Wednesday, June 9, 2010

There was not much to really report from last night's Board Meeting.  It was mild to say the least compared to the previous few.  Good for new interim superintendent, Gene Lolli.  The evening had a few key speakers to discuss some important teacher issues that the District is faced with.  First, Patricia Winland a Special Needs teacher from Dennis Elementary East discussed that she had been teaching with the district four years ago.  She states, "I was excited and honored to be a teacher but now embarrassed and disappointed."  Winland described that each year she has to pay $1,000 out of her pocket for supplies above the $200 allowance provided by the district.  She noted that the time and cost has been well worth the results she sees in the classroom.  But the lack of support, recognition, and finances to sustain such results needs to improve.

Winland left the podium asking that the Board and District answer three questions.  First, What is in the best interest of our children.  Second, What can we do to make our community proud?  Finally, How much more of a beating can our teachers and staff members take?

Next to the podium was retiring teacher, Nancy Miller.  Miller has taught for 18 years in the District.  She has taught 2nd and 3rd grades in Jonathan Wright, Clearcreek, and finally moved to Five Points.  She begged the Board and District to acknowledge teachers not just a group but individually.  To be partners in education.  At the close of the meeting, Kelly Kohls, Board Member, thanked Miller for her years of teaching.

The meeting went on with normal business and the Treasurer Report came up in the agenda to discuss a levy possibility.  Tim Dettwiller discussed that if Springboro was to move to put a levy on the ballot they would need to begin taking steps to meet the July 23rd deadline to present to the Auditor and then submit the ballot to the Board of Elections by August 4th.  The initial and potential proposed 5 year forecast is around 9.5 Mil.  This would be an Emergency Operating Levy ballot.  Dettwiller also discussed the Board could discuss other levy options and also discuss and propose a new forecast.  Mike Kruse, Board Member, spoke about the fact he believed that the four on the board could not make this decision that it should be left to the community to decide.  He also stated that they have made nearly 6 million dollar in cuts and he did not know what else they could cut.  Kelly Kohls, discussed that they have a lot of work to do this summer and they need to pound out the issues to the assumptions that the City of Springboro has about the levy.  Donald Miller asked that they take a hard look at the five year plan and make sure it is fiscally responsible and then put it in the hands of the voters to decide.  Scott Anderson wrapped up comments stating he agreed with taking a hard look at the five year plan and put the facts out to the community in a way that everyone can understand.  He stated, "It clearly needs to be laid out to public where that money will be spent over the five years."

Of course, the fact is the community is divided see the last levy's results to prove that, it seems the board is a bit divided on bringing a levy to the community, and the survey that we posted yesterday (see survey results by clicking here) reveals the same.  Springboro is still a community divided.  It will be interesting to see this play out over the next few months before the July deadline.  We will keep you up to date with information pertaining to the possibility of a new levy come November 3, 2010.
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  1. "Springboro is still a community divided." But this is not merely because of those who oppose the levy or the way the soon-to-be former board administrators handled the district. Kindly look into the oppositions between the board and the city council, and please stop blaming parents/citizens of Springboro for a supposed and inaccurately assumed lack of appreciation for the district's teachers. As a parent of 4, two of whom graduated from Springboro HS with Honors this past Sunday, I can report that my family, as well as my neighbors and friends with children in the Springboro school district, have deep appreciation, fondness, and respect for those teachers who go above and beyond the call of duty and actually teach our students. They know who they are, and they know that the community feels lucky to have them influence our children. This "community divided" -- a phrase that smacks of ignorant dissension rather than intelligent differences of opinion -- is realizing that being a follower does not a leader make. Time for the previous administration's self-important and condescending attitudes to be replaced with folks who DO have different opinions while sharing the same goals. This is what allows for decisions to be made that benefit the entire community, rather than the individuals in "office." Teachers are not being punished by the community; that idea has been put into play by the former board members, to construct a "them vs. us" negative campaign. I've heard it from my own children, whose classes have been chided in the past for "having parents who don't support their education" because the levy did not pass.....teachers actually having said this to students! Again, an incorrect assumption. I think all that the Springboro community desires is fairness, honesty, and dialogue that is respectful to all parties. Perhaps, with the replacement of former board members, these dialogues can begin....let's hope, because the citizens of Springboro do not deserve to be insulted as a "community divided."

  2. There is no real intention to be derogatory with the "community divided" tag. Is Springboro not divided though? According to last levy basically being 50/50 swaying towards the "nay" side in votes. The community survey is basically split right down the middle. And talk to anyone in and around Springboro, as we have, and you get about 50% say they do not mind a levy and 50% say they do not want to see a levy.

    Thanks for your readership and this is one of our missions is to provide facts and information to the City so that the RESIDENTS can have a voice here online in the comment section or even serving up articles to discuss things in and around Springboro! THANKS!!

  3. It isn't just your repetition of the community divided tag; whether intended or not, the notion of a community divided is negative. It fosters negative views of the community as a whole, and, I believe, does not adequately or fairly describe the situation. It just seems to me, and to most well-read citizens of Springboro, that there is a tendency to use this type of description to incite a "them vs. us" attitude. The notion of a divided community has been crafted to make us believe that if we all do not hold the same opinion (aka, that of the outgoing school board administration) we do not share the same goals and desires for our community. That is incorrect on every level, and frankly, is what has turned off most citizens with regard to levy votes. We can disagree and be split on levy votes (which, by the way, I have supported despite the economic turmoil we are all facing) but still be an intact community---teachers, administrators, parents, and students---that works hard for our schools to be deemed as Excellent. I guess I have grown tired of working against the puppeteers that want everyone to follow without question....not a commentary on the Springboro Voice, but rather on the slant that permeates most reporting on our community in various media. I know many who oppose the levy, but who also have worked and will continue to work with and for the schools, so that our students receive the best education me, that is a shared goal that ties the community together, and is stronger than differences in opinion. Votes can be divided without the community being split into "for" and "against" camps that make it easy to lose sight of possible solutions that benefit both positions. Maybe I am a dreamer....
    Thanks for allowing me to exercise one of my rights! Go 'Boro!