Home > District News > Parent Update April 20, 2010

Parent Update April 20, 2010

April 20, 2010


In light of new financial projections from the State level, the Olmsted Falls School District finds itself in the difficult situation of choosing between competing campaign promises.   On one hand, the campaign pledged to restore High School busing services; on the other hand, the campaign also pledged that this levy would last for three school years (2010-2011, 2011-2012, and 2012-2013).

Knowing that our District’s finances would still be considered “weak or fragile” and that additional state revenue cuts are being predicted, the District has been exploring ways to reintroduce HS busing in a way that would not be as costly as the delivery of high school busing services in the past (approximately $300,000 annually).

Based on a review of the various busing options, at the April 15th Board of Education meeting, a recommendation was made to restore High School busing, effective at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year.  This recommendation (which has been titled the “3-2 option,” meaning that the District would have operated three AM bus routes and two PM bus routes) would have re-implemented HS busing, but reduced the total number of bus routes by placing HS students on bus routes that currently transport students in grades K – 8.  Some of you may have read and commented upon this proposal, which was discussed on the April 8th blog.

For the “3-2 option” it was estimated that the re-implementation of HS busing would have cost the District an estimated $230,000 annually (approximately $140,000 in local busing services for OFHS students, and approximately $90,000 for required busing services for non-public high school students).

At the April 15th Board of Education meeting, the School Board reviewed this transportation proposal along with the broader funding issues percolating at the State level.  A detailed discussion and debate of the topic spanned more than an hour.

To give you further background, prior to the April 15th Board meeting, the District received written correspondence from Columbus (click here to read memo) indicating further state-level financial cuts to education funding are on the horizon (FY 12), which could mean a major decrease (ranging from an estimated $2,400,000 up to $3,200,000 annually) in our District’s overall State revenue projections.  Additionally, local funding amounts are also deteriorating as property values and the number of delinquencies have increased.  Specifically, the District is expecting to receive approximately $858,006 less in local tax revenues this year as compared to last year (Actual Local Tax Revenue in FY09 = $21,078,972 and Projected Local Tax Revenue in FY10 =$20,220,966).

In the end, the Board voted 3-2 against the recommendation to implement the “3-2 option” bus route system that would have placed HS students on the same bus with K – 8 students.

After this vote, the Board of Education then voted to institute bus services for only grades Pre-K to 8 for the start of the 2010-2011 school year, and to re-examine this decision again in the late Fall in reference to District finances with the possibility of re-implementing high school busing sometime after January 1, 2011, once the District begins receiving revenue from the February 2010 levy.

Sun Post Herald reporter Joanne DuMound was in attendance at Thursday’s school board meeting and she has posted an article on their online paper.  Here is a link to the story:  http://www.cleveland.com/sunpostherald/index.ssf/2010/04/olmsted_falls_high_school_busi.html

Ultimately, this decision was a very, very difficult decision to make by our Board of Education as, with this new financial information from the State, the District is forced to make a choice between two important campaign promises.  In fact, much of the School Board’s discussion at the April 15th meeting centered around the publicized plan to re-institute high busing services and the efforts made by our campaign workers to communicate this plan to our residents.  However, in the end, the Board of Education voted on the side of utmost fiscal responsibility and, again, it is their intention to review this decision again in the late Fall so as to better ascertain the District’s finances.


Congratulations to (pictured, L to R) OFHS seniors Chaz McGrain, Corinne Manley and Matt Stenger who signed formal letters of intent last week to pursue their academic and athletic careers in college.

Chaz McGrain signed to play baseball at Ashland University; Corinne Manley signed to play volleyball at Clarion Univerity; and Matt Stenger will join the track team at Western Carolina University.  Well done Bulldogs!  Good luck!


Elected officials from the Olmsted Falls Board of Education, City of Olmsted Falls, and Olmsted Township came together on April 14th for a joint meeting to share information about a variety of community happenings.

Local officials make it a priority to come together for such meetings generally once or twice a year.  The April 14th meeting took place in the Media Center at Olmsted Falls Middle School, and lasted approximately two hours.  Items discussed included local construction projects impacting the community, upcoming tax levies, and other areas of common interest.

Olmsted Falls City Schools Treasuer, Mr. Mark Hullman, reviews district finances for elected officials at annual joint meeting of local elected officials.

Olmsted Falls Mayor Robert Blomquist speaking with Olmsted Township Trustee Sherri Lippus at April 14th joint meeting of local elected officials.


More than 200 guests attended the Ballroom Blitz held March 20th featuring the OFHS Jazz Band and Vocal Ensemble (Golden Expressions).  Attendees were treated to an evening of dinner, live music (compliments of our talented students) and swing dancing, too.  The event took place at the Columbia Ballroom with great success. Congratulations to the Olmsted Falls Music Boosters and OFHS Music Department for an innovative collaboration!


Joe Pedicini

Congratulations to the members of the High School Jazz Band on their participation at the Ohio State University Jazz Festival yesterday.

Special honors went to Joe Pedicini, who was named to the “All Star Jazz Band.”


Ryan Pettiti

Cameron Trefny

Congratulations to OFHS seniors Ryan Petitti and Cameron Trefny who have been selected to participate in the Greater Cleveland Football Coaches Association East-West All Star game.

This event will be held on June 18th at John Carroll University.

Go Bulldogs!


On Saturday, April 17, the High School Academic Team participated in the National Academic Quiz Tournament held at the Ohio State University.

The OFHS A-Team brought home the State Runner-up Trophy for 2010, going 9-2 on the day with their only losses coming to State Champion, Northmont High School.  Those students competing on the A-Team were:  Jim Coury, Mike Coury, Emily Nageotte, and Marty Mendenhall.

OFHS Academic Team

Junior Jim Coury was the top individual scorer in the State Tournament for the second year in a row.   OFHS also entered B, C, and D Teams into the tournament and all of these teams posted respectable records for the day against A-Teams from across the state.

The Academic Team will be back in action on Saturday at Copley High School where they will participate in the Regional Ohio Academic Challenge.

Continued good luck to our OFHS Academic Team.  The District is very proud of your efforts.


The OFHS Academic Team is having a Mother’s Day Flower Sale.  All hanging baskets are from Schuster’s Greenhouse right here in Olmsted Falls.  All orders must be turned in to Mrs. Rhonna Smith by Tuesday, May 4th. (Mother’s Day is May 9th this year!).  Pick-up of the baskets will be on Friday, May 7th from 6-9 p.m. at the High School.  Payments are to be included in advance with the order form. You can click here to access the order form on the High School web page.


These final months of the school year are always busy for the senior class at OFHS.  Students and parents in need of a copy of the 2009-2010 Senior Class Calendar can download the calendar from the High School website by clicking this link.


The Dara Hosta Olmsted Spirit 5K race/walk is scheduled to be held on Sunday May 2nd at 9:00 AM.  This event is held annually in memory/celebration of Dara Hosta, an OFHS student who passed in 2000.

The 5K race/walk is followed by a trophy presentation, free post-race breakfast, and prize raffle. All proceeds from this event go directly to college scholarships for graduating OFHS seniors.

Please consider participating or volunteering at this community event.  If you would like more information on registering for this event, please click here.  If you would like to volunteer and help out on the day of the race, please call the OFHS office at 427-6100.


Families listen to pediatrician from University Hospitals, a featured guest speaker at the Power Up Parent Academy event at OFMS.

While parents participated in a label reading workshop at the Power Up Parent Academy, students had a chance to "Power Up" and get active during planned fitness activities in the gymnasium.

More than 100 students and parents attended the recent series of free “Power Up Parent Academy” events, made possible by a grant through three mini-grants awarded to the District by the Ohio Department of Education.

Attendees enjoyed a nutritious and delicious family-style dinner together, followed by an opportunity to learn from experts about balanced nutrition, labels, and exercise.

The evening culminated with a healthy desert bar where participants could make their own smoothies or yogurt parfaits.


Thanks to the support of faculty and staff, and the hard work of student organizers, OFHS Student Council raised $1,508 for Haitian Earthquake Relief during “Stall Week” held just prior to spring break.  All funds are being directed to COCINA’s Earthquake Relief Fund.  It is rewarding to see our students – across all grade levels – continue to find innovative ways to lend helping hands where they are needed.  Our High School Student Council is to be commended for the success of this recent effort!


There are several local tax issues on the May 2, 2010 election ballot.  Click here for information available about the Olmsted Township Fire Levy (Issue #49).

Categories: District News
  1. Lisa
    April 20, 2010 at 10:28 am

    This comes as very distressing news as a parent as well as tax payer in the City. Any broken promises now would be reflected in all future levy campaigns. If you cannot stand by your word today then how can we believe that you will do so in the future.

    • It is my kids turn
      April 20, 2010 at 11:31 am

      It is completely inappropriate to blame the reduced revenue resulting in elimination of bus routes on Dr. Hoadly and anybody else involved with the school system. Don’t get angry at the guy that brings bad news, get angry at the state for poor planning, poor politicians and the way schools are funded in Ohio.

      • Sam
        April 20, 2010 at 12:08 pm

        They shouldn’t make promises they can’t keep. Do you do that to your kids?

      • Mike
        April 28, 2010 at 10:29 am

        It is completely appropriate to blame the guy that brings the bad news. This is the same guy who said pass my levy and things will go back to normal.

    • April 20, 2010 at 5:33 pm

      Thank you for your comment. This is indeed distressing news. It is my hope that everyone will keep in mind that multiple campaign pledges were made and presently, two campaign promised are competing against each other.

      During the campaign, pledges to both bring back HS busing and make the levy last at least 3 years were both repeatedly stated.

      The first week of April, written warnings from state-level elected officials of possible state cuts in educational funding of between 20% and 30% were made available to District officials. This new information caused great concern that the campaign promise of making this levy last three years could not be maintained.

      As such, the decision was made to hold off on the re-implementation of HS busing and this decision will be revisited in the fall of 2010 when additional financial information becomes available.

      I completely understand the frustration of the community and the comments on this blog. I hope everyone understands that this was a very difficult decision by our Board of Education and the members made this decision after much discussion and soul searching.

      • Anne
        April 22, 2010 at 6:00 pm

        I have been very supportive and appreciative of this school system, staff, and all that our children receive from this district. But I am very disappointed in the Board’s decision about HS busing. If “two campaign promised are competing against each other” with a possible end result of one of them not occurring, then that should have been clearly stated to the voters. I am sad that I will now be jaded when I look at future campaigns from OF. I truly trusted those involved with this process, yet was not ignorant of the potential state funding issues (I work in higher ed). I have contacted state reps in the past to voice my opinion about the funding of schools and will help support any efforts to get it changed. But regardless of the cuts, the busing should have been implemented as promised. Then the community would have time to address the latest cuts to see what would need to be adjusted in the future. I just never imagined that promises would be broken. I still find it hard to believe that this decision has been made and I fear for the future of this district. Our trust will be hard to regain.

  2. Jeanine Colozza
    April 20, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I find this news incredibly disappointing. My husband, children and I fully supported the levy for many reasons and the return of high school bussing was one of those reasons.

    After the results of the levy, I took a full-time, less flexible position in order to more aggressively save for my son’s near term college education. I took the position in part because I was under the impression that he would have transportation to and from school during the next school year. As the parent of a 14 year old freshman, we are at least a year away from him receiving his license. While I appreciate the “attempt” of the 3-2 option and the pending budget cuts, I feel incredibly misled and feel that other options could be explored with some input from those families impacted.

    In truth, I am not entirely opposed to having children walk some distance to and from school as long as there is an appropriate environment for doing so. I find it a bit ironic that a the blog describes a meeting of area elected officials to exchange ideas and discuss projects. All I can think is “too little, too late.” Where were these meetings when we knew bussing would be eliminated but yet made significant improvements to two major roads in the city, Stearns and Fitch, yet failed to put in sidewalks? When I heard about the improvements being made to Usher this summer, I e-mailed my councilwoman and asked if she could organize meetings so that residents could have input in terms of some safe passage (sidewalks, bike path)from Falls Pointe/Westview to connect to Brentwood. Her response: “Nothing I can do, that’s township.”

    I would like to recommend another meeting, a public meeting, that includes our public representatives and school administration/board to discuss concerns and other alternatives. For example, what level of high school bussing triggers the requirement to bus to private schools? Is an afternoon “loop” type of service feasible? If this ends up being the only option, what improvements are the city/township looking into to allow safer passage for their residents? Thank you for your time.

    Jeanine Colozza

    • April 20, 2010 at 5:42 pm

      Thanks for your comment. The District has been hosting joint elected officials meetings for several years. Typically 2-3 of these meetings will occur each year. Your frustrations of issues that effect both the Falls and the Township is exactly the reason why these meetings are so important. The action of one community often has major effect on the other community and it is important that we look at things from the whole Olmsted Community, rather than two separate and different political subdivisions.

      Your suggestion of have a public meeting has merit. Yesterday, I extended an invitation to our state House representative to allow OFCS to sponsor a community forum that would allow multiple state level officials to come and share information directly with the citizens of this area. I am hopeful that this will come to fruition and members of the Olmsted Falls PTA have expressed interest in possibly sponsoring and activity such as this.

      Regarding your question about what level of HS busing triggers the requirement to also bus parochial HS students, it is my understanding that any level of busing services offered to OFHS students triggers the requirement to also bus parochial HS students. I have spoken on several occasions to our state-level officials about this issue as this issue is one of the factors that effected the
      Board of Education recent decision to delay re-implementation of HS busing.

  3. Sam
    April 20, 2010 at 11:18 am

    WoW! It took all of 2 1/2 months to break campaign PROMISES!And you wonder why we didn’t pass the levy 3 times. “Bulling” to get what you want. Good example for the kids. It’s a sad day in the Falls. Good luck passing the next Levy-broken promises and all.(or will you be retired by then)

    • April 20, 2010 at 5:48 pm


      As stated above, the Board of Education currently finds two campaign promises competing against each other. Re-implementation of HS busing versus making the operating levy last 3 school years.

      With the information recently coming from our state level elected officials predicting major cuts coming to public education, the promise of making the levy last 3 years was put in serious jeopardy without a constriction of district expenditures.

      Regarding retirement, with the newly proposed STRS retirement eligibility requirements, I am now 15 years from retirement eligibility.

      • sam
        April 21, 2010 at 5:01 am

        You (School board Members) might not be able to retire but you can find other districts to work for.

    • Rebecca G
      April 21, 2010 at 2:55 pm

      Sam, Your anger is misdirected. If you would set aside your anger for a minute and understand what is happening, you would direct your anger where it really needs to be..the state. Although we have passed a levy which gives us more money, the state can possibly take away $2,0000 or more. That basically puts us right back where we started. We are not the only district with funding issues. Have you read the paper lately? Turned on the evening news? Parma’s in trouble. If we lose $2 mil in funding guess what a district like Parma loses? If I’m not mistaken, it’s about $6 million. Cleveland is laying off almost 600 teachers. That will make the teacher student ratio about 1 for every 40 students. North Olmsted has a levy on the ballot, and even if it passes they still have to make cuts. Do you see the universal problem here? All I have to say to you is..WHAT’S YOUR SOLUTION? I’d love to meet you at one of our school funding meetings. We had one last week? Were you there? If you are as mad as you seem, you should start directing that anger towards a solution. Mud slinging resolves nothing. And honestly, I can’t take someone like that seriously.

      • Mike
        April 28, 2010 at 10:37 am


        When you run out of money what are you going to do. I know let ask the School district for some.

  4. Kimberly Altstadt
    April 20, 2010 at 11:31 am

    This makes me extremely angry that families were asked to tighten their family budgets to pass the school levy and in exchange our children would have back their programs and busing. Now that the levy is passed the promises are being broken. I pushed very hard for the levy to be passed and am happy that the programs were kept. But the lacking of busing has put a hardship on a lot of families. As a working parent my high school student was forced to walk along side traffic on Fitch Road in order to get home. You will now make it very hard for families to agree to any future levies.

    • April 20, 2010 at 5:54 pm

      Thanks for your comment. In the levy campaign, many promises were made and the District is working to follow through on this promises.

      It was promised that two additional teacher positions would be added for the 2010-2011 school year in order to reduce class sizes. The District is moving forward with the pledge.

      As stated above two campaign pledges are competing against each other at the current time. A decision had to be made and the Board of Education voted on the side of utmost fiscal responsibility.

      Finally, as stated in the blog article, it is the Board’s intention to review this decision again in the late Fall so as to better ascertain the District’s finances.

      • turnip
        April 22, 2010 at 8:30 pm

        2 teachers? Yes, we need more teachers, but they don’t do any good if a kid has to miss school because he doesn’t have ride, or his road is unsafe to walk on.
        Parents are losing income and risking their jobs each day to take their high-schooler to and from school.
        2 teachers do NOT justify the possible loss of income, migration to other towns and loss of tax revenue and lower property values.
        In my opinion, the board chose the wrong campaign promise to back.

        We need busing, more teachers can wait until things catch up.

        The teachers my kids have right now are awesome and go above and beyond to make sure they are up to speed. Yes, they are over-loaded, but they care and make things work.

        Quit spending our money without finding out what our citizens really want. High school busing will ensure each young adult will get all the credits needed to graduate. They will be able to attend vocational school or plan for college and a career.
        If a parent loses a job because they have to drive their kid to the school each day, none of their dreams will come true.
        This strain on families has got to stop! Cars break down, people get sick, cars get snowed in…all these situations result in a young adult missing valuable school days.

        2 teachers will not fix what is wrong in our community. Restoring HS busing will insure sucessful preperation for adulthood and it will restore the faith of the voters. Why can’t the high-schoolers ride the bus with 5th graders?

        Restore busing, cut after hours activities if needed and make changes to pick-up routes, student bus assignments and I will back further levys. Heck, my whole family will. Continue to hire new people and spend money on non-essential activities and we shall not vote in favor of future levys.

  5. Rob Prante
    April 20, 2010 at 11:52 am

    This is why you should never make promises – especially promises that depend on someone else to deliver (state government). Did anyone else read the letter from Rep. Gardner?? Talk about sickening…they plan on cutting the education budget by 22.7% IF THE STATE REVENUE GROWS!! Jeez, what do we have to do to get education funding increased? This should be a very good indication the elected officials of this State (and Country, for that matter) have no interest in the educational well-being and growth of our children. Any who say they do are just simply lying.

    • Rob Prante
      April 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm

      Perhaps I wasn’t entirely clear in my earlier post, so I’ll try again.
      My negativity is aimed directly at the State government, for that is where the problem truly lies. I have no issue with the work that’s been done by the board – my issue is that their plans have been torpedoed by the State. Difficult decisions have to be made.
      I did say my issue was with “elected officials of this State” – i.e., in Columbus. And I assure you, they will continue to hear from me regularly.

      • April 20, 2010 at 6:06 pm

        Thanks for the comments. I share in your frustration that many “mandates from Columbus” are left to local communities to fund.

        While many of these mandates have all the best intentions, it is very difficult, and also very divisive for local communities to scrape together the necessary financial resources to fund these new mandated programs.

        An example of this is the new all-day, everyday Kindergarten (ADK) mandate that was placed upon all school districts this past summer (July 2011).

        While it would be very nice educationally, as well as a nice service for working parents for the District to provide ADK, the bottom line is that is will come with a cost of approximately $350,000 annually (and that amount will grow by around 4% annually).

        No financial resources have been provided “from Columbus” for ADK (and none are likely to be provided in the future), yet all school districts in Ohio are mandated to have this program fully implemented by the 2011-2012 school year.

        During these economic times, it is extremely difficult to management the financial budget and with these additional “unfunded mandates” it makes it very near impossible.

      • Lisa White
        April 23, 2010 at 10:29 am

        There are ways for you to get involved, we already have a group of people in place working on these issues. If you truly want to help and be a part of the solution than I can point you in the right direction. (Power in Numbers)

  6. well informed mom
    April 20, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Do either of you understand that the state of Ohio may cut 2 million from our current district budget? Where do you propose the OF Board of Ed find that 2 million if the cuts do happen? The education funding environment has changed overnight. You should quite honestly redirect your negative comments to the governor of Ohio who was supposed to be the “Governor for Education.” Please call or e-mail your local elected state officials and let them know how you feel. The Board of Ed didn’t break any promises~they’ve simply chose to adapt to a changing environment. If the 2 million dollar memo hadn’t been sent from the state, the high school students would still have buses. That’s the reality. There isn’t any grand scheme of deceit.

    Sam, teaching your children about fiscal responsiblity and making tough choices about spending money is setting a good example.

    I hope that you both also realize that Board of Education positions are elected positions. If either of you have great ideas (instead of your negativity), you should put your name on the ballot. You too can spend many hours making tough decisons for your and everyone else’s children.

    I thank the Board for being fiscally responsible because passing a levy in ANY city in Ohio is a very difficult thing to do. Watch what happens to our neighboring cities.

  7. Lori Kaschak
    April 20, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I am also extremely angry and saddened because the school board has basically made it so another levy will never get passed in this school district.

  8. Chris
    April 20, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Wow, how disappointing. We were big supporters of this recent levy passage and for us as well, it is because we understood high school bus routes would be restored. Come this fall, we will have 3 students at the high school. We as a family have had to make incredible concessions in our living as my work hours have been reduced and my wife was laid off from her job. But we felt lucky to live in this community with a school system (administration and school board) that we felt we could trust. That trust has been broken.

    Good luck Olmsted Falls Schools, you are going to need it. . .

    Regarding the comment from “It is my kids’s turn” – it is NEVER inappropriate to express disappointment and concern when something that is promised is not delivered.

  9. future high school parent
    April 20, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Are you keeping the two seperate start times for the high school and will the students be able to sit in the auditorium to wait for a ride like this year?

    • April 20, 2010 at 6:10 pm

      Yes, the HS will continue to operate on two separate start and ending times. This schedule allows all students the opportunity (if they desire) to take an extra class during the school day with no additional cost to the District’s operation.

  10. Chris
    April 20, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    To “Well Informed Mom” – I don’t question that you are well-informed, but people are allowed to feel anger, frustration, disappointment, etc. regarding this recent “about-face” on high school bussing. We are all adults, and we all can certainly understand the pitfalls of public education funding in this state, but people are still allowed to feel what they feel.

    Suggesting that they run for the school board instead of complaining is silly. Just let people say what they need to say. So many families are going through rough economic times right now, they need to vent, and that’s ok.

    • April 20, 2010 at 6:30 pm

      There are many purposes for this blog. One is to be able to receive reliable information about the Olmsted Falls school system directly from the source.

      Another purposes is to hear (read) the reactions from persons around the community.

      Finally, another purpose is to promote a venue for civil discussion on topics where persons disagree.

      This is a very important aspect of this blog as the 24/7 cable TV model continually displays that persons who disagree with each other should simply “talk over the other person” and show “little to no respect to the person who you are conversing with”. This is not a healthy model for our community, nor our country.

      Thanks for your respectful comment.

  11. Mercedez
    April 20, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I campaigned for the levy and I will have a child attending the high school next year with no busing. And while this “busing” news is disappointing in the least, tough choices have to be made.
    The State of Ohio is projecting to make drastic cuts in education funding. This puts OFCS and local school districts across the state into situations in which they have limited control over, if any. Fair or not, this is our reality and I appreciate the Board of Ed’s position of financial responsibility.

  12. Julia
    April 20, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    I currently only have one child in school – a freshman in high school…and never would have voted yes had I known that the bus situation would possibly be changing. Very disappointing and am regretting my vote.

    • Laura
      April 29, 2010 at 3:59 pm

      I too only have one child at the high school. Having the busing elimated has made life difficult this year for both myself and my child. He is not old enough to drive yet, so I was in full support of the levy when it was stated that busing would be returned. I just feel a bit betrayed by this reversal.

  13. OFBandMom
    April 20, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    I’ll admit my initial reaction was anger. Restoring high school busing was a promise when voters were asked to support the levy. I’m not sure when the administration learned of these cuts, but I’m sure Dr. Hoadley will explain this further. The board and the administration are always in a situation where they are trying to keep being the best with less and less. They have proven that they are working smarter and I appreciate that. If something has to be ‘on hold’ high school busing is the least intrusive. We all as a family have made cuts only to realize that something else has gone up, then our only option is to cut something else. It’s really no difference, situations change and things change and we have to make the best decision to adapt to it. Let give the administration time to explain. They are open and up front with good news and the tough news.

    I still applaud this administration and would encourage anyone who strongly opposes the decisions of the board, to run for office.

    • April 20, 2010 at 6:39 pm

      The District received the memo from Representative Gardner on Friday, April 9th. It was distributed to the members of the Board of Education on that date.

      Additionally, one member of the Olmsted Falls Board of Education also serves on the Polaris JVS Board of Education. This “news from Columbus” was discussed at the Polaris Board of Education meeting around the same time.

  14. April 20, 2010 at 1:24 pm


    This is the letter sent from State Representative Randy Gardner to School Superintendents across Ohio. Please do not comment on this email unless you have read this first. This letter provides some insight into the challenges that lie ahead, not only for our community, but for schools throughout the state. School funding in the state of Ohio was ruled unconstitutional approx 12 years ago. This ruling still remains virtually unchanged today. I think it’s fair to say that, with the exception of a few minor changes, they have ignored, if not added to, the problems we continue to face with school funding.

    Every child, no matter what community they reside in, deserves an equal opportunity for a quality education. Our time should be spent on enhancing our programs not cutting them, researching ways to improve education not fund it, and providing the best possible resources to help our children succeed not limit their resources and hope that it’s enough.

    We blame, question values, debate decisions, and make unfair judgments’ without knowing the facts, and then justify the reasons. As a community, and as parents we need to start accepting some responsibility for the financial state our schools are in. In the end, regardless of our differences, we all want the same result: a quality education for our children. If we’re ever going to reverse the path we’re headed in then we need to put our differences aside, get involved, and begin working together to make it happen. Can we really expect school funding to change if no one is pounding on there doors demanding it?…

  15. Preschool Mom
    April 20, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    With this continued cut of high school busing, what is the chance that the district will be able to offer an all-day, every-day kindergarten program for the start of next school year?

    • April 20, 2010 at 6:45 pm

      Thank you for your question.

      All-Day, everyday Kindergarten (ADK) is a new requirement placed upon local school districts by the Governor and the State Legislature. Unfortunately, while educationally beneficial, no state funding accompanied this mandate.

      Our District has calculated the initial cost for implementing ADK to be around $350,000 (and this cost will increase approximately 4% annually).

      Again, while I am sure this is a well intended educational mandate, it will be left up to local communities to fund this initiative.

      The Olmsted Falls Board of Education passed a resolution requesting a one year waiver for implementing ADK. However, unless the law is changed, the District will be mandated to implement ADK, (again with no state financial assistance) at the start of the 2011-2012 school year.

  16. garnet18
    April 20, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    I have one child in high school and the primary reason I voted for the levy was to restore busing. For the past year I have had to leave work early to pick up my child, resulting in a loss of income. My boss was accommodating but I assured her this would end next fall. I am very angry about this decision. Not only have I given up income and will give more for the levy, I still will not have a bus for her to ride. Why the busing? Not all students participate in sports or after school activities. I absolutely will not vote for another levy if this decision is not reversed!

  17. Just a mom
    April 20, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    First off, the locations of all four schools stationed on Bagley Road exclusively made it impossible to timely transport your children to/from schools even without school buses – there are no “breathing room” for quick transport. I suspected the campaign for levey to be passed was by design – it made the transportation issue so unbearable to parents so those who opposed the levy previously, bent and voted. Under the assumption, however, that high school busing will be resumed this year. I can hear some parents will blast me for my cynical and somewhat conspiracy theory on this site, I am not indicating at all that the board had somehow schemed a plot to make sure the residents suffer for their plan; however, I must say that when the campaign promise is voided due to budgetary bust, parents have every right feeling foolish and angry for their support.

    Many of us have to cut back, many of us have to make necessary changes, many of us don’t have the luxury of “wait and see” what happens – when we cast a vote for the promises made, we expect it to come through. I understand the board’s position, but aren’t they also the one out there asking for support of levy pass? They get what they want, so what do we get? I have a kid going to high school this coming year, I don’t think I can tell her, just wait and see, maybe someone will just put a box of 20’s at my door so I have the extra $$ to pay someone else to do the transport. Just my two cents.

  18. April 20, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I voted against the levy because the school board can not keep their word, manage their finances, or be trusted. This will be the true showing of their colors. Let me guess! We will give raises to teachers and administation but there will be no busing for our extra tax dollars. Are we making money fixing Fairview’s buses? Probably costing us to keep the person who was not doing his job to begin with. And still not making money on Fairview’s buses. Thanks for nothing.

    • April 20, 2010 at 6:55 pm

      Thank you for your comment. Managing finances means making tough decisions when money runs tight.

      Tough decisions are rarely popular decisions, but leadership mandates that one not bury one’s head in the sand, but rather, when called upon, make the difficult choice when facing adversity.

      The District will be making additional revenue from the contract with Fairview schools. If that was not the case, a contract would not have been created, nor agreed upon. District mechanics will be working two Saturdays per month at no cost to the OFCS school district, to provide this service to Fairview schools.

      The District also has a similar contract with Lakewood schools which provides additional revenue to the District.

      These contracts with Fairview and Lakewood schools are a positive example of how the OFCS Districts searches for revenue from sources other than local tax dollars. This is done in an effort to continually manage District finances.

    • April 21, 2010 at 9:22 pm

      Todd, Let’s work the people overtime to perform work that should be at straight time. You stated busing would come back. Do you not see the mess on Bagley Road from no busing. This is a safety issue for our children. But we must sacrifice safety for money. You have not made any tough decisions. Let’s do the work on overtime, let’s give raises, let’s charge for parking your car on public owned property. Have you taken a cut on your end?

    • Rebecca G
      April 22, 2010 at 2:56 pm

      Let’s be real here Jack. The real reason that you voted ‘NO’ is because you didn’t ‘KNOW’ enough about it(levy)to say yes. If you would have actually looked at a copy the finances (which were available to view at the board office at any time during the levy campaign) you would realize that your statement about the school district not managing our money is totally false. As far as Dr. Hoadley taking a pay cut…the administration has had a pay freeze, and the school board donates all of their earnings to high school scholarships. Which means they work for free! Do you work for free? If you want to camplain to someone, call your Ohio legislators! Dr. H and the school board has no control over the state cutting funding for our schools. We need to fight for our kids at the state level not make petty comments to or about our school administration. I’m mad too! but I’m looking for people to join the fight at the State level. Bussing is the least of our worries if the state continues to make cuts. What about our children’s education? Think about that!

      • turnip
        April 22, 2010 at 7:56 pm

        Our children can not be educated if they can not make it to school, period. If state funding has been reduced the district needs to eliminate “non essential’ programs to insure each studen attends school each day, safely. They need to be willing to change start times, blend different age groups on each bus and implement central, neighborhood pick-up locations.
        My kids thrived in the Olmsted Falls sysem. The only reason my youngest has grown and graduated from grade to grade is the intervention of special tutors, speech therapists and reading coaches. All funded programs that I would mourn if they were lost.
        My kids have all participated in spelling bees, chess club, homework lab, band and more. But in todays world they have to pass all mandated tests in order to graduate.
        In order to do this they need to attend school each day.
        I don’t want to see these extra activities end, but if I have to choose between these activities and graduation, I will choose graduation.
        Eliminate extra activities, close the buildings after the last bell and put the savings toward busing.
        It is a sad day, kids need art, music, sports and a sense of community to grow, but unless funds increase we need to use existing funds to ensure each child can attend school each day, and pass all required state testing.
        Our families can not continue to lose valuable work hours, or risk losing their jobs to drop off, or pick up a child from the high school.
        This loss of income could result in the loss of homeowners who lose their house when they can no longer keep up with the mortgage, or a mass exodus as our neighbors sell and move to a better school district.
        It is a simple equation, clock in late because you have to drive a child to school, leave early each day to pick up child, risk job income.
        If people up and move away we will experience a drastic loss in tax revenu property values.
        Let us make cute elsewhere, not eliminate the busing that will insure that each young adult can attend school each day, graduate, go to college or secure a job.

      • April 24, 2010 at 7:09 am

        Rebecca and Todd, Why in the world with the way the state handles our money would you vote or promote to give more? I lost alot of money a few years ago causing me to have to work longer to retire. My home value is down to 1976 levels. I pay more taxes everywhere and if you want to be informed look at the whole picture not just your fish bowl looking out.

  19. turnip
    April 20, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    I understand the fact that our school reps are under state and federal guidlines. I understand that we can’t shoot the messenger so to speak. I understand the outrage over “broken campaign promises.”

    What I don’t understand is the reluctance to change in our community. Why can’t our high school kids take the same bus as the k-8? Why can’t we change school start times to accomodate a new, integrated busing system? Simply wishing things will go back to normal isn’t going to work. Obviously the old system was costing the district untold funds.

    Why can’t we have a series of “pick up” areas in each neighborhood? It won’t kill my child to walk 10 houses down to get on the bus with other neighborhood children. They may even make a new friend.

    (yeah, I know, some of you live in areas without sidewalks, near bridges and dangerous intersections…each location would have to be evaluated for safety. My kids have to cross the road near the intersection of Sprague and Columbia rds., not the safest spot.)

    I also think the state should revamp the policy of busing children to schools not located in our city. My taxes are taken to fund our city schools, if I opt to send my child to a private school outside the city limits, I should have to transport the child myself or move to that city. (Joint vocational schools would be exempt)

    I have voted for every school levy on the ballot for years, but this has given me pause. If we don’t make some basic changes in the way we run our schools, to work with the amount of funds available, I doubt that I will vote for any further levys.

    I’m old, I am partially disabled, I am raising grandkids…I can’t wade through the snow, dig out the car and get my oldest to high school without help. When help is not available, he misses school. Integrate busing, change start times and institute common, neighborhood pick up areas, decrease the cost and I will vote for future levy’s.

    I voted yes so that my grandkids could catch a bus and make it to school each and every day. Now it has been taken away. I don’t place sole blame on our school board or super, I know state requirements are a factor. But I won’t vote for future taxes unless changes are made and cost effective, safe busing is insured.

    • April 22, 2010 at 8:22 pm

      Thank you for your comment. The 3-2 proposal would have placed HS students on buses with students in grades K – 8. This would have helped lower busing costs, but one thing most do not realize, is that once a public school district provides any bus transportation to HS students, it must also offer HS busing to HS students who live in the OF district but attend a parochial high school within a 30 minutes bus drive. This is the current law in the state of Ohio.

      Last year, when HS busing was a part of the OF services, the District had to transport students to 6 different parochial high schools at a cost of approximately $90,000 annually.

      While the District has the ability to re-arrange start times of District school facilities, it has no control over the start times of these parochial high schools.

      As such, this is an uncontrollable cost that is implemented when a district offers HS busing to its students. This is also the main reason why most local school districts have eliminated HS busing from their service offerings.

      • turnip
        April 24, 2010 at 8:26 pm

        This needs to change! Taxpayers should not be held captive and forced to bus children to out of city schools!
        If you choose to send your kid to private school you should be responsible for their transportation or force the institution to provide transportation.
        I agree, we do need to reach out to our government for much needed change.
        Why should our local, hard-working families suffer, lose work and income because we have to avoid busing students to out of city schools?

        We need to get the state of Ohio to change this regulation, our kids need school, parents need to hold on to jobs.

        Laws need to change, but with that said…I shall not vote yes on another levy as I will need the funds tp purchase gas to drop off and pick-up 2 kids from the high school.

  20. Pam
    April 20, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    I don’t care about the state funding (just another excuse) – You (The Olmsted Falls School Board and Superintendent) made a campaign promise and did NOT keep it. High school parents have been dealing with this for a year. Let some other parents have to make adjustments. Take away busing for everybody. It’s not fair that we have to deal with this again when you PROMISED we would not. I will never pass a levy again! You can take back your promise but I can’t take back my vote or money. You all lied – plain and simple.

  21. 4 kids at OF
    April 20, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Wasn’t one of the reasons that we needed to pass the levy was because of concerns of State budget cuts?

    So there are no other sources of saving money, like the buses used to transport a few high school kids to the middle school to clean up after lunch?

    Then you promised kids Swings and Things and they will have to walk!

    My kids were used as conduits and badgered by their teachers regarding the levy and yet we are suppose the “blame” the State, the Governor and anybody else handy.

    The lesson for our kids is dissapointment, that people in authority will manipulate you for their ends and teachers are more interested in their jobs then teaching.

    • Rebecca G
      April 21, 2010 at 3:56 pm

      Yes, we can “blame” the state. We can also blame ourselves for not trying to be a part of the solution. But along with blame we must also hold our state legislators accountable to fix the problem. We as parents can not continue to let others speak for us. We need to go out and get things done. We need to educate ourselves on the issue at hand so that we can be a part of the solution instead of just complaining about it. The state can not continue to rely on property taxes to fund our schools. The overreliance on property tax is a big problem. Do you have a solution? That’s what we need. As a side note…Our kids may have to walk to swings n things but think about kids in other districts around the state who haven’t been on a field trip in years. I believe our kids will be safe ,otherwise Mr. Svec wouldn’t let them go. I’m sure if we had busses to transport the students, there would be someone else complaining that we shouldn’t be spending money to bus kids to a field trip. It’s a lose lose situation either way you look at it. In more ways than one.

  22. April 20, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    4 kids at OF :

    Wasn’t one of the reasons that we needed to pass the levy was because of concerns of State budget cuts?

    On April 9th, 2010 the District received a memo from an state level elected official stating “without new taxes (state level), new federal spending or increased gambling revenue, state foundation aid to local schools can be expected to decline by between 22.7% and 30.1%, on average, in the next state budget, just 15 months from now.

  23. MJ
    April 20, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    I am very disappointed in this. I have had to rearrange my work schedule as a single mother to get my freshman to and from school. I have been paying other parents an average of $20 a week to assist when I can’t. And now..I have passed a levy that will raise my taxes AND still it will require me to pay another parent to transfer my child back and forth to school for her sophomore year as well? I have done nothing but praise the school system and the parents and the students for all the work done to pass this levy and it angers me to no end that this is happening. I am very thankful that my daughter has only 3 years left of school because it will take me that long to sell my house and move so I will not have to pay these taxes. I believe that with the increase we will now be paying more than Rocky River taxpayers??? Sickens me.

  24. mom of three
    April 20, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    I’m really saddened by the people that say they would never vote for another levy. I don’t believe that anyone set out to lie or mislead anyone. As in personal finance, things happen and you can’t do other things as a result. It can be difficult, but we do what we have to do. I really believe this is the case in our schools at this point.

    I have a child in the high school with another starting next year,and I can’t say that I honestly thought busing in the high school would come back. It’s so hard to bring things back when they have already been taken away. I will be taking them to school with everyone else.

    I believe that our Super and the board are doing the best they can with the money we have. I hope that we will all educate ourselves better about this situation, and in the future do the same, that way we can make informed decisions.

  25. sam
    April 21, 2010 at 5:18 am

    Q: the state is cutting our funding by 2.4 to 3.2 mill., by not busing high school is saving us 300k. What is the plan for the other 2+ mill cuts? Sports? Academic Team? After school programs at the school? Or maybe, just maybe, wages… NOT!

  26. disappointed parent
    April 21, 2010 at 7:50 am

    I’m disappointed, and even more surprised that the school board appears to be truly unaware that the primary reason why the levy passed in February was because of the bussing cuts, and promises to restore those cuts. If it had more to do with the cuts to fabulous educational programs, the levy would have passed during the four previous attempts! You’re sabotaging any future hopes to pass a levy, and the likelihood of being able to sustain the programming for three years, with all the expected state cuts is unlikely. So you’ll end up breaking both promises.

    • well informed mom
      April 22, 2010 at 5:54 am

      Disappointed Parent:
      Isn’t reducing class sizes and keeping teachers teaching the real reason that we passed the school levy? Really, the busses– is that the ONLY reason you voted yes? How about your child’s education? You know, the education that helps set them up for failure or success later in life. Did you visit the 3rd grade classes with 29-32 kids in them? Did you child take German and now can’t? I could go on… You just weren’t personally effected~so you believed everything was just “fabulous”. Educational programs in our district have slowly been dismantled with each levy failure. It is that most parents, like you, are oblivious about education happenings until things for them aren’t so easy. Parents don’t set foot in our schools to see what the real facts are or take the time to educate themselves about our district. The only thing that will motivate some parents are bussing cuts~how sad. I know plenty who are interested in the best poissible education for their child. Perhaps you can make a promise to yourself to contact your elected state officials and talk to them about the way schools are funded in Ohio. That way you can help provide a solution to the problem..

  27. Rebecca G
    April 21, 2010 at 10:14 am

    It is extremely unfortunate what Olmsted Falls is about to experience regarding possible school funding cuts. If you’ve been watching the news and keeping yourselves educated on what is happening to schools around the State, you’ll realize we are not the only ones that are going to experience cuts. Right now, Olmsted Falls is only ‘postponing’ a bus decision. Cleveland City Schools are letting go over 600 teachers. That means the teacher to student ratio will be at least 1 teacher for every 40 students. North Olmsted has a levy on the ballot. Even if their levy passes, they will still have to make cuts to their budget. Parma City is at state minimums. Time to find a solution to state school funding. Last week we had a school funding workshop (a promise kept) but only 50 people showed up (some from other districts). Time to educate yourselves parents! Time to start fighting the fight with the rest of us. We need solutions. We need change! We need you to fight with us (PTA, School Board, teachers, administraters,grandparents….)not against us. Give me solutions so we can make change. Show up at the next school funding workshop/meeting when one is scheduled. Our kids can’t wait! They need us to speak for them.

    • April 22, 2010 at 8:30 pm


      Thanks for repeating this important point. The resolution regarding busing was to simply delay the reimplementation of busing. Additionally, the resolution included that the Board of Education would revisit the issue in the Fall when the financial picture becomes a littler more clear.

      This is an important point and one I hope our community will keep in mind.

      The decision to hold off in the reimplementation of HS busing was a difficult one for the board to make, but leadership sometimes requires making unpopular decisions, to ensure the overall well-being of your organization.

  28. MJ
    April 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    I realize the issues that Parma City is having and Cleveland of course. However, I do not live in those cities. I bought in Olmsted to have my children in a wonderful public school system. I could live in Cleveland and pay 1/10th of the taxes I pay to live in Olmsted but I chose not to for many many reasons. I also know that we do not need to have 2 start/end times for the high school – I agree with turnip’s comment above – integrate the busing if need be. Consider the high school and middle school start times – what can be done to ensure that these kids are getting to school the way that we were told they would when we all passed this levy. Perhaps only busing one way – all students have a bus for the morning but will need picked up after or vice versa. That will alleviate some of the hardship that is being put on parents. There are not sufficient sidewalks for these kids anyway – and I am not comfortable with my child riding a bike or walking over 2 miles to/from school.

    • Rebecca G
      April 21, 2010 at 1:55 pm

      MJ. What you fail to realize that what happens in Cleveland and Parma should be your concern. This is part of the problem with trying to get school funding changed. It’s not just about our kids here in Olmsted. It’s about all kids. We don’t live in a bubble. That’s why nothing ever changes. Because people don’t care about anything outside of themselves. I’ve seen alot of people get involved only when it suits their own needs. What about the good of all children. Bussing is the least of our worries if we have to start laying off teachers again or raise our class sizes. The problem with what is happening with bussing is that even though we have passed a levy, the state is going to take money away from us. Therefore, we’re essentially back where we started from. I do like that you offer ideas or solutions. That’s what we need…a solution!

  29. Chris
    April 21, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Dr. Hoadley:

    If the state is cutting educational budget 2.4 mil or higher, and cutting busing is saving approximately $300,000, what are additional cuts do you forsee that will need to be done in Olmsted Falls by the start of the next school year?

    • April 22, 2010 at 8:33 pm


      No other major cutbacks are expected. However, it is important to remember that even though the levy passed in February, the District will not receive any tax revenue (from the levy passage) until January 2011. As such, the return of field trips will be slow.

      Other levy campaign promises included adding two additional teachers so as to reduce class sizes. This is moving forward and will help reduce class sizes at the elementary grade levels.

  30. parent and voter
    April 21, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    We must remember that Dr. Hoadley is not the one that made the decision to eliminate busing. He made a recommendation to the board of education and they voted 2 to 3 against his plan. Dr. Hoadley does not make the decisions. He makes the recommendations and the board votes to make the decisions. We also must remember that we, the voters, vote to put those board members in those seats. Take it one step farther, who voted for Ted Strickland? His campaign platform was educational reform. Now, we are losing funding by the millions. So, when you point the finger, be very careful and take some responsibility. Look around, this funding crisis is not isolated to Olmsted Falls. This is a state-wide crisis. I work in a district that is in the process of consolidating and it is not easy. Turn on the news and hear all the layoffs. Would you prefer to have class sizes over 40 like Cleveland is proposing? Like our own family budgets, things happen and we must adjust. In my opinion, it would be very naive to think that this is the last cut from the state. I think that Dr. Hoadley is doing a fine job. Our test scores are a reflection of a strong district that is doing the best they can with what they are provided. Spend some time supporting educational reform and changing how we fund our schools. The state’s current funding plan is not working for anybody, especially our children.

    • April 22, 2010 at 8:38 pm

      It is true that I recommended the return of HS busing through the implementation of the 3-2 model (more description of this on the blog). However, I do understand and support the Board of Education’s decision.

      This was a grueling decision that was made knowing full well what the public reaction would be. In the end, it was also a decision that was made for the right reasons.

      With a potential major decrease in state funding on the way, it is imperative to continually plan ahead as a cost reduction this year, will compound over the years and add up to a much larger savings.

      As a more clear financial picture becomes available in the Fall, this topic will be revisited and given further consideration.

  31. Denise
    April 22, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I always support school, police, & fire levys. I think it’s so important to maintain those aspects of a city to make it & it’s citizens sucessful. It’s a shame that I feel I pushed others who were “on the fence” to vote for this levy based on promises. I should have known better. You got your money & now we still have our transportation headaches. Thanks !

  32. Jennifer
    April 22, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    What kind of example does this teach our children? Say whatever you need to say to get what you want. I understand the problem with state funding but not the level of mistrust I feel toward the school district. Have you seen the kids walking down Usher Road without sidewalks in the winter? Some kids have to walk over 2 miles. It is very heartbreaking. I voted for the levy mainly because of the promise of the return of high school busing even though I cannot afford it. I am a single mom working fulltime and six months ago received a paycut. I don’t buy this decision was made because of Mr Gardners letter or two opposing promises. High school busing should have been reinstated once the levy passed and I did not buy the excuse of not having enough time to create bus routes. I am sure those that create the routes are highly educated and do not need months to create a bus schedule. Never thought I would vote against a school levy but then again never thought the district would not have the best interest of what really matters-the children-at heart.

  33. Clarence
    April 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    It’s time for the schools to look within for cuts (not just freezes). People in the real world have taken cuts if they’re fortunate enough to have jobs.

    Do you know our school district has over 70 employees (teachers and administrators) that are making over $75,000 per year? Nice income for a job that gives you a long summer vacation.
    I’m not saying they haven’t earned their pay checks but they asked every resident to sacrifice maybe it’s time to look in the mirror.

    • April 22, 2010 at 8:47 pm

      The district has over 400 employees. A large number of employees make under $40,000 per year as the District has a large number of service personnel who work less than 8 hours per day and around 180 days per year. The elimination of HS busing during the 09-10 school year severally impacted the earning potential for our bus drivers. These persons are largely residents of our district and work very hard each and every day under often trying circumstances.

      Additionally, during the past 18 months, the District severally reduced custodial overtime by moving to a Tuesday – Saturday work schedule for some custodial / maintenance personnel at the HS and MS. While this saved the district financially, it reduced the earning potential for this classification of workers.

      Finally, several employees, including administrative personnel work at least a 220 day contract which means they have around 3-4 weeks off in the summer. These employees do not have paid vacation. During the levy campaign, a statistic was shared that the OFCS has one of the leanest administrative to pupil ratios in the state of Ohio. We are proud of this fact as we try to continually direct our financial resources to the classroom, but this lean administrative / pupil ratio forces administrative personnel to work very hard.

  34. Steve
    April 22, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    When I heard this news, I was initially very mad as the levy campaign was mostly about bringing bussing back. Say what you want, but it was largely about busing. Now, no bussing for high school.

    Today, after reading the sun paper, I am again really steamed as the school board of education turned down a proposal that would have brought back high school bussing but still reduced costs. According the the paper, the school board split their vote, but turned this down this recommendation.

    I want to know why it is always the community that has to take cuts when it comes to school funding? Are the employees even taking wage freezes? On another blog, it was stated that all employees got 4% raises in February. Is this true?

    When is the next school board election?

  35. April 23, 2010 at 7:27 am

    For what it’s worth, I am sorry. The November levy failure was painful to its supporters. As a member of the levy campaign, I take responsibility for not asking more questions of what would happen to that well communicated education reduction plan IF Strickland et all couldn’t make good on their commitment. In the growing climate of potential fiscal doom whispering out of Columbus… should we needed less than a crystal ball to know problems were coming? There is no more a grand conspiracy to hoodwink voters than there is value in blaming those who didn’t vote in November.

    Once a small store sold me milk that was beyond the expiration date. When I took it back, I didn’t want the clerk to defend why it happened. I just wanted her to know how I felt and apologize regardless. The debate between the administration and the board, and among the board members is laid-out. Also discussed on this blog is the board’s struggle between deciding to honor a busing campaign commitment vs. their elected responsibility to adjudicate their monies responsibly when both demands may not possibly coexist. I agree with some of the critical comments here but also disagree with some of the priorities shared. But the busing decision is already documented, defended, and displayed on this blog/comments. So as someone who asked you to vote yes – without commentary – I apologize. It is what it is. But I think it should be said.


  36. Lisa White
    April 23, 2010 at 10:37 am

    While I understand the frustrations and disappointment of all those who supported the levy this problem is much bigger than us. The memo sent to Superintendents throughout OH informing them of further cuts to education was received just last week. This was unforeseen and could not have been predicted prior to the passage of our levy. There has been much discussion about “Promises” being made that have been broken. I do not believe “promises” were made. I do believe, however, that there was a “plan” developed to bring these services back. Passage of the levy was the only means to providing the needed funds in order to actually implement the “plan” . We did that. The Plan was then implemented and moving in the right direction.

    Now, humor me for a few minutes. Try thinking of it this way: let’s just say that 2 mth ago you were given a huge bonus at work. Based on this huge bonus you just received you decide to buy a new house. This new house is much bigger and you know that you’ll need to purchase new items for this house. Last week, as a result of the recession, the company looses a huge portion of there business and you are now required to take a 20-30% cut in pay. Will you still be able to afford the original plan and purchase the needed items for your new house or will you have to make some adjustments to the plan.

    Again, same scenario but you buy a camper instead. You make reservations for various campgrounds across several states. The kids are stoked and can’t wait for school to let out so you can hit the road with your new hotel on wheels. Using the example I gave above, you now have the camper but are unable to afford the road trips previously planned. Is this breaking promises made to your kids or is this just making adjustments to your original plan? You will still be able to use your camper even if it means camping in your backyard or the campground in the next county. The kids will be disappointed but you’ll make the best of the difficult financial situation you ‘re now faced with..

    The CEO of education is the STATE. Although we had a “plan” to re-implement various services once we received the bonus (levy), the state decided to cut our pay (funds) after the bonus was received. As result, our company (school) had to make adjustments to the “plan“ in order to maintain a quality education for our children.

    Regardless of the decisions made ,people would still find fault and reason to be angry, they always do. Shouldn’t we be thankful that they didn’t cut valuable programs, teachers, classroom size, sports, etc.. all for the sake of saving face and covering their asses. I respect their decision because they made it knowing and accepting the consequences that would result from it. But they made their decision with the children in mind and what’s best for them, not what would be easiest for the parents. If the kids are feeling angry or betrayed, than as parents, we have to ask ourselves if these emotions are a reflection of our own feelings of anger and betrayal. I could be wrong, but I bet if you asked your child to choose between their favorite school activity versus riding the bus, they would choose the activity.

    School funding issues have been revolving in a continuous circle for decades. It affects every single district in the state of OH, not just us. The only way to stop this viscous cycle is to redirect our frustrations and disappointment and point them in the direction of our state reps. Until we put our differences aside and start working on this together (power in numbers) and people get involved , this will continue year after year as it always has, the same people, same arguments, same debates etc.

  37. Just a Mom
    April 23, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I have read both sides of arguments, debates, justifications, frustration, defenses. I want to address a few things:

    1. The promises of levy are promises, no matter how you slice and dice them, when you don’t carry out your promises, voters will systematically give a grotesque opinions of what they have been convinced to support. I will not yield to anyone who tries to persuade me in their justifications of what voters should have, would have, be more informed, educated, for what board members’ decisions that impacted hundreds of residents’ lives in such a negative way come the new school year.
    2. State cut funding is affecting all school districts in the great state we live – we are aware of this – please remember, people cannot solve the world problems, I used to live in Cleveland and I know how teachers were there. I did not meet anyone in the teaching positions who wanted to teach – it was unfortunate, and fortunate for me to make my moving decision. Cleveland teachers were laid off, forgive me, some schools were better off without these teachers. They also had integration busing system when I lived there (busing kids from one side of town to another) so you could image how much wasteful spending was in place. For the record, I only paid $1,400 a year for my property tax; I am paying over $3,000 a year here – so tell me, should I expect more?
    3. $300,000 for HS busing needed – there are solutions offered right now
    a. Delaying in hiring additional teachers (probably save about $100k for the two positions)
    b. Consolidate school start/end time – we can realize saving by doing so – I don’t have a figure since I do not know how much it cost for one shift
    c. Cutting extra curriculums – I have to take a stand on this one – my goal is for my kids to make it do school and get home safe by utilizing school bus transportation, other after school programs that can be “delayed” for now until better future economic outlook.
    4. I did not go into the vote with a blind sight; however, I also understood the economy evolves around our world. When you see the unemployment rate shot up above 10% across the state, you should get an idea that the State is NOT going to enjoy fat revenue as they did in the past. My vote cast based on my confidence in the school district’s trying to reinstate the services that were lost due to the past attempts to pass the same levy. My confidence remains precariously. Yes, we need to make change in our household budget when the unexpected trudge on our lives; yes, we need to find solutions, and yes, yes, yes, we need to hold our state elected officials accountable for their behaviors. Starting small, however, when we cast a vote to support a levy that embraced the ideas is making our lives easier, it was not just a vote we gave. We gave the confidence, our trust, our money, our schedules, our time, our career, to support a good cause – our kids. And yes, I have been there as a single mom with 3 kids, and yes, I have been there driving my kids to school on a massy snowy road, with my teeth grinding, and fear to be late for work hence the consequence of such. And yes, I have called Strickland’s office, I wrote, I emailed and I ensure they learn all my displeasure to their dysfunctional mentality toward my money and I let them know I WILL do something about it on my next ballot cast in November 2010.

    In the meanwhile, our immediate problem is the HS busing. So how about it? Let’s re-visit some of the solutions mentioned here by Turnip? Hold off on hiring? Cutting extra programs that can be delayed? Are you willing to consider these options?

  38. Clarence
    April 23, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Lisa White :The memo sent to Superintendents throughout OH informing them of further cuts to education was received just last week. This was unforeseen and could not have been predicted prior to the passage of our levy. There has been much discussion about “Promises” being made that have been broken. I do not believe “promises” were made. I do believe, however, that there was a “plan” developed to bring these services back. Passage of the levy was the only means to providing the needed funds in order to actually implement the “plan” . We did that. The Plan was then implemented and moving in the right direction.

    I have to disagree that this was “unforseen”. I agree the amount could not have been known but I guarantee you our BOE had an idea that state funding would be reduced.

    It doesn’t take a genius to see that local income tax is down. County property taxes our down. State sales taxes our down. What does all of that mean? Ulitmately less money for the schools.

    They still chose to present their “plan” to us without any conditions. They could have been truthful and said given the economic conditions and given that tax dollars have been reduced we may or may not be able to restore full busing with the passage of a levy.

    That would be honesty but it may costed votes. Was that too much to ask?

    Again, like I said the amount may not have been known but they knew cuts were coming.

    In the SUN article they also listed all day Kindegarten and the cost to bus kids to private schools. Those 2 expenses were definitely known. So why would they try to use those as excuses to HS busing? Seems they want to use as many excuses as possible.

    Explain how cutting HS busing is “what’s best for them”?

    How about asking our children would they prefer their favorite activity along with walking a couple of miles in the snow or be able to ride a bus to school.

    I’m waiting for someone to put together a plan to change the way our schools are funded. They will have my full support.

    Maybe some extracurricular activites need to be cut. What’s more important. Kids getting to school safely or being able to run track? That’s in the best interest of the kids?

  39. Creative Olmsted Falls
    April 23, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Perfect solutions of our difficulties are not to be looked for in an imperfect world. Winston Churchill

  40. Clarence
    April 23, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Todd F. Hoadley :
    The district has over 400 employees. A large number of employees make under $40,000 per year as the District has a large number of service personnel who work less than 8 hours per day and around 180 days per year. The elimination of HS busing during the 09-10 school year severally impacted the earning potential for our bus drivers. These persons are largely residents of our district and work very hard each and every day under often trying circumstances.
    Additionally, during the past 18 months, the District severally reduced custodial overtime by moving to a Tuesday – Saturday work schedule for some custodial / maintenance personnel at the HS and MS. While this saved the district financially, it reduced the earning potential for this classification of workers.
    Finally, several employees, including administrative personnel work at least a 220 day contract which means they have around 3-4 weeks off in the summer. These employees do not have paid vacation. During the levy campaign, a statistic was shared that the OFCS has one of the leanest administrative to pupil ratios in the state of Ohio. We are proud of this fact as we try to continually direct our financial resources to the classroom, but this lean administrative / pupil ratio forces administrative personnel to work very hard.

    I didn’t mean to imply anyone was getting a paid vacation. But when 17 to 18% of school employees are making more than what most people make working a full year I think there needs to be an adjustment. Is there are max on teacher pay? Where does it max out at?

    Most of the employees you mentioned (under $40K) who were impacted are not the employees I’m referring to.

    Think about those salaries and factor in they’re working 220 days out of a possible 260.

    I think when you compare that to a typical worker in the public sector we’re working maybe 250 days. A lot have had to take pay cuts of 5-10% or unpaid furloughs. We work hard every day, as do our teachers and administrators and the thanks we got is a pay cut. When income for businesses is down this is something they have decided to do. Well, income (taxes) is down for our school district. It’s time we look at some of these methods too.
    People here have said to cut back. No more eating out, ordering pizza ,taking kids to movies, etc. We tightened our belts and approved this levy.

    We’re talking about saving possibly $300K per year by cutting HS busing. If each employee making over $75K took a 5 % pay cut that would easily cover that $300K.

    I know it’s not practical to ask only those to take a pay cut but has the BOE even considered any type of pay cut? Many of us have heard from our employers “a 5% pay cut is better than no job at all”. Given the economy I think school employees should be subject to these same types of cost cutting methods the average worker has been faced with the past 2 years.


  41. Denise
    April 23, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    I am new to the district and voted for the levy. I truly believe you are DISCRIMINATING against High School students! We as tax papers have every right for our children to also have a safe and reliable way to and from school. You KNOW you will need additional monies in the future and you will come to the community to pay for the deficit…..why would we BELIEVE? CLarence and Turnip have GREAT ideas…would you please listen to them, consider them, don’t take high school busing off the table yet. My understanding is if enough people have their voices heard, that you will consider putting bussing back into the fall school year 2010-2011. IS THIS TRUE? The next BOE mtg is May 20 at the OFMS…please I encourage all to come and speak, be heard, these are OUR monies, this was OUR vote, this is OUR decision…
    I would like to start a petition to show the BOE we WANT the busing back! Please email me at jimndenise@sbcglobal.net with your comments, so I may present them on May 20th…Dr. Hoadley, please answer this question…..Isn’t it true we still have time to put busing back for the 2010-2011 high school year? SOmething that doesn’t make sense to me is that even with the passing of the levy….we still are going to group pick up and drop offs…….and still can’t afford high school busing? Something isn’t right!!! STAY TRUE TO YOUR WORD AND PEOPLE WILL STAND BEHIND YOU! YOU NEDD US NOW AND WILL NEED US IN THE FUTURE..remember that!!!

    • April 23, 2010 at 8:50 pm

      My assumption is that you have read the blog article above outlining the decision to delay the reimplementation of HS busing. This decision just occurred a week ago and while at the present time, there would be time to re-implement HS busing next year, that time is quickly running out. It takes time to design routes which is why the District has a June 15th deadline on alternative transportation requests (so as to give the District adequate time to design bus routes).

      This decision was made largely based upon financial information that was received by the District approximately 2 weeks ago. This new financial information, coming from a state level elected official, is predicting a cut in state funding for public schools of somewhere between 22% and 30% beginning in fiscal year 12 (about 15 months). As stated in the article above, this would equate to a reduction in funding for OFCS of somewhere between 2.4 and 3.2 million annually.

      Even if these predicted reductions are inflated and the state cut is 1/2 of what is being predicted, that still would put the District in jeopardy of not fulfilling another campaign promise (making the levy last 3 years).

      I have been a part of several levy campaigns in my 12 years as a superintendent. One question that is always asked is “What have you done to cut expenses before coming to me (as a taxpayer) and asking me to pay more?

      The Board of Education, in making the decision to delay the reimplementation of HS busing is simply being prudent, and waiting on a more clear financial picture to develop before reimplementing a presently suspended service.

  42. Denise
    April 24, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Again, Please answer the question….We still have time to put High school busing back into the fall school year? If enough parents, pupils, community speak and are heard we can find OTHER WAYS to make cuts and not have the high school students keep being put aside! I don’t thiink I would be so upset if this was not again a PROMISE as you stated that is being thrown out! We all know and would appreciate there being monies tighten elsewhere to balance this budget to honor the BOE, yours and the people who campaigned for this levy to keep TRUE to the word of putting back busing. This provides a safe and reliable way for students to get to school. It gives back our community their jobs…it instills BELIEF in which we put in this levy.
    Don’t you think we look extremely silly not to have seem this coming from the state, not to plan BETTER, please don’t take this the wrong way….but someone lied or someone was ignorant to the fact…this could last three years, which is it? Again, you will come to this loyal and hard working community to pay for another levy or need us to promote our monies to the school district and how can we intrust (yours words) all of you again?

  43. April 24, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Please re-read my answer directly above where I did answer your question.

  44. Denise
    April 24, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I invite all who disagreement with the BOE decision to attend the May 20th meeting at the OFMS, as I did reread DR. Hoadley’s statement…and since alternate busing routes are due by June 15th, I’m sure that high school busing routes can be made up until that date also. We are a strong, smart community, we can all work together quickly to still IMPLEMENT it this fall. I KNOW WE CAN! Everything I have read about the state funding, says POTENTIAL and POSSIBLE, we can work through it at that time of cuts…but now it is important for the BOE to give us what we voted for!
    Over 4000 votes for the levy, each person had their reason they voted for it. each reason is of importance to them and should be to you. You can’t pick away and give some voters what they wanted and others nothing. Again, PLEASE take the time to reevaluate the numbers and put busing for the high school back. Show us your words mean something…..We had a verbal and written contract to: (reading from THE PATH WE CHOOSE)February levy passes: WE WILL restore K-12 busing services
    Reduce calss sizes for 2010-2011 school year Restore educational field trips Restore middle school spring sports programs No new operating levy for 3 years. this was approved by the Olmsted Falls BOE

    • Concerned
      April 27, 2010 at 4:07 am

      Denise & Dr. Hoadley – I know for a fact that the Transportation Department has a routing program for bus routes. Some programs can automatically configure routes from scratch, loading students on a bus up to the capacity. Othertimes, those scenarios are realistic, depending on GIGO (Garbage in, garbage out), meaning if bad information is put in, you get bad results or information out of the program.

      Most districts begin their routing at this time for the upcoming school year. It can even be started in June! These are just excuses for not wanting to reimplement high school busing.

      Another fact – districts throughout Ohio get a BONUS REIMBURSEMENT from the state for PROVIDING HIGH SCHOOL BUSING. Granted, it is not required, but the state gives districts extra money for doing this.

      Yes, it is true that whatever a school district offers it’s public school students for transportation, they must also offer the private school students the same. Unfortunately, that’s politics. We, as voters, parents, and taxpayers have no option but to deal with this.

      C’mon, OLMSTED FALLS BOARD AND SUPERINTENDENT. The facts are out there. OPTIONS were presented as well, such as combining grade levels of students.

      This JUST LOOKS AS THOUGH YOU’RE TURNING A BLIND EYE. This is at least a chance to regain the public’s trust. Right now, you are just slowly sliding down the scale. By making a statement of “we’ll revisit the issue in the fall” is just another disappointment down the road.

  45. Clarence
    April 26, 2010 at 5:17 am

    Dr. Hoadley. Read this article in the PD this morning.

    Just wondering if our SD has signed up for this?
    “Ohio urges school districts, teacher unions to sign up for Race to the Top money”

    If not, what issues does a program like this cause?

    • April 28, 2010 at 5:13 pm


      We are discussing this subject internally and I am hopeful that progress is being made with regard to the submittal of our Race to the Top application.

      The Race to the Top applications requires the signatures of the superintendent, president of the board of education, and president of the teachers union.

      This is a very difficult issue for teacher unions as the application requires the agreement to directly link student test scores with teacher evaluations. This is a very new concept and a change of this magnitude takes time for everyone to digest. However, this policy is being pushed from the Federal level which clearly signals this is the future direction for accountability in K – 12 educational institutions.

      For more information on the complexities of this issue, here are two newspaper articles that appeared today in NE Ohio: http://www.ohio.com/editorial/opinions/92286954.html and http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2010/04/28/tough-sell-reforms-mandated-by-stimulus-districts-teachers-pause/

      The Olmsted Falls District would receive a minimum of $100K in funding. Additionally, some current District expenses would also be covered by this grant which, in total, would bring a value of approximately $250K to the District.

      Our application will be faxed to the Ohio Department of Education on Monday. It is my hope that the District will be able to obtain all three required signatures so as to fully qualify for this new funding.

  46. Jim
    April 26, 2010 at 7:38 am

    To all…I highly recommend attending the board meeting…I will be there as well; however, lets try not to have an angry mob mentality. You will not get your point across, and you will have those you are approaching on the defensive, and digging in their heels. Just my 2 cents

  47. Mother of 4 and driving
    April 26, 2010 at 9:03 am

    I have been at many board meeting and let me tell you. It is a waste of time!!! They pretend to listen to you and when you really want to talk about the issues at hand certain board members talk down to you in front of everyone!!! That is the reason alot of people have stop going to the meetings. We think that they are going to listen to us and that our voice will make a difference but it does not. Just like all the busing issues. They want us to think that our opionion matters but it does not. They will make their own mind up, not matter what parents have to say.

    • April 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm

      Mother of 4 and driving :

      I have been at many board meeting and let me tell you. It is a waste of time!!! They pretend to listen to you and when you really want to talk about the issues at hand certain board members talk down to you in front of everyone!!! That is the reason alot of people have stop going to the meetings.

      I have been the superintendent of this District for nearly 6 years and I have never witnessed the behavior you have described. Perhaps you experienced this before my arrival.

      Please keep in mind that while each monthly board meeting has a section on the agenda for public comments, it is not the intention of a monthly board meeting to be a “back and forth” discussion on a given topic.

      A monthly meeting is a forum for members of our community to come and express their opinion, but it is not the given venue for a question / answer session.

      If you are interested in having a question answered, I would be happy to sit down with you at a time of your convenience.

  48. H.S. Mom
    April 26, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    well informed mom :Disappointed Parent:Isn’t reducing class sizes and keeping teachers teaching the real reason that we passed the school levy? Really, the busses– is that the ONLY reason you voted yes? How about your child’s education? You know, the education that helps set them up for failure or success later in life. Did you visit the 3rd grade classes with 29-32 kids in them? Did you child take German and now can’t? I could go on… You just weren’t personally effected~so you believed everything was just “fabulous”. Educational programs in our district have slowly been dismantled with each levy failure. It is that most parents, like you, are oblivious about education happenings until things for them aren’t so easy. Parents don’t set foot in our schools to see what the real facts are or take the time to educate themselves about our district. The only thing that will motivate some parents are bussing cuts~how sad. I know plenty who are interested in the best poissible education for their child. Perhaps you can make a promise to yourself to contact your elected state officials and talk to them about the way schools are funded in Ohio. That way you can help provide a solution to the problem..

    Wow- that’s a bit harsh. You have know idea if this parent or other parents voicing their opinions have been really involved in our education process or not. People voicing their opinion on how inconvienent and difficult this busing situation is and how disgusted they are to have promises broken does not mean they do not care about their child’s education. Play nice – parents have a right to express their opinions on this & they don’t have to match yours exactly to be valid.

  49. Creative Olmsted Falls
    April 27, 2010 at 7:53 am

    I agree with you totally HS Mom. I am somewhere in the middle of all this…have a high school student with no bussing, am pretty disappointed but also understand that the world is changing quickly and we, our superintendent and board need to respond in a responsible way.


  50. Denise
    April 27, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    I myself since I’ve been in here for 2 years-have attended every single PTA mtg but one-for a CPR class for work.
    I do AGREE- EDUCATION- is the MOST important part of the issue, but you have to be able TO GET THERE to get the education! POINT Given to us in the levy passage. I just hope we can look at other ways to save money to uphold the promise the BOE made-We all have heard some wonderful ideas of how to cut back monies. BOE you HAVE to change your idea. I really wish you would have invited to the public to talk or made them aware of the challenges so we could give some ideas.
    I have written news channels 3, 8 and 19 for a possible. story. I truly am taking this to heart. I feel by taking busing away in January-5 weeks before election-you the BOE forced a YES vote from some parents. I honestly think what you did may be illegal, I do know it is IMMORAL- and have heard of a few persons looking into the legal logistics of this- so I would really think of your decision-you are creating an uncomfortable enviroment in a beautiful community! One parent bought her son a car, he got tickets, insurance went up and she is still paying taxes for NO high school bus. You have to feel for these people, you promised them, Your community something, the levy stood for something, now I challenge you who voted it down to STAND FOR SOMETHING and vote it back in!
    It only takes 1 CHANGED vote to put k-12 busing in-Let’s just do it!
    As to having to bus to other schools…..why not…they pay taxes just like us.and actually we are coming out ahead because we do not have their child taking an extra seat in class, using our materials, going on field trips etc. Their parents pay taxes just like us. Call, write e-mail the BOE on how this makes you feel!

  51. Mike
    April 28, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Bottom line, face the reality classes will have to grow. It is not uncommon in today’s world to see class size at 30 – 35 students. We pay teachers to teach and to recognize those students who might or have problems. Today’s teachers simply want to work less then 8 hours and have the parents sort out the issues at home. The catering to has to stop. Alternative busing should be cut before HS busing is gone. That makes no sense at all to drop off or pick up at the babysitter or daycare. Young parents need to learn how to be responsible and be there at the pick up/drop off location, or have a representative there.


  52. Just a Mom
    April 28, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    There are solutions:
    1. hold back the two teaching positions that are to be hired
    2. administrative staff to take a 1-5% cut, I had to, and many parents had done so, in order to have job and voted yes for the levy.- I know this is an open sore subject for school staffing, sorry, tough time calls for tough decision – if schools are really working with parents, they should also consider this possibility – and if they really care about education, they will want to see kids in the high school classrooms.
    3. bus routing – HS start-up/drop off time – can we look into the possibility of consolidate the two different times – even it means my kids will be in schools just a little longer. They don’t need to be home at 2pm – that is just trouble waiting for be bait

    So – how much do we need? $300k? let’s see how much the above 3 items will give us, yes?

  53. Denise
    April 28, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Dr. Hoadley- Are you aware that school districts can apply for a waiver for all day Kindergarten- Please if you could reply/ I work for the Parma City School District and they had recently applied for and given a waiver for 2-3 years to reassess their financial situition. Could we possibly do the same and restore ALL the busing K-12- and revisit the idea later if given the waiver. I would gladly look into this for us. I and SO many others did not vote for other items but the others listed within the levy PROMISES. Can you look into this-and then replace those promises to all of us voters. Voting is a privilege-standing up to what that vote means is EQUALLY important.
    ALso, I lost a nephew on Friday who was driving to school at 7:10am in ALAbama-he struck a truck and he had NO busing. Also, today the news showed 3 children-(that’s what they are even through they are in highschool)who were fatally and critically injured. PLEASE, please I beg you do not make that a possibly for us. Thank you.

  54. April 28, 2010 at 7:55 pm


    Thanks for the question. I am sorry to hear about your family tragedy. My thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

    I am aware of the waiver and the Olmsted Falls Board of Education passed a resolution requesting this waiver a few months ago. All paperwork has been mailed to the Ohio Department of Education requesting this waiver.

    It is my understanding that the waiver is only good for 1 year and that a Board of Education would have to reapply each successive year. However, I was told directly by the State Superintendent that waivers for “financial reasons” will only be granted this year and that she could / would not promise any “financial reason” waivers after this year.

    I will certainly continue to monitor this situation.

    As an aside, good luck to Parma Schools with their levy next week. That is a really difficult situation that many area school districts, and communities should be closely monitoring.

  55. 4 kids at OF
    April 29, 2010 at 9:06 am

    4 kids at OF :

    :Could this have been all avoided if we (the tax payers and financial backers of the System) were given the choice of either busing or a possible increase in less than three years. You gave away a promise based on the “possiblity” of a decline in State support.

  56. Dee
    April 29, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    I had to read all of these blogs because I was just made aware of them. I personally am very glad that the high school is not getting back their buses. The district is saving money that way. I have a high school freshman and have been driving him since the first day of school. Yes I do have the priviledge of being able to drive him and pick him up but we also have many backup rides if something happens, its called carpooling or emergency backups. When my son heard that busing was coming back to the high school he begged me to promise that I wouldn’t make him ride it.

    Then I heard they wanted to put high schoolers with the little kids. Good Lord, the little ones learn enough from the 4th and 5th graders. Can you imagine what they would learn from a high schooler? Enough said.

    Thank you from my high schooler and me directly for not implimenting the busing and keeping the two different start times!

  57. Chris
    April 30, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    To Dee:

    You are lucky that you are able to drive your son to and from school. Many of us are not able to do that without compromising our jobs. And yes, I have heard of carpooling and emergency backups. Carpooling in our area is not an option as there are no other high schoolers around. And emergency backups could be used ONCE EVERY SO OFTEN, hence the term “emergency”, however it is not something we could rely on on a daily basis.

  58. Supportive Parent
    April 30, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    I have and continue to be an avid supporter of our public school systems. I also know how challenging it is to educate us, the voters, on the complexities of school funding. Therefore, to break a promise on one of the two highly emotional issues that helped to drive a successful campaign is very risky. I urge the Board of Education to reconsider this decision. In the big picture of the entire budget, this is an expense that is worth keeping to maintain voter confidence. Let’s be honest, there is a high probability we won’t make the 3-year commitment whether we keep or remove the high school busing – why should we take the risk of losing our voters now?

  59. Denise
    May 1, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    I again invite everyone to attend the BOE mtg on May 20 at OFMS–
    I agree with the above Parent-You will ALWAYS need us voters, keep our faith and restore what Means most: our vote! TRANSPORTATION to GET AN EDUCATION! In the past two nights I have walked my neighboring streets with a PETITION in hand to restore ALL K-12 busing as promised with the levy passage in FEBRUARY. Everyone I approached signed it-I have over 70 signatures, from people who want reliable and safe ways to get to school-they want the BOE to stand behind what the levy stood for. I will continue to campaign-I have 100% of the people signing-not one has said NO! We recently had an accident on Bagley Rd-involving a high school student and a carpool of students-what does it take to keep our most precious gift LIFE safe? We the voters are willing to pay and we ALL should have our reasons we voted met-if you can’t do them all like you said then take back the levy-give back our taxes and so be it. A 1st grader is not more important than a high school student-they are all children who’s parents are paying the SAME TAX! TREAT THEM EQUALLY! High school students can’t BUY alcohol, cigarettes, and can’t VOTE until their 18- but then we given them a deadly weapon….A CAR to drive themselves to school-If parents choose this fine-it’s their choice,, BUT the voters that day chose to have ALL k-12 busing restored. In case you forgot: the definition of RESTORE: to bring back into existence, use, bring back in ORIGINAL condition.
    I will continue my petition.if any wants to have their name on it please contact me:440-235-8666- This is what we voted for together-let our vote count for something-they gave the promises….even the councilman wrote: A PROMISE IS A PROMISE! It was our vote, our money and our choise. Treat the children equally-restore K-12 busing PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  60. Denise
    May 1, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    I recently found a SUPERINTENDENT”S MESSAGE, it states:
    “I want to personally thank all community members who have renewed their committment and PLACED THEIR TRUST IN US.” Please help us maintain that trust-it’ not to late.

    Also, on the Bus Safety Web, I found this:
    A school or school district may be liable for damages for not using a school bus to transport students and a crash occurs in which students are killed or injured, This is a question of State law. Do we want to put our children at risk? When we voted for the money to back up a SAFE, RELIABLE and convenient way to school! Especially since this levy, I feel had a SPECIFIC PURPOSE..and my child’s life is precious. A bus is 7 times safer than a car…..2% died in bus crashes, 22% walking/bicycling and 75% IN A CAR to and from school. Data from 2002 wonder what it is now-with all the cell phone, texting and etc?
    Please RESTORE our faith and RESTORE busing.

  61. Denise
    May 3, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    I now have over 100 petition signatures to date….that is FANTASTIC! Keep the faith…anything can happen…..read the SUN HERALD POST on Thursday, there will be an article covering this. ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE has signed that I asked-a couple of teachers/faculty are very cautious to sign-due to repricussions they think they may face.——so sad! BUt I do understand-I don’t care if only a few students need the buses-This LEVY had a SPECIFIC purpose-and we had written and oral agreements with the BOE to stand by them…..If they take away high school busing now….they can do whatever they want later to ALL the other busing too! Don’t you see that… we need to stand behind our vote, our tax money and OUR CHILDREN’S TRANSPORTATION TO GET AN EDUCATION!

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