Welcome Back to School!

Educate Springboro celebrates the first day of school and wishes students and families, teachers and staff a successful year ahead!

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.
 –Chinese Proverb

This is the time of year when families and communities reflect on the treasure in our schools. It is not in the bricks and mortar. It is in the people. The treasure is in the promise of our children learning and carrying those lessons with them as they grow.

While the kids focus on mastering that new locker combination and where their friends are located, parents are more focused on checking off the back-to-school supply list.  Those without children in school merely note their commute got longer because the buses are back.

Educate Springboro is focused on assuring the necessities are provided for learning and teaching.

Careful budgeting, data-driven decision making, and efficiency plans from our central office staff have made it possible for Springboro to afford its back-to-school list. We have found ways to afford the necessities required and give money back the taxpayer has more money is left in their wallet at the end of the day.

Springboro’s 2013 back-to-school list includes long overdue capital improvements to building interiors, roofs and parking lots; more resources for reading and gifted education in the elementary grades; new curriculum to align with state standards; and more than a $1.1 million upgrade to technology in each and every building.

In fact, the following needs are ACCOUNTED FOR in the current budget through the 2017 budget:

  • over $2 million in text books and new adoptions
  • over $2.1 million for new buses
  • over $3.7 million in capital needs and deferred maintenance
  • over $1.5 million in technology
  • over $7.5 million increase for our staff in raises.

Our community’s school supply list is significant. We have found that it is affordable when we put children first. Just as Springboro’s families have to find ways to finance the back-to-school list within their budgets, our district must do the same thing to accomplish our goals within a balanced budget.

Many new faces will appear at the door and in the classroom to welcome our children back this year.  But not to worry, over 80% of our school staff is returning to start another year.  While this is slightly lower than our normal 87%, the reasons are quite understandable.

As changes in the state retirement pension program became evident, it behooved some of our employees to take advantage of the current, more generous provisions available now.  The result for our employees would be thousands of dollars less in lifetime retirement pay if they were to delay their retirement until next year or the year after.

Secondly, our district offered not one, but two early retirement buy-out plans to assist our senior teachers and staff who were close to requirements, but needed a little assistance on our part to make it work out.  While this did aid many teachers and staff in realizing their dreams and aspirations, it also freed up precious salary money to redistribute throughout the district to other employees.

Thirdly, uncertainty on contract negotiations played a role. Although our Board of Education invited the unions to open negotiations In January, but that open invitation was declined by the unions. This pushed negotiations, and the associated uncertainty of what the future held financially for our teachers and staff, well into the summer.  As a result, we lost more teachers than we normally would have as some sought a financial stability in their income flow that was not threatened by union activity that they had little to no control over.

We welcome our new principals, teachers, staff, students and families as they join our school community. This is a new year—one full of new opportunities.  It remains our fervent desire to see that each child in our system excels past the point of state minimum requirements and receives a real education filled with knowledge and well earned achievement. 

Welcome back to school!

Thank you for your support of this blog and Educate Springboro. The blog’s readership and distribution have grown significantly in recent weeks. Please keep it growing!  Share this with your contact list. And, if you can, please click on the right to donate to our group. Your donation helps to share information on public education, budgeting, policy, taxation and more matters that impact our entire community.

Educate Springboro is an organization created to research and share information on issues that impact our community.  This message paid for by Educate Springboro, 8786 Wildwood Pl., Springboro, OH 40566.      

 

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5 Responses to Welcome Back to School!

  1. School District Voter says:

    Thomas Jefferson sent a letter to Thomas Paine in 1796, in which he wrote: “Go on doing with your pen what in other times was done with the sword.”
    Best Wishes for your continuing success, educating Springboro with healing words of strength and encouragement, in our school district’s culture of bullying pressure and intimidation, of those who would do what’s right for our schools and community, as opposed to what’s insanely popular.

  2. sassypatriot says:

    $7.5 million in raises and these people are not happy. They took the entire “windfall” that was generated from the gas lines going through the county. This is quite sickening. The citizens of the district need to let these greedy union members know exactlly how they feel. While the board is trying to do everything possible to make Springboro a positive center for learning, the union leaders keep asking for more. It would be great if the teachers that are positive role models for the students would stand up against the bullies. It seems to me that the constant strife is not conducive to a great learning environment. I understand that the writer is trying to be positive in these essays, but the facts are there and taxpayers should know just who is causing the problems. Groups like SURE certainlly don’t represent the majority of the employees.

    • Grateful in Springboro says:

      I agree that the constant strife in the board room and throughout our neighborhoods are not conducive to a great learning envionment, because we all know that this strife spills into our children’s classrooms. Springboro citizens have been subjected to watching these Sure activists/Springboro parents behave as poor role models, while testifying publicly that their bullying of board members will continue until the teachers get respect. Unfortunately, our school district taxpayers can’t even buy respect in the board room, since the NFSS parents started bullying again for more money for the teachers, even after the unprecendented success of our pay increases for teachers and slight reduction in levy renewal for Springboro families! It’s a Win-Win for All, so where’s the appreciation from these parents for the good schools in a safe and comfortable environment and great classroom teachers that Springboro taxpayers so generously provide, year after year?

  3. Ryan Zehring says:

    To the Board I say “Job well done!” To Union Members who believe they deserve more, I say this. Ask your neighbor how many months a year he/she works. Ask your neighbor how many automatic raises he/she received over the past five years. Ask your neighbor if he/she lost 401(k) contributions during the economic downturn. Ask you neighbor if his/her pension is paid at 100% regardless of what happens on Wall Street. Ask your neighbor if he/she stopped paying their taxes that support your non performance based positions. Thank your neighbor for doing more with less while you put your hand out.

  4. sassypatriot says:

    Thank you, Ryan, for expressing so well what many of us are thinking and feeling. I say to the buggers at SURE, MOVE ON. Go to Lakota or some other district that will appreciate your non-stop demands. Most property owners are sick and tired of your job being the only one that counts.

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