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Educate Versailles Members express their Concerns

Editor:

RE: Versailles Board of Education (BOE)  Meeting of 3-15-11
  
Several Educate Versailles members presented questions, made comments and noted responses. These are noted below.

*Has the BOE run any financial projections relative to the impact of SB 5 (Senate Bill 5) and state funding reductions?  The Boards response was NO.

*Does the Board intend to attempt to complete a new "Master Agreement" prior to SB 5 being signed into law? This question was related to a 3-12-11 article published in the Dayton Daily News entitled, "Teachers rush for contracts before SB 5 becomes law". The response was that the Teachers Union had requested to commence negotiations. We requested the negotiations not be started until SB 5 is signed by the governor and written into law. The reasons are SB 5 will eliminate several of the very costly and onerous items that have heavily contributed to the serious financial deficits the Versailles School district faces.  Example. The present 15 annual (and cumulative) days of sick leave. Also 4 days of personal leave (2 cumulative). Based on the average annual salary of the 93 teachers at $58,904.77 this one item alone costs the district approximately $565,440 annually. This does not include the administrative cost nor the cost of substitute teachers. Most businesses (including those in Versailles) do not list any specific number of allowable sick days in their employee handbook. Neither do health care employers such as hospitals whose employees are exposed on a daily basis to a variety of illnesses, viruses etc.

Another very costly item is health insurance. In FYR  2011 this will cost our district $1,388,225 based on a district contribution of 98% for singles and 95% for families. SB 5 will reduce the districts cost to 80% which is comparable with many private sector plans. These are just 2 of many mandated changes designed to rein in escalating costs.  Another is the elimination of STEP (seniority) increases. These along with base increases have added to our serious deficits. At  present YOUR property taxes which generates  approximately $2,325,000 in taxes for the school are at a BASE of 20 mills. This means even if your property values decrease this year, your taxes will NOT go down. You may consider this a tax increase. The county's new evaluation will soon be made public.

* If a new "Master Agreement" is negotiated and signed PRIOR to SB 5 becoming law,  many of the  costly items presently in the contract WILL remain in effect for the duration of the agreement which is usually 3 years. It will be unfair to the taxpayer if this occurs.

*The BOE was asked if they concurred the information in the  Educate Versailles article dated 3-9-11 was accurate. The BOE demurred by saying they had not discussed it and would let us know at next  months  meeting. We responded. That's not ACCEPTABLE. The Superintendent then noted he and the Treasurer found NO problems with the article. Translation: The numbers were accurate.  
                 
*We reported the General Counsel (Bob Chanin)  of the National Education Association (NEA.) recently told their members the following. "We don't care about the students". We don't care about improving public education". We care about the HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of Dollars  our 3.2 million members gladly contribute to us because it means power".  To view this not so shocking disclosure go to www.crossroadsgps.org.  Further, the Versailles Education Assoc. union members annual dues of $710  go to not only the NEA,but the OEA & WOEA (Western Ohio Education Assoc). This is how your tax money is being spent.                

* The BOE was advised the VEA should DECERTIFY from the Union and get out of the 16,500 word  "Master Agreement" where the words children,  students, pupils, community and public appear a meager 13 times. As Mr. Chanin of  the NEA so eloquently stated, "It's not about the kids or improving public education, it's about the power. Versailles district citizens, you need to get involved, NOW. 

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Educate Versailles Committee



 
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