Monday, July 10, 2006

Grove City School Board Preparing to Hand Out up to $30M

During a Building and Grounds Committee meeting tonight, the school board announced that building a new middle school and athletic facilities "must be done." Without determining how to pay for them, Superintendent Robert Post outlined the damage to the taxpayer:

Middle School
- Will house grades 6-8 (Washington Kidnergarten Center would be retired)
- Complete construction within five years
- Cost: $18.5-22 million

Athletic Facilities
- Have field ready for 2007 academic year, starting construction by May
- Two possiblilities: Forker or new facility
- Revamp Forker Field; Cost: $850K-2 million
- Build new facility behind hilliew Elementary; Cost: $5.8 million

All told, the fleecing of the taxpayers can be nearly $30 million!

The board all agreed that they should act quickly in moving the projects ahead. They all agreed that the projects must be done.

Call me a skeptic, but why do we need the new projects? I ran track with some of the best runners in Pennsylvania - and they competed weekly on the Forker Field track. Sure it is the only cinder track left in the county, but it is still a solid surface.

A couple of years ago, the GCHS football team was the second best in the state - playing on Forker Field. Sure it gets muddy throughout the year, but isn't that football?

The middle school building was totally remodeled twenty years ago. It still looks great! The problem (with the administration) is that the building is decades old, so you naturally replace buildings that old, whether they need to be replaced or not. Each year, Dr. Post says, "we're due" for a tax hike - now he is saying it for buildings.

Once again, the district is not being fiscally prudent. We would love to have new buildings and new athletic facilities, but we simply can't afford them. The school board cannot live within a budget - they show this year after year when they vote to raise taxes. The citizens must live wthin their means - we can't steal from our neighbors to build new houses simply because we want one or "we're due."

*On a side note, thank goodness for blogs. This information was announced without any of the Old Media present. Now that you have the info, spread the word and stop the liberal school board!


Noel said...

If Post thinks these projects "must be done," then he should show some good faith and "give back" all the raises that he has gotten over the past several years. Post leads the crybaby cheers that the state isn't giving public schools enough money, then he takes and takes!

Jason Reeher said...

This is precisely the kind of thing that typifies this school board and this administration. Led by Post, the district continually whines that the state doesn't fund its fair share of public education. Yet Post, Rath, and company think nothing of handing out raises or planning new facilities. It's hard to miss the hypocrisy.

Jason Reeher said...

Too many administrators make too much money for too little work. From The Reeher Rules Blog, here is my cost-cutting plan:

What would a Jason Reeher-led school board do, exactly?

Of all the mistakes of the current board, the worst by far is fiscal irresponsibility. Jane Rath, Bob Montgomery, and company continually spend more than the district can afford. The biggest waste of taxpayers' cash is in the form of inefficient administration. Too many principals and administrators do too little work for too much money. How could this be remedied?

One of the biggest wastes of Grove City School District's funds is the position of Assistant Superintendent. Making $98,000 per year, with generous benefits and a pension to match, the Assistant Superintendent does nothing that can't be done by other administrators. If the coalition wins all five seats up for reelection next year--a majority on the board-- I would move to eliminate the position of Assistant Superintendent.

In addition, all other administrators would be carefully audited for functional necessity. Unnecessary administrators could be eliminated, and their job functions merged with the remaining positions--this might mean one principal for both Hillview and Highland/Park, or that the business manager would no longer have an assistant, for example.

All remaining administrators would take an immediate 12% pay cut. This would provide a fix for the recent annual salary increases given without cause (or available funds, for the matter).

The only administrator who would be exempt from the 12% cut is the Superintendent. At $112,000, this position is grossly overpaid, and a 3-5% "raise-on-a-raise" guarantees that we are getting less for our money, year after year.

The position of Superintendent would be opened with a baseline salary of no more than $80,000 If this means hiring someone with less experience, the more the better; like Greenville and Grove City Boroughs have recently discovered in picking municipal managers, hiring a young go-getter who just appreciates the opportunity not only saves money, it also ensures better performance.

Dr. Post could accept the $80,000 maximum salary, go to another school district, or retire.

The savings would be designated for direct spending on students--the real reason for the school district's existence. We could hire more teachers, pay teachers more money, or give the teachers extra expense money to spend in the classroom.

It's high time the Grove City School District stops making pencil-pushing administrators, rather than children, the focus of the district. My plan infuses the district with cash for kids--without a tax hike.

Jason Reeher said...

Greenville will rescind their previous tax hike for 2006-07, in light of the new state funding made available by Governor Ed Rendell. According to the Herald

“A consensus was reached to provide relief to local taxpayers. This was an opportunity to utilize the state allocation to balance the budget and to offset the tax increase,” said (Greenville School Board member) Dennis Webber, who chairs the budget and finance committee. Read the rest of the article here

Just don't hold your breath waiting for Grove City to follow suit...

Anonymous said...

I think something should be with Tom Bell, how can we get rid of that smug sonofabitch?