Lebanon Looters Strike Again: Notes from a progressive school board meeting

Matt Clark did an interesting program about Democratic Senators who believe that Tea Partiers don’t deserve constitutional rights.  This is indicative of how progressives think, and this same mentality finds its way into our local school board meetings. 

Recently a former school board member that speaks to me often gave me a report of what happened at her recent school board meeting in Lebanon.  She was particularly outraged, being that she has been a board member, and knows the kinds of things that go on behind the scenes.  This meeting, right after a levy failure that was very divisive showed that the district was proceeding with a business as usual approach. 

I enjoyed her comments so much that I’m putting them up here so others can see that their districts are going through exactly the same things.  School districts are all following the same directions, and will continue so long as they are funded blindly by well-intentioned tax payers that don’t care to dig into the real issues. 


What happened tonight was typical of every school board meeting.   No one sits on the board that represents the taxpayers.    There is absolutely zero negotiating going on.   All of the board members were “crying” about how bad they feel about having to make any cuts.   They managed to approve an entirely new contract.  (Remember they approved a one year contract at the April board meeting.)  Unfortunately, we did not receive a copy of the contract that was voted on tonight.  It did sound (by what they said)  identical to the ones being passed by every other district.  Direct orders from the OEA.  They didn’t even say if it was for one, two or three years.
The room was full of teachers and one Lebanon police officer.   It was disappointing that not one of the Tea Party members were there.  
They did vote to purchase some new history books that sent chills up my spine.   Red flags flying every which way.  I have been reading about the elimination of U.S. history being taught prior to the Civil War. (Nothing about the founders or our exceptional history.)  This is exactly what was approved.  Text for United States History:  “Reconstruction to the Present.” 
They didn’t list a grade level for the four books they approved.   They did vote to get rid of books that North said were “100 years old.”  I do know that they haven’t budgeted money for books for at least seven years.  Maybe more.    They built a new high school and elementary and never budgeted a dime for textbooks.
(Lakota has hired a new superintendent “that has super skills transitioning the district’s curriculum to the Global Integration Model.”  This curriculum is to prepare this country for the “New World Order.”   She is from Pickering and won a $10,000.00 check from the Jennings Foundation – Educators Retreat.    Many people in Pickering are not happy with Ms. Mantia.  I was hoping Mark North would announce that he was moving to Pickering, but no such luck.  I almost got up and told him that he should apply, but didn’t.
They said they were cutting costs in a three tier scheme due to the non-passage of the levy.   They have to figure some way to cut $6.5 million that the levy would have produced.   (I think this is per year.)  They said they already cut $10 million.  (Over what time period was not clear.)   Donna said that the administrators have not received a raise in four or five years.  She said, “Not one of them (board) wanted to do these cuts, but this is just where we are.” They all declared that they appreciated the staff so much and couldn’t have gotten this far without “the association.”  We need to there there as a community –  we’re very conservative.  We can’t do more.”
Chip asked how many students affected by the busing changes.  North had no idea. (Then why is this a necessary cut?)  Laura asked about the gifted and North said they were working on a “strategy” used in other districts in the area.  Something about “clustering.”   (They have their own language, Educationese.)  They do have a “Gifted Building Coordinator” so I guess they can keep this nebulous position . . . . . and voted to keep many others with supplemental pay.   In fact there were pages of additional duties that require supplemental contracts.   They really didn’t have any numbers.  Just threats and tears about the affect on “the children.”  it is so bad that the “per pupil spending will be less than Little Miami.”  Everybody will be affected.  Quote was, “Cutting deep into the muscle.”  “We have to address this.”  “To be honest with you, there was a lot of fighting and arguing with the administrative staff.”  “We have to make the best of it.”   The community has spoken.” Per North.
Stage I:  Cut four teachers.  (One math, one music, one elementary, one Spanish.)   $450,000.00 (Divide that number by four and tell me they are not overpaid.)
Stage II:  Bulk concessions by the LEA – Hard freeze on the base, step increase frozen (legal council provided information two weeks ago)
Allowed to provide for the staff – 3% pay reduction (no explanation on that one.)
Eliminate YMCA athletics
All forms to be electronic (saves paper)
15% reduction in supplies (counting paper clips)
Three gifted teachers go back into the classroom
Bus stops 1/4 mile and 1/2 mile  (for some in subdivisions)
Increase in “Pay to Participate” $250.00 per sport per student for high school and $175.00 for Jr. High
Phase II will cut $3M plus Phase I at $450,000 only equals $3.5 million so Phase III will be next. ????????  According to them they have a $5 Million reserve.  But they are talking about cutting $3 Million more.
I am sure we’ll be seeing some of these threats and more in the paper.   The reporter was there from the Western Star.    He was talking to the head of the LEA.
Sorry so many missed the fireworks.    You’d be so proud of your elected officials.     NOT!!!!!!!!!


I’m sorry people missed the fireworks too.  You can’t see the excitement unless you show up for these things.  All I can say is that it won’t fix itself people.  You have to at least show up to the fight. 

Rich Hoffman


4 thoughts on “Lebanon Looters Strike Again: Notes from a progressive school board meeting

  1. A new wrinkle can be added to the above. Mark North was one of three finalists for the position of Superintendent of Massillon School District. He did not make the cut. The board did note that they had thoroughly investigated all three candidates. He was turned down at Twinsburg, a district near Cleveland. A short time ago he signed a contract with Beavercreek School District. The Lebanon Board gave him a new contract and so he was talked into staying in Lebanon. Mr. North says he needs to move “closer to family.” So far it looks like he has family all over the state. In the past he said, “we want to raise our two girls in Lebanon.”

    It appears that the facts outweigh his statements to the Lebanon community.


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