November 28, 2014

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Keystone to cut 5 teachers, freshmen sports

LAGRANGE — After voters’ rejection of a 5.95-mill operating levy earlier this month, Keystone school officials knew they were facing budget cuts.

This week, the school board eliminated five teaching positions as well as the job of a special education aide and a cleaning position.

The teaching slots include two elementary and two middle school positions, as well as one teacher at the high school, according to Superintendent Jay Arbaugh.

The board also voted to eliminate softball at the middle school as well as all freshmen sports at the high school.

The district looks to save $610,000 from the cuts, according to Arbaugh, who said further cuts will follow should voters again reject the issue in November when it is expected to be back on the ballot.

The school board and administration will hold a community meeting June 23 to discuss the impact of the levy failure and where the district looks to go from here, Arbaugh said.

“Our intent is to be on the ballot in November and, if we are not able to pass anything then, we will most likely be implementing further reductions immediately,” Arbaugh said.

The scope of additional cuts has yet to be determined, he said.

“We’ll be reviewing it and have a plan to present to the board,” Arbaugh said.

Those proposed reductions will be discussed with the community sometime during the summer, Arbaugh said.

About 40 percent of the voters who cast ballots May 6 were in favor of the five-year operational levy. The levy would have generated $1.4 million annually.

“We have not passed an operating levy for new money in 20 years,” Arbaugh said.

While the district has gone without new operating money for years, it did get a new $11.5 million middle school built due in part to a financial plan that used tax revenue from 2.19 mills originally used to pay for the district’s high school.

Despite being able to lower taxes via refinanced bonds for a new elementary school, the system “simply can’t continue to do things the way we’ve been doing them for the past 20 years,” Arbaugh said.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.


  • Sis Delish

    Another School Board not hearing the Message form Voters.

    • Rtgh123

      The levy didn’t pass so they made budget cuts. What message did the school board not hear? Keep studying for your GED. You can do it!

      • Sis Delish

        Here, maybe this is more in line with your capability to ingest information:

        Little Johnny wanted a raise in his allowance. Little Johnny’s parents said NO. Six months later, Little Johnny again asked for a raise in his allowance. His parents again said NO. This time, Little Johnny’s parents said, “until you show some ability to manage your nickels and dimes, there will be no discussions on your allowance being raised.” Little Johnny turned 25 this year, and again asked for a raise in his allowance. The answer was once again, NO!

        Morale of this and that story, what part of NO don’t you understand?

        • Keystone Parent

          Keystone has not asked for an increase in 4 years even though every other district in the county has.

          Keystone has the lowest tax rate of any school district in the county. The two districts who are closest (Wellington & Oberlin) have a school income tax to provide additional funding. Keystone does not

          The Keystone School District has achieved an academic rating of Excellent/Excellent with Distinction in 4 of the past 5 years by the Ohio State Board of Education. The highest ratings possible. This has been accomplished even though the per pupil expenditure has continued to decrease over the past three years.

          Keystone spends $8,275 per pupil. And has decreased it every year for the last 3 years. In FY 11 it was $8,832, in FY 12 it was $8,659, and FY 13 $8,275. For comparison the statewide average = $10,597, Oberlin = $12,281, Elyria = $10,329, Wellington = $9,677, Columbia = 10,521, and Firelands = $8,970. ~From Ohio Department of Education data from here http://webapp2.ode.state.oh.us/school_finance/data/policy_research/F2012_district_profile_report.asp

          The district operates on less money per student than any other district in the county and has continualy been rated excellent.. How is this not being financially responsible.

          Don’t take my word for it look up the actual numbers here

          http://stateimpact.npr.org/ohio/2012/01/17/see-how-much-each-ohio-school-district-spends-per-student/

          oh and one last thing… In 2012 and 2013, Keystone refinanced the High School bond issue, saving the district taxpayers $2,7 million over the life of the bonds. This saves a homeowner $380 over the life of the bond per $100,000 value of thier home. Money that was approved was given back to the taxpayers by being fiscally responsible.

          • Sis Delish

            Sounds like all those accomplishments were done WITHOUT a tax increase. Bravo! Keep up the good work, and cut where you can.

          • Keystone Parent

            yes they have done a great job of continuing to improve even while getting no new money but this can only go so far… how much do you think can be cut when every other single district in the county is spending more.. and they are already way below the state average as well..

            in your post you said that “Johnny needed to show he could manage his money before getting a raise in his allowance”… I think that has happened.

          • Sis Delish

            Actually, the “other districts” should learn from Keystone, in my opinion.

          • SniperFire

            Exactly. Keystone proves that just throwing money at it isn’t the answer.

          • SniperFire

            ‘yes they have done a great job of continuing to improve even while getting no new money but this can only go so far.’

            Says you? Think out of the box.

          • Keystone Parent

            I would argue that “out of the box” thinking has already been done. Keystone is spending less and doing more with it…

          • SniperFire

            You aren’t making any argument. you are peddling psychobabble. Try this. By your numbers, Keystone cuts 43% of their budget shortfall by letting 5 retiring teachers go unreplaced. So if they let 6 more go, does this solve the budget shortfall without sticking every homeowner in the district with another $30-40 a month of taxation?

          • Keystone Parent

            I have posted links to back up facts that I have stated… after posting facts with links to information to back it up I was told to “think outside the box” ????? how else would I respond??

            in regards to the other portion of your comment ..

            there are state limits on how many students each teacher can have in class… and every grade level was at or near that limit this year. Just eliminating a group of teachers will not solve it.. There are cuts being made (as mentioned in the article) in other areas to try to even further reduce costs..

          • SniperFire

            ‘I have posted links to back up facts that I have stated..’

            You are deflecting and not answering my question. Would cutting 6 more teachers do it?

          • Keystone Parent

            I did not deflect. if you reread my repsonse.. I said “there are state limits on how many students each teacher can have in class… and every grade level was at or near that limit this year. Just eliminating a group of teachers will not solve it.. There are cuts being made (as mentioned in the article) in other areas to try to even further reduce costs..”

            meaning simply cutting 6 more teachers is not an option… I can’t speak to their health care options ..that would be a union contract negotiated agreement… I am not a teacher or admin from the school.

          • SniperFire

            ‘ Just eliminating a group of teachers will not solve it.. ‘

            Because you say so? Prove it.

          • SniperFire

            ‘ I can’t speak to their health care options ..that would be a union contract negotiated agreement.’

            So really, you have no idea what you are talking about and just want to pretend the only solution is to raise taxes another $30-40 bucks per month per homeowner.

          • Pablo Jones

            Do you have any links that show additional funding for schools improves the education? You showed links to schools that spend more per student yet their quality of education isn’t any better.

          • Keystone Parent

            The school will be in a deficit if the funding stays exactly the way it is now.. State funding provided to Keystone Local School District has decreased by over $650,000 since 2009 and no new operating money has been approved in 20 years… Cost of living and pay in general have all increased over a 20 year period. Couple that with the decrease in property values due to the real estate bubble burstand its effect on the economy over the last few years and Keystone is out even more moeny. The deficit amount with no changes would be $1.4 million dollars… the millage amount requested would roughly equal that same $1.4 million.. in other words… they are not looking for more money to be able to do different things,.. (add extra benefits or pad peoples pockets) all they want to do is keep that programs that are in place running… and those programs are what has allowed the school to acheive the excellent ratings.

          • Pablo Jones

            Since this article references no new funding for Keystone in over 20 years I took a look. Funding has increased 123% and enrollment has dropped 3%

            http://ode.legislature.state.oh.us/chart.php?district=48165&report_type=total_operating_revenue

            Funny how their budget has grown with no new money.

            If you want to know where the money is going it is from the teacher raises. Base salary has increase 2.5 – 2.75% for the last several years and then you have the step increases for the teachers. Find the total amount spend on wages and compensation and multiple it by 4% that is how much is being increased each year. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is a close match to the amount money the district is falling behind by.

          • SniperFire

            ‘The school will be in a deficit if the funding stays exactly the way it is now.. ‘

            Why? Which costs have exploded, and which have remained relatively unchanged? The new cuts have addressed almost the entirety of state funding loss, has it not?

            How much is the taxpayer paying for the zero deductible healthcare policy of each teacher TODAY versus 20 years ago?

          • 2111

            Why can’t people get this concept straight. The decline in property value has no effect on revenue generated for schools. All levies generate exactly as much money per their origination. All property values in town could go down to $10,000 and the schools would still receive the same money. The only thing that changes is the rate each property is accessed to generate the required money to satisfy each levy.

          • Keystone Parent

            Operating levies are based on Millage

            A tax rate that is applied to the assessed value of real estate. Millage rates are expressed not as regular percentages, but in tenths of a penny. For example, a millage rate of 2 mills would mean 2 tenths of a penny.

            Let’s look at an example: A tax district levies property tax at 5 mills and a homeowner’s property has been assessed at $250,000. The homeowner’s property tax would be equal to:

            5 mills = 5 x 1/1000 = .005

            (a tenth of a penny is also equal to 1/1000 of a dollar. Here we convert 5 mills into its percentage of one dollar)
            .005 x $250,000 =(tax rate x assessed value) $1,250 in tax

            http://taxes.about.com/od/statetaxes/a/Millage.htm

            So in other words yes as property values go down less money comes in

          • 2111

            This is a perfectly fine example of how taxes are calculated but not reflective of how they are applied.
            The rate changes as the overall value total of the community’s property changes. If all property in the community is valued at $10,000 or $100,000 the rate is changed to generate the monies needed to satisfy the school levy.
            If a business in the community is property valued a 5mil, assuming there are no abatements it is generating a lot of money toward satisfying the levy. If the business shuts down and the value of the property declines to 300K it is up to the rest of the community to chip in more money to satisfy the levy even though their property value hasn’t changed their rate will.
            The levy is always satisfied regardless of property values because the rate applied changes to insure the levy is upheld.
            It’s nice that you want to support the schools and link to things that you think support your argument but if you don’t understand what they mean it’s hard to take you seriously. You do understand how rates are applied but that is only part of the picture.

          • Keystone Parent

            ok I will admit to an error.. if property values drop.. the outside millage will increase to compensate but according to this same rule as property values increase the millage has to decrease as well (Inside millage which is different is not modified as a result of inflation or deflation).

            still doesn’t change the fact the the state itself is giving a lot less moeny to the district and that costs are continually increasing

            http://www.smfschools.org/assets/attachments/file/tax_report_08.pdf

            Millage Adjustments

            H.B. 920 effective millage adjustments
            In Ohio, the tax rates charged to the property owners may change when the tax base increases or decreases. The new assessed value is multiplied by the number of mills that will generate the voted dollar amount. In other words, the amount of money a school district may collect cannot exceed the dollar amount that was originally generated when the levy was voted. This occurred when Ohio passed House Bill 920. As the value of your home increases, the adjustment to the millage tax rate reflects a decrease; and, vice-versa, if the value of your home decreases, the adjustment to the millage tax rate increases. This adjustment to the millage is known as ‘effective’ mills and results in the school district collecting only the same amount as the year it was voted. Therefore, the millage rate multiplied by the assessed value may be lower than the millage tax rate that appeared on the ballot and was voted. A negative impact to the School District occurs when the community’s valuation overall increases, the District may not receive more than the voted dollar amount, when that happens the “effective” millage rate is decreased resulting in taxpayers actually assessed at a lower rate.

          • 2111

            I honestly don’t know the answer to this but has the state reduced the amount of money it sends to schools recently or was this something that happened forty years ago and still repeated as if it’s happening today?
            It’s my understanding that there was a general reduction in monies going back to districts from the state but that it took place long enough ago that all budgets should have been changed to reflect that change by now. As in this all took place prior to the last levy passed by the Keystone district.
            This reduction in money going back to the schools also reflected a lower tax rate for everyone in the state because the money going back to the schools was coming from lottery proceeds and not tax based.

          • SniperFire

            ‘The Keystone School District has achieved an academic rating of Excellent/Excellent with Distinction in 4 of the past 5 years by the Ohio State Board of Education. ‘

            So they are doing a fine job with the money they have.
            Why should taxpayers give you more just because you demand it? See, places like Lagrange get better results from their education tax dollar than other places because the parents are investing in their childrens upbringing instead of being meth heads who dump their kids on the system for everything including breakfast.

          • Keystone Parent

            Keystone Local Schools are facing a budget shortfall of over $1.4 million in 2014. That deficit is predicted to grow to over $1.5 million in 2015 without the new revenue from the levy. The levy will generate an estimated $1,400,000 of new funding for the school annually allowing the school to keep the programs as they are..The levy is not to expand programs or anything else. Just to ba able to keep doing what they are doing.. Educating our kids.

          • SniperFire

            Most people are seeing their insurance premiums skyrocket and their deductibles increase. And of course, few raises. Can you say the same thing about your teachers salary and benefits, which are 80% of the money we are talking about here?

          • Pablo Jones

            How much has spending increased on teacher wages and compensation each year?

          • SniperFire

            That won’t be reported in the Grand Obfuscation.

          • Pablo Jones

            Well if the deficit is going to be $1.5 million and the new levy would only raise $1.4 million then passing the levy still wouldn’t keep things the same.

        • luvmytoaster

          Thank you…..

        • Rtgh123

          The fact that your Little Johnny is 25 years old and asking you for a raise explains a lot.

          MORALE and MORAL are different words. Look them up, but don’t fall behind on your GED studies.

      • luvmytoaster

        Why doesn’t a no vote ever mean “NO”! The voters have had their say, and the answer was an astounding NO! What is so very hard for you to understand?

        Oh and don’t worry – it will be back on the ballot ASAP…..

  • Otter

    Sounds like they are holding the kids hostage…..

    • Summer Smart

      Sounds like what Midview did. Watch out for the back door deals…heading your way.

  • SniperFire

    How much did they slash teacher retirement and benefits? Oh that’s right. That is the cost that continues to rocket up and is never mentioned in these sort of articles.

    • Sis Delish

      It’s very difficult for Teacher’s after they retire. They have a tough time adjusting to having the Other Nine Months off.

  • TheRustyScupper

    School Board, you want bucks, the start conserving some.
    List the salaries and benefits of ALL school system employees
    Show any savings you will make in their pay & benes.
    The voters can decide if the Board is doing enough to use tax money wisely.
    Something the Board refuses to do.
    No wonder it is 20-yrs since a levy.
    NO ONE, including tax payers, should give someone a spending blank check.
    At times, we wonder if the Board is listening.
    Or, as Doctor McCoy would say, “Is there intelligent life there?”.

  • Jefferey

    Holy crap there are a lot of douchebags leaving comments. 7 positions have lost their jobs and you all leave the dumbest comments on here blaming the teachers and the elected school board members. Same people complaining about the same things, all the time. Shame on you.

    • SniperFire

      ’7 positions have lost their jobs ;

      That is a lie, although they want you to think that, and you wouldn’t know it by reading the story. It is a perfect example of the problem when the facts are always presented in a twisted way by school officials with help of a complicit media. I know somebody who works in that district and he said the jobs will be cut via attrition from retirement.

    • Otter

      If wanted to appear slightly more intelligent than the d-bags, you should have said, 7 people have lost their jobs, or, 7 positions have been eliminated. Welcome to the D-bag club, dumbest comments division.

  • Keystone Parent

    all the people who say the school is not being financially responsible. please post links to any information that you have to back up your statements,.,.I would like to see these examples.. give numbers.. what is the basis for these statements?

    • SniperFire

      Sorry. Doesn’t work that way. Those taxpayers aren’t the ones demanding more money. The district needs to prove their case and do so without the typical lies and deception put forward. How much of the new $1.4 mm each year would go to teacher fringe benefits, for example?

      • Keystone Parent

        Keystone does not control the State of Ohio teacher healthcare plan.

        • SniperFire

          You are gutless. Let me ask you again.

          Why should the taxpayer pay for their ‘no deductible’ healthcare plans when the rest of America must now pay huge deductibles on their policies?

          And since we both know you won’t answer that, the follow up question is:

          If a district is struggling, shouldn’t salaries be decreased whenever the ‘no deductible’ insurance policies increase in cost if the Union insists on it as an untouchable part of the compensation plan? And why does the Chronicle-Telegram never mention the Teacher Union as the biggest culprit behind out-of-control public school expense?

          • Keystone Parent

            seriously you feel the need to drop to name calling…

            I can gree with you in regards to health plans changing but that is not in the control of the local school board… The school has follow the union agreement… Changes to teacher benifits is a union issue at the state level. .

          • SniperFire

            ‘I can gree with you in regards to health plans changing but that is not in the control of the local school board..’

            The local school board, and the taxpayer, have every right to consider the luxury health care plans part of the compensation package and vote new funding appropriately.

            You want the taxpayers to ignore the real funding problem and pretend there is nothing that can be done about it.

      • Pablo Jones

        http://www.serb.ohio.gov/sections/research/WEB_CONTRACTS/09-MED-03-0249.pdf

        The schools pay 85%-90% of the health insurance and 100% for vision and dental.

        Plus depending on the plan it looks like they also contribute to a FSA.

    • Nathan Opfer

      well lets start with building a 11 million dollar school, when remodeling the old middle and high school would of been more sensible. But yet they say it isnt fit for students yet they were goin to try to move the village offices and have a public rec center, hmmm makes you stop and think, they were feeding you lies. Also last I knew the superintendent, principles and vice principles were all makin well over 80grand a year, Theres a nice place to start with budget cuts they should be makin no more than 50 grand a year. Sports should be fully pay to play because they do not benefit the school as a whole. LaGrange use to be a nice small town, then out of towners showed up wantin a good country, small town atmosphere with big city conveniences. Well i’m here to tell you small town. country folk don’t like to change their ways, and can’t be forced to do so. I can sit here all night and continue but yall get the jest of it all. Keystone is just gettin too big for their britches. They were tryin to fix something that wasn’t broke to begin with.

      • DG

        Lagrange is as good today than it ever has been. Times change and so do towns. Progress is positive and do not understand why people like you try to stop it. How has the school gotten too big for its britches? We have one of the best schools in the county which attract families from all over the area. House values are up and that’s a great thing.

        • Nathan Opfer

          Because most of us grew up here over several generations. We liked the small town. We didn’t care that we had to drive 20 min to go get groceries, or go to the mall. We didn’t need them modern day conveniences then and we dont need them now, even tho some people can’t live without. Change is not always a good thing. Yea there aint no new taxes for the schools, but what kind of pressure did the schools put on the infrastructure of the town. You might not see costs for the school directly, but they will come around and hit you in the hind end. My parents property taxes have tripled in the last 20 years to almost an unbearable amount for hardly a piece of land. LaGrange spelled with a capital G has grown too fast in too short of time end of story. And a school shouldn’t dictate what a town should or shouldn’t do. They simply built something that a small town can’t and won’t fund.

      • Amanda Bulloch

        The school did not cost any additional money to taxpayers, all we did was renew the levy. And the elementary school was then funded by the state. We got two new schools and did not see an increase in our taxes. Please consider what this does to your property values. Having three new schools and a district with excellent ratings makes our community desirable to live in. If and when you go to move, you will see the benefits of this.

        • golfingirl

          “The school did not cost any additional money to taxpayers…….And the elementary school was then funded by the state. ”

          Where in the world do you think this money came from?

          Funded by the state? Where does the state get their money? They get their money from taxes, their sole source of revenue! We all paid for that school.

          Tell me you already knew that…please.

        • Nathan Opfer

          Yes they got three new schools, yet they still can’t fund them. How smart is that? Thats like getting a loan to build a house, but no job to pay it off or to pay utilities.

        • SniperFire

          ‘We got two new schools and did not see an increase in our taxes.’

          In fact, local tax revenue increased by over 1 million dollars between 2004 and 2012.

          http://ode.legislature.state.oh.us/chart.php?district=48165&report_type=total_operating_revenue

  • SniperFire

    Hey, Mr.Arbaugh.

    Show the taxpayer a pie chart of how much of that budget priority has shifted in those 20 years to teacher and administrator fringe benefits from other spending categories.

    You know. Have a serious conversation on spending priorities instead of insulting the taxpayer’s intelligence with talks of community rec centers being in jeopardy if a levy does not pass.

  • concernedparent

    Why not cut pointless teaching positions such as the high schools Family & Consumer Science position. Postitions like these are pointless and arnt even “real” subjects. Cut out pointless positions such as this one and leave the sports alone. Taking sports away only hurts the kids.

    • SniperFire

      They must take away sports from the kids because the teachers demand you pay for their zero deductible luxury health insurance policies – among other things.

      • kiddingme

        Either provide a link or quit lying. In. Every. Article.

        • Sis Delish

          Look it up… Union Contracts & Teacher Tenure… shocking stuff in both!

        • SniperFire

          I actually have already provided that link. Find somebody who can read it to you. LOL

          • Keystone Parent

            I love how you insult people about not reading your link when you don’t read links that others post …. nor aknowledge when you are wrong…. plus you really cannot have an civil discussion without relying upon insulting someone… but if someone does it to you oh….the gloves are off… if you have such a problem with the teacher benefits and or the school board then you should attend an open school board meeting or attempt to get elected to the school board so that you can do something about it other than complaining and insulting people in the comments section…..LOL

          • SniperFire

            ‘ if you have such a problem with the teacher benefits and or the school board then you should attend an open school board meeting ‘

            It’s not even my district. And school board meeting are just attended by those preaching to the choir. No, I think I will expose the corruption in forums whenever possible, provide links to the truth and watch as you ideologues scramble to hide the truth from voters. LOL

            And if you don’t want to be insulted (as much), don’t continue to attempt to obfuscate the truth.

          • Keystone Parent

            in other words you prefer to troll web forums looking to start arguments…..

            sounds like you have more of an issue with teachers and the system in general.

          • SniperFire

            Does it upset you that the truth is exposed?

          • Keystone Parent

            what truth was supposedly exposed????

          • SniperFire

            The Superintendent, with an assist by a willingly complicit media, is proffering a ruse which tries to make a voter believe the school has been running on the same amount of money they had in 1992. In fact, they are now taking in 125% more than they took in that year, which is an average increase of 6.25% more per year.

            How much of that 6.25% per year goes to your wallet?

          • DG

            Keystone does not have a zero deductible health insurance plan. Fact.

          • SniperFire

            Gawd. What a moron. Read the last two ZERO DEDUCTIBLE healthcare plan insurance options and then apologize.

            https://www.strsoh.org/_pdfs/healthcare/12-229.pdf

          • Pablo Jones

            That health insurance is for retirees and only for secondary insurance is they are employed. Teachers health benefits are spelled out in their contract.

            http://www.serb.ohio.gov/sections/research/WEB_CONTRACTS/09-MED-03-0249.pdf

            Page 41

            They do have deductibles in network $150-300 in network to $400-800 out of network. With a 10% co-pay in network and 30% out of network.

            But, the school district contributes $200-$250 a year towards their FSA. So essentially for a single person their deductible is covered 100% and even for a family it is nearly covered 100%.

            What seems crazy to me about the plan is they have a yearly max out of pocket limit of $1,095. Knock out the $250 the school puts in their FSA and the most they will pay is $845 a year plus between $540-$2040 in premiums. But the school district is paying over $14,000 per employee per year.

          • DG

            I’m not a moron and owe no apology. STRS is not Keystone teachers. Know the difference. Keystone does not have a zero deductible insurance plan.

            I love how you demand things and name call but do not have the facts right. Keysone does not have a zero deductible plan. All union contracts are public record and can be easily located.

            It’s easy to sit back under the guise of a screen name and tell half truths.

          • Pablo Jones

            You are right they do have a deductible, but it is practically covered for all employees by the school district. The school district spends around $14,000 per employee for health insurance. Scaling back their insurance plan and making the employees pay a bit more would save a lot of money.

            Cutting back the plan to one that costs 10,000 per employee (which is still above average) with them paying 30% would save the district $7,000 per employee. If the school insures more than 145 people that would save over $1 million a year.

          • SniperFire

            ‘I love how you insult people ‘

            … and why did you conveniently ignore this other person who added nothing but calling me a ‘shill’ and a ‘lair’?
            You are coming across as quite a joke.

      • kiddingme

        and quit being such a shill.

      • Nathan Opfer

        They rather cut the bigger organizations and classes like agriculture and FFA. You the classes that actually teach you about real life and your surrounding community.

  • KG

    I am a graduate from Keystone, have had relatives teach at Keystone and am a teacher as well. We do not go into teaching for the money. Yes, we get some time off in the summer, but we DO NOT get paid for that time. We get our checks over a 12- month period so we can budget easier, like everyone else. I have had as many as 33 students in my classroom at one time, with no assistant. We are not only expected to teach these children and raise test scores, but parent these children because so many parents do not do their jobs. Schools are a business, whether we like to admit it or not. They need money to operate just like any other company. There are expenses – tutors for the children who need extra help, an EC assistant needed to help those children with special needs, and the list goes on and on. Let’s talk dollars and cents….how much would taxes go up each year, honestly? $100? $200? Now, let’s divide that over a 12 month period….maybe $15 – $20 a month? Now, how many cases of beer or cigarettes, or movie tickets is that? I don’t think education is the place to scrimp….Maybe if we start taking things away like sports or other extra curricular activities away the people will start looking at things differently. Let’s take away the Friday night basketball or football games. I never thought I would see a day when there was such disrespect towards a profession that is so important. Let’s face it….if it were that damn easy, you’d do it too. It’s just a lot easier to sit behind a computer, throw all this BS because you are too ignorant to shell out a few extra bucks for a child’s education…….

    • SniperFire

      ‘ Yes, we get some time off in the summer, but we DO NOT get paid for that time. ‘

      Bull. You get full time income with a luxury no deductible healthcare insurance plan for part time work. I believe your contract is 180 days or so.

      You are replaceable for half the cost. There are probably 500 applicants for every job that comes available. The place to ‘take away’ isn’t from the kids sports – it is from your bloated compensation plan.

      • KG

        You must really not want to give up those cigarettes or beer, huh? Why not take away sports? Sports are not as important as what kids get in the classroom. Smaller classes or a football team? Hmmm……gee, no brainer……What an ignorant person you truly are. Hopefully you can pass that same ignorant attitude on to your children and grandchildren so people like us are left cleaning up the mess you created. Job well done. You are our future and that’s pretty sad. Your comments are asinine and ridiculous. Why don’t you go live some place else where education isn’t valued….I think that may suit you better..

        • SniperFire

          ‘Why not take away sports? ‘

          Because you are replaceable at half of the cost, or less.
          Bringing the cost of teachers in line gives us sports and teachers, instead of one or the other.

          Understand?

        • Sis Delish

          Can you give up any provisions of your Union Contract which simple taxpayers can see would benefit not only students, but taxpayers, or are you obstinate?

          That is the underlying question most educators refuse to deal with.

        • golfingirl

          Probably not a good idea to call the very people you depend upon to make a living “ignorant.” Not going to help you at election time.

          I personally don’t drink, or smoke, so I can assure you this voter is not spending her money on” cigarettes or beer.”

          Last time I checked, the U.S was $17.5 trillion dollars in debt. This is what I don’t want to “pass onto my children and grandchildren.” Using your words, who is going to be “left cleaning up the mess?” The very children you claim to have their best interest at heart. Really?

          I hope you don’t teach economics, since you have no grasp of the concept of living within your means and not spending what you don’t have.

          Did I mention above, we are taxed out! So tell me, why is the teachers’ union opposed to enrolling their members in Obamacare?

          A very simple question, which I am sure you can answer without use of the word “ignorant.”

          The ignorant people are those who ask no questions.

        • Starryeyes63

          No I do not want to give up my husbands medications (he had a stroke 19 months ago) since Medicare which we both paid into has been stripped of a lot of our benefits. Co-pays were over 15K so I don’t want to give up another dime.

        • Pablo Jones

          If teachers do it for the kids and not the money, why wouldn’t they take an across the board pay cut. They those positions wouldn’t have to be eliminated and the kids won’t have to suffer.

        • Starryeyes63

          which of my husband’s stoke medications do you want me to give up?????

      • DG

        Keystone does not have a “no deductible healthcare insurance plan”.

    • golfingirl

      Your words…..”schools are a business, whether we like to admit it or not.”

      Yes they are, and as with any business, people are only willing to pay a finite amount, based on the value of the product they are being asked to purchase, and their available funds to buy the product.

      Fact is, people are taxed out! Every election, we are asked to pass levies, new or renewals, for a variety of services. All are “sold” to the electorate as “good causes.” Police and fire levies , mental health issues, transportation systems, libraries, road contraction and repairs….on and on. It never ends.

      Gas this weekend was over $4.00 per gallon, the price of food is outrageous, individual healthcare costs have reached new highs and federal tax rates have gone up significantly. (Thanks in part to the A.C.A)

      You state, ” I never thought I would see a day when there was such disrespect towards a profession.” It has nothing to do with disrespect, it has everything to do with personal finance. Have you looked at the economic figures lately? Not very encouraging, are they?

      In Avon Lake, the average teacher salary is approaching $70k annually. With benefits, the total package will soon reach $100k, or well over $500 for each day worked. Fact is, for every day a teacher works, they have a day off. Probably won’t get much sympathy from voters given those numbers, especially from those who work 250 to 300 days per year.

      Playing the “child card” is getting very old and unfair. The minute a taxpayer asks for accountability, they are referred to as neither compassionate, nor caring. Do you really believe this?

      I personally admire teachers, and could never do their job. But that does not mean I am not entitled to decide what I feel I am willing to pay for their labors.

      So why don’t the teachers enroll in Obamacare? We were told this would significantly decrease healthcare cost for everyone. This from the very political party the teachers’ union overwhelming supports in national elections? Or does the union feel they should be exempted from the very healthcare program they supported? It is fine for others, but not our membership?

      The taxpayers have voted, they feel compensation is adequate, and the schools need to live within their current budget.

      May be time to explore an alternate profession. One in which you are paid what YOU feel you are worth, and your value is not decided by a bunch of “ignorant” voters.

    • Amanda Bulloch

      I applaud you and what you do for our kids KG. To me, investing in my childs, and any childs education is worth the expense. In my opinion, you are not paid enough for what you provide my child with. Thank you!

      • SniperFire

        You must be a renter.

        • Amanda Bulloch

          Actually, no. I own my home. In a very nice neighborhood too, I might add. Why would you assume I am a renter? Because I can’t put a value on my child’s education, so because I rent, I can afford more? Are you serious? It’s a shame more parents don’t care enough about the type of education their children receive.

          • Pablo Jones

            Are you saying that if the old school gym isn’t converted to a community center or teachers don’t get a raise the quality of the education they provide will decrease?

            Throwing money around does not result in a better education. If teachers make 10% more money today than 5 years ago is the quality of their education 10% better? How much improvement in the education will the community center contribute?

            The reference about renters is they don’t know what the property taxes are. They are perfectly willing to increase property taxes since they don’t own property. And in many cases landlords can’t raise rents due to leases or low demand for rentals.

          • Amanda Bulloch

            The community center has nothing to do with the operation levy of the schools. I am saying we as parents need to invest in our children and yes at times be willing to pay slightly higher taxes to do that, and yes, the quality of education will go down drastically if we continue to eliminate teachers to save this money. The pupil to teacher ration goes up and our kids suffer by not being able to get the help they need. Do I need to give you example of schools that have this problem or can you figure that out on your own? Look at their property values, look at the people who live there. It is not a desirable place to send your kids, so the houses are cheap. When you have a great community that supports the schools and sometimes, yes, pay a higher tax, that you probably wouldn’t even notice is gone, you have schools like Amherst, Avon, Avon Lake, and Keystone. Now if you would like to turn this school into what some of the other schools in the county are, go ahead, keep turning down these levies! I do not think that cutting teachers income is a way to do this. What they provide to our children is invaluable. That is like saying the Dr. that saved your life isn’t worth the money you pay him. Teachers are underpaid and as you have clearly pointed out, underappreciated and under valued. I am sorry that the teachers you had in your life didn’t leave as much of an impact on you as mine did.

          • Pablo Jones

            I didn’t say eliminating teachers I said would the quality of education go down if they don’t get a raise. If that is the case are the teachers holding back on their teaching potential until they get a raise.

            What the difference is between you and the other people on here is that you feel more money will make the schools better. Others want to know what the money will be spent on. If more teachers means a better education (which studies have shown that higher teacher to student ratios don’t necessarily improve the quality of the education) then cut back on the step increases and annual raises and hire additional teachers with that money.

            The schools budget has increase 120% over 20 years. That is twice the rate of inflation and the majority of that increase has gone to the teachers. Each year the cost of wages and compensation increases and it has gotten to the point now where teachers wages are increasing faster then home values and household incomes. Because of this what used to work no longer works. Raising taxes will not stop the spending problem.

            Every year a teacher makes more money, does the quality of their education improve? Are they better teachers now than they were 5 years ago? Were the kids that graduated 5 years ago not as smart as the kids graduating now? The answer is no they aren’t. The education kids are receiving now has declined over the last couple decades, even with increased spending on education, teachers with masters degrees, and new fad teaching methods.

            If you feel teachers are under paid how much do you think they should be paid? Do you even know how much they are currently compensated with their wages pension, and health benefits? They are in the top 25% of wage earners. Hardly under paid.

          • SniperFire

            ‘ I do not think that cutting teachers income is a way to do this.’

            Why not? They could be replaced for a third of the cost.

          • Sis Delish

            Build a Dormitory for Teachers to live in, just like when they were at Universities and Colleges. A portion of their pay is for Rent, another portion for Utilities, and have a Cafeteria built at the Dorms so that they don’t have to watch cooking shows.

            They will be well-fed, and provided room and board. Consequently, their respective salaries and benefits shall be lowered dramatically as there will be a Nurse Practiioner hired to administer drugs.

          • Rtgh123

            I don’t want you, a minimum wage earner, who hasn’t even earned a GED to teach my children.

          • SniperFire

            Odds are very good II make more in a month than you make in a year, son.
            LOL

          • SniperFire

            ‘The community center has nothing to do with the operation levy of the schools’

            Except that the Superintendent initially tried to use it as a ploy to blackmail the community into voting for the levy. He was nailed on that one, just like I hope he gets nailed on his obfuscation about having no money increases for ’20 years.’ But my guess is you like being lied to for ‘the greater good.’

          • Amanda Bulloch

            I think it is safe to say we can agree to clearly disagree. This is turning into a political battle, republican vs. democrat, or should I say Liberal as you called me, you won’t sway my view and I won’t sway yours. I will continue to support Keystone and it’s teachers. I too have done my research and see the value in doing so.

          • SniperFire

            ‘I think it is safe to say we can agree to clearly disagree.’

            Disagree all you want. You have still been destroyed by the facts.

          • Amanda Bulloch

            Sure, we will just go with that. Really it is just that I have a life I need to get back to. I don’t have time for your nonsense.

          • Rtgh123

            Don’t waste your time arguing with these people. I don’t think most of them even graduated from high school. They are unbelievably ignorant.

          • golfingirl

            “It’s a shame more parents don’t care enough about the type of education their children receive.”

            Wanting accountability and value for one’s hard-earned tax dollars in no way implies one does not care about their child’s education.

            You state above, “I can’t put a value on my child’s education.” Well I can!

            The value of a child’s education does not equate to the amount of money spent on education. A huge difference.

            For example, Cleveland public schools spend over $13k annually per pupil, Avon, under $8k. Which community receives the most benefit for their tax dollars?

            If you feel Keystone deserves more, then give it. But don’t play that, if you don’t roll over and give whatever the school system wants, you don’t care about your child’s education line.

            That logic is tired and old and does not play very well in today’s tax and spend environment.

          • SniperFire

            ‘ Why would you assume I am a renter?’

            Because you want homeowners to spend more money on your kids. It is a typical liberal instinct. Tax the other guy for the things you want to consume.

      • golfingirl

        Then make a contribution to the school system. I am sure they would accept any additional amount you can part with.

        Have you ever done so?

        • Amanda Bulloch

          I contribute to the school and the sports programs in many ways. Thank you for asking.

          • golfingirl

            You are welcome. I am sure the school system appreciates your support.

    • Pablo Jones

      The tone you take and the references you make to people who voted against the levy will not will you any votes. If that is how you view people as spending all their money on beer and cigarettes then no levy deserves to be passed. Theses are the people that make your profession possible and in many cases these are the people that earn less than many of the teachers.

      In any case it doesn’t matter what they want to spend their money on. The school board didn’t make the case for what they wanted to spend the money on. They said what they would use most of the money for and the people voted against it.

    • Pablo Jones

      As for getting your summers off. You are paid a salary for 9 months of work that is comparable to people working 12 months of the year. You are paid over 12 months because most school districts know some of their teachers are bad with money and would blow it. And making payments spread over the course of the year saves you in tax dollars taken out of your pay.

      Seriously making the argument that you are not paid for your summers off looks even worse when you say how much you are paid for just 9 months of work and if you choose to work during the summer you get paid for that as well.

    • Keystone mother

      My son is a student at Keystone, he needs extra help, the school said “here is a list of tutors you can hire and pay for” he has a learning disability, the school said ” hire someone to have him tested, we don’t do that here” Really? What does the school psychologist do? I know quite a few school psychologist and that is what they do. He has vision impairments, his pediatrician, a special intervention specialist, his vision therapist & his eye specialist (all hired and paid for directly by myself as well as private tutors and academic camps) say he is eligible for an IEP or 504, the school says “lets hold him back, you don’t want him dealing with special education or anything” Now ultimately he is my child and I will pay for anything he needs, I will drive him all over for tutoring, specialist, academic camps etc. He is smart, and he can do anything his peers can he just needs a little extra help (mostly because of the eye issue). I have the utmost respect for his Principal Mrs.Neville she truly cares and wants to see him succeed but as far as “extra help & tutoring” thats a joke to me. My best friend is a teacher in a district with a lot more problems then Keystone and their kiddos get a lot more help?!?! Another friend moved recently to Oberlin and she is amazed at all they do to help their students, her children did not receive nearly as much help at Keystone and they are thriving. I graduated from Keystone as did my parents and my grandfather but as a parent I am seriously irritated. I am not against the levy, I’m just responding to your statement.

  • SniperFire

    How can the C-T do several articles on this, and the Superintendent make many comments on the problem without ever ONCE mentioning the runaway budget-busting zero deductible luxury healthcare costs which are crushing the school districts and the homeowners ability to fund their schools?

    Time to move teachers and administrators to the Obamacare which they claim to support.

    • golfingirl

      Just made the same comment below.

      Teacher unions threw all their money to Obama’s re-election campaign, but will not live by the very program their chosen candidate pushed down the throats of other Americans.

      Can anyone say hypocrisy? Based of the $2500 savings per family, per year, which was promised, it seems the there would be significant savings, not only with teachers, but other government employees, who have now exempted themselves.

      Time to walk like they talk, don’t ya think! It would go a long way with the voters.

    • DG

      Keysone does not have a zero deductible health insurance plan. Why can’t you understand that. Local schools do not have the state of ohio health insurance. Fact.

      • golfingirl

        Are they considering enrolling through the Health Care Exchanges for insurance under the Affordable Care Act?

        Again,the Teachers’ Union chosen leader states they will save $2500.00 annually per family simply by doing so, with enhanced benefits.

        So, why are they not taking advantage of these savings?

        Just curious.

      • golfingirl

        Best way to put an end to this debate regarding deductibles for their health plan is to simply provide the link to their benefits package.

        I don’t know if they do, or not, but can be easily addressed through a valid reference source.

        • Pablo Jones

          http://www.serb.ohio.gov/sections/research/WEB_CONTRACTS/09-MED-03-0249.pdf
          Page 41

          They do have deductibles in network $150-300 in network to $400-800 out of network. With a 10% co-pay in network and 30% out of network.

          But, the school district contributes $200-$250 a year towards their FSA. So essentially for a single person their deductible is covered 100% and even for a family it is nearly covered 100%.

          What seems crazy to me about the plan is they have a yearly max out of pocket limit of $1,095. Knock out the $250 the school puts in their FSA and the most they will pay is $845 a year plus between $540-$2040 in premiums. But the school district is paying over $14,000 per employee per year.

          • golfingirl

            Thanks for the information.

            Very obvious now why the Teachers’ Union wants nothing to do with their own candidate’s healthcare plan, Obamacare.

            With a family deductible of $10,386 for a family under their Bronze Plan, and $6,078 under their Silver Plan, they will never buy into it.

            The hypocrisy of the unions who supported Obama, but now feel they are above following his signature law.

            This is what upsets voters the most. How can they support something, but then not participate in it because it is not good enough for their members?

            Any answers from the Keystone Levy supporters?

            I asked this below, but never did receive a response.

  • William Suggs

    Isn’t it funny how the clowns come out to play no matter what district is discussed? It’s always PabloJones, Sniper Fire, GolfinGal, and SIs delish spouting their junk and finding bunk links to imaginary websites. Hey guys I have some luxorious investment property on Mars to invest in I got from Sean Hannity, Rand Paul and Obama. Interested?
    At least these people have names and come out to discuss things while all you do is hide from life in your parents’ basements. Get a life for crying out loud. Keystone teachers have starting salary of $34,000, and Elyria is in the same boat, and you guys want to bash these people like they’re millionaires and overpaid. You have NO CLUE what they do for kids. ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE! Yet you spew your hatred and apparent jealousy on here like it’s truth.
    The link you posted has nothing to do with levies. There has not been an opertaing levy passed in Keystone SINCE 1994. Go to the Board of Elections and look for yourselves. The link you posted relates to values which have to do with property vaulations and deflations and it’s impact on property values. It’s ok to have opinions. It’s ok to not know what you’re talking about, but IT IS NOT OK TO HAVE OPINIONS BASED ON THINGS WHEN YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT! You guys seem to know everything. why don’t you join the human race and fix everything. Keystone has saved taxpayers 3.7 million dollars by refiancing construction bonds. They have LOWERED DISTRICT TAXES AND BUILT SCHOOLS, and still you complain. UNBELIEVABLE.