Yes Lakota is Misleading People: Painting over the dirt

Submitted on 2011/01/20 at 11:14 pm
Evil prevails when good people do nothing. I am a good person and I am about good education. I am doing something: speaking out. Rich Hoffman is misleading people. Teachers teach children so they DON’T end up working themselves into an early grave and barely making payments on a lot in a trailer park. The good teachers will go elsewhere in order to make a living wage. Rich Hoffman raised children and his wife didn’t work. Apparently he is making too much money. Yet, I hear no one attacking him. Some of us have to have both parents work in order to put food on the table.

Georgetta here reflects many of the comments that I get from people who think just like her. The premise is this, that education is a right, they hide the actual numbers in the scribble of government bureaucracy, and if you show that you don’t support it, or if you even question their reasoning, they use “peer pressure” to shape the community to their will, just like kids on a playground. That’s the mentality. They end up sounding like children with their minds wrapped up in extreme assertions to make their points seem to carry more weight.

The first thing they do is attack you “the tax payer” and your ability to pay the increase in tax. They’ll say, “Public education was there for your children, but now that you don’t have children in the school, you don’t want to pay.” They do the same with business leaders, “We built the good schools and you provided the homes, and now you don’t want to pay.” What doesn’t get said is that as all this growth was going on, the LEA, the teachers union at Lakota, negotiated an aggressive contract in October of 2008 that was focused on wages and that contract is bankrupting the community because at the same time, indications were that state funding was on a decreasing trend. So the contract was irresponsible, and what is happening now, is the community is establishing the parameters of future contract negotiations, because we can’t trust school officials to do the job, otherwise it wouldn’t have gotten this far out of control.

These pro levy people will attempt to proclaim that nobody but them can look at the numbers and understand the situation. They sadly put out apologist groups to plead the case like what you will hear in the below interview. What they don’t want to discuss is why there is a financial crises. They simply discuss finance as if it were beyond their control. When listening to this interview ask these questions, if cutting only a million here, or there isn’t much because the numbers are so large, then why is it such a large savings that cutting busing to 9000 students will only save $600,000, then why cut busing? And how has Lakota done everything it can do before cutting busing. Did the LEA come to the bargaining table to renegotiate their contract? And how does the tax dollars stay in the district when the union spends the union dues on political candidates. One of the reasons the LEA wants its teachers to make so much is so that the teachers will want to pay their union dues without hardship. But nobody talks about any of that here. The sum of this discussion is that there isn’t an answer. These are nice parents that just want the system to work long enough for their children to get an education. Nobody wants to play the hot potato game when the music stops, and the music is stopping. All they can really do in an interview like this is paint over the dirt.

All businesses whether they are service oriented or manufacturing oriented have a responsibility to keep their costs in line. One way that businesses do that is to use the 10-80-10 rule as it’s applied to labor. That rule states that 10% of your workforce will be your typical “top” performers, and they will get the most dramatic increases, 4% to 15% depending on the situation. 80% of your workers are average, and will typically get a standard 2% to 3% increase, otherwise considered a “cost of living” increase. And of course every place of business has approximately 10% that are poor performers and they won’t get an increase of any kind. Why? Because those bottom 10% you want to look for another job, and you want them to leave so you don’t have to pay them. It gives you a chance to hire somebody that might want to compete for the top 10% percentile. If you manage things correctly, your bottom 10% are the kind of people that your competition is hiring at the middle 80%, and you want that so you can maintain a competitive edge.

What you don’t do is uniformly advance everyone in your place of business with some socialist “everybody is equal” policy like what we have in school systems, and unions advocate. That’s a disastrous concept and gives employees like Ryan Fahrenkemp time and the luxury of job security to participate in an evil deed like child pornography. I would argue from experience that if Ryan had to fear for his job, and didn’t feel comfortable hiding in the muddy 80%, he probably would have not indulged in his warped perversion while at school. He might have done it in hiding, or in his mother’s basement, but not with his students, and not with school equipment. And he certainly wouldn’t have been making 70K at only age 42 no matter how much experience he had with the amount of tenure he’d accumulated in a relatively short time.

I used Fahrenkemp as an example because he belonged in the bottom 10% and somebody didn’t do their job in the review process of weeding him out. And that didn’t happen because he was protected by the complicated process created by the OEA which the president of the LEA had been a big part of, and knew how to manipulate the system to the advantage of her members.

So I’d say to you Yes Lakota people, who say that I am misleading people. Who is doing the misleading?

I’d say you are, by telling the tax payers that the budget just “grows” on its own. That the school system had no way to deal with people like Fahrenkemp, and that all teachers are worth over 62K, and if the community doesn’t pay it, those beloved teachers will leave the district for another one.

I would say any teacher that would leave Lakota is only in it for the money, and those are personalities that I would rate low on a review, and may be tempted to put them on the bottom 10% anyway, so for them to leave would be desirable.

All the Yes Lakota people have to argue with is emotion,
• “The money is for the kids.” No it’s not, if it was, the LEA wouldn’t have threatened to strike in 2008 to get more money, and again in the spring of 2010.
• “We have to offer top pay for top teachers or they will leave.” No they won’t because the other districts are broke too and are getting ready to go through the same process Lakota is.
• “We have to protect property values by voting for the schools.” No you don’t. If taxes keep increasing that will kill real estate values anyway, tax payers in the district already pay $11 per $1000 assessment on their property.
• “I’m for education.” No you’re not. If you were, you’d keep the budget under $160 million. Throwing money at something doesn’t mean you’re for education. It means you don’t value the source of the money but want what the money can buy.
• “We have had explosive growth and must adjust to it.” Growth, like budgets can be controlled. If the cost is too high, growth will slow down, and growth will slow down because of the economy. Growth will also slow down from parents wanting to go to Lakota who aren’t willing to pay for the extra things they want, too. One of the reasons Yes People want sports and extracurricular activities is so enrollment will increase, so parents looking for those items can move to the district and participate cheaply. It’s all about job creating and getting parents used to programs that the district tax payers fund collectively. No different from colleges with NCAA programs that are nationally known for their sports, will see increases in enrollment. It’s always about increased enrollment so money can be justified.
• “The state is forcing us to all-day kindergarten.” No, the OEA lobbied to get all-day kindergarten passed, and the Republicans in the state house are getting ready to eliminate that unfunded mandate along with many other mandates lacking funding. So that anticipated requirement will be taken away from district budgets.
• “We have to spend $50,000 dollars to get the best superintendent we can get.” No, you are throwing money at the situation like you do everything else. It’s that kind of mentality that locked us into the contract with the LEA that is causing the current financial crises. Money does not equal quality. It seldom does. Money can be used to create competition, but it is useless without competition. If money is not getting you dramatic results, it is simply killing your budget.
• “Paying for a school levy keeps your money in the community.” No it doesn’t. The union dues collected by school unions are directly applied to liberal politicians that further perpetuate the bureaucratic mess creating expensive economic necessity. The OEA had revenue of over $62 million dollars in 2008. Where did that money come from? They don’t make any products that they can sell? Check the info for yourself here. All that money comes from union dues, paid from the salaries of teachers that are paid exceptionally well by the local tax payers. The average pay at Lakota for teachers is 62K per year. So the money doesn’t stay in the community.

Those are just some examples of how the Yes Lakota people are misleading the good people of the Lakota District. And they will continue to treat the voters like the fools they believe they are as long as it works.

Get ready for the next levy announcement for May. They’ll do it because they don’t know how to do anything else but ask for more money.

And you Yes Lakota people go ahead and leave your comments. I’ll post them, and I’ll use them. People need to see your thoughts. For those of you wanting to see some of them, read the comments here. I am quite aware that there are many people at many levels reading all the posts I’ve put up here and you’re looking for a way to spin it to your advantage. For an example, have a look at the work David Little from Progress Ohio attempted. I’m happy to fight your sloppy facts with the truth and if you want to spin the community around and make them so dizzy they can’t tell which way is up or down, I’ll continue to prevent it, as I have. And I’ll do it because I love my community, and I want to see education continue to be an option for families in the future. But it won’t be in a form controlled by organized labor. Those days are over.

Don’t believe me; read this from your parent union the OEA, this is how bad the financial situation is. Even the union staff is threatening to strike and the union itself is participating in union busting strategies.

The Ohio Education Association and Its Goose

The executives of the Ohio Education Association sent a memo informing local presidents that if the union gave in to striking staffers’ demands, it would require an $80 to $90 dues increase per member. Such an increase would raise roughly $10 million. That sounded familiar to me, so I checked the archives and found this, in the May 8, 2000 EIA Communiqué:
Ohio Education Association in Severe Financial Straits. The last time the Ohio Education Association negotiated a staff contract, in September 1997, it resulted in a two-week strike, restraining orders against picketers, and a lot of bad publicity. That contract expires this year and it’s bad financial news all around for OEA, its members, and the staff. OEA recently informed its local presidents that the union is facing a projected deficit of $6.3 million for next year. The union is asking staff to accept benefit cuts totaling $4 million. The rest of the deficit would be eliminated through a dues increase of up to $25 per member.

“Specifically, and regrettably, we can no longer afford to sustain the current number of OEA employees at their current level of compensation and benefits and continue to provide the expected level of services and programs without significantly raising OEA dues for you and every other member,” reads a memo from OEA President Mike Billirakis and Executive Director Robert Barkley.

Read the rest of the article here:

If our community is going to continue to be a “great” and “excellent” district, we have to get in front of this problem. Not avoid it by tossing more money at the problem. And the Yes Lakota people need to listen to the No Lakota People, because the solution is in good business strategy. The same tired old bullet points won’t be valid any longer. I’ll make sure of it.

Now, these video links exist elsewhere on this site, but I’ll put links here for your convenience. These are radio spots specifically dealing with education issues. Feel free to listen to the hours and hours of debate so you can form your own opinion about things. There are many radio personalities here, so the view points are varied. But the topics and discussions are fantastic.

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

The Superintendent of Tomorrow

Bill Cunningham had on a superintendent from Clermont Northeastern that has been very successful at saving his district money by thinking “outside the box.” Listen to that interview here.

Here is a link to the district website:

What’s interesting about that interview is the superintendent is actively pursuing innovative cost savings as opposed to the approach at Lakota where they spent over $50,000 just searching for a new superintendent to replace the retiring Mike Taylor. The Lakota method is the “old” way, where inflated costs are built into every step of the process, and the footprints most always lead to organized labor.

The superintendent of tomorrow will find ways to save money at every turn, including the elimination of such extraordinary candidate searches as Lakota participated in. The School Board elected to spend $40,000 looking for a treasurer, and $50,000 looking for a superintendent that they haven’t yet hired.

The superintendent of tomorrow will not be bullied by union leaders as what happened at Lakota on the last Thursday of October 2008 where the teacher’s union of 1,200 members threatened to walk out on all 18,000 students they profess to think so much of. What was the primary issue in that proposed strike? Pay!

The superintendent of tomorrow wouldn’t have paid into the union system for 25 years or more and then take a passive position at the negotiating table as what happened when both sides, the LEA and the Lakota officials sat down after school that memorable Wednesday just before Halloween and finally hammered out an agreement at 12:30 AM Thursday morning, the day the LEA was ready to walk off the job.

I know quite a few teachers around the country. Specifically, in Oldham County, KY, which is one of Kentucky’s most exclusive communities, there is a teacher with a master’s degree in science that teaches geology, and his rate of pay is just shy of 50K. Doc Thompson a few weeks ago had on another teacher that was from Atlanta that was making wages in the mid-40’s, and I thought he had some valid arguments.

At Lakota, the LEA has been successful at convincing the School Board and the Superintendent that teachers should be paid on average over 62K per year, which is what they are currently being paid at Lakota. In fact, Mike Taylor is quoted saying, “I don’t think teachers are paid enough.” Such superintendents have recklessly encouraged the extraordinary wage rates that are occurring at Lakota.

And the economic disaster that is being described which is hitting Lakota is caused by these same wages that are too high if it is considered that state money is not a factor and that the communities must fund the budget on their own. The superintendent of tomorrow will help keep wage cost in line to protect the communities they serve and still maintain great teachers for a good price.

The superintendent of tomorrow will reflect the community, and will build an administration that does the same, and not be lap dogs for powerful unions, that takes the union dues collected from each teacher and applies those funds to progressive political candidates that only exacerbate the situation further at the state level. When it’s said that our tax money stays local, it does not. Those union dues work in a way to support democratic and progressive candidates, and are only a cleaver way invented by organized labor to prop up the candidates they support. The money originally comes from the local tax payer that just wants to have the community schools teach their children.

When we find this superintendent of tomorrow, we can begin to solve some of the problems of today, but not until then.

Now for those of you that want more information check out this press release from from the Buckeye Institute. I’m not the only one saying this stuff. Feel free to check the link at the end of the press release.   Oh, and you YesLakota people, I’m for education too.  Keep it under our 160 million dollar budget and we’ll all get along.  But don’t ask the community to pay for your poor business understanding.  Go ahead, check the link below

Buckeye Institute News Alert
Where Transparency Is More Than A Slogan And Ideas Really Do Matter

PRESS RELEASE January 18, 2010

Contact: Matt Mayer,

2010 K-12 Teacher Salary and Estimated Pension Data added to Searchable Database along with Search Counter

COLUMBUS – The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions today released on its website the 2010 K-12 salary and estimated pension data for all Ohio public school teachers. Unlike the data collected for previous years, the 2010 data includes salary and pension information for many superintendents, principals, and other administrative staff members. The pension data includes each teacher’s salary based on a 2,080-hour year (40 hour work-week, 52 week year) so users can properly evaluate teacher pay, as most teachers are contractually limited to working 1,350 hours per year.

In 2010, approximately 1,800 school employees earned over $100,000 per year. Due to increasing staffing costs, Ohio’s 613 public school districts are expected to face a $7.6 billion funding deficit by 2015, with personnel expenses consuming 96 percent of tax revenues.

In the last election, citizens used the Teacher Salary Database to hold their school districts accountable for spending choices, citing that average teacher salaries had grown at rates that, in many cases, far outpaced inflation.

In addition to the new data, the website now contains a search counter which records the number of searches performed in the eight database tools (State Salary, Federal Salary, Higher Ed Salary, Teacher Salary, Local Salary, School Data, County Data, and State Lobbyists). Since the website’s launch on April 30, 2010, visitors from 473 Ohio cities, the 49 other states, and 119 foreign countries have spent over 20,000 hours conducting almost 1.5 million data searches.

Buckeye Institute President Matt A. Mayer stated: “With so many school districts under financial duress, it is now even more important than ever that taxpayers know how school districts are spending their money. Instead of cutting staff positions, sports, bussing, and other programs, most school districts could balance their budgets without raising taxes through cutting staff compensation packages by a small percentage.”

The Teacher Salary data tool is available at

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior