Debunking the CM Talking Points

Talking Point: A vote against a school levy hurts the children.
Answer:  Large sums of money have gone for non-educational uses. Existing funds can be directed into the classroom when these expenses are under control.

Talking Point: Without the levy the school district will be in fiscal emergency with a possible take over by the State.
Answer: Don’t spend more than the taxpayers have authorized. Only districts whose school boards refuse to align their spending plans with available funding end up in fiscal emergencies.

Talking Point: If the levy doesn’t pass austerity measures such as cutting six teaching positions over three years, loss of some elective courses, increase in elementary school class sizes, acquiring less technology, higher pay-to-play fees, and stopping curriculum updates.
Answer: The measures advocated by the district will impact students and parents while the true driver for new money school levies is increased employee compensation.  Instead of coercing parents to support the levy,  the school district should review its union contracts and plan negotiations to align them with the rate of inflation minus enrollment.  This will make the austerity measures unnecessary.

Talking Point: Clinton-Massie has cut $2.7 million in spending since fiscal year 2010.
Answer: From the Ohio Department of Education, in 2010 Clinton-Massie actually spent $15.8 million. In 2017, CM actually spent 16.6 million.  School officials like to claim that when the reduce their future spending plans that that is a cut.  This is analogous to planning to by a Maserati and claiming you slashed your budget when now you only plan to buy a Mercedes-Benz.

Talking Point: High pay-to-play costs are indicative of the need for a levy.
Answer:  Pay-to-play costs are based on the school board’s decision to generate money from participating families instead of cutting other expenses.
Talking Point: Issue there is insufficient funding for supplies, materials, textbooks, maintenance …
Answer:  Too much of school funding is going into overly generous benefits programs and overly generous salary increases.  If spending in these areas was dropped to a reasonable amount the district would have ample money for these items.  There was a time when it was appropriate for employers to provide 4%+ raises and almost free healthcare to their employees, but that time has passed.
Talking Point: Class sizes will go up without the levy.
Answer: This is a threat and indicates School Board’s priorities are out of whack. The school district exists to educate children. Its first priority must be to ensure adequate resources and teachers in the classroom. After the classroom is fully funding, then available funding can be directed to other district needs like employee benefits and extracurricular activities.