April 15, 2014

Intermittent clouds

Cloverleaf school board readies backup levy plan

WESTFIELD TWP. — The Cloverleaf school board is taking out some insurance in case voters reject the 7.9-mill levy on the May primary ballot.

The board agreed Monday to put three issues on the Aug. 6 special election ballot.

“We have to make all possible contingency plans,” Cloverleaf Superintendent Daryl Kubilus said.

One of the three issues would be the same 7.9-mill tax that’s on the May ballot but combined with a renewal of a five-year levy that is scheduled to expire this year.

The board also put the 7.9-mill levy and the renewal levy on the ballot as separate issues.

If the May levy passes, the board will consider just putting the renewal on the August ballot, Kubilus said.

“Our intention would be just to renew the levy, which is expiring at the end of this calendar year,” he said.

The district has been in fiscal emergency since January 2012, and its finances are overseen by the five-member state commission.

The commission still must approve the levy resolutions.

Kubilus said the board needed to act now because the deadline to place levy options on the August ballot is before the May election, he said.

The 7.9-mill levy on the May ballot would bring in $3.7 million a year for 10 years and would cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $248 a year.

Approval of the May levy would restore high school busing, reopen buildings in the evenings and prevent a planned transition to an all-day, every-other-day kindergarten model. Cloverleaf officials also plan to set aside money for a trained, armed officer at each school, a move parents have requested.

Kubilus said no additional cuts have been planned until results of a performance audit from the state are announced. He said he expected the audit to be made public sometime in April.

Losses in state funding and the inability to pass a levy has put the district under severe financial strain. It has cut about $6.2 million from the budget over the past several years and combined three neighborhood elementary schools into one new school.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.

  • Richard Leiby

    Make cuts in superintendents pay, benefits, and take away the perks. Make other pay benefit adjustments as well. Turn all starts over to an athletic group and get back to education not all these other things. Make the big man cuts and if you can not do this. Then resign and let some in office that has the back bone to do it. Vote no on levy until it is done. State needs to 1 change way schools are funded, 2 merge all these districts in to alot less number of them. Go to an income tax and not property tax. That way everyone working pays. Not just property owners, 3 cut all these superintendents pay in half cut benefits and stop all pros. Then we will know who all is really in it for the students as they keep saying. Gazette put all those facts on front page of paper for all voters to see.

  • Teacher

    The worst thing you can do for these students is “merge all these districts in to a lot less number of them”. The second worst thing you could do for them is vote “no”. You can be mad at the superintendent all you want, but punishing the children is no way to teach him a lesson. He still gets his paycheck and they get less.

  • anon

    The school wouldn’t be in the position it is in if competent individuals were hired and knew something about making budgets. Perhaps teachers could also get a clue and quit demanding crazy salaries and benefits for a job that isn’t really full time. I have never worked less than 50 hours a week, hard work, yet I have been paid poverty level wages. Some of us simply cannot afford an additional tax, no matter how “small”. Taxpayers cannot be expected to shoulder all the burdens all the time.

  • AnotherTeacher

    Unless you have been a teacher, and I’m assuming from your comments you have not, then you have no idea the amount of hours a teacher puts in during the school year. There’s a reason teachers are paid year round/full time. I too worked full time, 40-50 hour weeks, before becoming a teacher and I can assure you I work a lot harder now during the school year than I ever did in my other corporate job. That aside, teachers need a competitive salary because the state requires us to continuously take graduate level courses to keep our licenses current. There are very few jobs where you don’t get a raise for hard work, but are asked to PAY more just to keep your job.

  • anon

    Actually I did work as a teacher after finishing graduate school. I left the field because the focus was too much on unions and whining and not enough about the kids I pledged to help. I am not saying teachers don’t work; I am saying they do not spend the amount of time working comparable to others in non-academic positions. Gosh I would love to go back to having summers off, breaks throughout the year, and ample sick time. And oh how I would love to have educational assistants to assist me on a daily basis, parents offering to pitch in, and the like. The fact is, in my job, I don’t have any of the fluff. I also have many more financial issues I did not even think about while teaching – my insurance payments are horrible (you can’t argue you pay next to nothing for your benefits – the school absorbs most of this for you), there aren’t any discounts for me on things even if I NEED them for my job (office products, etc.), and of course, the salary itself. I spend all my time at work so there isn’t even a chance for me to take a second job like teachers can. I guess if you step away from the perks for a little while you’ll see how good you actually have it. And as far as being “competitive”, the rest of us don’t get salary increases each year even though we are still expected to perform at the top of our game and our employers still aim to recruit the best. If we are lucky we might get a $25 gift card each year at the end of the year thanking us for our work for the (whole) year. You may not realize that just as you are encouraged to pursue additional schooling, it is often demanded of the rest of us as well; we just have more difficulty paying for it since we don’t get the financial breaks educators do.nnThere may be a few individuals out there who function as teachers and work harder than the rest, but for the most part, teaching has become a field of convenience. Gone are the days when I was a child where the teacher had to do everything and pay out of pocket for everything. Here we live in the days where teachers live in the lap of luxury and at the end of the day have the nerve to complain and ask for more. Even while they earn more than the typical taxpayer but work much less.

  • Another Teacher

    I could not disagree more with most of your statements. As I said before, I worked in the corporate world before becoming a teacher. I understand the demands, perks and stresses of both. It sounds like you can’t be happy anywhere. In education everyone was “whining” and in your current job you do are overworked, spending “all of your time at work”. I have a lot less “sick time” as a teacher than I ever did in my business job. I do work during the summer to bridge the pay cut I took when I became a teacher. I do realize that additional education is useful and sometimes required in other fields, however I do not receive any more “financial breaks” on those classes than any one else in any other field. It is nothing short of ignorant and disrespectful to call teaching a “field of convenience”. If you went to grad school and are working 50-60 hours a week and still make less than a teacher, I would suggest looking into a new profession because as a brand new college grad with a only a bachelors and no experience, I made more than I do now, as a teacher with experience and a master’s degree. nIt sounds like your “no” vote for a levy is inevitable as you do not have the children in mind. You have not mentioned the children and the impact failed levies have on them yet. That’s unfortunate. Your vote is based on putting teachers where YOU believe they deserve to be on the workforce food chain. Although many would disagree with you, you are clearly entitled to your opinion. Best wishes!

  • anon

    Exactly the kind of ignorant, disrespectful, crazed people we have entrusted to teach our children. Judge others they don’t know and always have to have the last word, even if that means insulting someone without cause for having an opinion. And we wonder why we are raising youth who are so disrespectful; what else can we expect when they spend the majority of their day, during their growing years, under such “guidance”. nBe careful voting for levies that fund this type of behavior.