GM kids deserve better than red ink
Reality brings forward the facts regarding the Groveport Madison school system and it will be spellbindingly interesting to see how each individual Groveport Madison school board member votes knowing the system is soon to be out of funds and running in the red.
We may hear we need to have our new treasurer look into things. But the truth is our last two treasurers in a row both saw the projected shortfall.
We may hear we need to look at cuts. But it’s well known the major cuts have already been made over the last two years. Major cuts in both staff and transportation costs.
We may hear we care about kids but we just can’t do anything about class size or anything to do with raising new funds because working to raise money for Groveport Madison students can be unpopular with some people.
Folks here’s a little straight talk from someone who’s campaigned both for and against school issues on their merits. The number one job a school board member has is making sure that the funds are raised so the children in their district aren’t subject to less than fair and equitable treatment. That’s it. That’s the truth.
If the people in charge don’t act and the Groveport Madison school district is allowed to just sink into a big pool of red ink there will be an immediate and avoidable forced tax levied against only the families with kids in the Groveport Madison school system. It will be a user tax of severely reduced services…like major busing cuts for our children. It will eventually mean even less staff and more classroom crowding. It will be cut backs in athletics and extracurricular activities for our kids. It will mean enormous pay to play fees (taxes) to even participate in sports. I’ve seen these go as high as $750 per sport and you probably have too.
Groveport Madison doesn’t have to spend what Dublin or Olentangy has to spend to fulfill its obligations to these kids, but they do have to at least try to seize on needed modest improvements. The Nifco building, now a charter school, was a perfect example. It would have eliminated all crowding and modulars at our high school. Kept our freshman class on the high school grounds. Eliminated the need for a new high school and saved us untold millions of dollars in the long run. But we walked over future dollar bills to pick up today’s nickels.
Modulars mean crowding. That’s why they’re there. The classes won’t fit into the existing buildings. Groveport Madison has 16 modular classrooms. There are buildings where the kids have to share lockers. And if only a fraction of the estimated 1,200 students run out of our district by the past split session fiasco were to return we’d be looking at split sessions again.
To date I’ve heard only one school board member, a new one, Steven Slyh, recommend immediate action for securing operating money before we go red and to start the investigation into what can economically be done in regard to facility improvements. I don’t care how rosy a person’s personality is the important thing is that school officials…don’t let what we can’t do, stop us from doing what we can do. That’s supporting the kids!
ADAMH endorses MRDD levy
As chair of the board of trustees for ADAMH, the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County, I encourage everyone to vote for Issue 29, the Franklin County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (MRDD) replacement levy, on the March 4 ballot.
ADAMH is committed to supporting the Franklin County Board of MRDD, our sister agency, and my fellow board members and I have officially endorsed Issue 29 by passing a resolution at our January meeting.
Issue 29 is the Franklin County Board of MRDD’s 3.5 mill replacement levy that allows for the continuation of basic services provided to children and adults of all ages who have mental retardation or other developmental disabilities, many who need lifelong services on a daily basis.
The Franklin County Board of MRDD has a history of providing quality programming and serves more than 13,000 children and adults each year, through programs provided throughout our community, including early childhood education; schools for children who have multiple handicaps; employment and job training; supported living and service coordination services for individuals and their families; and services for senior citizens who have mental retardation or other developmental disabilities.
The number of individuals receiving services through the Franklin County Board of MRDD continues to increase at a rate of three to five percent per year due to growth in our community, changes in eligibility standards, improved medical technology and increased awareness. Passage of Issue 29 will help the board of MRDD provide vital services and programs for the increasing number of children and adults in our community seeking care for mental retardation and other developmental disabilities.
The Franklin County Board of MRDD and ADAMH work together to help children and families in Franklin County. I urge all Franklin residents to vote for Issue 29 on March 4.
Thomas J. Bonasera, chair
Board of Trustees
ADAMH of Franklin County
H.O.P.E. is not going away
Almost two years ago our group, Help Our Pupils Excel (HOPE) presented to the State Board of Education our concerns regarding the Groveport Madison school district. At that time the state board rejected our wishes to improve the district. They did, however, instruct us to not go away and remain active and continue to show and monitor our concerns.
We have not gone away. Many of our issues and concerns then are still present today and have not improved or have even gotten worse.
Some of the many issues are: the school board has changed, but the bickering and public fighting among board members has not gone away; test scores are overall no better or in some areas even worse; and disturbances at the high school are at an all time high and becoming greater.
The state informed our district two years ago that our district would be broke by 2008. As it is being shown by the district’s new treasurer, the district is broke. The answer school officials give us is more money. I believe the student to dollar ratio at Groveport Madison is equal to or greater than most districts in Franklin County. To make things even worse, a newly elected board member has asked for the administrators to receive two year contract extensions. It looks like business as usual.
I think it’s time for our students to receive the total education they deserve. HOPE is not going away.