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Poland sets proposed fees for school sports, band



Published: Tue, April 17, 2012 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Ashley Luthern

aluthern@vindy.com

POLAND

The Poland Board of Education will vote on pay-to-participate fees for athletics and marching band next week, after deciding on proposed fee amounts at its Monday work session.

The fees that will be voted on are $200 per high-school sport, $100 per middle-school sport and $75 per participant in marching band, all to begin in the 2012-13 school year.

The measure that the board will vote on does not include a cap per student or family and does not exempt students who are receiving free and reduced-cost lunches.

The sports fees would be used to subsidize the athletic budget and the marching band fee would cover about half of the cost of the band’s transportation, school board members said.

The board decided against putting a motion on next week’s agenda to create a fee for all other extracurricular activities.

Four of the five board members said they support a pay-to-participate fee for athletics and for marching band.

Board member Robert Shovlin said he would vote against fees.

“I’m not for any fees. But if the board voted for [an athletic fee], I would make sure that marching band was included,” he said.

Shovlin added he wants to explore having multiple groups, not just marching-band parents, running concession stands at home football games and also changing requirements so that participation in athletics could be used as a physical education credit.

The fee discussion covered part one and two of a three-part recovery plan briefly outlined Monday. The third part of the plan is not to replace two retiring elementary teachers.

“I don’t feel those three things are enough,” said board president Dr. Larry Dinopoulos.

Superintendent Robert Zorn said eliminating the two teaching positions is the first step of a larger five-year plan that will be sent to board members within 10 business days after a final check from school administrators.

“We are realigning staff by consolidating sections [of classes]. The financial report starts down a long-range road so the number of sections are lower each year,” Zorn said.

Dinopoulos said the board should act quickly, especially if it is considering asking voters to approve a levy in November.

“I appreciate long-term planning, but I feel it doesn’t show enough action on our part. I think we can speed things up and reduce staff. We can’t have teachers teaching 18 kids. We need to maximize it to 25 kids by eliminating [class sections] or look at open enrollment to fill those seats,” he said.

State law sets a maximum class size of 25 students per teacher. The long-term plan will be discussed at the board’s May 14 work session. The board will vote on the proposed participation fees Monday.

If the board decided to place a levy on the November ballot, it would have to take action by the end of July.


Comments

1ANTIYOUNGSTOWN(234 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

taxme, I`m no fan of Mooney or Ursline but what funding are they getting that the public schools aren`t? Parents are sending their children there because it makes sense to pay $6500 a year in tuition as opposed to $200 to play sports, right? I don`t see their enrollments being as high as Polands so who is flocking to them? I hardly believe the teachers at these schools are being paid as much as some of these public school teachers.

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2BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I won't vote for a levy until salaries and benefits are reigned in. Save yourselves, and the taxpayers, money until you've negotiated a contract with the staff that is in line with salary scales and insurance benefits that mirror what the rest of us, public and private sector, are faced with. Until then, make do.

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3RealTruth(111 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

ANTIYOUNGSTOWN - All you have to do is call up www.buckeyeinstitute.org to view all the salaries.

Maybe they can rent out their fabulously expensive stadium and bring in some cash.

Until I see administrators and teachers put their money where their mouths are, I'll never vote for another levy. Pay freezes aren't enough anymore, so save your breath.

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4ytownisajoke(31 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

What has the Board fixed by doing pay per play? Penalize the kids? So you save 200k? What about the other 2 million or so in shortfall? Dinopoulos- you are clueless. As for the teachers- Poland has the best there is to offer. You people that have moved in that keep voting the levy down- why don't you move back to Struthers or Campbell or wherever you came from. Did you already forget why you left the towns you came from?

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5poland21(94 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

The Poland BOE has not "fixed" anything,... but they simply cannot make any additional cuts that affect EDUCATION without affecting sports first.

I have no doubt that the Booster clubs will more than cover the fees and maybe they will encourage their members to support the levies that fail in the same neighborhoods over and over - ironically the ones with many high school aged children.

There will still be a levy in the fall - the state cuts are too big and costs actually increase in the real world (they apparantly don't in the "Vindy Comment Land") - but I don't see the fees going away anytime soon.

BTW, Poland teacher salaries and benefits are in line with other districts and the stadium has nothing to do with State funding cuts and reduced property tax revenue. Maybe one of you naysayers can post a suggested solution, not just a strawman... a good business would raise their PRICES not make a cheaper product, shouldn't the school be able to do the same?

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6DwightK(1236 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

If people had better jobs the current tax rate would fund the schools. We're finally seeing the effect of politicians like Rob Portman outsourcing jobs. Who would have thought you couldn't support a professional class of teachers on the taxes collected from Wal-Mart employees?

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7Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

No problem !!! Just tax the drug sales on 224 . You will have so much money , you could build another stadium

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8busyman(239 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

SB5, SB5, SB5. If it is all abought the kids, then why won't these adults go back to the bagaining table. My hats off to the UAW when their backs were against the wall. They stepped up to the plate to secure their future.

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9ANTIYOUNGSTOWN(234 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

RealTruth, I checked the website. I`d have to know every teachers name to do an accurate comparison. Something that I am not privy to. My original assumption was based conversations with teacher friends about salaries on a gradeschool level and the rate of parochial teachers that jump to public schools for better pay.

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10Philo(99 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Are ALL employees of Poland Local Schools paying 15% of their healthcare and 10% or their retirement, yet? According to them, when SB5 was being voted on this was not an issue. They would have been glad to contribute these meager amounts.

Apparently, these meager contributions are an issue. Vote no on any and all levies until all Public employees make these meager contributions to their own gold-plated benefit packages.

Let's also remember the way the public sector is raping the taxpayers when it comes to signing a petition to place a Right To Work initiative on the November ballot. Making Ohio A Right To Work state won't prevent anyone from joining a union, or participating in collective bargaining. It will just protect those individuals who want to work but don't want to be forced to join the union. It is a way to respect everyone's freedom and who wouldn't want more freedom?

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11Old_School(39 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

If Poland would just pony up and play Boardman in football then all of these fee's could be avoided. Imagine the revenue from the parents showing up just to see the bands alone with Poland at 325 and Boardman at 285. This game would draw 7-10k people. Wake up Poland!

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12BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

What business offers an insurance plan where staff copays 5 or 10% of a plan that has low deductible and pays 90% of all covered services? Get real. This is the real problem.Salaries are high because teachers move up the payscale too quickly, and the increases between steps is significant. The world outside the walls of the Poland schools has changed--they will have to, too. It has nothing to do with the kids.

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13meagain(80 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

The reality is you can do everything suggested by all of the above posters and your district will still be in shambles. I believe there is a middle ground between fair, sustainable and competitive wages and benefits. I say a middle ground because the reality is you still need to attract quality people to the education field. You won’t if you go to the extremes some posters would suggest. You can continue to vote no on levies, continue to blame teachers and the board, but unless you are willing to understand the realities of school funding NOTHING the board cuts by way of programs or salary/benefit reductions will fix anything long term. Voting no and misplacing blame alone will do nothing to help your district. Beat a path to Columbus and demand your legislators do their job and fairly and legally fund public schools. They won’t until you demand it because they have too much money to lose and it’s easier to take it from you and your local schools and give it to their friends running charter schools or even other districts. You lose more of your money this way than you’d ever give even voting for a 10 mill levy. Of course that is just the tip of the iceberg, and they’re thrilled that you continue to be distracted by thinking the problem is salaries, benefits or even stadiums.

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14BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

There is plenty of blame to go around for the mess the schools are in, but Meagain completely ignores the lavish benefits and salaries in the Poland school system. Perhaps if they were more in line with the real world....this is a reality of school funding in Poland.

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15poland21(94 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

All Poland staff and teachers are currently working with a two year wage AND two year step freeze. Much bigger cost savings than higher medical premiums..... BTW, I have not met one person in real life who does not support the levy due to financial reasons. Not ONE.

Shouldn't you really be mad at the state of Ohio? After all, you are still paying the same amount of state taxes, but your "school" money is not going to your district anymore.

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16poland21(94 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

"lavish salaries and benefits"??? Are you kidding me????

Sounds like you have a case of the "no one deserves better than me" flu that has been going around.

Surely the fix is to go cheap on education - that'll learn 'em. All those unskilled jobs available these days.....

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17meagain(80 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

How do you figure “completely ignore?” You did read where I said I believe in a fair middle ground. In reading your post/comment history I agree with Poland21 that you have a real case of that flu. People who deal in extremes, emotional buzz words and assumptions rarely are interested in seeking real solutions that are in the best interest of all parties involved and instead elect to view situations from their own personal lens.

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18ytownisajoke(31 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I agree with meagain- we have a problem at the State level. Teachers and salaries (which are average for Mahoning County) are not the issue. The fact that the State keeps cutting funding for schools like Poland is the real issue. Ohio is one of 3 States that still use the levy system to fund public schools. This has already been ruled unconstitutional, but nobody is holding their congressmen and senators accountable. Time to point blame where it really belongs.

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19natureman(66 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Once again, we have the school board passing fees onto the parents. I already pay high fees for books and supplies. With some of the books my daughter has brought home this year I don't know what the money is used for. As far as I am concerned, the high school has many problems that are continually overlooked. Many people talk about the teachers making concessions but how about the administrators? I heard we had a principal at the high school who took sick leave for a year! The school board need to do their homework and look for other ways to save money. You cannot pass everything on to the parents if you want to pass a levy.

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20meagain(80 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Nature- I understand what you are saying and on some points I agree. While passing expenses on to you is frustrating, what you need to know is that is what the state of Ohio and legislators in Columbus expect. By their funding formula they intend for the board to pass those costs onto all the taxpayers in Poland and if not them, then the parents. Do you know the actual disparity in funding per pupil from the state between districts like Poland and Struthers or even Youngstown City? Not what they spend per pupil, but the actual dollar amount each district gets per pupil from state education funds. Remember that large funding pot comes from your taxes, and in essence those dollars that the state divides among districts are yours and next to none of them come back to your school district. Your dollars allow students in other districts have newer texts, updated facilities, new buildings and technology access your daughter will never have because the state says the Poland tax payer is capable of filling the void in what they don’t fund to Poland and right now those tax payers are saying they are no longer willing to hold up their end of the bargain, but the state could care less.

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21resident(40 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

ytownisajoke:

Explain your comment "As for the teachers- Poland has the best there is to offer."

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22natureman(66 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Meagain, I understand what you are saying but many residents are currently unhappy with the current administration. For example, we lost some of our most outstanding teachers at the high school and their replacements have been less than stellar. If Poland is one of the best school systems why have they not tried to attract the most quailfied teachers?

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23ytownisajoke(31 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Resident- to respond to your comment.... I have children in the Poland Schools. The teachers for the most part are fantastic. We live in Poland because of the school's and the teachers- as do many of the people on this post. For those that don't think so, you should spend some time getting to meet some of these teachers and visit their classrooms. I made this statement before and will say it again. Those of you who don't like Poland and what is has to offer are free to move back to the communities that you came from. Or did you all of you forget why you moved here in the first place? There are some city schools out there that have some really pretty new buildings- and open enrollment..... Feel free to leave.

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24natureman(66 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

ytownisajoke, I don't have to move back to any community because i grew up in Poland. I know what we had as far as teachers are concerned because many of them were my teachers.There are many great teachers especially in the elementary schools. Due to my children attending the high school I know there are several who are only there for a paycheck. Why is it when there are money problems that no administrators are ever cut back? Do you know that the principals even have their retirements paid for by the board? I was not knocking teachers because i know what a difficult job they have. But the quality at the high school level is not anywhere near what it used to be.And i don't care what you say there are many problems at the high school that are not being handled. Some of our best students have had terrible experiences and no one helps. It is not just the economy that is causing the levy to fail. You need to talk to more of the parents who have real concerns for their child and are told there is nothing the administrattion can do.

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25poland21(94 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Natureman: How does voting down the levy help with any problems at the high school with teachers? Or get the administration to change? Or benefit the KIDS in any way, shape, or form?

The things that you want to change have NOTHING to do with school funding and our kid's education. Go to the BOE meetings, talk to the BOE members, talk to the Principals - that is how you get those changes done.

Cutting funding is not going to change the status of a teacher who likely has higher seniority than the teacher that you want to keep....

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26BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

When did this supposed pay freeze start? By my calculations in the 2009-2010 school year, teachers received a 3% increase. In 2010-2011, they received a 1% increase. The numbers are there for everyone to see. And as to a pay freeze being more cost effective than increased insurance payments, you are wrong. The long-term costs of insurance are one of the biggest expenses any business faces. Please start dealing in reality and start being honest with the public. It doesn't matter if you only got a step increase instead of both a step and a raise--you still got a raise. But the kids have to pay to play. The board should be ashamed of themselves.

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27BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

One more thing--I don't have a case of no one deserves better than me, but I do think it's ridiculous that you expect people who have taken pay cuts and pay a lot more for insurance to dig deeper just so you don't have to give up anything. What makes you so special?

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28RealTruth(111 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

You're right BoardmanBranch. I'm wondering how someone making $67,000+- in 2008 is now making $72,000+- in 2011. I wish somebody could explain this to me.

It's some kind of double talk. I can't find anyone whose pay didn't go up in that time period . . .

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29natureman(66 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

poland21, Do you really think that talking to the principals and board of education is going to change anything in Poland? The reason the levy has failed so many times is partially due to the fact that so many people are unhappy with the way the system is currently run. I have yet to hear where an administrator has to worry about their job. Poland needs to take a good look at what people really want from their schools. Do you know that they did away with guidance, art, music and physical education in the elementary?By the way,don't tell me that the failure of the levy has nothing to do with the poor hiring that has gone on for the past five or more years. Poland people have always passed levies but do not want to do so in this climate. We can do better for our students. I know there are good teachers out there but they haven't been employed in Poland lately.

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30poland21(94 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Natureman - my kids are in elementary, so I am more than aware and what cuts have been made and how the teachers have been busting their a**es this year to compensate.

Boardmanbranch - the teachers have a two year wage AND step freeze effective the 2011-2013 contract. The BOE minutes are posted on the poland website incase you want proof. Quit worrying about what happened 2 and 3 years ago with contracts if you are not going to acknowledge the UNEXPECTED state funding cuts that have happened since then as well.

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31poland21(94 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

By the way, I am "special" because I see the need to fund our schools irregardless of the fact that my house is worth less, I have not had a raise in years and my insurance costs just keep going up.

I just don't see the point in screwing our children just because the economy is bad.

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32ytownisajoke(31 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Well said Poland21!

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33natureman(66 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

The Poland Board of Education needs to engage in fiscal responsibility for all the students. Did we really need that stadium rennovation when the inside of our high school looks the same as it did inside when i went there 40 years ago. The library/media center is a joke compared to other area schools. My daughter in college told me how far behind poland is in teaching computer technology. Our electives are minimal and our best students are being cheated. This is why parents are frustrated with current conditions. No one is listening to our concerns.

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34BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

How did teachers get a 1% raise if there was a pay freeze in 2011? I do acknowledge what happened with state funding. I am a public employee and guess what--we had to manage. Take pay cuts, increase insurance deductibles and copays, lay off people. It is reality.

As to being special because you don't want to screw the kids despite a bad economy--I don't want to screw them either, but I don't want to continue to have my taxes increased when my pay has decreased and has dipped to before 2008 levels, my insurance benefits have decreased, and my property values have gone down. I am willing, even so, to do my fair share. But I will not support a levy until I see teachers and administrators do their fair share.

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35poland21(94 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Oh the stadium... Give me a break. The renovations were DONE in fall of 2008 right after a bunch of bankers caused an economic collapse. But I guess the BOE should have use their magic 8 ball several years prior when the plans and construction was initiated and then we surely would not need a levy.

Please quit making excuses and help solve the problem.

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36poland21(94 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

March 28, 2011 BOE minutes approve the contract effective September 1, 2011 though August 31, 2013.

Contract includes 2 year wage and step freeze.

Buckeye institute is not organized by contract year (school year) but calendar year. Also if there was only a wage freeze and not a step freeze, the salary would still increase. But I am guessing that you know that, you are just trying to "stir the pot".

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37meagain(80 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Property value and taxes are a convenient excuse and schools the unfortunate scapegoat. I know every situation is different but my property values are just about the same and my taxes are within a couple hundred dollars when compared to when our house was purchased about 8 years ago. Of course my house didn’t have an over inflated value to start and is in line with median home prices in the area. If your house lost value it was more than likely over valued to start and if your taxes went up it wasn’t because of the schools. They haven’t had a tax increase in almost 10 years. Therefore I can’t find fault with the schools in your home losing value or your taxes going up yet that’s who is taking the brunt of your misplaced blame. It’s just the mantra that those who want to keep voting no like to use.

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38meagain(80 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

As for the stadium, I posted this previoulsy but figure it needs repeating:

As for the stadium- you’re apt to have a mix of opinions with any building project. I guess the way I look at it is this. Poland, Canfield and Boardman are in a catch 22 of sorts. Damned if they do damned if they don’t. Infrastructure will from time to time require renovations. These districts will NEVER see enough money from the state to even begin to pay for larger renovations, repairs or new construction. Yet they still need to maintain buildings, and yes every once in awhile this includes a stadium project. How are they expected to pay for such undertakings? Look around you. Districts across the area are flooded with new construction including sports complexes. Drive across the state. Been to Ravenna lately? There are districts with beautiful facilities. How do you think those were paid for? You as tax payers paid for those facilities. Yet the time comes when our own districts are in need of repair and we have no recourse but to use loans to spread out the payment to manageable chunks. We will never see enough funds from the state for such undertakings. Do we just allow our infrastructure to crumble around us? Do we allow our dollars go to other districts so their students can have up to date facilities then begrudge those in charge for finding a way to give our students the same?

You also have to keep in mind the different pots of money for school spending. Money that's spent on bricks and mortar can't be spent on salaries and supplies and vice versa. Keep in mind also the money from that loan paid for the stadium, additional classroom space, windows at Union and other misc. building projects/repairs. Only a portion of it went to the stadium update. Yet because it's the most visible it takes the hits. I love it and think it is a beautiful addition to our schools.

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39thinkthentalk(258 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

We went to the school play last night, the kids did a WONDERFUL job! Kudos to the school personnel and volunteers that made it happen!

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40RealTruth(111 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm not sure I care how the Buckeye Institute configures the salaries of teachers. All I see is in 2008 an elementary teacher made $67,000+- and in 2011, the number jumped to $72,000+-. That doesn't look frozen to me.

In 2002 when the last levy was passed, a letter to the editor from Pat Sweeney discussed "pay to play," the percentage of the levy (82%) going to employee salaries, benefits and retirement benefits, and how Dr. Zorn and the school board said: we do not have any funds for anything but payroll and we will be lucky to meet that.

Yet, they went ahead and borrowed hundreds of thousands to build the stadium anyway.

There is no justification for that. Period.

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41natureman(66 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

The stadium loan will take years to pay off. There is no justification for that. It ranks right up there with the gym improvements of years ago that turned into that expensive new gym that no one in the community is allowed to use. The gym and the football stadium are wonderful. Meanwhile, the school used by all students looks like 1970 is alive and well. Poland needs to return to putting education ahead of sports.

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42poland21(94 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Natureman: So if they took out a loan to make the high school "pretty" instead of adding bathrooms and handicap seats for the stadium, you would vote for the levy???

That loan added items for all the schools and the high school has all new state of the art science labs. But if a new paint color in the hallways would make you support our kid's education, then get a group together, talk to the BOE and I will help you paint!!

The bigger picture is that even without the loan the district would still be well over a million short. Fretting over the stadium and other past actions does absolutely nothing to help solve the current issues.

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43poland21(94 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Realtruth: You say "All I see is in 2008 an elementary teacher made $67,000+- and in 2011, the number jumped to $72,000+-. That doesn't look frozen to me."

Uhhmm, okay. That is because the salaries and steps were not frozen between 2008 and 2011. The freeze starts for the 2011-12 school year (ie last Sept) and when the 2012 numbers are added to Buckeye, they will be the same as the 2011 number. Why is that so hard for you to acknowledge?

Again, stop distorting the truth and focusing on the past - you are part of the problem, not the solution.

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44RealTruth(111 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

So it's all been propaganda that all the school employees have already been sacrificing because their wages are stagnant?

When we look at the past, we can see your future - just go to the taxpayers over and over and over and keep spending an spending and spending.

And, there's no way I'll take any credit for being part of the problem. The school systems are cooking their own gooses.

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45poland21(94 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I am not sure what propaganda you are referring to? There have certainly been staff reductions, and existing teachers are taking on more or a work load - especially the elementary teachers.

I am pretty sure that the teachers had a 1% wage increase in the 2010-2011 year and a wage and step freeze was agreed to in spring of 2011 to be effective for the 2011-2013 school years. (They agreed before the May levy and it is effective now.)

I would say that a 1% raise over a 3 year period IS a sacrifice.... but I am not saying that it is more of a sacrifice than many of us have made. As for the Step increases, that is part of their union contract and probably has been for longer than most of them have taught there.

Personally, I don't really believe that Dr Zorn speaks for the BOE - I certainly know that he is quoted in the paper about items that have been off the table for some time.... and at BOE meetings he is not always on the same page.... but that is my opinion....

Bottom line: You want teachers to take pay cuts so you do not have to pay more taxes because costs have gone up. Teachers do not want to take pay cuts because their costs have gone up too.... It is pretty much a catch-22 don't you think?

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46RealTruth(111 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I would have preferred the thousands and thousands of dollars spent on a new stadium to have been put toward academics where it belongs.

We, out here in taxpayerland, have been hearing for quite some time and quite frequently about all the sacrifices school employees have made. We didn't realize the freezes hadn't gone into effect yet.

Oh, by the way, an elementary teacher making roughly $60 an hour, not including benefits, should have a pretty heavy workload, don't you think?

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47meagain(80 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

You can “prefer” all you want. That money couldn’t have been spent anywhere other than “bricks and mortar.”

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48BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

The problem is that money was borrowed to pay for the stadium--not necessary and we are still paying for it. If they had money to pay for the stadium they should have stayed within a budget, just like the rest of the world does.

Referring to Poland 21--I don't see it as a catch 22 when the first salary freeze you saw was 2011. I gave back a raise in 2008 and haven't made it up yet. It is time for teachers and administrators to understand what the people who are paying their salaries have been living with and do their fair share.

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49Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Just tax the drugs

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50BigJim2234(57 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

The 3 Merry Men who are going to save Poland. Crying about teachers who start out their careers making 34,000. One of the Merry men is a millionair who was a sitting school board member when they built the stadium and signed all these contracts. He eventually lost his seat and is bitter. The second Merry man is on disability running and cyclying all over town to pass out flyers to get a coach fired and the 3rd merry man is a sitting board member who is not allowed to talk withoit the other two permission. Wonder how many pay cuts the leader ot the merrymen has taken in his life, The other one has never taken a pay cut unless his disability check gets lost in the mail. The sitting board member the same - other than its his unemployment check. If they were all teachers they would not have the lavish lifestyle they live today! These 3 should not even be allowed to pick up a stone to throw with their track records!

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51jimmyd123(196 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

So the poor little rich kids of Poland have to pay. What a shame.

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52BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

It is a shame--that the teachers prefer to see kids penalized to doing the right thing and reopening the contract. Instead of being appreciative for the many years of good salaries and benefits they have had and recognizing the financial reality of the world today, they continue to put themselves first.

The taxpayers are watching.

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53rickking123(286 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

ytownisajoke - why the attack on Struthers or Campbell?? If people don't agree with something they don't have to leave the community and go back where they came from. They vote tax levies down as is their constitutional right to. Maybe you should leave the area since it's a joke according to your name and so called philosophy.

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54southsidedave(4777 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Operating educational systems requires money and if the voters do not approve levies, what do they expect?

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55BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

They expect the Board and the Superintendant to keep salaries and benefits reasonable and then ask for what is needed. They expect the Board and Superintendant to recognize the times we live in and they expect the staff to do their fair share. Unfortunately, in Poland, the kids bear the brunt of cuts. People are just fed up.

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56Polandalumni(1 comment)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

As a Poland grad, I question why is Dr. Zorn still the superintendent? He has held that position since I started school in 1975. Furthermore, why does Dr. Zorn need 6 (yes I said 6) secretaries????

Also it was mentioned about having the teachers pay to park - do the students pay a parking fee? If not, why don't they?

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57AnotherAverageCitizen(1174 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Lets see. The repubs are all about working hard, getting an education and making a good living. Living the American dream, take care of yourself because nobody else will.

Seems to me the teachers have gone out and got an education, and make a livable wage. Now you want the teachers to open contracts so you do not have to pay for your child to play sports.

Repubs do not want big Govt or big school salaries, but they want their children taken care of by the teachers giving back.

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58RealTruth(111 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Years ago, there was plenty of money for school supplies, maintenance, utilities, books, music and art classes, etc.

The administrators and teachers have managed to steer most today's funds/taxes/levy dollars toward themselves. They have priced themselves too far out while most of us weren't watching.

Well, we're watching now.

I'd love to hear just one of them admit that borrowing millions to build that stadium was just plain WRONG.

I'd love to see them band together and donate the funds for the pay-to-play out of their own pockets. It really isn't much.

This is merely a punishment for parents and people who voted NO on the levy.

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59BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Keep voting no for the levy--at least until the next contract is negotiated or the kids will still be paying while the teachers give up nothing.

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60thinkthentalk(258 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

That stadium has nothing to do with. For the record, i gave money for it, a lot of people donated for it, i like it, its an asset to the community. I remember when Poland had to play football games on saturday afternoon because we had no lights. We finally got a nice stadium like every other community has had forever. If you are going to bash Poland and think a stadium is unnecessary, then bash your own town also.
The problem is your republican governor that cut school funding. Contracts for teachers are in place and have to be honored. The teachers negotiated in good faith and accepted no raises.
Put the blame where it belongs. When Kasich pulls the rug out from under you to give more tax breaks to his buddies, pay his Lehman bros pals 6 figure salaries to be on his "staff", pays his investment associates millions to "study" selling the turnpike. Tthat wasted money is what was cut from schools. Poland, and YOUR school.
Those of you that expect the teachers to take a pay cut, ok, how about you. Id like to see one of you tell your employer that you deserve and want a pay cut. Then come back and post on here.

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61poland21(94 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

REALTRUTH: You say "Years ago, there was plenty of money for school supplies, maintenance, utilities, books, music and art classes, etc.

The administrators and teachers have managed to steer most today's funds/taxes/levy dollars toward themselves. "

You can live up to your name of REAL TRUTH if you would acknowledge that the funding from the state has been cut DRASTICALLY from "years ago".

Of course teacher's salaries have increased from "years ago" because in Poland we are fortunate to have little turnover and many master's degrees. Of course the costs to run the schools have increased from "years ago" because in Poland the utility and textbook and supply costs have increased just like everywhere else. Of course a large portion of the budget goes to salaries - where else would it go? Schools "buy" experience from teachers and "sell" education to the students.

The taxpayers can choose not to buy the education from the schools, but just remember that you get what you pay for.

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62RealTruth(111 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Maybe you'd better look up the payment amount for the stadium for the next 20 or so years before you say it has nothing to do with it. Farmer's Bank isn't going to let them slide on their loan, are they?

I, for one, am glad we finally have a governor who is taking a hard look at school salaries and doing something about it. It's good that the tax-paid public school people agreed not to take a raise (this time). Is the light finally going off? Would they have said "no" if the levy had passed?

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63RealTruth(111 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

I should have been clearer - the percentage of money allocated to public schools has shifted more toward salaries than supplies.

There has been a steady stream of money flowing to the schools from levies, and the people are finally done letting it happen. Poland voters have spoken -- it's just not me.

There's little turnover at most schools because where else can people have job security, great wages, fabulous retirements, and only work 174 days a year?

Lots of people have a Master's. A teacher SHOULD have a Master's.

And, it's a fact that throwing more money at schools hasn't accomplished a darn thing. Proof -- they spent it on sports instead of academics.

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64BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

I did not tell my employer I wanted a paycut--he told me I was getting one because funding was no longer there to support our salaries. I am in management, and I took the paycut as did members of our unions--they did the honorable thing and reopened their contracts because they recognized the situation was critical. And just for the record--I have a master's degree, too.

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65meagain(80 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Poland21 - I know your catalyst for posting, like mine, is a bit out of a concern that common citizens will happen upon this and take all that the close minded posters write for gospel truth. There are so many untruths, half truths and exaggerations floating out there. Anyone who seeks the truth and reality of school funding please seek it for yourself. Do not believe all you read here or are told at the ball field for the truth or you will only be partially informed or as often is the case grossly misinformed. They are unwilling to even see or recognize any other perspective because then they are left with a reality they are unwilling to accept. Again I ask, when was the last time your taxes went up because of the schools? The way I see it you should be pretty impressed you’ve gotten as much bang for your buck as you have. Keep vigilant. We need change from Columbus.

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66natureman(66 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

I know we need change from Columbus. If this new governor has his way public schools as we know them will be a thing of the past. That does not change the fact that the administration and school board has made some unwise decisions. When we need books and supplies the cost is just passed onto the parents. This pay to play is grossly unfair because once again it is up to the parents.
We did not need a football stadium at the expense of the schools and students. There was nothing really wrong with the other stadium. How many professional athletes has Poland produced in the last ten years vs. the numbers that go on to college to become professionals? We also do not need as many administrators as we currently have with their retirements fully funded. There are many places where we could save money without passing everything on to the parents.I have just one other question for the board. If there is no money currently for books what are our school fees being used for that we pay every year? I was under the impression that these were for books.

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67resident(40 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

ytownisajoke:

Do you have children in Poland High School?

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68BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

We don't believe everything we hear, but the numbers speak for themselves. I think the State of Ohio has to do it's share, and eventually they will be forced to. But until then, I think the sacrifice should be shared. I don't think taxpayers should experience a substantial tax increase that will never end while current staff gives up nothing.

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69keepingitreal(25 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Three of the five Board members will kill Poland schools. It's a shame the community over there is letting it happen. Absolutely no one was for the extremely high pay-to-participate fees and will be a burden to families. Kids are being robbed by certain short sighted Board members.

They are supposed to listen to the community, not dictate to them.

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70BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Some board members are hurting the Poland schools, but the attitude of the teachers is also a real turn off, not to mention a superintendant who has taken to this point. There is no doubt teachers work hard for their living, but tell me someone who doesn't? They are looking out only for themselves, while the community is supposed to worry about the kids. Everyone is doing more with less. Given the money that has been given to the Poland schools over the years, it is inexcusable that we are in this situation.

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71keepingitreal(25 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Poland Board members are robbing lower and middle income kids and families from the chance to participate in sports and band.

How do the Board members sleep at night knowing they are robbing kids of the chance to play sports.

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72natureman(66 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Only two of the current board members are responsible for the mess we are in. I feel for the other three who seem to want the best for Poland but they inherited the problems caused by past board members. All that i was saying is that there are other places to make cuts that will not hurt the students and parents as much.

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73keepingitreal(25 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Dinopoluos, Weaver and Zedaker have been huge disappointments. They do not listen to the community.

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74polandfan(24 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

keepingitreal is obviously not from Poland because he referred to it as "over there" in his first post. For if he did live in Poland, he would know there are plenty of people who are applauding the decision the "three" made to spend less on extracirriculars and more on academics. Maybe the "not listening" part only counts when it doesn't suit what you want?

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75poland21(94 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Public schools forum for northeast Ohio to be held in Boardman:

All parents and taxpayers in northeastern Ohio are invited to the meeting on Monday, May 7th at 6:00 p.m. at the Boardman High School Auditorium. It's located at 7777 Glenwood Avenue, Boardman, OH 44512.

Guest speakers include former Governor Ted Strickland, a panel of educators, and lawmakers. The event is organized by the Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding.

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76BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

I will attend this meeting and I hope there are good ideas that emerge. However, let's not forget that salaries and benefits have to be reigned in in the Poland school district. The cuts in school funding forced tax payers to look at how money has been spent, and, as I've said before--the numbers speak for themselves. Funding will never be adequate if there is no change made to the salary scales and benefits package Poland school employees enjoy. Taxpayers are just tired of having to pay more when these employees give up nothing.

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77meagain(80 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

When was the last time you had to pay more?

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78olddude(197 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

The teachers received raises with every new contract in the preceding decade WITHOUT any new levies..That is because taxes are based on REAL ESTATE VALUES..As home values escalated, more money collected.. A new contract is up for for negotiation,more money for the public folks..WITHOUT EVEN ASKING TAXPAYERS.. buckeyeinstitute.org.. look up 2004 salaries thru 2011.. raises without new levies aplenty.... Why then, when home values decline, cant public workers accept less in pay and benefits and join in the great recession like the rest of us?

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79RealTruth(111 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Thank you, olddude! I'm so tired of hearing how teachers (and administrators) have given up SO MUCH, when I see increases all those years, too.

If this last levy had passed, you can bet the freezes (that haven't even gone into effect yet) would have been removed.

Again - Poland has to figure out how in the h*ll they're going to pay for that stadium . . .

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80meagain(80 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

I'd bother to explain why you're wrong, but you're not likely to listen anyway. It doesn't work that way, but believe what you want.

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81BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

In answer to Meagain's question of when I had to pay more--the answer would be in my last tax bill. My taxes went up more than $50.00, most of which went to the Poland schools. Enough said.

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82olddude(197 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Meagain,
Please explain to me why i am wrong.. It may not be the way it is supposed to work , but thats the way it hapenned during the last decade.....Do tell...

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83meagain(80 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

HB 920

...if your taxes increased by $50.00 it wasn't the schools that made it go up. Maybe something else, but not the schools. In fact most went down.

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84polandfan(24 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

The tax bill went up because a majority OK'd 3.9 mills for the libraries. Now I love my library as much as the next person, but I think I could have lived with the reduced hours they had in place and given that money to the school instead.

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85BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

My tax bill did go up a little because of the increased library levy, but that was an increase in millage. In order to maintain the same funding level for the schools, despite the fact that property values declined, I paid higher taxes, and the majority went to the schools evn though there was no new levy. Check your facts. Even with increased millage by the library, there is no comparison to what is given to the schools. But then library staff took paycuts and increased their insurance contributions BEFORE asking the voters to help. And, library funding was cut by the state, although much more severly than school funding was cut. Of the $50.00 more I paid, $42.00 went to the schools.

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86poland21(94 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Boardman Branch,
Your tax bill went up because of the library, WRJFD and Poland Township (if you live in the township!). I am not sure if the Village recently passed new money, but that could be the case too. A poland levy was RENEWED, but no new millage has passed in many years.

See here for an explanation of millage:

http://www.mahoningcountyoh.gov/LinkC...

BTW, the teachers took pay cuts (the STEP freeze) and wage freezes too. Unfortunately they cannot decide to just close on Mondays and shorten their hours on Friday like the library did.

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87BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Not so--the auditor's office explained that because you are guaranteed a fixed amount of money, lower property values mean higher costs. I expected to pay more for the levies that asked for more money.

BTW-maybe you should learn how people define a pay cut. I'd love to have had my pay cut they way you've had yours cut, and I've never had your insurance benefits. Join the real world.

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88meagain(80 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Ok, but my point remains the schools have had no increased funding in recent years. They're still working with the same amount. You're not paying more because of an increase in mills or increased money to the school. Sorry your bill went up $50 bucks.The schools still get the same amount. BTW I support our local libraries (and the salaries associated with them) 100%. Some things are worth paying for in my opinion.

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89RealTruth(111 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

You've made a great point, meagain.

The schools still DO get the same amount. Then, the wages increase, there is less money left for supplies and maintenance, and the kids are sent home to ask their parents to buy Kleenex, hand sanitizer, and to print their homework because there are no funds left for paper. These are just a few examples.

That's where it's costing us more.

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