Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Tale of Two Districts

My daughter will eventually attend Montrose Elementary, not Cassingham, and so will most likely not be taught using the International Baccalaureate elementary school curriculum. In my district, these are the types of issues that make the news:

'District Superintendent Michael Johnson said IB does not give Cassingham students an advantage. He said all the elementary schools have instituted similarly rigorous education programs, and that few parents have asked to move their children to Cassingham.

Johnson said he supports using the method at Cassingham.

"It creates a new minimum that was once reserved for the college-bound," he said. "It should not be an elitist program. It should be the standard we want for all of our students." '

Over in the South-Western City district, this is what counts as good news:

' With a smaller deficit and a new biennial budget yet to be determined, administrators and board members decided to hold off on a tax request in May.

“I'm overjoyed,” said board President Jim Lester. “We're not going to have to cut 30, 40, 50 staff members, we're not going to whack supplies for schools as much.” '

Note that the good news means that they won't have to ask for money from the voters this May. They can put it off until November.

This graphic lists what the districts get in terms of operating millage from their residents.

These are the State Report Cards for Bexley and South-Western City.

Now that nobody listens to vinyl, I don't know what the proper cliched metaphor is supposed to be, so I'll stick to being a broken record: Tell me, please, what is a High Quality Public Education? What will these districts look like once local funding requirements are capped and a High Quality Education becomes a fundamental right? Are these differences outside of the scope of reform?

1 comment:

Paul said...

I have lived in the Hilliard school district for nearly 30 years, and our two kids attended school here K through graduation. Our district is like Southwestern in that it is being systematically harvested by residential real estate developers, with the aid of both the suburban Mayor and Mayor Coleman.

I've summarized our situation in this Letter to the Editor. As with the Southwestern schools officials, our school leadership has decided to postpone making any new levy requests until after the Nov 07 elections (the Mayor and two Board members will be up for re-election by the way).

You are welcome to stop by my blog and get a sense of what the situation is in the I-270 suburbs around Columbus. Most of the problems are of our own making -- a mixture of ignorance and apathy.

By the way, if I understand the proposed amendment on this point, it does not cap local spending. Any district is welcome to enact local taxes to fund programming above and beyond state requirements, whatever those may be. So I think we'll get both higher income taxes AND substantial local property taxes.