Prepared Text for Board Meeting –

February 9, 2009

Marc A. Schare  614 791-0067

Work -  614 791-1779 Fax

marc9@aol.com

 

Obviously, this will be a year of significant legislative change at the state and federal level. The only update I have tonight is to drive home the uncertainty of what we face. The federal stimulus bill passed today at 6pm lacks some of the education funding that the state was expecting. President Obama was apparently not pleased, nor was Speaker Pelosi, but it would be pure guesswork as to whether it is contained in the final version. A more interesting question would be – what would we do with federal funds if we got them. One time money earmarked for special education would only serve to create a service level that is perhaps unsustainable.

 

The State Education Plan is quite a different story. Governor Strickland did what he promised he would do – create transformative change, both in the delivery model and the funding model. This will, by definition, creation uncertainty for an extended period of time.

 

Just thumbing through the 56 page overview document, I see that Governor Strickland’s plan requires us to hire nurses and reimburses us at the rate of $28,009 per “organizational unit”. I don’t know if that money must be earmarked for nurses but I don’t think you’re finding nurses for $28K/year. For the first time, the state will fund a school district having a treasurer, but I doubt that Jeff will stay for the $78,418 that the state will give us next year. There are detailed calculations for everything from principal to secretary, and everything in between.

 

Where am I going with this update. Worthington is blessed to have a politically active board. In my opinion, we need to dissect the Governor’s proposal and figure out what, for us, is the good, the bad and the ugly, both on the financial side and the academic mandate side. Having accomplished this, we will, collectively, be in a much better position to express our opinions to the powers that be in the state and the organizations that represent us such as OSBA et al.

 

This may take the form of a task force, informal discussions and everything in between. I don’t know what aspects of the state proposal may be unacceptable to the people in Worthington or the administrative, certified and classified staff in the district, but I think we should make an effort to find out.