The Washington voting rights act of 2013 would strengthen our mobile, Navy community in Oak Harbor, and that’s why OHSD opposes it + Video “The Cartel – Local Spending”

Author:BillB

The Washington voting rights act of 2013 would potentially provide the Oak Harbor Navy community a full-fledged full-time voice on the Oak Harbor School Board, but the OHSD’s Superintendent and incumbent school board directors have decided to oppose this legislationThe real reason they have done so? They do not want Oak Harbor on such a vector because they do not want to lose the ability to hand pick at-large public education sycophants who will simply go-along-to-get-along whenever asked to increase local property taxes in whatever amount the school district desires.  

“MORE MONEY!” is ALWAYS the driver behind ALL positions taken by local school districts. The suggestion by Superintendent Schulte that a school board director district which might overlay Navy housing “won’t work well for such a mobile population” is a bogus suggestion. It would work VERY well. There are dozens of Navy spouses who are more than qualified to represent the interests of our sailor’s families while performing the duties of a local school board director.

Barely weeks ago, the Oak Harbor School District got over half the taxing district’s voters to more than DOUBLE their local property taxes for their ongoing Maintenance and Operations levy. During that campaign, local school board directors printed purposely misleading letters-to-the editor to influence voters. In doing so, our current crop of school board directors have made it crystal clear that they do NOT represent the interests of the constituents who elected them. Instead, their allegiances lie solely in generating “MORE MONEY!” for the taxing district they are supposed to oversee. They have lied to the public in doing so, and the local fish wrapper buries all attempts to expose their lies.

The argument against the Washington voting rights act of 2013 from school board president Gary Wallin, namely…

“it would also be difficult to find potential candidates in the San de Fuca area located on the southern edge of the school district

…is a red herring argument. That area is both geographically small and population-small, and some folks on that boundary likely attend Coupeville School District. Gary Wallin may have very well said…

“it would also be difficult to find potential candidates in the Cornet Bay area located on the northern edge of the school district“,

…which would be just as meaningless as his original statement. Moreoever, there is no good argument for an area like San De Fuca or Cornet Bay, per se, to be a director district unto itself. Gary Wallin’s weak-minded statement is yet another example of why he simply is not cognitively qualified to BE on the school board as a director.

The argument to oppose the Washington voting rights act of 2013 because Coupeville School District  “switched from five director districts to three districts and two at-large positions because of the difficulty finding people to run in specific districts” is also a very weak argument. The Coupeville School District has barely one-fifth the students that Oak Harbor has, yet they had always been able to have five school board directors. Besides, the the Washington voting rights act of 2013 would likely not make Coupeville change anything they are presently doing, so it’s irrelevant to our situation in Oak Harbor – where Navy families have NO voice directly representing their interests and concerns.

Another argument made against the Washington voting rights act of 2013 by Superintedent Schulte is that…

“voters could be faced with a candidate who may not be qualified and it may limit voter choice.”

..but according to the “What’s New TYoday?” article..

“Schulte mentioned that the legislation stems from communities in central Washington that have sizable ethnic communities but don’t have representation on elected boards.”

In Oak Harbor we have a sizable active duty Navy community, but do not have representation for that community on the Oak Harbor School Board. Our Navy community, which comprises about 50% of the students in the school district is 100% responsible for the millions of dollars of Federal Impact Aid which perennially flows into the coiffures of the Oak Harbor School District. Those folks living in Navy housing are clearly under-represented on the Oak Harbor School Board, just like those ethnic groups in central Washington.

At least one locally elected official has already taken it upon himself to comment publicly – and seemingly negatively – on the Washington voting rights act of 2013 and how it would strengthen the voice of active duty local Navy families in their children’s education.

Oak Harbor City Councilman Jim Campbell, who asked:

 

 

 

The number one main thing which locally elected School Board Directors do that effects the local community is that they can approve resolutions for Maintenance and Operations levies, or for Capital Levies or for levies to pay for long-term construction bonds bonds, all of which the local property owners must then pay back over time.

Back in December, 2012, Jim Campbell, along with the rest of the City Council of Oak Harbor, unanimously endorsed the school district’s resolution which proposed DOUBLING their Maintenance and Operations levy, and which subsequently appeared on a local ballot in February 2013. The levy passed at the polls with about a 54% approval.

At that December City Council meeting, Jim Campbell told me personally that he had serious doubts the school district levy would pass due to the state of the economy and pending sequestration at the Federal level. Apparently, however, what Jim Campbell really felt was that a DOUBLING of the local property taxes for the school district is evidence that things are working perfectly A-OK in Oak Harbor. At least, that is if one is clearly always in the “MORE MONEY!” camp with the OHSD, no matter how much the K-12 cartel wants.

This clip (below) is from the documentary film “The Cartel” by Bob Bowdon, which reviews spending in some of New Jersey’s public schools. The SAME issues that apply in New Jersey apply to Washington State. The movie clip states that the average teacher salary in Paterson, NJ is $55,000. In both Washington State and in Oak Harbor, WA we already pay most teachers more than the average teacher salary in Paterson, NJ. Too see what Oak Harbor school district employees earned, in 2011-2012, see Oak Harbor School District employees.

The video also demonstrates that in New Jersey, per-classroom spending is presently above $313,000 per classroom in Paterson, NJ, yet people there are still saying that “MORE MONEY!” is still warranted! In the OHSD this school year, our total spending is $56,673,128 and OHSD’s facilities’ report indicates there are 276 classrooms in all, so per classroom spending this year in the OHSD is $205,337 (at $10,565 per student, and at an average of 19.43 students per classroom) . Does anyone truly believe that there is any limit to how much “MORE MONEY!”the K-12 cartel is willing to suck up if we simply continue to sink “MORE MONEY!” into it year after year after year?

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11 comments

  1. avatar

    The question should not be “Why do we need to fix something that works?” but “How can we make the system we have work better?”.

    If I understand this correctly this new law would mean that the school district would be divided up into districts with board members chosen from those individual districts instead of at large as they are now?

    1. avatar

      That’s my understanding of it, too.

      1. avatar

        Then that is a great idea. I hope it passes. That would let us have a much more representative school board that would not be controlled by one large population center in the district like Oak Harbor. The Navy, to me, is just another part of the population here and just as deserving to be represented as those in San De Fuca. The Navy district would certainly bring new ideas to the table.

        When I went to school here I was always amazed at where my fellow students and Navy parents transferred in from. Italy, Japan, Phillipines, Guam, Germany, California, and all over the world. It was interesting to hear the stories of how the schools were “over there”. I am sure the military involvement will help not hurt the OH school district.

  2. avatar

    Why would anyone suggest the Navy not be properly represented? That’s ridiculous. Those young families should very much have a seat at the table.

    1. avatar

      The school district and the teachers’ union will oppose any and all attempts which would diminish, in any capacity, their power to dictate who sits on local school boards by ensuring they ALWAYS have a sycophant-candidate to run for each seat on the board, which is now comprised of entirely “at-large” directors. Having at-large director positions give them maximum flexibility to do so. Having director districts diminishes their flexibility. Having a director district entirely that overlays Navy housing, for example, would severely diminish the school district’s power and flexibility on this regard, and it would empower those Navy families. Such a school district director would be a closely Navy-affiliated person who could be chosen by Navy folks to represent the Navy folks. That is NOT in the school district’s interests or the teachers’ union’s interest, as they want to control the membership of the local school board to the fullest extent possible.

  3. avatar

    BillB, your reference to sycophants is amusing. Still smarting over getting trucked when you ran for OH School Board years back? Or is this a case of the majority – wasn’t it over 60% that voted against you, there is your much ballyhooed super majority – not understanding the real issues like you do? Keep up the good work here.

    1. avatar

      Yes, folks, people in the public education field actually think it’s completely amusing that elected school board directors can lie to the community during a ballot proposition, that they can get way with it, and that the local fish wrapper “newspaper” also does its best to aid in that deception.

      This is another example as to why the Washington voting rights act of 2013 is opposed by the OHSD.

      1. avatar

        The OHSD is obviously very proud of the fact that they again have pulled the wool over the publics eyes. Many people call what they have done lying. The Oak Harbor School district will fight anything that levels the playing field and gives the citizens more even representation. I would imagine that if this bill passes OHSD will lose the control they have over the school district and the population center of Oak Harbor will see the control they have over the OHSD be watered down. Instead of a small group of people elected by the population centers on the Island the control will be spread to rural citizens who will now have a voice where they currently do not now. No wonder the OHSD is fighting this…

  4. avatar

    They don’t want the military voice because most of the militray tends to lean to the conservative/constitutionalist side of the fence. The very people the hideously progressive liberal establishment in education loves to villify.

    But that doesn’t mean the school district won’t lap up every federal dollar given to them by the government because of the heavy military population. It’s rediculous if you ask me.

    Representation? No. Your tax dollars? Gladly.

    1. avatar

      Federal Impact Aid has been flowing freely into the OHSD since the program began in 1950, and with essentially ZERO oversight by the public for how it is spent.

      A Navy-oriented school board director would be well within his or her rights to demand those local discretionary dollars be spent FOR THE KIDS – directly.

      Certainly, no other school board director n the OHSD has any interest whatsoever in tying those Federal Impact Aid revenues directly to the children of those Navy families when it comes to SPENDING that money.

      Up until just a few years ago, for example, it was solely Federal Impact Aid which provided the revenues for 100% of the local supplementary salary contracts, including the TRI-Days – which teachers receive in the OHSD.

      In school districts receiving zero Federal Impact Aid, all revenue for those local supplemental local contracts to pay-pad teachers’ salaries come instead come from local Maintenance and Operations levies.

  5. avatar

    An abbreviated and “What’s New Today?” edited version of this article appeared as:

    School district‘s real focus on collecting more money

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