone should be miserable too" mindset. They are ignoring the fact that school staff members are their friends, family members and neighbors who are entrusted with educating the community's children.

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14AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago


Thats a good idea, people work for free. NOT!!
Thats why unions started, to protect the working class from business owners with attitudes like that. Slave labor is no longer in the USA.

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15AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

After looking at Buckeye Institute, only 6 poland employees make over $75,000 a year. All these employees listed as 214-240 days worked.
All employees listed as working 184 days worked made less then $75,000.

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16anthonyjames(17 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

uf ... we already pay to participate, its called property taxes. I know many who pay between $2,500 - $3,500 a HALF ! They will not pass another new levy in Poland until the school board and superintendent get it. If they punish the kids they will all be replaced, plain and simple. They have been giving raises and increased payment for years to pensions and health care benefits when according to their own financial forecasts they knew they could not afford them. This is how much $$ you have, live with it and deal with it. If they went back through the last two contracts and look at what those costs you would see where the problem came from . They gave away money they knew they would not have. HOW ABOUT SOME EMPLOYEE CONCESSIONS....pay for your own retirement like the rest of us do and how about paying at least what your average tax payer pays for insurance benefits. If they did that the money problems would be gone and they could offer more programs for kids instead of cutting them. I thought thats what schools were for, kids??? They dont get it in Poland, its time to vote them all out of office and hire a new superintendent. Zorn has been there way to long. Let his double dipping end, he probaly makes upwards of $150,000 a year between his pension and school salary. They all must either have a reality check or they must all GO. If they continue to punsih kids they will be the ones punished in the end.

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17AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago


Your fist 2 lines sound like a 100% politician statement. So contradicting it is funny.

Let me guess, when you coached it was your own kids team. thats when little league coaches always volunteer, when their kid is playing. but when their kid moves on the parent usaully no longer has time to coach.
Yes, I have done volunteer coaching without my own child playing.
Ask a coach how much per hour it works out to for the amount of time they spend on coaching.

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18AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

GREED? I have not once said anything about passing a new levy. Schools should work with what they have. Greed and taxing should not be in the same paragraph with voting for kasich. kasich is not the answer for those public taxpayers. I am one that is tired of seeing people collect unemployment for 3 years, saying if I go to work I will bring home less pay then unemployment pays. Or those collecting and working under the table.

I said I did volunteer coach, what part of that is greed? I did it for others. Not myself. Not my child.

I just believe that people should be paid a fair wage, public and private.

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19VindyPost(436 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Wait until the idea of Mitch Daniels gets rubbed off to Kasich...classrooms of 60+ students and one instructor ! Merit this!

Sizing up Mitch Daniels' claims
Karen Francisco | The Journal Gazette
Gov. Mitch Daniels had plenty to say about education in his State of the State address Tuesday. Many of his claims were misleading; some were flat-out wrong. One that caught my attention was his claim that class size doesn't matter.

"Class size … is virtually meaningless," Daniels said. "Put a great teacher in front of a large class, and you can expect good results. Put a poor teacher in front of a small class; do not expect the kids to learn. In those Asian countries I mentioned, classrooms of 35 students are common, and they're beating our socks off."

To his credit, the governor is a founder and supporter of The Oaks Academy, a private school serving a mix of primarily low- and moderate-income students in Indianapolis. It's an excellent school, with all eighth-graders typically passing both sections of the ISTEP+ exams.

So what does The Oaks Academy have to say about class size? Are classrooms of 35 students common?

Not so much. Its Web site boasts of an average class size of 17 students – that's less than half the size of those Asian classrooms, by my public school math.

The Oaks Academy also has a preschool program, which the governor discounts as a luxury public schools can't afford. The Oaks Academy also offers full-day kindergarten, which the governor promised to Indiana public schools, but hasn't delivered.

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20BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

I think the thing that has bothered me the most in all of the discussion about this levy is the incredible sense of selfishness and entitlement exhibited by the board and the staff. The message has been clear--we want what we want at any cost to the taxpayer or to the kids. They care not about the economic conditions the taxpayers face daily, and they care even less about the kids they say they need more money to educate. What sense does it make to pass on small costs to kids and families when you aren't tackling the bigger issues that are driving your budget? I am not fooled, and neither is anyone else. It is true--the board created this mess, now resolve it. I won't vote for another levy until I see an honest attempt to reign in costs -- an attempt that does not end up hurting the kids you are there to educate.

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21polandfan(27 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

It should be noted that much of "the mess the Board created" was enacted by previous members, most of whom have since been voted out of office.

Let's give the current board (and those elected this coming November) a chance to resolve things without jumping to conclusions or expecting an instant fix. Inherting some problems, being hit with massive state and federal funding cuts, and having twice been denied in trying to acquire increased local funding is not a formula for a successful District. But it's terribly unfair to accuse the Board of not caring about the students.

You can't convince me 2500 voters all voted no solely because they couldn't afford it. Many voted their various pet peeves, not their pocketbook. If anyone showed they didn't care about the kids, it was those folks...all in the name of trying to prove a point!

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22BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

You are right--I didn't vote no because I can't afford it. I voted no because I disapprove of the way money is being spent. The teachers just now agreed to a pay freeze. They pay 5% of the insurance costs for a premium plan. They must do their share IF they care about the kids. As to which board members created this mess--didn't the current board just approve a contract? Everyone knew cuts were coming. They have to be more responsible and quit blaming everyone and everything else.

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23spinman(70 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

PolandFan...it was this current board who gave the teachers a raise during the worst economic time since the depression. It was the current board who hurried up and gave a new 2 year contract with 5% co=pay before SB5 went into effect. It now comes out that the school district is in the black for at least the next 2 years. I guess there really was no need for the levy after all.

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24polandfan(27 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Remember who the Board relies on for
facts, recommendations, and financial information when it goes to make decisions.

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