Why Nancy Nix of Butler County is one of the Best: EdChoice and how Ohio needs a better funding model

I just want to say after seeing her at a number of political events recently, especially at places where George Lang and Mark Welch are present that Butler County is very lucky to have such a great treasurer in Nancy Nix on her third term. She is so good at what she does that I’d like to see her on her 100th term in the future. It is always wonderful to meet competent people who understand the details and Nancy Nix does. She is part of the puzzle that has come together so nicely in Butler County Ohio politics where a really good management team has risen to the occasion of our times to bring residents the best services possible that government could hope ever to provide. She has been on my mind a lot lately not just because she is a supporter of George Lang and Mark Welch, but because of something she said a few years ago about public school levies that are very relevant to the current challenge of EdChoice forcing local school systems to change the way they look at their funding.

Let’s face it, the whole progressive concept of attaching state money to a school located in a physical real estate concept was dumb from the beginning. It was just another brick in the road that has led to a pathway to hell. A lot of older people, like Bill Cunningham on WLW radio are struggling with this whole EdChoice concept because they only know of school systems being attached as the center of a community complete with sports programs and sentiments of school days long ago ended. These are the types of people where class reunions mean something, so it is painful for them to even consider that a child might want to pick up and move to another school across town and to take their state funding with them if that school isn’t very good. So far the focus of the argument is that the state report cards are unfair, but the bottom line is really in consumer confidence, do parents want to send their children to that particular school and how can the school market themselves in a way to make whatever the state report card says be the destination of hope for a parent and their child. In the future of education, it will take more than winning football programs, kids will actually have to learn things and be places that are good. A good school should not be determined by good real estate, it should be because the school managed itself well, spent their money wisely, and produced a superior product in a free market fashion.

Nancy has experience both at US Bank and as a Plant Controller so she gets money and how it’s a measure of value. I have worked with a lot of controllers and they are normally very boring personally, but beautiful people because their minds are very mathematical. Nancy has all the traits of the best of controllers, but she isn’t boring. She has a real passion for accounting and it radiates from her in such positive ways, so it surprised me when she came out publicly taking a position against several local government schools on their attempts to pass another school levy for what they were saying were, “safety needs.” Nancy stated, “Our homeowners are already heavily taxed, and its very difficult for many residents to make ends meet. My office receives handwritten letters daily from taxpayers needing help keeping up with their real estate taxes. Those who get too far behind can lose their home. Our county has passed 40 or so levies in the last 10 years and I’d argue some were for far more than they needed.” I found that very refreshing coming from a county treasurer who was looking at the big picture for a change and I’ve loved her ever since.

Her statements on that levy issue have come back to me now that all these lazy superintendents of some of the major government schools in the area, like Mason and Lakota have been complaining about losing their state funding due to EdChoice. What do they think is going to happen, that they are going to ask for more levies to cover their ridiculously bad management? Every controller I’ve ever dealt with would look at the way ANY public school is ran and demand an instant layoff to balance the books because the income is not conducive to proper balancing of the books. In fact, if Lakota had a proper accounting “controller” they’d have a shit fit on their hands due to the insane perception of what value is for the scope of the product, the education of the students based on state and local tax revenue chained to them like some masochist in a bondage chamber. The relationship with the community is about as dysfunctional financially as is conceivably possible and whenever it gets questioned the school hides behind the children imprisoned there due to their lack of choice in the matter—because the system gives money to the school, not the student. Government schools as Nancy pointed out, ask for too much too often. And I would add that they do it not because they need the money but because they know they are so inefficient that they take more money from people to manage their inefficiencies. Nancy has seen the backend of that problem when people write her to say their taxes are too high, and in too many cases, they lose their homes because the taxes are so terrible.

At the center of the problem is the perception of what the state should be giving to students, which is why Bill Cunningham’s troubles over the EdChoice issue is so comedic. The value of the education is just assumed as it has been set by the chaos of the government schools joined together by their collective bargaining agreements and the state is supposed to come up with a model that just rubber stamps that sum—whether its $6000 per student or $12,000. The numbers are inflated by these school districts to cover the high cost of their government employees and not the needs of the child. This is because of Parkinsen’s Law which states that the sum of needed money fills to the supply of funds. If a school levy passes and there is a cash infusion, then the union contracts will fill to consume the entire amount. Yet the kids are still coming out as bad as if they went to a third rate school, they can’t read, they can’t think, and they take on too many social beliefs rooted in liberalism. That’s not what we should be paying for. I would argue that if the state supplied only $2000 and schools had to compete for business that is in the marketplace, that the price to educate children would go down dramatically. That is when the state could provide a proper, constitutional, funding model.

Its just good to know that there are people like Nancy out there supporting other good Republicans like George Lang and Mark Welch, and many, many others. Good people tend to gravitate toward each other and she is one of the great ones. I appreciate that she is the treasurer of my county, and that our finances are in as good of hands as they could be. Most accounting types are alike in that they see beauty in numbers and can utilize that talent where needed. But Nancy has a different gear where she doesn’t just get lost behind some wire rimmed glasses and a big desk separating her from the world. She is connected and approachable, but more than anything, she does her work for all the right reasons and I’m glad she’s around.

Rich Hoffman

2 thoughts on “Why Nancy Nix of Butler County is one of the Best: EdChoice and how Ohio needs a better funding model

  1. Rich, I’m humbled and grateful. All I can offer is a warm, “Thank you,” and promise to do the best job I can for Butler County taxpayers. I was so surprised to see this today, and you’ve also given me food for thought on the public school issue. I’m a product of public schools, and carry with me that mindset of the way things used to be. My husband and I were discussing the issue this morning, and he also appreciated your arguments. Thank you again, Rich.


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