Sunday, September 04, 2011

Not Listening

I think that one of the most bothersome things about the administration of Gov. John Kasich and his Republican Party members is that no one listens/cares about the needs and concerns of the people of Ohio.  A majority of  citizens of Ohio are against SB 5 and will vote against Issue 2 in the November election.  Did the Republican controlled state senate or state house go back into session to repeal SB 5?  No.  Why should they go back to work when they clearly need a five week vacation?  Their inability to act shows that they don't care about the lives of firefighters, police officers, teachers, nurses, and state employees.

Now, Kasich, wants to consolidate school districts.  Parents, school boards, teachers, tax payers, and students just don't matter to Kasich.  With the Kasich plan to adjust the school year so that all schools start after Labor Day, school districts across the state are losing local control. 

An article in the BucyrusTelegraphforum lays out the possibility of the schools in Crawford County consolidating and the unintended consequences:

....Crawford County will be high on his list when Kasich sends out his investigators....

....A study released in February by the National Education Policy Center and Ohio University looked at consolidation efforts in about a dozen states. It found that, most often, consolidation brings neither savings nor academic improvement.....

What are some other possible problems with consolidation?
* Certain subjects might no longer be taught.

* Teachers will have to coordinate their schedules with several different buildings.
* Teacher effectiveness will go down because teachers are spending time on the road between locations, and less time planning for classes.

* The idea of having one  person in charge of technology repairs and problems of six buildings shows that the person suggesting the idea doesn't understand the use of technology in schools.

* If high schools are put together, student participation in sports, academic competition, drama clubs/plays, extra curricular activities will go down.  Only so many students will be able to participate and other interested students will be shut out.

* People, schools, and students will lose their identities, school records, and neighborhood pride.

* Once again we see Kasich and his followers going against sound education research that shows consolidation does not provide any benefits.  Kasich and the GOP are quite willing to sacrifice your child's education for their ideological gains.

Squeezing all this money out of education doesn't make sense when, instead of austerity in the state government, certain people are getting huge raises.  According to Plunderbund, some political appointees are getting big, big, raises:

....Now, in the most recent move, quietly, effective with the first paycheck of the new fiscal year, Niehaus has followed the lead of the Governor by rewarding his top staff with enormous taxpayer-funded pay increases. His Chief of Staff, Assistant Chief of Staff and Finance Director all received a $15,000 yearly pay increase. The Deputy Finance Directory received a whopping $23,005 increase. Here are their new salaries:

Senate Staff Member Title New Salary
Matt Schuler Chief of Staff $138,507
Elizabeth Connolly Deputy Chief of Staff $116,126
Brian Perera Finance Director $115,232
Matt Whatley Deputy Dir of Finance $85,010

And these raises were retroactive!!!!