Updated (below): A four page color flyer paid for by the Oak Harbor School District (OHSD) recently hit everyone’s mailbox on North Whidbey, boldly pretending NOT to be campaign literature for OHSD’s impending M&O levy.
Within that taxpayer-paid-for document, all five of our elected Oak Harbor School Board Directors signed their names claiming that the OHSD budget has had “no money for textbooks”, despite the fact that Washington State perennially provides revenue SPECIFICALLY for such items on a Full Time Equivalent (FTE) per-pupil basis.
Either all five of these people are either too stupid to be on a school board, or they think we, the public, are illiterate idiots, or all five of these elected officials are outright liars. In any case, the OHSD is being mismanaged and deserves ZERO public support, monetary or otherwise.
We, the public, are being 100% scammed by completely false allegations about budget reductions and lack of funding for things like textbooks in our K-12 schools. Substitute House Bill 2776, passed during the 2010 Legislative Session, specifically allocates revenue on a per FTE student basis, and those specific revenue items are being increased from the state level.
In the 2008-2009 biennium, those amounts were:
- technology $ 54.43
- utilities and insurance $147.90
- curriculum and textbooks $ 58.44
- other supplies and library materials $124.07
- professional development $ 9.04
- facilities maintenance $ 73.27
- central administration and security $ 50.76
The above FTE student amounts are being adjusted for inflation as time goes forward. But, in any case…..
Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, those amounts will be:
- technology $113.80
- utilities and insurance $309.21
- curriculum and textbooks $122.17
- other supplies and library materials $259.39
- professional development $ 18.89
- facilities maintenance $153.18
- central administration and security $106.12
Click HERE to view that K-12 funding bill as PASSED legislation.
Even the document “A Citizen’s Guide to the Washington State, K‐12 Finance” for the year 2011 specifies that this IS how our schools are financed in these specific categories from the state level! And, that very same publication in its iteration for the year 2012 says the same thing!
The above dollar amounts reflect revenue which the school school district receives each year from WA State, on a per student FTE basis, specifically for the items listed, irregardless of any local levy support or Federal Impact Aid. If it is for some reason true in the OHSD that there is “no money for textbooks” it IS NOT due to lack of revenue / funding. Since our five school board directors also claim to have done “their homework” in the just-mailed propaganda flyer, they know these facts. This is therefore a clear example of mismanagement of the monies we are already giving the OHSD, and the Oak Harbor School Board is “in” on this. Therefore a “NO” vote on the proposed school levy is more than justified.
Updated Section: Additionally, individual Oak Harbor School Board Directors have also begun their own letter-writing propaganda campaign for this onerous school levy:
- Oak Harbor School Board Director Gary Wallin’s letter very misleadingly calls a proposed DOUBLING of the OHSD M&O levy a “replacement” levy, claims he has a crystal ball when it comes to further state and federal revenues (they always go “down”, eh, Gary?) and then tells the biggest lie of all when he says: “We cannot make further cuts without eliminating student learning opportunities.” Not true, as eliminating $1.4 million in existing TRI-Days is certainly an option, whereas, instead, you guys are already planning to pump up that TRI-Day local teacher pay-padding scheme by adding an additional $550,000 annually to the existing TRI-Day scheme, so teachers can skim away almost $2 million annually from the kids!
- Corey Johnson’s letter erroneously claimed “The state does not fund computers and technology” and that “Oak Harbor schools have been underfunded for decades.”. If so, how could OHSD have afforded to pay-pad teachers salaries with local “BONUS PAY” (i.e. TRI-Days to the tune of $1.4 million annually), and how can you be planning to be giving away an additional $550,000 in TRi-Days to teachers if the schools have been “underfunded for decades”? And, he emphatically claims “There is no funding to replace any more text books if the levy does not pass.” If that is case, where is the money from the state of WA for things like textbooks and technology going instead?
School Board Directors in Oak Harbor have already gone ON RECORD saying “Oak Harbor’s focus is education, not AYP scores“. In that article, Peter Hunt makes duplicitous suggestions. He claims that getting our children to function AT GRADE LEVEL on state-created standardized tests is asking our schools to meet “impossibly high standards” . He also also brags about the number of AP classes offered, but make no mention of OHSD’s extremely low AP class “pass” rates on national standardized exams for those same AP classes. In other words, the OHSD likes to purport the ILLUSION of high academic standards, but they don’t want anyone to pay attention to the metrics, which show otherwise. Peter Hunt says that the OHSD’s focus is “education”? What, exactly, then, does “education” really mean? The below video provides some real insight to what public K-12 “education” is now all about. It was very recently produced by the California Teachers Association. It’s a revisit of the “tax the rich” mantra. The teachers’ unions apparently believe this is now part of the “core curriculum” in our K-12 schools.