I have to respond to Melissa’s post.

Melissa taxes in this town are sky-high and the school district holds a big part of that blame.

Go to the meeting to vote on the tax levy ?   Really?

WHY??? When you could fill that room to a over flow the majority being against a raise in the tax levy.    The school board would still vote to raise the tax levy.   They always have no matter how many people show up.

Melissa knows this.  Melissa knows they are going to vote to raise considering the circumstances.

So please do not preach to people to show up for the blasted meeting when in the end she knows it would not have made a difference.

She said as much in her article and every thing she laid out.    There are not a lot of options.

SO YES people continue to bitch about our high taxes.. Continue to ride the school board.    Because they could be doing some things differently and they are not.

The other idea behind this is people do not need to go to school board meetings to voice opinions or concerns about their district.   They can email the school administrator or the school board members all their contact information is on the school website.

Melissa points out in her article/post what a nightmare past boards made for the current.   But I would ask what kind of nightmare in the current board making for future boards?

IF the board REALLY wanted people there it would have been much more publicized.   KEEP in mind  not everyone gets the REVIEW in fact I do not know of one single person who has a subscription to the Review.

So posting it there is not acceptable.   Maybe also try NOT holding the damn vote on a MONDAY night  Packer Game Night.  Who was the idiot that o.k.’d that?

That says right there they were not overly concerned about how many showed or not.   The Packer schedule was out way in advance .

But the point is they would have voted to raise it regardless.    Melissa knows this she just wanted to go on a rant so I felt obligated to do the same.  I have been to two of these taxes levy board meetings in recent years and they always have voted to raise even when there was more  against that for.  Remember it is just advisory.

KEEP on riding the school board members,  do it by phone, by email,   or stop into the listening sessions they had been having before the board meetings and voice any concerns.

The school has thought they were in charge for years but the tides are turning.  So many, many options out there.

It’s really hard to feel bad for them when people have warned them for years and they have ignored the warnings.

So do not feel bad if you did not make it to the meeting to vote.   It would have been a waste of your time because I guarantee you their vote would have been the same.  The board has them selves into quite the hole and the taxpayers are going to pay for it.

So the next time you see a board member thank them for screwing us all .



9 Responses to “I have to respond to Melissa’s post.”

  1. Sins of the school board placed on the back of the tax payers.

  2. My niece is a journalism major at the U.W. Madison. She grew up in Evansville. She on several occasions has taken a copy of the Review to a class with her. They basically dissect it and the instructor’s comment was ” This is how you do not run or publish a newspaper.” It’s a joke to this class. I know for a fact Kelly “cooks’ her circulation numbers by sending out papers to people who have never paid for it. She did this when she was in competition with the other local newspaper years ago so it would like she had more subscribers and she would get the city and school advertising. That is exactly why she sends out all the freebies. I for one would never buy that paper never have never will.

  3. OK I just deleted my blinking post. It was fabulous, but I’ll start over. I don’t know what else you expect the board to do. They cut the fund 10 budget by 4% for the first time in, well, ever. They laid off teachers and cut supply budgets. They held the administrations’ feet to the fire, but in light of a lame duck for 9 months, that was pretty non-productive. They are working with the new administrator to make sure expectations are clear and concise. That’s what is clear from attending regular board meetings.

    I am a Packer fan, but frankly it’s just an excuse. I attended many a meeting during Monday night football games as a board member, a citizen and a writer. Many of the topics at hand were critical to the business of the district and a number of important players checked out early or were absent in every way but physically. It pissed me off then and it pisses me off now that folks think a damn football game is more important than running a 20 million dollar business and educating our children. In the case of last Monday, the annual meeting was over by 7:30 tops. I have no patience for people who don’t exercise their right to vote and then complain about the outcome. I have never seen the vote go against raising the levy. I have seen arguments against it, or for using the fund balance to reduce the levy, but never EVER has the vote gone against raising the levy. And you’re right, it is only an advisory vote. But if the only people who choose to do the advising are school employees, guess what the vote outcome will be?

    And it is true that no matter what the folks say, the amount the school district owes on the referendum will balloon to over 4 million dollars in 2020. That’s nearly as much as the current local tax under the revenue cap. Given another eight years, it will probably still be a formidable chunk of the total levy in 2020. I predict a third. There are only two ways the district can avoid utter chaos going forward. A mass influx of students (unlikely) and a sudden interest in manufacturing facilities to BUILD HERE IN EVANSVILLE! Hah! Cold days and hell come to mind for some reason. The ones in charge of increasing the tax base in this town are either unwilling or unable to get that mission accomplished. And last time I checked, the portion of my property tax bill that goes to the school is just less than 40%. Somebody else is soaking up the taxpayer love too, so a little ranting about them might be in order.

  4. chasinthenews Says:

    Melissa you did not need to remove your post it was your opinion. They would have voted to raise the tax levy regardless. I will say our city council is the same damn way. You can attend meeting after meeting of the city council and voice concern and they do what they want any way.

    Take for example the pinwheel in town. Dumbest thing they have ever done and it cost hundreds of thousands and will never make the city any money until it’s time to retire the damn thing. But mayor Sandy Decker just had to have it just like a spoiled child.

    It may not be the fault of this current board, but maybe it is. It’s not just Evansville many a school board around the State and Country have spent for years never stopping to really think what happens if our funding gets cut. They just spent.

    Some of those teacher’s who they laid off or cut their hours they should have done it years ago because the class sizes did not justify having these teachers or at the least having them employed full time. But no they were kept because the board is to worried about laying off their neighbors or relatives.

    They need to get over it. That’s the problem with a small town.

    The fact is they do not have to have their board meetings on Monday nights, they could have had that vote any other night. The fact is they required to have the vote, not because they are really interested in what the public thinks but because they are required to have a public vote.

    There is no reason for people to go and sit through hours of board meetings when they can contact the board members through numerous ways.

    I will also state you do a very good job reporting on them and i seriously have a better understanding by your reports than being there. Because they do not stop to explain things the way you do..

    Could you see me at a board meeting saying ” Wait stop , you are going to have to explain those numbers to me.” Then after having the numbers explained me asking them if they really thought that was such a good idea.

    Board members and teachers , support staff every where around the country should be aware that romney has already stated he would cut funding for schools. That on top of what walker will cut in the future it would be dangerous for public schools. romney also has a bug about teacher’s as he does not think teacher’s unions should be allowed to give to campaigns the way they do. He wants reform on that issue. Good grief.

    Many ways to communicate with our board , ways that can be more effective than going to a board meeting it self. Like the listening sessions they had been having, or email phone…

    You will not get people to board meetings by ranting .

  5. chasinthenews Says:

    I do think the board has decided some things are going to change. That with Heidi leaving it was the perfect opportunity for a fresh start. To hold this administrators ” feet to the fire” . To make it clear from the beginning what they expected.

    I think Jerry Roth can make some very positive changes but it will take some time. He has his work cut out for him. Because a big part of it is getting administration to understand things are going to change. That he will hold them accountable. Some thing Heidi clearly did not do.

    As for going to board meetings. They need to be recorded and televised like some other school districts do. The board meetings are at a bad time as most are just getting home, they are not going to run home , scarf down supper and run to the school.

    I get up very early . Usually 4 a.m. Today it was 3 a.m. So going to board meeting until 8,9, 10 o’ clock is not acceptable. IF there is some thing fascinating on the agenda I will. But most questions or concerns can be addressed in other ways. The times I have come I paid for it the next day.

    I stayed up for the Packer game and I paid for it the next day.

    Ask my kids if I am usually out by 8 p.m. But I start my day much earlier than most.

    They may have made some cuts this year. But some should have been done much sooner.

    Example. Building trades. When those houses are not selling, sitting for over a year and then barely meeting costs ( maybe a tweak of profit. ) Quit building them. They did that for way to long and that was very expensive. The sad thing is they were very nice homes. Well worth the money. But the housing market was crap, still is.

    I was also told that ” lot” the school had to agree to take with the sale of the last home. I have been told that lot is worthless. I have had like 4 people , 2 in construction them selves say it worthless. Big water problems.

    I have asked school board members and have gotten answer of they do not know, or the know and do not want to have to admit they got taken.

    BUT then I had someone else tell me they do not know if that deal ever went through. So really there is the issue. NO one wants to talk about it. I truly hope they did not get stuck with it.

    Quit building in flood zones. Good grief.

    Some of those teacher’s should have been let go sooner. The class numbers did not justify keeping them.

    I have to laugh at how many gym teachers are at the junior high,. Really.

    My neighbor is fighting with the J.H. right now because they put her kid in chorus after they said no. They put her kid in chorus and will not move him. My comment to her was ” Well they are trying to make those class numbers look good.”

    Linda Rehfeldt refused to move him. Odd because when she tried that with my kid she moved him. But I also let her know there was no way in hell he was taking chorus. He had no interest in that , we had made that clear but she had tried sticking him in there any way. Yep she moved him because I would not back down. she is sneaky though. Just trying to make those class numbers look good.

    Get serious about the declining enrollment that is a huge chunk of change. Start holding each individual administrator responsible for their school numbers. You are right they are not going to see a huge increase in enrollment any time soon.

  6. chasinthenews Says:

    Once again Melissa it was your opinion you did not need to delete/start over on your post.

  7. Melissa is correct. City officials have done a horrible job of getting industry to Evansville. Horrible. They should all be fired , not re-elected.

    Current and past councils should be ashamed of them selves. They keep thinking they are going to make some thing of this down town and they are not. Another point is these stores that are in the down town do not bring nearly the tax dollars in that true industry would.

    The down town is joke. Let it go. It will never be any thing. Never has been.

    mayor decker is busy trying to make the town hoty toty and guess what no one gives a darn. It’s a sad town.

    The schools should have been more diligent with the budget all along and they would not be in the mess they are in.

    The schools can not attract more students and are losing students because Evansville offers little for curriculum. Parents are thinking college for their kids by the time their kids hit junior high or sooner and Evansville offers nothing.

    Test scores are also dismal. It is embarrassing. These teachers should be ashamed of the results they producing and merit pay has to come into play at some time. It will. If Evansville has any hope of getting any more state or federal money. The federal government has made it clear. If you want more money you will institute merit pay and start achieving some steep goals.

    The town has nothing and the school is nothing to brag about.
    We have teacher’s in the school district who live in town who send their kids to a private schools. What should that tell the rest of us?

  8. chasinthenews Says:

    In regards to the junior high and lack of class choices. In all fairness to the school. IF a student is advanced. For courses like Math they will send them over to the high school for math class. At least they used to. I also know for classes like English/reading if a child is advanced they the teacher will make sure when the kid enters high school they are placed in a advanced class. They may not have all the options we would like to see but they do not just sit on their hands either .

  9. Hey Chasin’! I accidentally deleted my post before and gave you the Reader’s Digest version above. The threat of losing Federal funds is a pretty anemic one in Evansville. Next year, total federal funding is expected to be a mere 200 thousand, or about 1% of the total budget. The funding has decreased every year since the stimulus package was offered, from a high of nearly a million dollars four years ago to 350 thousand last year to about 200 thousand this year. Swallowing that loss has been a challenge for most districts but at least we spent most of those funds on non-recurring expenses like the new van for wheel-chair transportation. It has helped keep the Fund 27 budget from ballooning out of control. Wise counsel was followed on that point.

    The lack of rigorous curriculum in the Evansville schools has been largely ignored, as noted by illionoisdoeshavehills above. Kitty Verkuilen butted her head against that wall for years but my oldest, now at UW Madison, was able to take advantage of classes through the WCATY program Kitty championed. I don’t get the feeling that is happening right now at the middle school level. My younger kids were not challenged at all. The middle kid is still coasting along getting straight As without putting in the quality of work I think AP classes demand. On an individual level, the only thing a parent can do is go in and pound tables and demand what their kid needs. But what size does the sledgehammer need to be before the administration wakes up and decides the outgoing students due to open enrollment is no longer acceptable?

    One final note about the Monday night board meetings. They are on Mondays for the same reason the band and chorus concerts at the high school are on Mondays, which often sets up conflict with board members. Is anyone at all surprised that folks who are willing to become whipping posts of the community by becoming a board member are also people who support their children’s interest by going to their activities? Anyway, on a number of occasions I asked why we couldn’t have meetings on, say, a Tuesday. Or the band concerts on a Tuesday. “Because that’s the only night there is no scheduled sport contests. If you want kids to participate in both music and sports, that’s when the concerts have to be.” I presume the board meeting night was chosen in much the same fashion. So, once again, sports is the do-all and end-all of very fundamental decisions made in a school district. The offensive presumption in this case is that “kids will always choose sports over music and, pffft! who wouldn’t, so shut you pie hole and deal with it.” I imagine there would be a problem, but I wonder for whom it would be worse?

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