Archive for Robert Flaherty

Stoughton School District hooked on referendums, will the Evansville School District follow?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 26, 2014 by chasinthenews

With certain items more than likely going to referendum in the next year for the Evansville school district,  it was interesting to hear that the Stoughton school district already has a referendum on the ballot for April 1st.   Stoughton just had a referendum in 2010.   WHY is Stoughton  having another referendum?   Because they seem to think they can not run , with out more money.  In the 4 years since the last Stoughton school district referendum they have:

  • Eliminated another 11 positions
  • Refinanced debt
  • Held down health insurance premiums
  • Continued energy efficiency improvements

Before they held the referendum in 2010 they :  *** from their web page...

Prior to 2010 referendum, we reduced expenses by $3.5 million through steps such as:

  • Eliminated 68 positions
  • Closed Yahara Elementary School
  • Instituted energy efficiency improvements



What has the district done with the money from the 2010 referenda?


The community in 2010 supported both an operational and a maintenance referendum. The maintenance referendum enabled us to address critical repair needs, and we were able to stretch those dollars even further by acting as our own project manager instead of hiring a firm to do that work for us.


The operational referendum allowed us to withstand historic cuts in state funding and yet improve the quality of education we provide. Some of the highlights include:

  • Built 97% graduation rate — one of the best in the county
  • Boosted ACT to their highest in almost two decades
  • Expanded college credit options
  • Strengthened workforce development programs
  • Partnered with MIT and local foundations and businesses to build state-of-the-art digital fabrication laboratory
  • Gained national recognition for our innovative inclusive teaching approach


SAD THAT EVANSVILLE IS UNLIKELY TO DO ANY OF THESE THINGS WITH THE REFERENDUM MONEY.   I will also add that Stoughton has a excellent Science program at their high school.


They ~ Stoughton ~ are ‘ threatening to cut 33 staff positions and programs such as reading intervention/early reading programs if this referendum does not pass.

The question many are asking is , are they going to be back in another 4 years asking for more money?   Maybe they should be making these staff cuts.  Clearly if they are threatening to make staff cuts they have thought about what they would do with out these staff members.

OR is it like in Evansville when Evansville started laying off teachers in the last few years they found as they looked at class numbers ,  they were a tad over staffed.

That the number of students in some classes did not support having that class anymore.   That some teachers were being paid FULL TIME  wages when really they only ” Worked”   part-time,  it terms of how many classes they actually had.

Some of this ‘ over staffing’ was because of declining enrollment , some was because no one had really paid attention to the class numbers in a long time.

SO is Evansville going to have to go to referendum in another few years because they have not learned how to budget or make cuts on the money they have.  WITH declining enrollment there is no good excuse for this.

I WAS glad to see the numbers on the survey for the question would you support “

–Additional funding to retain and attract employees: 49 percent said “yes,” 27 percent said “no,” and 24 percent were undecided/needed more information. – See more at: ..
THAT leaves 51% of people who would not commit to paying more to retain and attract employees..  NOR should they, that money should come from the budget because after the referendum money runs out HOW are you going to keep paying them?
AS I was told people who vote undecided/ need more information tend to vote NO on referendums.    This” additional funding” like the ” police liaison should be dead.
The person who told me that people who vote undecided/need more information usually vote no, is some one who does this for a living,  I believe that this information was relayed to Jerry Roth and the school board as well.
Schools have to learn to budget and live on what they have, especially with declining enrollment.    I will say some of these maintenance issues, and need for updated curriculum are things that should have been done years ago.  WHY have they board/administration  been putting so much money in the fund balance instead of fixing and purchasing the things they need.
Once again congrats to those who took the time to fill out the survey.   It’s the same as voting , you do not get to complain if you do not participate.

GazetteXtra | Let’s applaud academic achievements, too

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2014 by chasinthenews

When I picked my son up from basketball practice the other night from Madison West.  I noticed a few buses.  I counted 8 buses.  I asked my son  ..

” Why are these buses here at this time of night? ”  It was a little after 7 o’ clock.     He said  ‘ oh that’s the mathletes.”    After talking with him a bit longer I found out there was a math competition going on at West that night and its a common thing for them to have competitions.    I asked him if they the students from the math program that take part in this like being called ” mathletes.”

He said no one he knows minds it in fact the kids he knows on the math team like it.  It was clear from talking with my son that the mathletes get just as much if not more respect than any ‘ athlete.’  .  Because its true that with math not everyone can do it,  either you are good at it or you are not.

Mathletes.. pretty darn neat!!!

I really like the fact that Madison West has more academic clubs than athletic programs.

Madison West has had some athletes go on to play in the N.B.A.  and the N.F.L.    but they have had many more kids excel and reach ‘ celebrity’ status because of their academic accomplishments than the athletic accomplishments.

Academics must come first.

Applaud those schools who put academics first.

( hint Evansville does not put academics first.)

GazetteXtra | Let’s applaud academic achievements, too.

The armed custodian

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 10, 2014 by chasinthenews

One of the questions of the survey that the Evansville School District sent out was would you support spending xxxxx amount of dollars for security measures.  This was separate from the school police liaison .  Keep in mind they only need the police liaison because the school administrators can not behave themselves.  So these are two separate issues.   TakeBulletCartoonsecuritymeasuresNO need for a police liaison but they do need to improve and update school security measures.   I do not know why it is so damn hard for people to check in at the office when going into the school.  But they also need other safety updates, like locks on all classrooms,  make people buzz to get into the building..  Nothing fancy , just simple basic things.

Did you get your survey from the E.C.S.D.? Why a referendum when you have a MILLION plus in the fund balance.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2014 by chasinthenews



Oh my goodness, where to start.

I got a chance to read this survey over the weekend.

It’s funny how they do not even put an estimate in for the costs of 4k.   They did for other things they want.   But not for 4k.

Every  thing that I read on that survey, with the exception of the junior high is a want, not a need.

Yes the curriculum is a need as are the updates to computers and software.   But these things need to be paid for out of the budget.

The last time I knew they have a MILLION plus in the fund balance.   They could pay for 4k out of the fund balance.   They could upgrade the curriculum and computers and software through the fund balance.  They have the money.

More pay for teacher’s and to attract good teachers? Well maybe you could keep and attract more teachers if administration treated them better.

I know for a fact the moral at the junior high and high school, the moral has been awful for a long time.  It’s not all about money,  it’s about how they are treated.

I also think Evansville does need to implement merit pay,  pay the teachers who really deserve it more and let the others work for it.  But regardless it needs to come out of the budget.

The majority of the questions on this survey shows they have serious budgeting issues.

Why go to referendum and raise taxes when you have the money.     The Evansville school district is the highest taxed district in the county and they want to add more?


Throwing money at this district is not going to help it.  The things they need to fix are internal things and only then will real change happen.


The link below gives more information on this survey as well.


GazetteXtra | Evansville survey to aid in referendum discussion

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2014 by chasinthenews

Everyone should be getting this in their mail box this week.  If you do not please call the school district or contact Kelly Mosher at 608-882-3387 or

So they are thinking about going to a referendum?   I think Jerry Roth has had this on his mind since day one of him taking the position of school superintendent.

The district does have many WANTS.   There is such a difference between wants and needs.

Survey questions include whether residents would support increasing taxes to give more salary and benefits for employees, upgrading curriculum and technology, whether a police liaison officer should be hired and whether the middle school built-in 1921 should be renovated or replaced”. – See more at:
Survey questions include whether residents would support increasing taxes to provide more salary and benefits for employees, upgrading curriculum and technology, whether a police liaison officer should be hired and whether the middle school built in 1921 should be renovated or replaced. – See more at:
Survey questions include whether residents would support increasing taxes to provide more salary and benefits for employees, upgrading curriculum and technology, whether a police liaison officer should be hired and whether the middle school built in 1921 should be renovated or replaced. – See more at:

Really more salary for employees and benefits?  Really?  What happened to Act 10?   No way.   Employee salary and benefits need to come from the regular budget .  You can not expect Evansville tax payers to thinks its o.k. to pay for daily/monthly/ yearly expenses from a referendum.  They need to budget better.

Money for upgrading curriculum and technology.    Yes it would be nice to see the district move into this decade.   The computers and software are really  old.

Renovate or Replace the junior high?    Yes the district needs a new junior high.   There is so much wrong with the current building its disturbing.

A police liaison?  Just make administration behave and you would not need a police liaison.  It’s a black eye on the district that they would even consider this as the high school and junior high already think the police dept is at their personal employees.   Just make administration behave, that is where the trouble starts.

4k?    It is really is not fair to carry out 4k when there are so many needs in the district, which that point has been expressed by many already.   4k is a want, not a need as there are other options parents can seek out.    A good quality daycare, with 4k curriculum .  Because that is all 4k is , is daycare with a good curriculum.  4k is a want.

The district needs to take care of the students it already has, which it is not doing.

My aunt , uncle and cousins live in Evansville as well and asked me what I thought.  I told my uncle that I thought 4k and a new junior high were things people do need to consider.  The rest of these wants need to come out of the budget.  But if they are going to lump them all into one referendum I would vote no.

The only pressing issue I see from the questions I am aware of is the need for a new junior high.  Even with that if the district will continue to have declining enrollment is it better to just renovate the current building and hold off on building?

The district lost 100+ students this year to open enrollment.  They need to fix some thing internally before more money gets thrown at them.

The fact they want to include some of these items in the referendum shows everyone they have a problem budgeting.

They really need to sit down and make a plan and stick with it.  So far all they have shown is they have a list of wants,not needs.

School Board Meeting Tonight. Check Out The Packet.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2013 by chasinthenews

I am sorry Mr. CzerWonka.   Your work on this ” Survey” is a joke.   I am sure your not at your fault.  I question who came up with these questions?   I do not seem to see where it asks about how people feel/felt about the school district/high school/ Junior high administration, over all the administration.   Was it not asked because you were afraid to?  They really are not digging very hard to see why people are leaving the district.   Keep in mind Evansville tax payers the district will lost almost a million dollars this year do to open enrollment.   They are a failing district.

So once again the district only asks questions when you are not concerned about the answers.

ALSO take a look at how LOW the numbers are for people leaving the district because of lack of 4k

Please go read the packet for tonight’s meeting.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2013 by chasinthenews

The packet for the board meetings really tells the story of what is going on.    I have scanned and enclosed in this post Valarie Peck’s resignation letter.   She taught  Social Studies at the high school.    She really lays it out there.    Most resignations letters thank the school district for allowing what ever person to be employed by the district. ( good grief.)

But she does and does not.   Click the little orange  link to read her letter.   I applaud her for having the honesty to write that.

The Evansville school district has lost a few teachers this year do to budget cuts, and unhappiness with the district.

Maybe if we could administration pay and increased their hours they would quit.   One could only hope.

BUT  go through the packet on the districts website, under board meetings..    This is not the only interesting thing in the packet for tonight’s meeting.

I am also not surprised to see that for their ” GED” program so far they have had only 4 kids show any interest at all.  ONLY  4.      It’s because of how you treated these same kids the first time they were enrolled in the school you have had so little response .    Who would want to come back and be bullied and harassed by administration and staff again?

IF  they do not get more than 4-5 kids it will be hard to justify this program VS the cost.


Ms. Pecks resignation letter.



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