Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

A Tribute to Our New School Board Members

Gordon Goggin Continues to Misunderstand District

This was posted yesterday on Gordon Goggin’s Facebook page, Save the West Bend Schools:

Minute 15:01 on the video posted on the WBSD website for the video entitled Board work session from 4/12/2010, you will see and hear Dr. Pat advocate for an operating referendum AND see Kris Beaver nod his head in agreement. Check it out for yourself!

I watched the portion of the video in question several times.  Leading up to the 15:01 portion of the video Dr. Herdrich is discussing the 10-11 budget and the fact that it is built upon the assumption that the Board would levy to maximum capacity which would result in an 8.4% increase in the levy.  She then goes on to say that if the board would choose not to use their maximum levy authority that they would need to make further reductions beyond the $2 million that they have already cut.  She also says that if the district under levies and then attempts to go into arbitration with teachers that they would probably lose as the arbitrator would view the district as having additional authority to raise revenue to afford the teacher’s offer.  She then offers a second consequence of under levying.  That consequence would be the inability of the board to advance an operating referendum which the community would support.  She tells the board that it would be a difficult sell as people would see they aren’t levying to the max to begin with.  That’s all a paraphrase but it the essence of the discussion. 

Gordon says that Dr. Herdrich is advocating for a referendum.  Maybe she is, I don’t know, but that is a pretty big leap in logic to conclude from the video segment he referred to in his post.  He is doing the same thing he did earlier with the quote from the Standard and Poor’s credit report.  You will notice when you watch the video the board does not go into a discussion of advancing an operating levy.  They move on to other business.  I also watched the video in full screen and in normal size to see if Kris was nodding his head in approval.  The video quality is poor, but I couldn’t see him nod his head.  He looked more like he was biting his fingernails or something. 

I don’t doubt the board will continue to have discussion about the pro’s and con’s of advancing an operating referendum.  Those discussions do not in and of themselves indicate the board will absolutely go forward with one.  The board needs to have the flexibility and latitude to discuss all options before them, regardless if they may be bad ideas.  We need to back off and let them have these discussions without accusing them of being liars, or not listening to taxpayers, or being lemmings following Dr. Herdrich off a cliff. 

I just don’t see anything in that video that would justify Gordon’s conclusions.  I think he is being unfair and is trying to make the district administration look bad and he is just simply misrepresenting things.  It is dishonest and he needs to be called out on it.

Gordon Goggin Misrepresents School Financial Report

Self proclaimed education expert and West Bend School District CFAC member Gordon Goggin runs a Facebook page called Save the West Bend School District.  His wall posts are the usual conservative rant against against all things government despite the name of his page.  Here is his latest post:

Save the West Bend School District Just read the S&P report on the District…clearly says that the District is going to cut 15 teacher and aide positions during the 2010-2011 year. Of note, the report clearly says the District will approach taxpayers again for another referendum within the next year. Contradicts some Board members comments about “not another referendum”!

What report are you referring to? I have no intent to authorize a referendum at this time.
Mon at 6:58pm
 
the one posted on the WBSD website by Standard & Poors
Yesterday at 6:32pm
 
Here is the link to the S&P report that he is getting his information from.  So where does the report clearly state that the district will be going out for another referendum within the next year.  Apparently on page 3, in this paragraph: 

 

We believe the district’s overall net debt burden to be moderate at $2,800 per capita, but low at slightly less than 2.9% of market value. Carrying charges as a percent of total governmental funds expenditures less capital outlay were, in our view, low at 3.6% in fiscal 2009. Amortization, including sinking fund payments, is rapid, with 69% of the district’s direct debt retired over 10 years. A second proposal for $41 million in bonds was also presented to voters in April 2009, but failed to pass. The district indicates that approximately $20 million to $25 million of that total represents its more near-term needs, but the earliest it would approach voters again would be in about a year.

Missed it?  I will repost the part that clearly states the district is going out for another referendum in a year:

but the earliest it would approach voters again would be in about a year.

I must not be as smart as Gordon.  Apparently I have a different definition of “clearly states” than he does.  The district has never hidden the fact that they will need to go out for another construction referendum in the near future.  They still have issues with Jackson and Barton Elementary Schools, McLane is bursting at the seams and Silverbrook is still hemorrhaging heat through its roof.  This report is saying the earliest they would consider holding another building referendum would be next year.  It does not state that they have already determined to do so.   Now the board has stated that they will not consider an operating referendum right now.  Unfortunately, Gordon doesn’t make that distinction.  Why?  Because I don’t think he is really interested in saving the schools as much as he is concerned about making the current administration look bad and saving his tax dollars. 

 

 
 

School Board Election Tomorrow

As we go to the polls tomorrow to vote for school board we need to remember one thing about the candidates.  Kathy Van Eerden and Lynn Corazzi are the two candidates who will allow science to be taught as determined by scientists, whereas Randy Marquardt and David Wiegand think they know enough to declare evolution and global warming false science.  Randy has also made many statements that would seem to indicate a very anti-intellectual attitude and general disrepect for expertise and knowledge.  These are not the kind of people that should be running an academic institution.  They would have us return to the early 19th century for our scientific knowledge.  They claim they are running to fix the supposed fiscal mess the district is in.  Don’t believe them.  If you want to see what happens when known creationists run for school board while claiming they are only running because of a concern for the financial shape of the district, look no further than Dover, PA.  If you don’t want to see what happened there happen here, vote Van Eerden and Corazzi.

For more interesting information on the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial see The Devil in Dover by Lauri Lebo and 40 Days and 40 Nights by Matthew Chapman.