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Canfield board member sounds sour note over $50 music fees



Published: Thu, May 26, 2011 @ 12:06 a.m.

By Elise Franco

efranco@vindy.com

CANFIELD

A fee to be charged to band and choir students beginning next year is a point of contention with one school board member.

The board voted 4-1 Wednesday night to approve class fees for the 2012-13 school year, including a $50 fee per student for those who participate in band or choir.

Board member Renee Gessner voted no, saying she’s always opposed the implementation of the fee for those students.

“I will say no to all these class fees,” she said. “Cuts are needed rather than the hopes of new fees.”

Gessner said instead, the band and choir directors should work with their respective booster clubs to try to raise additional funding.

“Adding fees gives the impression that this is just a different way to raise taxes,” she said.

Superintendent Dante Zambrini said the cuts have been discussed at length with board members, as well as building principals.

“We’ve discussed this extensively,” he said. “If you don’t save the money here you have to cut different things.”

Board President Brian Kesner said the fees are a part of a second round of cuts. Phase 1 cuts, announced in February, included 14 teachers and 11 classified employees.

“This situation is not what anybody wants to do,” Kesner said. “But to provide any type of educational process, it’s going to cost money. Nobody wants Phase 2 to happen, but the voters spoke.”

A 6.8-mill levy to bring $3.8 million annually into the district was defeated in May. A 1.6-mill renewal levy, which will continue to generate $890,000 annually, was approved.

Zambrini said the board went into executive session after Wednesday’s regular meeting to discuss the details of Phase 2, which will include pay-to-participate for sports and other extracurricular activities for next school year.

“It will go into effect Sept. 1,” he said.

Phase 2 cuts will total $1.8 million to make up for what the district does not receive in additional revenue next year. The cuts will include reductions of 12 teachers and 15 classified staff, state minimum busing with a half-mile between bus stops for kindergartners through eighth-graders and pay-to-participate for extracurricular activities, according to Vindicator archives.

Zambrini also said Wednesday the board hasn’t decided whether to put a levy for new money on the ballot in November.

“It’s still under consideration,” he said. “They have to file in August, so they’ll use the summer months to study and to research their options.”


Comments

1paulparks(235 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

"Band members act as Poster Kids for levy"

The BOE is always amusing... entirely predictable. Why punish the band kids now? Because the Memorial Day Parade is coming up! Great time to cry to the voters to pass the levy in November!

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2HonestAbe(244 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

@paulparks The Canfield BOE is assuming that the general voting populous cares if their school has the best marching band in the land at the memorial day and 4th parade? I'm not so sure that is realistic for them to assume this. What will possibly result is a reason later to cut more teaching staff and programs as interest wanes in those programs.

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3ytownsteelman(616 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Extracurricular activities take up a large part of any school's budget, so making the few students who actually participate pay for it is entirely appropriate.

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4mabell(21 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Why do we have union custodians? Just think if these jobs were privatized.The school wouldn't have to pay salaries,benefits,workers comp.,payroll taxes.Put it out to bid on a yearly basis.I just wonder how much money this would save a school district.The number might be amazing.But,no one thinks of things like that.Thats why their in trouble,they would rather do business as usual and hold the taxpayers hostage.Well, guess what ,it looks like taxpayers have had enough.Schools need to start operating like a business like the rest of us have.

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5rex(62 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Just another way to force taxpayers to supplement the outrageous benefits for public employees

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6JME(801 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

You have to wonder how much the beneifts are going to increase next year.
Phase 1 cuts were made to counteract the levy failure last November.

It failed again in May, with the Phase 1 cuts still in effect wouldn't the shortage still be covered? Either Phase 1 cuts was just "show" to get the levy passed in May, or expenses are dramtically going up next year, which requires Phase 2 cuts.

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7canfieldrebel(37 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Once again, the arrogance, incompetence and stupidity of the Canfield BOE and Superintendent is placed on public display for all to see in the Vindicator. The comment "the voters have spoken" is a thinly veiled reprimand to Canfield voters who said "no" to the new school levy. Mr. Kesner needs to learn how to say something else. And who does the BOE/Superintendent think they are fooling when they say they will take the summer to consider placing the levy on the November ballot. This is a done deal and will be decided without any input from the public....much like the busing reductions, class fee increases, and curriculum cuts that were instituted well before the levy failure. The levy will be on the November ballot, and the citizens of the Mahoning valley will once again be forced to endure sappy articles and BOE/Superintent initiated letters to the editor from former Canfield students. Give me a break.

Want to pass a levy? Put emphasis back on the welfare of the students. Stop punishing the kids for BOE/Super fiscal irresponsibility and poor decision making. Listen to parent concerns and taxpayer questions. Fire the Superintendent. Don't bother to run for BOE re-election if you are aligned with the Super. Fire the Finance Administrator (aka asst Super). Renegotiate teacher contracts. Stop giving bonuses.And stop being afraid of the word "NO".

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8apollo(1227 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

The public sector is still in denial mode and refuses to even talk about cuts to wages and benefits. Boardman township employees won't do it and neither will Canfield and Poland school systems. Only the taxpayers should sacrifice.

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9theguins(158 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

It's always easy to blame the "BOE". I sat on a BOE for 8 yrs. Folks, it ain't easy. Decisions have to be made. You don't like it, run yourself. You think it's cheap to haul 5-6 buses every year to a f-ball game. Your band and choir directors get paid as do other extra-curricular coaches and staff. A $50 fee is a $100 less than your sports fees. Cheerleaders pay upwards of $200-300 just to participate. The decision is quite easy. Pay or eliminate them entirely. Do that and see where were school system goes???

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10AtownParent(558 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Football especially is a great big money maker in this area. Admission to the game, concession stands, let alone having someone else rent your stadium. Yes, your band and choir director do get paid, paid to teach. They are considered teachers. Those kids have a class period during school. And if your cheerleaders pay 200-300 out of pocket to participate then your coaches are doing an injustice to their parents by not fundraising for the costs.

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11paulparks(235 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

"You reap what you sow."

10% increases to teachers the last 3 years (plus step raises) + raises/bonuses to the superintendent = levy failure

*Solution

Cut perks and bennies to teachers. Make them contribute more to their health care and pensions. Roll back the raises of the last 3 years and institute an across-the-board wage reduction. This is where the spending problems are. (And roll back the golden handouts to the administrators too.)

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12walter_sobchak(1750 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

geromajor,
I have to agree with you. Choir and band ARE part of the curriculum. My children were in the band and class instruction time is used for music. While there was a summer marching band practice,once school was in session, all practices were conducted during regular curriculum hours. Thus, it is not extracurricular! Hence, the meaning! What's next? Charging students a lighting and water usage fee?

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13simpleton(33 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Last time I checked band/choir at the middle school level was required. So, that being said, what's next? Will we now have to pay a fee to have our children in a math class? Really, this is the best they can do? Hats off to Gesner for at least fighting the stupidity! Oh, and what exactly does the $50 cover? I believe the band parents are already paying for their own instruments, clothes, materials...etc.

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14borylie(742 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

mabell asks a question and provides an answer and a possible solution. This is what is needed rather than blasting something (SB5,school fees) with no answers on how to solve the problems.

Good job mabell.

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15redvert(2005 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Walter don't be giving them ideas for new fees.

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16HonestAbe(244 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

@canfieldrebel "And who does the BOE/Superintendent think they are fooling when they say they will take the summer to consider placing the levy on the November ballot. This is a done deal and will be decided without any input from the public.."

This may not be a done deal. It may only be an attempt to manipulate (dupe) the general public into "thinking" that it is. If the are actually doing this without knowledge of the regs. then they are flat out uninformed. If they are doing this with knowledge, they are flat out sinister manipulators.

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17JME(801 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

I remember taking Drivers Education in high school and getting credit. It essentially became pay-to-play (or learn in this case)

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18simpleton(33 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

@borylie
Here are some facts:
The band/choir boosters held a meeting with the BOE and offered to absorb the cost through the boosters. The Pres. of the BOE said to his fellow members, "No, everyone must feel this". There was a possible solution that once again was shot down. Most of the BOE and the Super don't want "solutions", they want what they want, period!
For the band/choir parents, you should know that by paying this fee, you still will not be going to the away games. Again, not sure what the fee is for. The budget and expenses for these programs aren't great. Most of the cost is currently absorbed by the parents already.
So borylie, can you find a solution for this?

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19borylie(742 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

simple,
My post was in general,too many people post,rant and rave and never have a solution. It's easy to sit back and bitch,Monday morning quaterback or join the chorus of boo hoo,why me.

So,get off your high horse and encourage the posters to come up with ideas to solve problems,rather than ask questions with no solution in mind. This is what mabell did.

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20rememberwhen(9 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

As for the person who said they sat on the BOE and we should run ourselves. Please, not any of us would ever be able to get on .A couple of factors #1 most of us are smarter #2 in Canfield you have to be in the who's who's club. As in getting a job in the school system it is not what you know it is what teachers you know. The bottom line is we are tired of paying those teachers salaries. They have plenty. Perhaps you should stop up at the Canfield Swim Club this summer and see just how happy those teachers are with their large cooler in tow and very happy faces. Why? Because we are the fools paying for them to sit there all summer long while most of us are working. Making people pay is just there ploy to getting parents mad and therefore in hopes of passing the levy someday. Believe me this is just the start of what everyone will be paying . Soon you will be paying to park in the school lots. That will be the teachers bonus. Because of course we can't short change those teachers.
For those who will say this blog is personal. Your right it gets real personal when your trying to get more taxes and taking from my pocket.
As far as the rant and rave person goes I think most of us have all stated quit paying these gym coaches and teachers the salaries they make . That would be a solution .

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21simpleton(33 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

borylie, you're point is indeed taken, but my point is that even when there are solutions, they are ignored and shot down. This is why there are so many people frustrated and angry. Although their comments may not always be solutions, it does provide an outlet for frustration. I hope you can understand that.
I don't think anyone on here wants to see a great school system fall. However, until there is a change in leadership, things are going to continue on the path they are on.

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22streetsmartt(127 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

rememberwhen

When you said that "making people pay is their ploy to getting parents mad and therefore in hope of getting the levy passed someday," you were right on the button. It's all about administering "pain," not in reducing the real costs to the system - which is the "spending spree" of the last 3 years. Read...My...Post, BOE. "Spending Spree" was on 10% in raises to the teachers the last three years & bonuses and raises to Mr. Zambrini. YOU DON'T NEED MORE MONEY IN THE FORM OF REDUCED SERVICES AND FEES - YOU NEED TO HAVE THE TEACHERS, YES THE TEACHERS SHARE THE PAIN. Keep all services and people - and pay everyone less, make them contribute more to their health care premiums and retirements, and rescind the 10% in salary increases/bonuses of the last 3 years. Why is that so hard to understand? The BOE has said over and over, "the voters have spoken." the problem is that the BOE refuses to listen. The Vindicator has indicated that the teachers have a "stake in the game." WHY ARE THEY SILENT NOW? WHY WON'T THEY COME TO THE TABLE and renegotiate the mistakes of the past three years? Just keep voting NO till they do.

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23walter_sobchak(1750 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

ImUrPO,
The band/choir is not extracurricular as it is part of the curriculum. They fall under the Fine Arts, which are also important. Just because they attend games and parades does not make them extracurricular even though they are required to attend these functions. It is obvious that the BOE is being manipulated by the pompous superintendent who couldn't find his a$$ho!e with a funnel!

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24Informant4U(7 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Band and choir IS part of the curriculum. Sports are NOT curricular and therefore should be assessed the fees first. The students receive a grade for them band and choir as they do in most schools. Therefore, it is illegal under Ohio revised code for the school to impose any fee on a class that receives a grade. Unless, for example, the fees are used directly for supplies needed in the class, such as an art class.

This exact scenario happened in Liberty several years ago. A lawsuit was filed and won -- the fees were dropped. Two other schools followed and the same result happened. Additional schools tried the same route and heard of the lawsuits and immediately dropped the fee due to Ohio Revised code, which is law. Even our moron governor cannot change that particular law.

I hate to but heads with many of you however band and choir are more than just "fluff" courses. For over 60 percent of the student sin those classes in ANY school, many of them site the only reason they come to school is that they look forward to those classes and what they provide. This is the case in most schools! I'm sure many are too closed minded to see this since they themselves never actually participated in these courses.

The BOE should be putting the same pay to play restrictions on ALL activities, not just the ones mentioned, which as already stated, is illegal according to Ohio Revised Code. It is also fact that football programs are the most expensive programs to run in a district, followed by other sports. Band and Choir are far down on the list in perspective -- so get your priorities straight. If the taxpayers truly care about these types of fees, the first ones should be assessed to the activities that are TRULY extra-curricular -- Sports.

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25Freeatlast(1990 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Wow anything but school should be paid by the parents no taxpayer money for sports or band .

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26JME(801 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Free, it's amazing how you can over and over post absolutely nothing that contributes to the arguments/discussions.

Walter, you are correct in that band/choir serves as credit under fine arts requirements, and I agree it helps individuals become well rounded. However, I believe marching at football games is not part of the requirment. When I was in high school, I knew someone who was in the band but didn't march at games. However, that may have changed over the years. If this is the case, then fees could only be charged for away games and other events that require travel. But no fees for in school band/choir.

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27rememberwhen(9 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Why start with the band? It doesn't matter if they march or don't march or it's required or not. . As one stated where are all the teachers . Not one is speaking out.. Truely ever since they put out salaries of the teahers that really hit most people. They know this is about them and what they make. Wouldn't it be nice if they said listen we want to help show our community our support. We would like to talk about cuts, because after all this is about a job we love and teaching our children of today. I can guarantee people would rally for the teachers.Most of us know and support teachers, but it is no longer a job about caring for education it has become a give me, me, me from the tax payers of Canfield. Let's hear from some teachers about what they are going to do for this community and really the children who support them. Then we can find some solutions once we hear from them and not the BOE or Mr Z.

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28meagain(77 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

The reasons you won't hear from the teachers are 1. - they don't read this garbage 2. - they know what the real issues are and that they have nothing to do with their salaries and finally none of you have the gull to say what you write here to their faces. But hey that's just my opinion and what know what they say about opinions.

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29AnotherAverageCitizen(1172 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Bo, you have not given a solution yet on this board, all you do is tell others to give solutions.

JME, Contrary to your belief, I am not a school teacher.

rememberwhen stated.. "Let's hear from some teachers about what they are going to do for this community"
The teachers will do their job, educate. They will pay their taxes just like you and I. Teachers should not be expected to do more for a community then any other taxpayer.

mabell, contracting out only makes low paying wages for the worker and a profit for some company owner

Solution, if the boosters are willing and able to contribute funds to cover the students fee, the BOE should be able to accept that. Usually boosters are the parents of the students.
Fundraising has been going on for years at schools, hopefully the BOE can accept that from the students. The Schwanns Foods has helped out many school fundraising.

.

Back when I went to school, the athletic boosters and students did fund raising as well as the band boosters. All in effort to help out what the school did not pay for. Many cheerleading squads dancelines, and majorettes did their own fundraising to support them.

Students that do their own fundraising also learn it takes work to have their "EXTRAS". It is a learning time for them.

I also agree that the BOE must learn to work within their budget.

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30ytown1(390 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

If teachers don't read this garbage? Then why do you continue to post meagain?

2. - They know very well what the issue is, remember these are educated people we are discussing, some have a PHD's, so 85% of the budget is salaries and benefits, how much of the 15% can be related to over spending, the electric and gas companies cannot substantially raise their rates like the 10% raises that were handed out to teachers over the last 3 years, along with step raises. I also have to beg your pardon on whether you have anything to do with salaries, really all they need to do is go to the union hall and say we want to got to the BOE and tell them to roll back those raises and we need to contribute to our health and pensions just like everyone else out there, it is simple as that.

Health insurance contributions start around 20-23%, not the 6-9% that currently is the norm.

Do it for the Kids!

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31TB(1167 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Maybe instead of decrying these "lavish benefits" (and trust me, they aren't lavish...it's just that most of you are unwilling to stand up and say NO to employers who hold you hostage for a job.

"Schools need to start operating like a business like the rest of us have."
I LOVE to hear this critique. It shows the ignorance of the author. People so quickly forget the real cause of this economic drought...the global economic meltdown caused by the private sector banks.

Teachers aren't and haven't been the enemy. When their salaries begin to look high or their benefits look lavish, then it's time for you dolts in the private sector to wake up and realize you've been had.

The rich are pitting you against yourselves. 1% of our citizens own 40% of the country and you all want to squabble while they take more. Open your eyes already.

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32borylie(742 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

AnotherAverageCitizen,
Thanks for the critique,all of us that you mentioned really apreciate someone like you taking the time to point out our shortcomings.

I do have a solution though,why don't YOU start up a cleaning company. You know invest some money,go out and find business,worry that those underpaid workers you employ show up to work. In addition pay into their FICA and to Worker's Compensation. Plus as a small business owner you can pay corporate taxes and as an individual pay taxes again. Don't forget to insure your business in case an underpaid worker does something and you're sued by Betras.

Then you can have those profits. And if you'd like you can invite your employees to unionize and in time tell you how to run your business,like telling you that they'll shut you down if you don't meet their demands. Then you pay them more money and you soon find your start up business no longer being competive so you can now close up and go back to critiquing us posters.

Or if you don't want a union then you can have paid picketeers at your doorstep and having Betras contact all your clients and intimidate them to quit using your business. Then once again you'll be forced into losing your business and go back to critiquing us posters.

How's all that for a solution?

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33AnotherAverageCitizen(1172 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Bo, Sounds like you have good knowledge about running a business into the ground. So are you saying a company cannot hire costudians any cheaper then the school can? I am sure somebody that knows how to run sweatshops will do fine.

You still have no solution to the article like myself and others have given.

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34AnotherAverageCitizen(1172 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Bo,

Looks like your last 6-7 comments are only critiquing others. I am ok with people pointing out things to me in debates. We do not need to personally attack others to prove a point.

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35Freeatlast(1990 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

No tax money for sports or band . Let the parents pay .

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36paulparks(235 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

To sound a positive note - Board member Renee Gessner had the guts to finally break the "stranglehold of unanimity" on the BOE and vote against the majority. This "crack in the wall" of the group bodes well for taxpayers. One of the main problems of these kinds of boards is that there is rarely any "NO" vote cast by anybody. Change begins with one "NO" vote. Hopefully, Renee will stick to her guns and make it easier for other BOE members to quit being "Yes-men" to Mr. Zambrini and the unions.

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37walter_sobchak(1750 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Free,
You're an idiot, AGAIN. The band and chorus are part of the Fine Arts curriculum of the Canfield School District. In the Canfield block scheduling, they are taught in a "skinny" period for the entire year. The students are required to march at games and parades. When my son was at Canfield, when he was a Freshman, even though he also played football, he was required to march at the games and to practice with the band in the summer. We parents already do pay for cleaning of the marching band uniform, instruments, and assorted misc. items needed.

Do you understand what the word "extracurricular" means? What's next? Pay toilets? Renting textbooks? Plus, every year, there are students fees at the HS level that usually average between $50 and $100.

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38dawgalong(86 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

borylie,

Your statement that most people on these public forums just rant but do not constructively offer concise counter actions for specific issues is a direct indication that you have not been following this line of commentaries in regard to the levies.

Many have given concise corrective answers to the issues in regard to obvious negligence of the BOE to fullfill their sworn obligations to the taxpayers.

This isn't rocket science. The teachers are not to blame for organizing. The BOE's and administrations are directly at fault for incompetence and dereliction of duty for the bankruptcy of the school system in Canfield.

So, fire away, one at a time with your issues and I'll try to give a corrective action that should be applied to the issue. I have been on both sides of the table in my career, have owned successful small businesses, and some not so successful. But I'm betting that any issue pertaining to the bankruptcy of the Canfield School System could have been averted if the administration and BOE had been competent and applied any effort at all to stave off this crisis. This debacle falls squarely on the shoulders of the finance manager of the system. That this position has not been involuntarily separated from the system screams that the BOE is complicit and have been reduced to shills of the administration. All BOE members should be investigated for conflicts of interest issues by the township trustees immediately. If the trustees do not act, then they too are complicit and an investigation by the state of Ohio into conflicts of interest should be initiated.

Can anybody say "Enron"? There are millions of dollars of taxpayer monies that have been squandered away by incompetent Canfield School System administrators. This issue should be raised to a criminal investigation in order to acheive full disclosure as to why so much money was irresponsibly spent by the finance manager and the administration. Let's find out who misappropriated all of this money from the taxpayers of Canfield. Because of their inaction to act, it appears that the BOE is covering up something. Does anybody else feel that perhaps full disclosure is neccessary in order to ensure that theft is not involved?

One at a time please. Let's see if one simple moron can use old fashioned common sense, without any confict of interest, or malicious intent towards any one individual responsible for the situation can objectively give an opinion.

It's time to get to the bottom of this issue. The BOE is obviously unwilling to act, perhaps a prosecutor can get some answers.

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39ytown1(390 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

I know this is a cut an paste from another thread, but I still felt is was on topic for dawgalong,

dawgalong, how do you equate overspending by the BOE for Canfield equating to bankruptcy when the budgets are overwhelming controlled by the salaries and benefits of the teachers, to the tune of 80-85%? How is the financial manager at fault when he just writes those big checks to the insurance companies and PERS on behalf of the taxpayers?

I also would like a full disclosure of what exactly is going to cover these benefits also. How much is exactly going dollar amounts not percentage for insurance, what exactly the copay amounts are for doctors visits, prescriptions? How about total compensation for vacation and holidays? Don't Teachers take time off during the school years for personal days a with full pay? Sounds like some could abuse that time off for a little R&R during the school years too?

Yea dawgalong I would like a full investigation too, let's get it all out in the open. There is something rotten in Denmark (All public school systems).

Does anyone else share my view that because the Teachers Union obviously refuses to act and completely disclose all aspects of their contracts and agree to necessary adjustments. There is a need for a full investigation (Disclosure) with the financials where it is concerned to salaries and benefits for the employees and do what is right "FOR THE KIDS".

No new taxes and no to any old emergency levies, the emergency should have been addressed and the levy removed or should have been requested as a full time levy for the general fund. See the emergency sounds better than just asking for more money to hand out raises and such.

I agree, It's time to get to the bottom of this issue. The BOE (Teachers Union) is obviously unwilling to act, perhaps a prosecutor can get some answers.

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40canfieldrebel(37 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

There are many capable people in Canfield who would be thrilled to serve on the school board if the Superintendent left. Even if you do run and get elected to the Canfield BOE, you will never accomplish a thing because the current BOE is filled with Zambrini disciples. Rid the District of the Superintendent and you make great strides towards improving the morale of parents and employees of the district, financial stability and educational quality of the system. It is impossible to accomplish anything in this district unless you are a friend of Dante or are in total agreement with him. He micromanages everything. Nothing happens in this district without his knowledge and approval. He runs the district the way he ran the levy....It is a Dictatorship. Dissent, Constructive input/criticism and creative thinking are not tolerated or accepted. This is one reason teachers and District employees are not speaking out.

There is not true accountablility at any level of the administration of this District. From the Superintendent to the Finance Manager to prinicples to teachers....there is not transparency....everything is a big secret and parents are the enemy.

Rid the district of this mentality and you begin to gain the confidence and support of the taxpayers. Hire a Superintendent who has sound financial management skills, common sense, and good leadership capabliliies. Above all, this Superintendent needs to be from outside of Canfield and have no ties to Canfield. Nepotism and close-minded thinking are running this district into the ground.

The problem is that a Superintendent is an appointed position, hired by the school Board. It is nearly impossible to recall a school board member in the state of Ohio. The current Board is filled with Zambrini lovers....until he leaves or is fired Canfield will be mired in this ridiiculous situation.

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41meagain(77 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

I guess the way I see it there are two perspectives for this and similar issues. There are those who think that paying teachers less is the great panacea that will make all of the problems go away and then there are the rest of us. A vocal few who realize there is a larger issue at hand. There are those of us who recognize the failure of our current school funding system and the expansion of charter schools and their contribution to this mess. Sure paying teachers less will do a little something to fix current fiscal issue on the surface, but in the long run it does little to solve the problem at its source and in the end hurts the quality of education. It may take a while to see the downward spiral, but you will. Eventually the quality of people you get to go in to education will suffer. You can say that it won’t, but over the course of time it will take its toll. Who would bother to become a teacher when they can make the same living waiting tables and bartending? The quality of programs your schools can offer will diminish. I’ve said it before but no one seems to care. The state requires that those who decided to live in more affluent communities pay more. Since those who live there are educated, keep up property value and make a good income the state gives those communities significantly less money. They expect you to make up the difference just to stay on track with neighboring communities who get more. Your teachers do not make that much more when compared to those around them to have created these fiscal problems. Ask yourself why it is that it is only these communities who are dealing with this right now. It simply cannot be that the teachers there make sooooo much more or your administrations over spent money they didn’t have. I’m sorry, I just don’t see excessive over spending in the district my kids go to school. I prefer to attack the issue at its source rather than plug up a leak that won’t solve anything of any significance. Keep in mind BOE can make decisions that parents, community memeber and teachers disagree with. Just because a board implements these "pay to participate" extra curriculars doesn't mean that those who run them agree with the fees.

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42paulparks(235 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Meagain

(1) The secrecy of the ballot box in a lynchpin of democracy. Therefor, your previous blog decrying the "privacy" of these blogs is misplaced.

(2) The wisdom of the electorate as the issues of fairness in compensation of teachers are hammered out - in the voting booth - is essential to Ohio's scheme of school funding.

(3) The continued argument about charter schools causing the school funding problem is a "red herring." The funding of those schools is a "drop in the bucket" compared to all school funding in Ohio.

(4) Teachers math - if a teacher works only 9 months a year for 30 years to retire, he (she) actually only works 22 1/2 FULL-TIME years before his generous retirement kicks in. This is an amazing statistic!

(5) Yours & other posts argue that we should not judge teachers, we don't know what their lives are like and any alteration of the compensation scheme will be detrimental to the profession. We, as taxpayers, have the right to make those calls.

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43ytown1(390 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

@meagain:
You stated the following and I quote "Ask yourself why it is that it is only these communities who are dealing with this right now. It simply cannot be that the teachers there make sooooo much more or your administrations over spent money they didn’t have. I’m sorry, I just don’t see excessive over spending in the district my kids go to school. I prefer to attack the issue at its source rather than plug up a leak that won’t solve anything of any significance"

Explain to me when the state is reducing the funds by a few hundred thousand to a little over a million each year that these same communities need millions and millions to replace what the state is no longer providing? Apparently they have overspent on the 9-10% raises given out over the last three years, along with refusing to make adjustments to the employees contributions to cover the ballooning health care costs.

I never said that the teachers are going to have their pay frozen forever, they need to make cuts now to keep all of the personnel on deck to operate these schools as before, then when times get better we can adjust up from there. The benefits is what really is the anchor around the necks of the taxpayers, you cannot continue down this road spending money that is just not there, if you have not noticed either property taxes are down, people are just walking away from there homes, there is almost a whole subdivision in Canfield that is abandoned, do you think anybody is paying the taxes on those properties? no they are not. Please go to the Mahoning County property taxes and start browsing to see how many are in default on there taxes. Revenue is down and you advocate to just keep spending and make the rest of us make up the difference. It just is not going to work that way.

You have to agree that most every one else in the communities have made adjustments, why do you think that these people should be no different? You are being so selfish, what about the Kids?

I also have news for you, pay to play is just a replacement to the property tax currently not being paid. The other money being requested is just to cover future raises, pension cost increase and increases in the health insurance costs, don't be so naive and listen to everything the BOE and the union heads tell you, unless you are one of those, then you will never understand.

Thank You to our Veterans and God Bless all of those fighting overseas so we may have the Freedoms we currently have.

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44meagain(77 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

I hesitate to even respond. Simply because I know we are and will remain on opposite sides of this. I do however sense that in the end we both are simply in search of a way out of this mess, but fear it is larger than any of us realize. As well as harder to fix than any of our solutions will allow. At any rate here are a few final clarifications I have. When I speak of school funding I’m not speaking of the lost revenue due to recent cuts. Do you know how significantly much less this community and others like it traditionally receive from the state? My argument has always been that my state tax dollars go to fund other districts and we are required to make up for how little of those dollars actually come back to us at a local level. These economic times have created a perfect storm of sorts that results in our most affluent communities across the state being hardest hit. In my perfect world the state evens things out a bit and we then can rely less on our local property taxes. I also refuse to see charter schools as a drop in the bucket or a red herring. I can’t see how in your world it’s okay for one man to profit by millions on your tax dime, but your local teachers are greedy and selfish. I also recognize that many local teachers have “made adjustments.” As for the retirement issue I see very few teachers retiring after 30 years these days. Most go to 35 or 40 and higher. Most of those who retire at 30 got into teaching later and have reached age 65 around the same time as hitting the 30 year mark. As for not judging teachers my call has always been that I don’t feel compelled to judge anyone. I’ve never said we shouldn’t judge teachers. I’ve always contended that we truly are in no position to judge anyone’s worth regardless of profession. I appreciate all the passion on this topic and just hope somewhere there is a solution that in the end works out for all involved: students, communities and teachers.

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45charms(228 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Meagain,

School funding comes down to this: either increase revenue (taxes) or decrease expenses. Since the state is decreasing the amounts of revenue, we either have to: increase revenue (in the form of property taxes) or decrease expenses. The reason Canfield is in trouble is because when the bonuses, raises (plus step raises) the last 3 years and % contributions to health insurance and retirement were made public, the voters went ballistic! Millions to charter schools don't mean a thing to Poland and Canfield voters - as far as voting on school levies is concerned. These are local levies, not state ballot issues. You and many others try to divert attention away from the reason the levy failed by: seeking sympathy for teachers, focusing on the unneeded "pain" of busing cuts and fees, and "hiding the ball" on the spendthrift ways of the BOE. Really, each one's analysis of these matters in this blog is really irrelevant - except to the extent it illustrates what some voters are thinking. This isn't too big of a problem for the voters to handle. Right now, I think it's too big of a problem for the teachers to handle.

The reason teachers can't handle this is because their private world of remuneration has been exposed & taxpayers are disgusted. Three cheers to the Vindicator for helping us know the inner workings of something so important to our family finances - local school funding.

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46meagain(77 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

I hear what you are saying. Maybe I'm not making my point very clearly. If teacher salaries were the ONLY issue here ALL districts in Ohio would be in this mess. While the salaries at Boardman, Canfield and Poland may appear outrageous to you, they are no where near the top when compared across the state. I'm trying to say if you attack this problem only at one front you will fail to really address the issue and in essence are only applying banaids to a much larger problem.

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47charms(228 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

meagain,

We didn't make the rules to this game. We only have to play by them. Life is cruel. It's time for teachers to come out of the clouds and into our world; a world where we have the greatest economic crisis since the depression.

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48rememberwhen(9 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Here is a happy note. Pick up the Canfield news (Todays) . On the front cover you will see a baseball team. This of couse is not our community baseball team, but this is a special travel ball team and then read some names any come to mind. Well I will give you a hint those our some of the teachers kids on that team. You maybe saying so what. Well let me clue you in . Travel ball cost thousands of dollars to play. Yes. You may think not, but alot of average working people can not play travel ball, because you need lots of gas to get around from weekennd to weekend ,food and not to mention lodging and don't forget just the cost to be on the team. Well why are these teachers able to do this when others can't afford the 95.00 for community baseball. It's because these are the perks that they can do and others have to elliminate because we have learned to cut back. Every week you will see their display in the paper it was there last week also, and we are suppose to feel bad because they get to travel all over and play baseball.. I am sorry we live in a time when ALL class of people no matter what you do have cut back and they have such arrogance in putting this in our faces. You want to help your community support the baseball in it, but then again ( Mr. Mayor) I guess that would be coming down to the average person level.

So for the bloggers who are rushed to think we are suppose to support their spending habits. Remember this one word . NEVER

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49charms(228 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

I have a suggestion: since Poland & Canfield seem to run their school districts so similarly (poorly), why don't we save expenses by combining these 2 school districts into one. We can call it the "Polcan School System." Have Dr. Zorn and Mr. Zambrini arm wrestle to see who gets to be superintendent. (My money is on Zambrini). Then we only have to tolerate one incompetent school board, one pitiful levy campaign in November and one group of crybaby teachers.

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50TB(1167 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

watch those scores and schools plummet and watch what happens to your property values.

you can trade in your chevy malibu for a house in Youngstown or Warren

shortsighted...what a shame

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51lumper(279 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

ok folks let's get this straight. it is not and never has been about the students. it about the fat and happy staying fat and happy. you want solutions: here's some for you. 1). increase the 8% employee health care contribution to 40 to 50 %, @)retirement 14 % of salary to strs/sers decreased to 2 to 3 % AS EXISTS In THE PRIVATE SECTOR, 3) students pay to park their cars at the high school , $1,000 a half year. i'm tired of paying for a nice, paved, lined, parking lot and busses that are running at less than capacity. 4). get rid of the big long busses- or better yet, contract out the busing services. 5). why is there a superintendent, business manager and treasurer. two people can do the work, three people aren't necessary to review income and expenditures.we all know how to run a household on a budget this is the same thing only on a larger scale. lastly, a prediction : the last and most effective "trick " the school system has to make parents miserable is to change the discharge times from school for the students in order to screw up all the working parents schedules. this will happen -they've done it before. oh, and the school system could sell some property they own, there's not going to be any extensive growth in student numbers for decades. AND last but not least - IF THE TEACHERS AREN"T HAPPY- PLEASE TAKE YOUR TALENTS TO WARREN OR YOUNGSTOWN !!!

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52paulparks(235 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

There's a business acronym, OPM (other people's money) that I think is relevant here. Simply put, since the Canfield School Board has gone from representing the interests of the voters to just passing out OPM, they: (1) have sided with the teacher's union & really are an extension of it, (2) don't demand that the superintendent "watch the purse strings" in doing the budgeting, and (3) have given up all fiscal responsibility in developing budget forecasts, which are the bases of the unbelievable give-a-ways in salaries, perks and bennies of the last 3 years. It seems that the BOE pulls a number out of the air, a "wish we had number," enters into lavish union contracts spending every penny, then pleads with the taxpayers for mercy. It's the BOE's spendthrift ways that is the root of the problem and the first domino to fall. I wouldn't be surprised if the BOE develops it's forecasts with "help" from the unions. But see... that is "how it is" when you are dealing with OPM - you basically don't give a hoot how much you spend or how you spend it.

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53charms(228 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

paulparks,

You're exactly right! One other thing... There is a question out there - why does the Canfield BOE think it can get away with its flagrantly abusive spending? Because until now, the decisions they made were pretty much private (secret). Until the Vindicator started looking into compensation issues, who knew what was going on? We all just keep voting these tax increases upon ourselves - cause "it's for the kids." Now, people realize they've been snookered. The BOE has been exposed! Thank you, Vindicator!

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54CassAnn(252 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Arts is hardly an extra curricular activity. Students receive a grade and credits for Band. If Canfield's Band Boosters is any good at all they should be able to help these kids raise the $50 fee for themselves through some type of fund raiser.

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55smurf0898(17 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

@CassAnn

The boosters had a meeting with the BOE and said they would happily put up the necessary funds. The BOE said "NO". Again another attempt on the Super and BOE's part to control issues and get back at parents. I appreciate the Boosters efforts though.

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56paulparks(235 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

It seems to me that the BOE would not have the right to refuse help from the booster clubs. First, the BOE overspends, then they stymie taxpayers' efforts to deal with the BOE's problem. We would do better having "The Three Stooges" running the BOE! These people are so inept, its scary. I would love to see a letter to the editor from the president of the Canfield Teacher's Union - spelling out how the union (through concessions) is going to solve this funding problem. But do you think I will ever read such a letter? HA, HA, HA!

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57smurf0898(17 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

@ paul
The only thing Ms. McGrath (the pres.of the union) has done lately is walk around the 5th/6th grade choir concert two weeks ago asking for signatures on the SB 5 petition. Talk about crossing a line! That was pretty much the nail in the coffen for me. I can't believe the school let her get away with that. In addition, I was told that Mrs. Gessner was the only BOE member who listened to the Boosters. The other 4 stooges( funny by the way) on the BOE do whatever Mr. Zambrini tells them to do. Pathetic and scary! I can't believe the parents and tax payers have No One representing them.

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58paulparks(235 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

smurf0898

Basic union thug tactics... What parent will refuse to sign when put under that pressure? Thank goodness that the ballot box is private!

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59ARW(5 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Please stop attacking the teachers at every chance...yes, some changes need to be made, I agree, but the Admin and Sup make the majority of decisions. My feeling...Canfield was very cocky into thinking a levy would ever fail and then oops, taxpayers are getting wise. I can't even say the BOE is in charge after attending meetings this year, it is beyond obvious that Dante Zambrini is in charge! Pathetic. And, Mr. Kesner, you are quite belittling of the public and our concerns. STOP defending a Sup that can put a "spin" on ANYTHING to make his way the best way. Through all this, teachers, supporting staff and the kids have suffered - NOT ONE Admin has been effected! You want to talk about inflated salaries and bonus and perks!!! Run the levy all you want...it isn't going to pass until the Admin look at themselves as part of the problem and the BOE steps up and does what the public voted them in office to do - take charge and make the Admin responsible! It is all about what Dante Zambrini wants - nothing more/nothing less.

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60ARW(5 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Also, my children are students at Canfield and at no time has public education been free. All are involved with many activities and we have always had to pay something towards these extras. Even band/choir have costs involved - before this additional fee.

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61charms(228 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

ARW,

There are good reasons why the teachers, as you say, "are attacked:"

(1) Their pay, perks, bennies and raises of the last 3 years are more than the Canfield people can afford,
(2) They haven't thanked us for having really nice jobs,
(3) They've kept quiet during levy failures when we need their participation in sharing the pain, and
(4) They refuse to adequately defend the merits of longevity pay when everyone knows that that system has failed us.

Bingo! Even with the massive public relations machine they have, teachers get criticized. (They deserve all the criticism levied at them and much more!)

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62ARW(5 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Charms,

I do not completely disagree with you, believe me, but you can't even begin to imagine the crap that goes on with the Administration! Changes need to be made in ALL areas!

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63streetsmartt(127 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Voters are just smarter than BOEs give them credit for. We all have a sense of when we're getting "ripped off" or taken advantage of - and the BOE has taken advantage of the taxpayers in Canfield. Push the envelope, inflate the balloon 'till it breaks, shove the pay increases down our throats 'till we vomit. It's all a shell game - intimidation - and a grand display of arrogance.

Canfield will come back, but in a new form. If the BOE members refuse to act reponsibly and stem the tide of union power, the taxpayers will do it for them.

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64paulparks(235 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

streetsmartt,

Don't forget the teacher's union. What a joke!

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65charms(228 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

George Tablack put a piece on the Auditor's website (when he was county auditor) that praised the public and noted that the public sector employees are there to serve the private sector. (I think it's still there.)

What happened to that concept of public service in the education system in Canfield?

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66charms(228 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Nobody answered my question in 2 days... I guess Tablack's concept of public service (as expressed on the Mahoning County Auditor's Web site - yes it's still there under the current Auditor) has died. Public employees have been "outed" and all their little secrets exposed!

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67paulparks(235 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

charms,

Good posts!

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68TB(1167 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Say goodbye to your excellent school system ratings and keep an eye on those property values! Well done Canfield residents!

Rant and rave against the teachers for making middle class salaries with modest benefits (now said to be golden because everyone else has given theirs away) but ignore what happens on Wall Street.

You suckers are letting them pit the middle class against itself.

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