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Change coming to Poland schools

Published: Wed, October 31, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Change coming to Poland schools

The Poland Schools will be different next year.

There will be a new superintendent by September 2013. The search will begin soon for a new CEO of Poland schools, and there will be stiff competition. Just in Mahoning and Trumbull counties, there are several districts vying for the same top notch candidate that Poland requires. Across the state of Ohio, there are dozens of suburban districts searching as well. The levy results will play an important role in who wants the job.

Should the levy pass, there will most likely be maintenance of the status quo and even restoration of some previous cuts. Everything will not be restored to pre-cut levels — the levy does not generate enough revenue for that — but the district will be on the right track to begin to rebuild what has been lost.

Should the levy fail, there may be additional cuts or open enrollment, or both. The Ohio Department of Education will be involved in monitoring the financial solvency of the district. Another levy will be on the ballot as soon as possible and the district may be changed forever.

Now, which scenario would you like to apply to be the CEO of?

The teaching staff will also be different in the coming years. Recent changes to the state retirement system, including STRS, will have some of our more experienced educators retiring by July 1, 2015. This will be true for all local school districts, and again our financial status will play an important role in who wants to teach in our district.

So imagine this simple plan: The levy passes Nov. 6 and the board and administration work hand in hand over the next two school years to make do with the funds available (of course, this works better if there are no additional funding cuts from Ohio). Then the retirements starting the 2015-16 school year allow for enough salary and benefit savings to restore many remaining cuts and maintain a cushion for unexpected changes in state funding.

Admittedly, it is not the ideal plan, or a quick plan, but it is a plausible plan. I would encourage the board of education to develop the framework of a five year plan that gets us back on track.

We, as residents of Poland, hold the future of the Poland Local School District in our hands. My plea to you is to vote yes for our school levy. The future starts now.

Julie Liddle, Poland

The writer is president and co-chair of Citizens for Poland Schools.

Social Security is the key

I’m writing this letter about an issue that is very important to me, my family and friends, and one that is getting the wrong attention in this political season, Social Security.

Overall, the second presidential debate made the difference between the two candidates even more stark. There wasn’t much discussion about Social Security and Medicare, but we already know they have contrasting positions on this essential retirement system. For starters, it is not an entitlement program, but an earned benefit. You pay into the system from the first day of your employment. It is a promise that when you are older and retire these guaranteed benefits will be there for you.

Social Security and Medicare are two of the most successful government run programs and they are not broke. Right now the Trust Fund is good until 2035, and with some small improvements we can assure that they will be around for our grandchildren. One change that many Democrats are open to, but Mitt Romney and the GOP have written off, is to increase the Social Security tax cap to a higher amount (it is currently $110,100) or get rid of it altogether.

Romney talks about preserving it, but he has proposed cuts and big changes that taken together would totally destroy the program. He has endorsed increasing the retirement age, decreasing the cost of living adjustment, paying smaller benefits to middle class and high income people (i.e. means testing, something which undermines support for the program) and even partial privatization. He does not call it privatization but rather “letting people invest their own money.” The practical effect would be privatization would take money out of the Social Security system and put it into the stock market, a much riskier investment. We all know what happened to Wall Street and Main Street is still paying.

Charlene W. Allen, Warren

Yes, government does some good

As a concluding remark at the second debate, Gov. Romney declared, “government does not create jobs.” It does. For example, the Internet was established by connecting various agencies mostly government. Industry is now engaged in space use and exploration; that plus many new commercial innovations grew from NASA operations. Subsidies for hauling mail helped create the airlines; the Transcontinental Railroad really united the United States, as did the telegraph wire.

Those are just a sample of progress from our government complying with the constitutional mandate to, “promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” The Stock Market will not do that; it is the millionaire’s casino. The 401K is a poor substitute for pensions, which provided workers security and investment capital.

The South demands smaller and less government. But electric power from the Tennessee Valley Authority provided the opportunity for all to prosper. The South and the West benefit from giant dams that harnessed waterways, providing power and year-round water supplies.

The breakup of Standard Oil and Ma Bell allowed free enterprise to expand, millions to prosper and encouraged innovation. Yet some question the right of the government interference, ala Ayn Rand. As it creates jobs, innovation also eliminates them. Travel agents and reservation clerks are largely replaced by the IPhone. The electric company meterman replaced by the Smart Meter. It indirectly reads and withdraws money from your bank account. That reduces two jobs, plus mail and bank activity.

The Romney-Ryan team takes aim at downsizing Social Security which created more jobs, as did Medicare, in the last half of the prior century by allowing the middle class to retire as consumers and afford health care. Both were previously available only to the very rich.

Do we want to revert to 1930 as Grover Norquest demands, or unhealthy coal burning to please the Koch Brothers?

Richard T. Tracy Sr., Mesa, Ariz.

Victorian Players are a pleasure

My husband and I recently saw Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” at the Victorian Players. I am amazed at the way everyone knows their lines so well.

Donny Wolford who played Hop-Frog stole the show with his fantastic performance. What a great job he did, as did everyone else.

We really enjoy going to the Victorian Players.

Patricia Cika, Austintown


1paulparks(235 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Poland Schools! When do the teachers start giving back their 10% raises???

Defeat the levy!

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2UNCOMMONSENSE(523 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

gdog...it is not a matter of how you feel but the reality of finances. If the money is not there, then you can't expect the pay to be there. The taxpayer should not be the only one sacrificing.

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3HappyBob(285 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Very well said Charlene.
The other thing that sealed my vote was Romney's characterization of me being irresponsible for my life. He clearly does not know the non-wealthy american voter, nor does he seem to care to know them.
He reminds me of the Wizard of Oz, a lot of bluster, but there's really nothing behind the curtain!

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4repeaters(278 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

"We, as residents of Poland, hold the future of the Poland Local School District in our hands. My plea to you is to vote yes for our school levy. The future starts now." No, the future starts every six months when the tax statements are mailed to your supporters; you know, taxpayers. The ones you love to hate, and hate to love depending on which side of the levy their on. "Citizens for Poland Schools"; I love the way you identify yourselves as sort of 'something special' than 'other' people of the community that pay Poland school taxes that maybe don't have either the financial resources or the willness to follow the crowd any more. Maybe their on fixed incomes, but hey, you don't care. You want it so bad, then let the "Citizens for Poland Schools" pay the bill. The 'other' taxpayers, alias citizens, won't mind at all.

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5mingodrs(2 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

It is obvious to me that several of the comments above are offered by those unfamiliar with the facts or by those who would vote NO just bcause they can. The teachers got no 10% pay raise - in fact they have accepted a pay freeze and a step freeze. I encourage any who want the real facts to visit abulldogforever.com,
As the signs say this is for the children and the community. VOTE YES!

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6paulparks(235 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

The teachers may have accepted a pay freeze for "the future," but what about the 10% increase they got the past 3 years? GIVE IT BACK! Defeat the levy!

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7paulparks(235 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago


I am not a teacher hater. There are good ones. In this economic climate, however, why should they be immune to the recession? I'm not, You're not. These teachers "juice" up their salaries, perks and bennies BEFORE we have a chance to express our disapproval. Yes, it's a goofed up system, but I didn't design it.

Defeat the levy!

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8paulparks(235 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

The teachers' union is strangely silent during all of this. What's the matter... hand caught in the cookie jar?

For those who say a levy defeat will depress home values, get real! Will a levy success all of a sudden boost home values? I don't think so.

Bring sanity back to the school district - defeat the levy!

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9BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Teachers pay 5% of their insurance -- and the plan itself is very rich. The copay will go up to 10% in 2014! We are still paying the full portion of the retirement package for administrators. Teachers have always contributed 10% toward their pension.. There has been no increase. You do realize that the wage and step freeze means that they get no raise for two years? I haven't had a raise for 5 years. They make it sound like they're making some great sacrifice. But besides that, they are $13 million in debt. They didn't ask us to vote on those lease purchase agreements, but it's our responsibity to bail them out. School funding has been cut int he last two years. Had the Poland schools practiced any fiscal restraint, they would have money left over even with the cuts. Yet we are asked to trust you with money when the new superintendent announced an average teacher salary that was $15,000 less than is correct. I know he was given incorrect information, but I don't want to give any more money to schools where teachers refuse to renegotiate contracts when a worldwide recession occurs and when the interim superintendent charged with passing the levy doesn't know the financial situation. I expect more accountability by all staff and employees--not just taking things away from kids--before I consider voting for a levy.

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10Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Pay for Sports and tax the drugs
problem solved . It's the same at BHS
PAY to play . and make all teams pay rent on the new stadium

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